Takeaways from the Digital Marketing for Financial Services Summit 2016


I recently attended the Digital Marketing Summit in Toronto and was a panelist on the Power Panel: Surmount Barriers to Transform your Omni-channel into a Customer Centric, High Performance Digital Ecosystem. The conference was very educational and a great way to meet industry leaders in the Digital world of Financial Services. Having learned some new perspectives on all things digital, I wanted to share some of my thoughts on two presentations that stood out during the conference.

The Keynote Address by Mitch Joel

The keynote address “Reboot Your Digital Marketing Strategy to Transform Your Brand and Win in the New Landscape” by Mitch Joel, President of Mirum, and author of Six Pixels of Separation and CTRL ALT DELETE was the most interesting. His presentation provided me with a different perspective on digital today.

The first was Mitch’s story about Snapchat. Apparently, in Snapchat’s very early days, when it was only about 5 people, Facebook offered to buy it for $3 billion.  Amazingly, Snapchat’s founders turned it down. Snapchat’s size and younger audience demographic was attractive to Facebook, but Mitch explained that Snapchat was quite different from Facebook. Snapchat represented the real world.  In the real world, most conversations are not recorded.

Today, in the ‘virtual world’, what people really want is an in-the-moment experience and to interact in a non-recorded way.  Snapchat, and tools like Slack and Periscope, provide the brevity and genuineness of reacting to something as it happens, just like real life.

Teenagers need unstructured time online without fear of parental criticism, which can easily happen on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Snapchat gives younger audiences the freedom of communicating in a private digital environment. Similarly, ‘Periscope’ lets you broadcast live video to the world. Followers can join, comment and “send you hearts in real time”. In the workplace, Slack, a chatting application, has been encroaching on email as a form of business communication. Email is still quite formal but conversely Slack allows for creativity and brainstorming — similar to a face-to-face meeting. Slack imitates that experience better than prescribed emails that most work-forces use.

Apps like Snapchat, Periscope and Slack prompt us, as marketers, to think about ways our own brands can mimic ‘real world’ experiences to connect not only with millennials but also with all of our customers in the ways they connect with each other.

Another interesting tidbit from Mitch was that Amazon bought the gaming channel, Twitch Interactive, in 2014 for almost $1 billion. Twitch is not actually a gaming website but an Internet video channel for “broadcasting and watching people play videogames”.

At first glance this seems like an awkward acquisition, however, Twitch is the fourth-largest source of U.S. Internet traffic, so perhaps $1 billion was worth it.

Mitch’s take away from this acquisition is that companies should obviously be investing in video, but also that thinking differently about your business can sometimes lead to tremendous success. An ecommerce and cloud computing company is leading the way with Amazon Prime video streaming and networks like Twitch. It is now not just about content or channels, but about networks like Netflix and CraveTV. Mitch Joel states that Amazon’s move into networks teaches us a potentially new way for marketers to think. Many brands are hiring journalists and other media types as a way to create more authentic, creative stories. He says that maybe the opportunity is for brands to think about not just creating and publishing content, but more about how to “become their own media network”. Perhaps the future is less about native advertising and more about brands becoming a network with their own studio.

Think about Purina owning a ‘kitty network’ similar to AFV or Elon Musk owning a “sustainability network’ that is all about saving the environment.

Another very interesting comment Mitch made was that the ‘purchase button’ should be everywhere. He mentioned the Best Buy Facebook Page that has a tab titled, “Shop Now”. Mitch says, why drive people back to your website when they should be able to buy right from within Facebook? The Internet strategy of years ago that drove consumers back to their website is slowly dying. This rang particularly true for me because in 2001, I worked for a ‘dot com’ called ePod. ePod had a unique advertising technology, that was way before its time. We called it a ‘website within a website’. We worked with companies like Disney to create an ad unit that would advertise a Disney product in a video, inside an ad unit with a ‘buy now’ or ‘add to cart’ functionality built-in.  Yes, ePod was quite a way before its time.

My final takeaways from Mitch’s presentation were that we, as financial services marketers, need to ensure that we represent real-life. Marketing with flexibility, creativity, authenticity, and kindness. He said those were the keys to developing great businesses.

In a digitally centric world, authenticity and creating and developing real relationships are the keys to success.

Facebook’s Erin Elofson

Erin Elofson, Director of Financial Services at Facebook, sold the benefits of Facebook advertising, but she did it in a very educational way. I have spent a fair bit of time trying to find the secrets to effective Facebook advertising – with some great success – but I always thought that we could do better. Of course, video advertising was lauded as the key to success.

Video on Facebook has exploded, but the most enlightening was Erin’s comments on storytelling and driving people down the purchasing funnel. In hindsight, it is common sense, but Erin’s examples and success stories sent a strong message to the DMFS audience.

If you are a believer in content marketing, then you know that ebooks, case studies and blogs that educate the consumer before asking them to buy are significantly more effective than content that immediately asks people to take action1. Erin says that Facebook advertising should do the same. Campaigns that “sequence” different ads work best. The first ad should tell the brand story. For example, “our community focused bank supports people who lost their homes in Fort McMurray with a 1% mortgage”. The next ad in the “sequence” should provide product information. For example, “our friendly bank will easily transfer your mortgage over from another bank with no penalty”. Only after these two ads have run one after the other, should the message include a call-to-action such as stating the current mortgage rate and inviting the audience to click to apply.  Erin also showed a simple formula for taking existing television or YouTube video ads and paring them back to become effective brand stories in Facebook.

From personal experiences, acting too quickly by asking people to take action immediately, without persuading them down the purchasing funnel through story telling, takes discipline. In a world where CEOs and shareholders are clamoring for quick results to meet quarter-end numbers, it is very tempting to ask prospects immediately to ‘buy-now’. I get many sales calls right after I download a piece of content. We often wrongly assume that if the product is as good as we think it is, or if they are the right target audience, they will buy. And if they don’t buy or click now, they never will. Erin brought American Express to the stage to tell their Facebook advertising story. American Express explained that once they adopted this disciplined approach to Facebook advertising, or ‘story telling’, the results were overwhelmingly positive. Research from Adaptly2, published by Facebook, concurs with the same results:

Among those who were exposed to the sequenced ads compared to those who were exposed to the non-sequenced ads, there was an 87% increase in people visiting the landing page and a 56% increase in subscription rates. In addition, they converted at higher rates.

When you think of this approach, it makes total sense. I am on Facebook reading my friends’ updates, looking at their photos, watching funny videos and reading news about a movie star’s dress. Do I really want some stranger telling me to buy their product?  Wouldn’t it be better to see funny videos or moving stories related to the brand to get to know them before I am asked to buy?

“Some advertisers may find it counterintuitive to elongate a campaign as a way to more gradually bring their audience through the purchase funnel, rather than more immediately delivering a call-to-action,” says Adaptly’s CEO, Nikhil Sethi. “But we have proven that this classic brand-building approach it is both effective and efficient, even for direct response advertising.”3

My most memorable brand video on Facebook was the Westjet Christmas Miracle. That doubled my affinity for the airline. My resulting perception is a kind airline that cares about their people and their customers. As a marketer, I am surprised that I would feel that way about a brand solely based on their marketing.

Other themes of the Digital Marketing Financial Summit, were personalization, utilizing data to deliver better customer experiences, omni-channel challenges, using attribution for measuring advertising and more.  Lastly, as a regular conference participant, I was very pleased to see how engaged the attendees were. Attendees had many questions for the presenters. When visiting our booth, they were open to hearing about our products and services rather than just the giveaways we had at the booth.

Conferences like DMFS provide us with the ability to step outside the office to learn, develop relationships, and talk to people in the “real world”.


1, 2, 3 Creating More Effective Online Marketing Campaigns.

Advisors: Why whitespace is NOT wasted space


Whitespace is commonly referred to as negative space, the portion of a page that is left unmarked, blank, or the empty space on a page. Whitespace is the fundamental building block of good design. If used correctly, it can transform a design and provide many advantages to your Financial Advisor website.

As a Financial Advisor, you’ve taken an important step to grow your business by creating your own website. Keep in mind that as you market your business digitally, you are marketing to a digital audience and should keep that audience in mind with designing your website. As a Financial Advisor, one of your goals should be to deliver an exceptional and consistent experience to your clients and prospects on all fronts, including a positive experience for your website visitors.

Using whitespace effectively can create several benefits for your website.

  1. Emphasize your Call-to-Actions (CTAs)

At first glance, the most obvious way to make your CTA stand out would be to make your button larger than anything else on your page. However, surrounding your CTA with whitespace can be just as effective, if not more. Having whitespace surrounding your CTA gives your readers just one thing to focus on. Below is an example of how whitespace can be used effectively to emphasize a CTA (Reserve Your Spot!):

Advisors: Why Whitespace is NOT wasted space

  1. A tidy site is always better

If you were to have an in-person meeting with your clients, would you want them walking into a cluttered, messy office or an office that was clean, neat and inviting? Just as you would want to create a good first impression when someone walks into your office, you want to do the same when someone visits your website.

Aside from a great colour scheme and an easy-to-follow layout and navigation, whitespace is crucial because it adds a certain finesse, and also exudes a sense of elegance and superiority to your website. Below is an example from Mark Boulton’s article showing an Advertisement that is transformed by the use of effective whitespace. As you can see, the result is a much cleaner, and visually appealing Ad.

Example of whitespace used effectively

  1. Acts as a separator

As a Financial Advisor, there is a range of topics to discuss with your clients. Sometimes those topics are completely unrelated, making it harder to decide how to lay them out on your website. Whitespace is a great way to separate unrelated elements in your website while enhancing the overall visual layout. When you use whitespace effectively, it can pave the way to clearer communication and navigation through your website.

Although having whitespace can provide clear benefits for your website, a good balance of design and whitespace is important. Too much whitespace leads to confusion and gives off the impression that your website lacks content. However, not enough whitespace leads to a messy, disorganized and confusing layout for your audience.

Below are some websites that use whitespace effectively:

Built by Buffalo uses whitespace wisely. The whitespace helps to emphasize where they’d like their visitors to go first. As you scroll through their homepage, you can see that whitespace still dominates the page while emphasizing the icons at the same time.

Website using whitespace effectively


Mailchimp uses whitespace to effectively highlight their CTA’s. Their design is simple, allowing visitors to easily navigate themselves around the page.

Website using whitespace effectively


Google uses a minimalistic approach to their homepage. At first glance, visitors will notice their colourful logo.  Visitors will then proceed to the text box to begin their search. Their design is simple but effective because of the dominant use of whitespace.

Website using whitespace effectively

Take a minute to analyze your Financial Advisor website to help determine if you have enough (or too much) whitespace. Formulate a plan of action to incorporate more whitespace into your website design to effectively create a clean and visually appealing website – your visitors will thank you for it.

Ignoring LinkedIn is Hurting your Advisory Firm


According to The Wall Street Journal, “At Social Media High, Facebook is the all-star quarterback, Twitter is the school paper’s editor in chief and Snapchat is the mysterious, Harley-riding transfer student. That makes LinkedIn the nerd who skips prom for the mathlympics.

However, within the financial services sector, LinkedIn is the all-star quarterback with 9 in 10 Financial Advisors active on this social network (LinkedIn). LinkedIn is a hub for growing your advisory firm, strengthening and nurturing your relationships, and building awareness for your business.

Signing up for a LinkedIn account and letting it gather dust will hurt your career – you need to be active on this social network. There are many little changes you can make to optimize your LinkedIn account, as well as many opportunities to engage with other LinkedIn users – more specifically your clients and prospects. Some of these engagement opportunities include:

  • Joining and contributing to relevant LinkedIn Groups
  • Posting updates for your LinkedIn network to see
  • Like and comment with updates made by people in your network
  • And so much more

LinkedIn recently conducted a comprehensive survey of Financial Advisors and found that 75% of Advisors who gained clients from LinkedIn stated that they use the site to improve their referral network. They gathered the top reasons Financial Advisors use LinkedIn, which included:

  1. Building brand identity
  2. Enhancing current client relationships
  3. Staying up-to-date on industry insights
  4. Improving their referral network

In a very digitally-centric world, it is important to acknowledge that as a Financial Advisor, you need to not only have a LinkedIn presence, but an active one at that. You must recognize that ignoring this all-star quarterback of a social media network could hinder your Advisory firm’s success. By staying active on LinkedIn, you could be a social media all-star, reach new prospects and grow your Assets Under Management (AUM).

5 Types of Content to Boost your Advisor Website Traffic


According to Marketo, “Inbound marketing is a strategy that utilizes many forms of pull marketing – content marketing, blogs, events, SEO, social media and more – to create brand awareness and attract new business. Inbound marketing earns the attention of customers and makes the company easy to be found.”  

There are many ways to boost traffic to your website and better engage your audience. But, which form of inbound marketing is the best? The answer varies from business to business. In a day and age where people prefer to be educated rather than sold, content creation is the key to connecting and engaging your audience, and further boosting traffic to your Advisor website.

Here are 5 different types of content you should start (or continue) to create for your website to help boost your traffic and engage your audience:

  1. Infographics

Researchers found that coloured visuals increase people’s willingness to read a piece of content by 80% (Xerox). Infographics are a great way to share information with your audience in a simplified and visually appealing way. To get started, check out some free infographic templates, provided Venngage (sign up required).

  1. Videos

51.9% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI (Adobe). Whether it is an informational video describing the difference between an RRSP and a TFSA or a welcome video introducing yourself to your online audience, there are many easy ways to incorporate video into your Financial Advisor website.

  1. Webinars

According to Entrepreneurs Forum, hosting a webinar creates several benefits for your business including:

  • Develops authority and trust with prospects and clients
  • Raises brand awareness by providing users an uninterrupted way to advertise your business
  • Grows your contact list
  • Generates qualified leads
  • Shows off your brand’s personality – something that isn’t as easily done through the written word

Webinars are a powerful tool for interacting and connecting with prospects and clients. Hosting a webinar allows your audience to get to know you, as a Financial Advisor, on a much deeper level than they would if they were to only read website content.

  1. eBooks

eBooks are a great way to compile your existing blog content and dive deeper into a specific topic. For example, we have compiled some of our existing blog content into an eBook: The Financial Advisor’s Guide to Content Marketing. eBooks have a higher perceived value to your readers who will be more willing to give you their contact information in exchange for access to your eBook. Readers are more likely to feel like this was a fair exchange as you supply them with instant access to a valuable piece of content that they are interested in.

  1. Blogs

 81% of U.S. online consumers trust information and advice from blogs (BlogHer). Blogging is one of the best ways to have a conversation with your audience by answering questions they may have in a non-intrusive manner. Research some of the questions that your audience has, or what information they enjoy reading and use that to your advantage by writing about it.  Over time, this will help you build valuable, trusted relationships with prospects and clients.

There is a wide range of content that you can create to better engage, inform, and connect with prospects, clients and industry leaders. Some other examples of different types of content are:

  • Newsletters
  • Memes
  • Reviews
  • How-to-guides
  • Case studies
  • Podcasts
  • Interviews
  • Slideshares
  • Social Media
  • Opinion pieces

Aside from the clear benefits mentioned from creating a variety of content for your audience, doing this will also help to improve your SEO and search engine rankings. If you feel like continuously creating content is a big time commitment, remember that you can always repurpose your current content in order to get the most mileage out of all of your content writing efforts.

Financial Advisors: Is an SEO firm for you?


According to imFORZA, 93% of online searches begin with a search engine. As a Financial Advisor, it is important to utilize this powerful tool to your advantage. When users search through Google, 18% of organic clicks go to the first link that pops up. Through the use of an effective SEO strategy (search engine optimization), you can improve your website’s ranking in order to receive more organic clicks.

As an Advisor, you don’t always have the time to fully dedicate yourself to focusing on your website’s SEO.  After all, it can be very time consuming and complicated. Luckily for you, there are many firms out there who focus purely on SEO.

So what is an SEO firm and why should you care?

Simply put, an SEO firm’s aim is to help companies get business from search engines. Through content creation, building high quality links, analyzing results and adjusting accordingly, a good SEO firm can help you rank higher in search engine rankings and increase website traffic from your target audience. Other ways to help boost your SEO include:

  • Meta descriptions
  • Headlines
  • H1tags
  • Link building
  • Using relevant keywords
  • And many more

Some key benefits to hiring an SEO firm include:

Saves time, money, and resources

To really see results through SEO, you must have a good understanding of how search engines work. As a Financial Advisor, your time is money. By hiring an SEO firm, you can get the results you want while still being able to use your time to focus on your clients, business, and different elements of your website such as content creation.

Helps you better understand your clients

When it comes to the Internet, everything is measurable. An SEO firm can provide you with useful insights about your audiences, prospects, and clients – from their needs and challenges to their online behaviours.

Improves your website’s user experience

With the help of an SEO firm, your website can become more accessible and user friendly. A big benefit of SEO is that it can increase the usability of a website. A more user friendly website leads to better user experience and in turn can generate more sales and conversions for you.


An SEO firm can do wonders for your website by increasing your reach, traffic, and conversion rates. However, not all SEO companies are what they seem.  There are many SEO companies that have bad reputations for engaging in shady tactics that could actually get your website penalized by Google, or other search engines.  For something as important as your online presence, make sure to invest the time and research to find an SEO company with a good and honest reputation, and one that cares about the long-term success of your business.

Advisors: Why just having a Website isn’t enough


As a Financial Advisor, you’ve taken those first steps to start building an online presence and that’s a great start.  But, with so many other Financial Advisors taking on the digital world, having a website simply just isn’t enough anymore.

Think of it this way: If you were to open a retail store, would you expect that just because you opened a store, people will flock to it, and you will experience instant success? Of course not. You have to work on building your inventory, increasing your visibility, and marketing and advertising it.

Similarly, just because you have a website, doesn’t mean that clients and prospects know about it or can find you. Just like opening your own retail store, you need to continuously build your websites inventory (content), spread awareness and visibility (SEO), and market and advertise it. The more active you are digitally, the stronger your website (and your business) will be.

As a Financial Advisor: you can’t assume that because you have a website, people know about it.

Constantly updating your website creates 2 key benefits:

  1. Your visitors are happier and more engaged

Having new and fresh content will not only engage your current audience, but it will motivate them to keep coming back. Continuously updated content will ensure that you have repeat visitors and subscribers (if you have an opt-in option for visitors who enjoy your content). Also, if they are engaged and happy, the chances of them sharing your website with others greatly increases, which in return could increase your websites total visibility (and hopefully client base).

As a Financial Advisor, the financial services industry is continuously changing – from new policies and regulations to changes in season. If your content and information is out-dated, your audience will get little value out of it, which could effect the perception of your brand and practice. Frequently updating and adding content, especially content that is aimed to solve your prospect and client challenges, can help you build credibility and trust with your visitors, while increasing your digital visibility.

  1. Search engines LOVE dynamic content

When content, on your website, is continuously added and updated, that means that your website is constantly changing – it’s dynamic. When search engine crawlers come to your website to audit if anything has been updated or added, they report their findings back to Google to determine your ranking on their search engine. By updating your website, a crawler’s report back would be something along the lines of “Yes, this is an important website because it’s frequently updated with fresh, useful and good quality content.”

So, why should you care? This means that Google will send crawlers to your website more frequently, helping you rank higher for keywords that you may be focusing on to reach your target audience.  As a result, this will help increase your websites visibility and attract more prospects to your website.

As a Financial Advisor, you need to think about different ways you can get found, capture your traffic and keep those who have left your website, coming back. Take a minute and ask yourself:

  • When was the last time I updated my website?
  • When was the last time I wrote a blog for my website?
  • Does my website rank highly at all for words or phrases like “Financial Advisor, Toronto”?
  • What kinds of words or phrases would my target audience be writing in a search engine that could lead them to my website?

It is important to think about these questions as you are building your online presence. Whether you write a new blog, update your information, or add in a new widget, take some time out of your day to update your website. Remember that continuously updating your website will greatly benefit your digital presence in the long run and more easily connect you with your future clients.

The Digital Reality for Financial Advisors

This post was authored by Marie Swift and originally appeared here on GuideVine.

Today’s most progressive Financial Advisors and Advisory Firms are embracing the PESO Model as a way to bridge traditional marketing methods and digital / mobile realities. This integrated, modern model includes Paid placements, Earned media attention, Sharing through social media and Owning online properties that you build and control. Using the PESO Model covers all the bases: helping you enhance your brand, build share-of-mind, and derive new business. When all four elements are properly attuned and working together, a new space emerges for the firm.


Look at graphic above and make a mental note: The sweet spot is in the middle – that’s where “authority” occurs and new business seems to come magically to the firm. Also notice how the circles are arrayed. Earned is at the top because it is the hardest and most important element to consistently attain. On the left and right are (a) Shared and (b) Owned – (a) your social media strategy, which is where if you post engaging content people will share it with others in their social circles, is closely related to (b) your website and blog, which as your primary online presence should serve as a platform for not just positioning your firm but for demonstrating thought leadership and subject matter expertise. At the bottom of the array is the Paid category; while this element should not be ignored and can be helpful in driving business success, anything that is purchased and totally controlled is still seen as less credible than placements that are earned, such as being quoted in the New York Times or having a piece you wrote published in the local newspaper.

Here’s how the PESO Model might shape your marketing plans:


  • Research and purchase select advertisements / sponsorships where target market is reading / attending
  • Get out ahead of conference appearances / sponsorships to make the most of the investment being made
  • Leverage paid assets accrued on website, social media, etc.


  • Increase market visibility through positive media coverage
  • Focus on strategic PR (e.g., media coffees and press conferences, news releases, strategic pitches) but also jump on organic opportunities and press requests that come through networks such as the Garrett Planning Network and associations such as NAPFA and the FPA.
  • Leverage earned assets accrued on website, social media, etc.


  • Build share of mind through social media strategy
  • Review existing social accounts (make sure all are consistently branded and on message)
  • Develop a Social Media Policy and Editorial Calendar
  • Cross-link and promote social media accounts on website, in e-signatures, etc.


  • Generate meaningful content that positions key executives as thought leaders and subject matter experts
  • Review and continually enhance primary assets (e.g., website, conference booth materials, brochures, e-books and special reports, white papers, motion graphic videos, live action videos, animated white board videos, infographics, etc.)
  • Leverage all owned assets accrued on website, social media; place as appropriate in third-party media outlets, etc.

Paid Media

Paid media does not necessarily need to be fancy commercials and creative print ads. Consider instead: social media advertising, sponsored content or display ads on other relevant websites, hosted or sponsored events, Google Adwords, and email marketing. A smart strategy would be to create a “must have” Special Report or e-Book, which you could offer on your site for free in return for name and email address. Your offer could include the weekly or monthly delivery of financial tips and insights, along with occasional invitations to special events you are hosting or supporting.

Earned Media

Earned media is what you know as either publicity or media relations. It’s having a newspaper or trade publication write about you. It’s appearing on the local television station to share professional insights on personal financial matters. It’s having a credible news outlet publish your thoughts on saving, budgeting, investing, college funding and retirement realities. It’s writing a book and having a traditional publisher select it for distribution and promotion via their platform. In the age where anyone can publish and promote their own content online, it is more important than ever to be seen as a vetted resource for credible news-and-info outlets. While anyone can write and self-publish a book, respected brand-name book publishers are deemed as having higher standards. While blogging or publishing content on your own web platform is helpful for demonstrating expertise and also enhances search engine page rankings due to the consistent use of relevant key words that result in higher discoverability online, studies show that being interviewed by and included in a professional journalist’s story or having your articles published in a respected magazine or newspaper is typically seen by the general public as three-to-five times more credible than publishing that same content on your own.

Shared Media

Shared media, also known as social media, is an evolving art. You know you are mastering the art of social media when people start sharing and liking and commenting on your posts; this type of “engagement” shows that you are providing highly relevant content that people find interesting enough to share with their own social circles. When sharing occurs, firms experience a new form of “earned” visibility. At some point in the future, we may even see organizations use it as their main source of communications internally and externally. The great thing about the PESO Model is that, if you embrace all the segments, you will have a ton of good content to share on your own social media accounts. If you are attuned to your audience and their needs, and align that mindset with the idea of attracting ideal clients, you will find a good balance between promotional, educational and business-casual communications.

Owned Media

Owned media is the content you create and/or control. It is something you own. It lives on your website or blog. You control the visuals, the messaging and platform. It is your primary presence on the worldwide web. A smart thing to do is to place “lead magnets” on your owned properties – for instance, a pop-up box or sidebar area that invites visitors to sign up for your monthly newsletter or weekly e-tips. It is also wise to include videos (could be cartoon type “explainer” videos or educational videos with you speaking to the camera), memes (a humorous or inspirational image with corresponding text that is copied and spread by Internet users) and infographics (a visual image such as a chart or diagram that helps simplify a complicated subject or turn an otherwise boring subject into a captivating experience) on your primary marketing hub; studies show that people share video links twelve times more often (and images two times more often) than they do simple text and links alone.

Embracing the PESO Model can help you attract new business, generate referrals and retain your best clients. Pay attention to all four elements and you’ll see the magic occur over time.

7 Things People Hate About Your Advisor Website Part 2


From people talking or texting during a movie to lousy drivers – we all have pet peeves that drive us up the wall. Just as pet peeves exist in the “real world”, they are also evident in the digital world too.

As a Financial Advisor, you should be aware about some of the pet peeves your prospects and clients may have about your website. In part 1 of this series, we discussed page load times, poor navigation, cheesy photos and your contact information. In this 2-part series, we will go over 3 more things people hate about your Advisor website and how to stop yourself from doing them.

  1. It has an unintelligible value proposition

Who are you? What do you do? What makes you unique, different and better than other Financial Advisors? A solid value proposition is an essential tool to attract new clients, differentiate yourself from other Advisors, all while helping you to create a distinct and recognizable brand.

60% of investors found it hard to distinguish among Advisors because of their value proposition (Pershing).

As a Financial Advisor, you want to create a unique and effective value proposition to help differentiate yourself in the industry and accelerate your business. Your value proposition concisely explains why a prospect needs you as their Advisor, and not your competition. (Read this blog post to learn more about writing a great value proposition).

  1. It doesn’t have a blog

Inbound marketing is one of the most effective ways to grow your business, and comes at a lower cost. In 2015, content marketing generated 3 times as many leads as traditional outbound marketing, but cost 62% less (Smart Insights). Blogging is one of the best ways to attract your target audience by creating and providing interesting and quality content, all while uninterruptedly marketing to them.

Businesses that blog receive 77% more traffic and 97% more links to their website than those that do not. 

Blogging is a means of building credibility and thought leadership, and keeping your visitors coming back. Providing your prospects with useful information will build trust and add value to their experience on your Advisor website. When people search for information and answers – be a source they go to and trust. Your business will greatly benefit from this. As an added bonus, Google loves dynamic websites. Frequently writing blogs will help boost your overall search engine ranking, which in turn will increase your websites overall visibility and digital reach.

  1. It’s not responsive

Have you ever visited a website using your mobile device and had to zoom in with your fingers because the text was too small on your screen? That’s because the website you were checking wasn’t mobile-responsive. With a higher percentage of people using their smartphones instead of their desktop when looking at information online, responsive design has never been more important.

40% of people will choose another result if the first one they land on is not mobile friendly (Sweor).

Digital Agent users – don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.  All of your websites are 100% responsive.

Case studies have revealed that a seamless customer journey provides a competitive advantage, in some cases doubling sales year over year (The Kapost Blog). As a Financial Advisor, you should continuously work to ensure that your clients are happy on all fronts, and that includes digital. To better hone a positive digital customer experience, check out part 1 of the series to help you avoid doing the 7 things people hate about Advisor’s website.


7 Things People Hate About Your Advisor Website Part 1


Whether it’s being interrupted, talking during a movie, or wobbly tables – we all have pet peeves that drive us absolutely mad. Just as pet peeves exist in the “real world”, they are also evident in the digital world too.

As a Financial Advisor, you should be aware of some of the pet peeves your prospects and clients may have about your website. In this 2-part series, we will go over 7 things people hate about your Advisor website and how you can avoid them.


1. It takes forever to load

Everyone is always on the go, including your clients. Can you recall a time when you got frustrated with a website because it took forever to load? Well, if your website is anything like that, your audience will feel just as frustrated as you did.

47% of consumers expect a web page to load in two seconds or less, and 40% abandon a website that takes more than three seconds to load (KISSmetrics).

If you want people to stick around your website, make sure that you’re putting the time in to optimize it. For example, use images that are sized for the web rather than print. This will help decrease a page’s overall load time.

2. It offers poor navigation

When someone lands on your website, do they know what to do? Are you leading them through your website or letting them navigate through it all on their own?  Are you providing your visitor with direction and a number of different progression points? Easy to follow navigation is not only good for customer experience, but can help you convert those leads into clients.

70% of small business B2B websites lack a call-to-action (Small Business Trends). A Call to Action (CTA) is a button or link that you place on your website to drive prospective customers to become leads. If the goal of your website is to create sales and get more business, then it is important that your website has effective CTAs.

Some quick and easy tips to improve your Financial Advisor websites navigation include:

  • Clear headlines
  • Jargonless copy
  • Concise CTAs

3. It’s littered with cheesy stock photography

You may already know that using images is great for SEO and grabbing (and keeping) your audience’s attention. So when it comes to picking the right images, cheesy stock photography is not the way to go. Picture this: someone lands on your website and the first thing they see are images like these:

Cheesy stock photo

Cheesy stock photo

Are these pictures really believable or even realistic? Are these even your employees? Images are great for clarifying or enforcing an idea to your visitors. However, generic stock photography doesn’t accomplish either of those things.

Try to use real pictures of real people at your company. If not, try to pick the best free, not-so-cheesy stock pictures. Using relevant and believable pictures on your Financial Advisor website will take your business a long way.

4. It contains a contact form but no contact information

A “Contact Us” form may seem like a great way to generate an opt-in email list, but to a potential client, this provides very minimal or even no value because there is no incentive for them to give you their information.

44% of website visitors will leave a company’s website if there’s no contact information or phone number (KoMarketing).

If a client or prospect has a one-time problem or request, they likely want help immediately. Having your contact information somewhere clear on the website, such as the footer or the contact page, is more useful to a client because it gives them a way to directly contact you. Whether it’s your email, phone number, or office location (ideally, all three), let people know how to contact you and make that information easily available to your clients and prospects.


Whether it’s in the office or in a digital space, you want to keep your current and future clients happy and coming back. As a Financial Advisor, you should continuously work to avoid these digital pet peeves to hone a positive digital customer experience. To learn more, check out part 2 of this series.

Advisors: Reach your Prospects by Posting at Optimal Times


More than 60% of Financial Advisors, who prospected on LinkedIn, successfully gained new clients as a result (source). As a Financial Advisor, having an online presence, specifically social media, is crucial to helping to convert prospects into clients and growing your business.

With almost 1.6 billion monthly active users on Facebook, 320 million on Twitter, and over 100 million on LinkedIn – being active on these social media giants needs to be part of your digital marketing strategy (source).

However, it isn’t just about flying by the seat of your pants and posting content whenever, wherever.  It is important to have a solid social media strategy in place. To find the most optimal time to reach your target audience, it’s going to take time and research. Think about:

  • What day and time are people the most engaged with your posts?
  • When do your posts reach the most people?
  • Is posting more frequently benefiting you or hurting you?

To get you started, take a look at this infographic by SurePayroll, which outlines when the best time to reach out to your audience is on several social media platforms. Keep in mind that this is not a one-size-fits-all formula; you will still have to do some of your own research, and analyze your own profiles to see what is working for you, and what is not.


Advisors: Reach your Prospects by Posting at Optimal Times Infographic