Today, digital marketing is essential for every business, including financial professionals. Beyond being able to connect with clients virtually, you want to be found by potential customers and meet the new digital needs of your clients to succeed. That's why building skills in digital marketing is so critical.
If the right information about your business can't be found online, it's much harder to connect with and convert new clients. So you need to get comfortable with digital marketing basics. Once you do, you'll have the opportunity to see the benefits for yourself.
Consider this a primer to help get you started. You'll learn some of the basic digital marketing channels, get answers to some common questions and find links to resources that can help continue your education.
Understanding your audience
To get the most out of any digital marketing campaign, focus on one essential: your target audience. If you jump in without thinking this part through, a lot of time and effort can end up wasted.
Start with the basics. Define your target audience. Go beyond saying it's "everybody." That's not realistic. While many different people can benefit from working with a financial professional, you'll have much better results if you narrow down your ideal client, just think of who would benefit most from your services. Of course, you can expand over time if you want, but it doesn't hurt to start with a more narrow focus.
With a target client in mind, it's easier to build a digital marketing strategy and promote your brand. You'll know what social media channels to target, the content that will help them and demographic information for effective ad campaigns.
Search engine optimization (SEO)
Put simply, SEO helps prospects and customers find you online. When you optimize your website copy and content for specific keywords (ideally around your target audience), it becomes that much easier to rank well and appear on the first few pages of search engine results.
Does SEO matter that much? Yes. According to a study by Google, nearly 30% of people click the first result of a website search. Only 2.5% click on the tenth. That first position will get 10x the clicks of the tenth, which shows just how important it is to focus on finding the keywords your target client looks for and creating content around those keywords.
Search engine marketing (SEM)
SEM and SEO often get confused. The terms both relate to being found online. SEM uses paid advertising, as opposed to organic searches, to optimize your online presence. Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is one example.
Where SEM comes into play is knowing what keywords to target for your ads. Here, again, is where having a targeted audience niche helps. When you know the specific keywords you want to use in your ads, they become that much more effective for reaching potential clients. Keep in mind that it's not enough to simply know the keywords to use in the ads; the content you link to from your ads needs to also support those keywords and meet the needs of the audience.
Another key digital marketing strategy is content marketing. In most cases, your content will include your website and blog. However, you can expand your reach by creating guest posts for other sites, writing an eBook or developing downloadable resources for your website.
Think of your blog as a library for your current and potential clients. You want to create keyword-optimized content that answers common questions, breaks down complicated information and educates them on important topics. Having a great blog is one way to build your email list and convert readers into clients.
Social media marketing
Social media is critical for communicating today. But, it can feel overwhelming because there are so many channels: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and TikTok are among the most popular. For financial professionals, LinkedIn is a fantastic social media channel, too.
When done well, social media serves a lot of marketing purposes. Use it to promote your content on your channel or through ads, expand your brand's reach and drive traffic back to your website. It's also great for connecting on a one-on-one level. For example, engaging with specific people or groups, participating in chats or posting up informative videos and answering questions in the comments. But poorly managed social media can cause problems for your business, so remember to be careful what you post and regularly monitor your accounts.
Pay-per-click advertising (PPC)
With a PPC ad, your ad appears at the top of a search engine or other website as a sponsored result. When someone clicks on your ad, you pay for that click. Your SEO and SEM strategies come into play when you use PPC advertising to drive traffic to your site or convert potential clients.
What makes PPC ads so popular is the ads are relatively easy to set and use. Also, the ads appear when your targeted audience is already searching for information, so it's not a big ask to get them to click. When creating PPC ads, make sure you have your target keywords ready and come up with engaging copy to help drive action.
Have you heard the phrase "the money is in the list?" It has to do with the power of email marketing. A key focus of every financial professional should include growing your email list. You can do that by encouraging website visitors to sign up and creating downloadable content readers can access in exchange for their email.
Once you start growing your list, create an email marketing strategy to stay in touch. Where you want to focus is providing value to your readers, not spam. Deliver personalized content that's helpful and speaks to their needs and interests.
Learn more about digital marketing
Are you starting to see the potential of digital marketing for your business?
Here are some resources where you can dig deeper and learn more about how to reach potential clients online.
- Hubspot's Digital Marketing Course — Hubspot offers a great course where you take a deeper dive into all things digital marketing.
- Facebook for Business — Learn how to harness the power of Facebook, still ubiquitous when it comes to an effective social media presence.
- Instagram for Business — You can do a lot using Instagram to help grow your business. It's one of the fastest growing channels.
- Twitter Ads — Twitter is another place where you can create targeted ads to reach potential clients. It's short, sharp and popular.
- LinkedIn Marketing Solutions — For B2B and financial professionals, LinkedIn has a ton of potential. It's a great way to connect with clients and find new ones.
There's a lot to learn about digital marketing, it's an industry in and of itself. But if you can get a basic understanding of each of these channels, you'll be more prepared to get started on the right foot.
Now that you've got a primer on digital marketing, you can feel a bit more comfortable in putting a digital marketing plan into action, and start developing a strategy to grow your business.