Infographic: 6 Steps to Nurturing the Sales Funnel Using Social Media

, ,

The traditional 20th century sales and marketing funnel has been usurped in the digital age. As we’ve discussed before, there is a new buyer journey where 60% of the sales journey is completed before a buyer makes first contact with a sales person. Customers are lead from awareness to sale often before they even speak to anyone. Social media has played a large part in changing the sales funnel by shortening the gap between people and information, and providing a new way for Advisors to pull in prospects.

The Infographic below, brought to you by TollFreeForwarding, provides social media tactics to move prospects and leads through the sales funnel. This is not to say that we should abandon all other tactics and only use social media to nurture prospects, but rather social media is just one way to to pull prospects through each stage of the sales funnel.

According to the Infographic, 80% of customers expect businesses to be active on social media.  For Advisors active on social media, there are 6 steps to nurturing prospects through the sales funnel:

  1. Awareness
  2. Interest
  3. Conversion
  4. Sales
  5. Loyalty
  6. Advocacy

To learn more about the 6 steps, and some actionable tips for each step, read the full Infographic below:

TFF-M6-SocialSalesFunnel-1

How do you use social media to move your prospects through the sales funnel? We’d love to hear about techniques that have worked for you.  Comment below. 

 

How to Drive Sales Using the Customer Buyer Journey

4 New Features Coming Your Way!

,

We are excited to announce the release of 4 new features available to all Advisors using Digital Agent.

These new features will help extend the capabilities of Digital Agent into an effective content marketing platform for Financial and Insurance Advisors looking to increase leads and revenue, and strengthen their client and prospect relationships.

Introducing…

 

The eNewsletter Has Landed

The most effective way to stay in touch. 

Did you know that email marketing is one of the most effective ways to stay in touch with your clients and nurture your prospects? Well, we’ve got good news! You can now use your Digital Agent website to create, send, and track eNewsletters containing approved blogs, articles from your website, and content from the Digital Agent library.  Contact our service desk to learn more and activate this feature today!DA_event_newsletter

Newly Designed Dashboard

Better Data. Smarter Web.

Have you ever wondered how long content reviews were taking for all advisors? How about which of your website pages are the most visited? Or, how your visitors are reaching your website? Perhaps you’d like to know what your top performing blog posts are? Our newly designed dashboard will help answer these questions and help you better understand how your visitors are interacting with your website content.

DA_event_dashboard1

Search Engine Optimization Preview

SEO Made Easy.

Providing Google with descriptions of your web pages and blog posts can help to increase your traffic and website engagement. We’ve developed an easy to use interface for you to provide and preview this information. This new feature will even show you exactly what your web page description will look like as a Google search result.

DA_event_SEO1

Blog Post Scheduler

Writing Doesn’t Have To Wait.

Have you ever wanted to post something on a certain date but knew you wouldn’t be at a computer to create the post? Or, have you ever wanted to keep posting regularly but knew you’d be on vacation for a few weeks? Blog post scheduling is here to help! You can now schedule your blog posts in advance so that your updates can be released while you are busy or away. The blog post scheduler will make it easy for you to plan out and schedule specific posts days, weeks, or even months in advance.

DA_event_blogpostschedule

If you’d like to see a demonstration of these new features or a full demo of Digital Agent, contact us today!

The Top 3 Business Benefits of Liferay

,

Veriday has been in the business of implementing Liferay Solutions since 2005. Our experiences building solutions on the Liferay platform have solidified our choice for Liferay as the leading enterprise portal platform.  Although there are many reasons why Liferay provides an effective technology investment for your business, we’ve narrowed it down to a quick top 3 business benefits that Liferay has to offer:

Smarter Investment

Liferay users have been smart about their savings, and investing in their futures. Liferay users get the most flexible and dynamic technology at the lowest Total Cost of Ownership and highest Return on Investment. Fortunately, Liferay is less expensive to maintain and grow with your business over time. Competing solutions require that you pay for additional features whereas Liferay comes equipped with as many resources as businesses need to accomplish whatever it is that your business needs to do.

image_gallery

Liferay is famous for its compatibility with a wide range of existing infrastructure software, including the popular contenders like MySQL, Oracle DB, SQLServer, DB2, WebLogic AS, Websphere AS, Oracle AS, JBoss AS, and Tomcat. This means Liferay not only costs less to acquire because of its open source license, but it also has lower ancillary costs.

Easy Adoption

Liferay understands that a major part of their value proposition lies in providing an easily adoptable and reusable presentation layer. This is why they have strongly invested and focused on improving and innovating around their user experience. Liferay is lightweight in nature which allows for businesses to get it configured, secured and implemented quickly. The Liferay solution has an award-winning user interface, familiar desktop conveniences and easy navigation making it extremely simple to use and adopt by all users in organizations.

Agility for the future and investment in the long-term

Liferay Portal evolves with your organization and for your organization. One of the many things that attract customers to Liferay is its ability to be customizable to integrate into the specific needs of businesses. If you require new functionality, tools can be added with just a few clicks.   Liferay continues to evolve with ideas and innovations that speak to the changing needs of their diverse audience of business, marketing and technical users with the goal of always providing a competitive advantage to their customers.

The Business Case for Liferay

Financial Advisors: How To Come Up With Blog Topics in 60 Seconds

, ,

Blogging is an extremely useful digital marketing practice that can generate leads by attracting new traffic to your website. If you’re not blogging, it’s time to get started, or get left behind. If you need some inspiration, here are 6 of the most important reasons why your business should be blogging:

  1. Drives traffic to your website
  2. Increases your website’s rank in organic search results (Search Engine Optimization)
  3. Positions yourself as an industry leader
  4. Builds trust and respect with your clients, prospects, peers and competitors
  5. Retains your current clients by providing free online resources
  6. Provides you with content that can be re-purposed many times over

What do I write about? What do I have to say that’s important enough to publish? Okay, I’ve written one post, now what? I can’t come up with anything. I’ll try again tomorrow. Anyone who blogs, or has blogged before, has experienced this.

Blogging can be an intimidating space. Studies have shown that content creation is one of the most difficult parts of starting and maintaining, a successful blog for any business. Nothing is more difficult then coming up with an idea or two to write about. But without topics, you have no articles, no content and therefore no content marketing.

If you are having trouble generating blog ideas, try using the quick tricks below. We have found these steps to be extremely effective for coming up with content ideas of our own.

Step 1:

Grab a notepad and pen, sit for 60 seconds and write down as many questions as you can think of that your clients ask you on a regular basis. Don’t worry about grammar, or being clever, just write every question a prospect or client has ever asked you.

Step 2:

Take a look at your list and answer the easy questions first. What you may not have realized is that each question/answer that you’ve come up with is a potential blog post. Blogging involves writing about single topics as opposed to writing a long articles that covers anything and everything on a subject. The questions that you thought of will probably break into many different shorter blog posts.

What do I mean by breaking up questions and subjects  into multiple blog posts? Well, let’s look at the question, ‘‘when can I retire?’’. Writing a single blog post about this question would result in a post that would lose the readers interest because it is too long, has too much information, and doesn’t focus on a single topic of retirement. To create an effective blog post, break this topic up into a few shorter blog posts covering retirement.  Some good examples of this are: ‘’5 ways to save for retirement’’,  ‘‘How important is it for you to have a written retirement plan?’’, ”10 things you need to know about TFSAs”, or, ‘’what is a tfsa and how does it work?’’.

————————–

If you follow these steps, you will be amazed at just how many questions and ideas come to mind. Following these steps will also help you to start thinking like your prospects and clients, and answering questions with content that provides real value to them. Great content can be one of the best sales tools because it is still working even when you aren’t around, by teaching and moving prospects in the right direction, and positioning yourself as a thought leader. The blogging space is big enough for everyone to be successfully involved, so start blogging today, or get left behind!

What is your greatest challenge when it comes to coming up with topics to write about?  Comment below, we’d love to help!

The FInancial and Insurance Advisor's Guide to Blogging

How Financial Advisors Can Use Twitter Analytics To Produce Better Content: Part 1

,

Much of what I’ve observed in my many years of working with financial advisors from the standpoint of the use of social media has been that they use social media primarily as a publishing platform. In fact, many digital marketers still rely on social media to publish both curated and created content.

One of the questions I’m often asked, however, is “How do I know what kind of content to push and how do I know whether the content I’m publishing is working?”. This is a great question and as a financial advisor, you might like the answer as it requires you to do some basic analysis of social media data.

In part 1, I’ll cover off 3 key data points that you can easily grab through Twitter analytics. So, if you have a Twitter and are actively using it, this article is definitely for you. Before (or after) reading this article, it might be useful to visit analytics.twitter.com and log in with your Twitter handle.

1. Interests

Twitter Unique Interests

Twitter – Unique Interests

Twitter automatically collects information on the interests of your followers. In particular, there is a section under the “Followers” page, that indicates the top 5 “Unique Interests”. Twitter defines these interests as the ones the average twitter user would not otherwise have. Simply put it is “The top interests that distinguish your followers from the Twitter average.” You can use this information to help identify the kind of content you should be publishing. You can use these interests as a guideline for good and relevant content to publish.

2. Location

Twitter Locations Example

Follower Location Demographics

It’s definitely always a good idea to understand the location of your users especially if you’re seeing engagement at odd times of the night. Understanding these details can help increase the amount of engagement you receive from around the globe. This is especially important in cases where you have businesses and clients in different time zones. Scheduling your posts at times when your audience is looking at social posts will increase your engagement and social conversion.

3. Your Followers Also Follow

Twitter Followers also follow

Twitter – Your Followers also follow

This data point is a pretty telling one as it comes to ensuring you have the “right” followers. If you’re primarily using Twitter as a publishing platform for business, this list should contain some, if not all, of your closest competitors. It’s likely the only time you’ll be happy to see your competitors on your list. The reason? It means you’re sharing similar content than that of your competitors and reaching a like audience. Another way you can use this list would also be to perform competitive research to see who else is posting similar content.

—————-

Social media (especially Twitter) is one of the easiest and most available platforms to test your content as the feedback occurs in real-time (not a lot of wait time needed) and Twitter performs much of the data collection that you need to make informed decisions about your content.

Are you using Twitter to publish content? What is an other strategy that works for you to determine the kind of content to post?

Need a second opinion on your analytics? I’d love to help. Connect with me andrew.chung@veriday.com

13 Ways To Get Prospects to Open Your Email

,

It all starts with the subject line. Prospecting email subject lines are crucial in getting prospects to open your email. The subject line will determine the success or failure of your campaign. You want prospects to feel like they must open, read and act on your email.   When your prospect is not expecting to hear from you, or may not even really know you, so probably has not built that trust for you, the subject line can present quite a challenge.

Let us share some of our top email secrets with you. These are some great techniques to help your e-mail get opened and read:

  1. Keep it short. The subject line should be a maximum of 50 characters.
  2. Be specific. Make it clear what your email is about and who it is from. This is more important then flowery language.
  3. Always send the e-mail from an actual person instead of ‘’noreply@company.com’’.
  4. Avoid spammy words like ‘’Help’’, ‘’Guarantee’’, ‘’100% free’’, ‘’Attention’’, ‘’Act now’’. Mailchimp identifies their three worst spam offenders as Help, Percent Off, and Reminder.
  5. Add the recipient’s name, if you can. This adds a feeling of rapport.
  6. Go easy on punctuation. Nothing screams spam like a bunch of exclamation marks.
  7. Add preview texts to emails.
  8. Ask a question. Questions are a great way to focus your readers’ attention and peak their curiosity.
  9. Be controversial. Take a contrarian viewpoint, as long as it’s something that makes sense for your brand and you’re genuine about your take on the position.
  10. Hit a nerve. Your prospects are your prospects for a reason. They have a problem that you can solve or a frustration you can address. Mention that problem or frustration in your subject line, and your prospect will be more likely to click through in search of a solution.
  11. Offer value. You want prospects to feel like they must open, read and act on your email
  12. Use a number. Numbers stop wandering eyes. Using numbers in your headline has shown to increase reader engagement
  13. A/B test to see which subject lines get the best results.

The success of your e-mail is pinned to your subject line. A good subject line entices prospects to open and read your email. More readers means more click throughs which means more leads. No opens, means no action at all which also means that all of the time you spent on the e-mail contents means nothing. Out of the billions of emails that are sent every day, make sure that yours stands out.

 

book_button_contentwriting

2015 T3 Technology Tools for Today conference

,

Veriday is excited and thrilled to be sponsoring and attending this year’s T3 Technology Tools for Today conference in Dallas, Texas. The conference will take place from February 12th-14th at the Hilton Anatole hotel. Technology Tools for Today: Advisor Edition was named one of the best 8 conferences for Financial Advisors in 2015.

This event is an opportunity for independent advisors and their staff to learn from leading technology thinkers and to interact with the technology wizards who are creating the solutions they need to build a more profitable practice.

We invite you to connect with us and visit our Digital Agent booth to learn more about our innovative digital marketing platform designed to solve Advisor’s digital marketing challenges.

For more information on this event, visit www.technologytoolsfortoday.com.

About T3

T3 Technology Tools for Today™ supplies the industry’s leading practice management/technology newsletter and conference for financial advisors. Founders, Joel Bruckenstein and David Drucker, are dedicated to providing advisors with relevant and timeless information so you can build a more efficient and profitable practice.

Veriday Sponsors Upcoming IMCA 2015 New York Consultants Conference

,

Veriday is excited to be sponsoring and attending this year’s IMCA 2015 New York Consultants Conference.  The conference will take place on February 9th and 10th at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel. The conference features some of the legends of finance and economics covering topics such as practice management, technology, international investments and wealth management.

This year’s event features Daniel Kaheman, PhD, widely regarded as the world’s most influential living psychologist and winner of the 2002 Nobel Prize in Economics for his work in behavioural economics. Also speaking at this year’s conference is Sallie Krawcheck, MBA, owner of Ellevate—a professional women’s networking organization committed to economic empowerment—and recognized as the only senior Wall Street executive who reimbursed a portion of client losses for poorly performing products.

We invite you to connect with us and visit our Digital Agent booth to discover how digital marketing can help to engage your target market, and grow your business.

For more information on this event, visit http://www.imca.org/conferences/nycc.

About IMCA

Investment Management Consultants Association was established in 1985 to deliver premier investment consulting and wealth management credentials and world-class educational offerings through membership, conferences, research, and publications. IMCA sets the standards and practices for the investment management consulting profession and provides investment consultants and wealth managers with the credentials and tools required to best serve their clients. IMCA is proud to serve more than 9,370 members, including 6,265 CIMA certificants and 732 CPWA professionals, as of May, 2014.

IMCA conferences are recognized throughout the industry as some of the best educational experiences available, providing completely peer-reviewed content from prominent industry experts. With no “pay-to-play” speaking opportunities, IMCA conference attendees enjoy unbiased, savvy analysis.

Alternatives to SAP Enterprise Portal

,

In today’s economy, businesses stand to benefit from implementing an enterprise-class portal that provides consistent access to tools that improve productivity, fuel innovation, and improve customer satisfaction. The enterprise portal has become an integral part of today’s leading businesses, as it brings together its various applications, information, business units and services, on one common platform.   In this article, we will look at SAP Enterprise Portal, as well as its alternatives.

SAP Enterprise Portal (formerly known as SAP NetWeaver Portal) unifies key information and applications to give users a single view that spans across IT areas and the organization. The platform allows you to take advantage of all of your information in one unified platform. Features and functions of SAP Enterprise Portal include:

  • Infrastructure management – The Portal provides a personalized, secure interface that unifies enterprise applications, information, and processes from both SAP and third-party sources into a coherent, role-based portal experience.
  • Collaboration – Users can access and share information and applications in a collaborative environment regardless of where they are located.
  • Contact and knowledge management – A shared set of user services for finding, organizing, and accessing unstructured content stored in third-party repositories and SAP content management systems.

There are a number of SAP Portal alternatives in the market today with similar functionalities. Which alternative you choose depends entirely on what tasks and objectives you are looking to accomplish with your portal platform.  Let’s take a look at some solutions for alternatives to SAP Enterprise:

OpenText Portal

OpenText Portal is a highly scalable platform and efficient means of aggregating content and applications for use across a variety of initiatives inside and outside the firewall.   OpenText’s Portal is marketed primarily as part of a Customer Experience Platform, which includes social media and digital asset management. It is well equipped for large customer facing sites, with customers characterizing it as a total information and customer experience offering. Users also score this portal high in ease of administration. One complaint about OpenText Portal is that it comes with less out-of-the-box capabilities then many of its competitors, and requires more building.

Liferay

Liferay is the leading provider of open source enterprise portal and social collaboration software solutions, and a leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for the 5th year in a row. Liferay is a web platform built to deliver immediate results with long-term value. With Liferay, you are able to build many kinds of portals including social networks, e-learning portals, employee and customer portals, and customize them to fit your business’ needs and objectives. The platform also provides more out of the box portlets then any other portlet on the market including Liferay collaboration, web publishing, content management and social networking.

The open-source option of Liferay can also mean significantly reduced costs for businesses with sufficient in-house resources to take advantage of it. One of Liferay’s major strengths is its platforms ability to incorporate new features very easily as a result of its open source base. A caution to some is the fact that the company Liferay itself is smaller than most of its competitors. However, Liferay has seen a rapid growth in the past few years.

Redhat Jboss

JBoss Portal is an open source platform for hosting and serving a portal’s web interface, publishing and managing its content, and customizing its experience. JBoss portal doesn’t aim at providing as many out of the box portal solutions as other platforms but is built to provide a fully reliable customized portal. JBoss features easy to use administration tools, a straightforward web content management system, and reliable performance and scalability. Many customers are attracted to its low start-up costs. One complaint about Jboss is that enterprises expecting immediate business usability may find it difficult to get it up and running without specific in-house developers.

———————————————————————-

Not sure which Portal suits your business strategy? Contact our specialists to learn which platform is best suited to help power your business.

How Older Generations Are Using Social Media and What This Means For Advisors

,

Do you know what the fastest growing demographic is on Twitter? The answer will surprise you.  The fastest growing demographic is the 55-64 year age bracket, which has grown 79% since 2012.

Are you reaching the fastest growing demographic online?

Social media is everywhere, and it is growing in all demographics. Some social network sites have user bases larger than the populations of most world countries. People are increasingly basing their purchase decisions around a business or individual’s online presence. The growth of older generations using social media has been staggering over the past three years. In fact, the 50 and over age group is the fastest growing demographic online, and constitutes a majority of the online consumer population.

This Infographic from Accredited Online Colleges looks at the Internet and social media usage amongst the older generations:

So, what does this mean for financial and insurance advisors?

It is easy to overlook the importance of Social Media in an industry such as Finance or Insurance however; everything we know about Social Media applies to these industries as well. Your clients and prospects are online and they are searching for news and helpful information. Social Media is an excellent and effective channel to engage with these prospects, build trust and position yourself as a thought leader in the industry. Share tips, discuss recent news, offer advice, and expand your reach online through sharing helpful content.

Investors often picked Advisors based on trust and the ability to build relationships . Think about it this way. Who would you trust more? The Advisor who is open about their business and expertise on Social Media, discussing industry updates, insights and advice. Or an Advisor, without a website or with a website that only publishes the services they provide and contact information.  The older generations have the most spending power, of any group, so it is important that they are being reached through the channels that they are using to make their buying decisions.

Social Media has become an essential part of the lives of millions of people around the world, and is a powerful platform to reach all demographics. Social  networking sites have created the context and platforms for financial conversations and information sharing to take place.  Used in the wrong way, Social Media can also have a negative impact on your business and brand. Check out the most common social media mistakes by Advisors here.

 

The FInancial and Insurance Advisor's Guide to Blogging