The Business Case for Transforming Your Advisor Marketing

How Blogging Has Transformed Advisor Leads

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Blog concept with young man holding a tablet computer

In an earlier article, we talked about using a compliance advisor marketing platform. Integrating a platform into an enterprise is only part of the solution. The other part of the solution is teaching advisors the value of content marketing and what blogging could add to their business. Many advisors fall victim to thinking they can’t have a blog because either their compliance department won’t allow it or they believe that they don’t have the time for it. These advisors fail to see the value that blogging can provide and the importance of making time for blogging.

What happens when an advisor adopts a blogging strategy?

Builds Credibility and Trust

As advisors start to adopt a blogging strategy, they begin to build trust and credibility with their audience. Prospective clients start to trust this advisor as a knowledgeable expert who understands their industry and how to deliver exceptional service. Clients will feel confident that their money is in safe hands and their advisor is looking out for their best interests. Writing original blog content is only the first step, next the blog article, needs to be distributed through social media, email or other distribution channels.

Builds Your Brand

When advisors make the commitment to blogging, they increase their brand presence. Not only is content good for Search Engine Optimization, it creates value and positive sentiment for customers. Consumers are using the internet to research information prior to contacting an advisor. Consumers have become very skeptical about all interactions for any businesses. If an advisor can provide that information to the consumer, they will be more likely to trust them and take further action.

Increase audience

The potential leads a financial advisor may be limited to an organic search, leaving the marketing in the control of the enterprise. The enterprise will create content for a very large scope, this may not directly impact the consumers in the advisor’s location. When the advisor has a content marketing strategy, they can deliver the exact content needed. People will share the articles with family and friends, more eye will reach the advisor’s content. The result of this will be an increase in email list subscribers and increase in potential revenue.

Transformation Story

One particular advisor in Canada resisted blogging for such a long time.  He said it took too much time. Finally, he decided to slowly right 1 blog a month and over time increased that to 3-4 a month. He found that more people were finding his website organically from Google than before. Specifically, he saw a 45% increased in organic traffic to his website. About 9 months after he started blogging he was meeting with a new prospect. When asked how he learned about him, the prospect said he had read an article of his about 4-5 months ago and have been following his content ever since. That prospect turned into a client and they have a strong relationship now. By creating new content and consistently posting it was this advisor able to generate this new business.

Creating a Win-Win for Financial Corporations

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business people climb to the top of the mountain, leader helps the team to climb the cliff and reach the goal, business concept of leadership and teamwork

Across different industries, departments have remained siloed. Times have been changing and there is now greater collaboration. Involving marketing in the sales process and vice versa. However, certain financial corporation are not breaking down these silos when it comes to marketing. At the enterprise level, there’s an opportunity to better leverage their advisor teams. When an enterprise is able to engage their sales team in the digital marketing efforts, the result is a win-win-win.

Winning for head office

With budgets that are being reduced and goals that increasing, it can become increasingly difficult for the marketing team to meet objectives.  Including advisors in the marketing process will result in the marketing team growing exponentially with each advisor being able to market to their audience in the best way. It’s a big win for the enterprise in expanding the reach of their brand via the propagation of their content across each of their sales agents digital domains. With the increased in reach of marketing activities, naturally, the enterprise sees a lower cost per lead resulting in a higher ROI for their marketing spend.

Winning for Advisors

While advisors are experts in what their field; they may lack the time, knowledge, or ability to engage in new marketing techniques beyond outbound methods such as cold-calling or traditional advertising. Some advisors may have tried online marketing in the past but didn’t get the results they were hoping for. In providing advisors the platform to be apart of the marketing process. This is a win for the field agents as they will be gaining new economies of scale. They will be able to use the corporate marketing messaging that is relevant to their business and can augment it by creating their own material. The scale of this new marketing abilities could have never attained by way of traditional marketing techniques.

Winning for Clients

Consumers are now demanding a greater access to information. Instead of being educated by a sales-person, they are educating themselves before initiating contact with a company. Furthermore, there exists a distrusts for faceless organizations. If clients can establish a relationship with the corporation they are more open to doing business. Therefore, implementing a marketing strategy that includes advisors is also a win for the client or prospective client. They will have a better understanding of the value of the brand and the offerings. A level of trust and empathy will be established with the advisor that was not previously possible. The reason this was not possible is that the enterprise would market to the prospective client and even if they were convinced, they would not have an advisor to contact. Now, both relationships with the brand and the advisor are built through digital means during the education phase.

In Conclusion

Once the advisor teams have been brought in, it gets really interesting with respect to what avenues each of them takes.  Some may jump right into blogging and pumping out article after article to that specific niche they want to target. Others will become social media wizards and engage on platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. in spreading their expertise and thought-leadership. While others may just appreciate the ability to leverage the enterprises’ content to stay top of mind with their audience and ensure they’re keeping a regular tempo of communications.

How Digital Agent Has Transformed Advisor Marketing

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Businessman using modern laptop with graph.Business startup.Analyze strategy conceptsBusinessman using modern laptop with graph.Business startup.Analyze strategy conceptsStrategy text with business icon on modern laptop screen with graph chart background.marketing success and goals concept ideasFor the past several weeks, we have been examining the opportunities that financial institutions have been missing out on. With a large team of advisors, a corporation should utilize this large team to provide powerful marketing content. In utilizing this advisor network, marketing efforts can be hyperlocalized, personal, and grow client-advisor relationships. Instead of the traditional marketing approach that is focused on brand awareness. Digital Agent is an enterprise marketing solution that enables the enterprise to amplify marketing efforts by leveraging their network of advisors to distribute relevant content to their unique audience. By engaging in this model, advisors have been seeing transformational results through increased web and email engagement, resulting in an increase in leads. Let’s walk through each one of these:

Web Engagement Results

It is understood that the way companies communicate with prospects and clients has evolved. Where mass-messaging used to work, now clients demand a more personal relationship and valuable information. For advisors on the Digital Agent platform, they have seen a 100% increase in web engagement. Advisors are seeing such results by adopting a blogging strategy that helps to build trust and credibility.

Email Engagement Results

Similarly, advisors who engage in an email marketing strategy are seeing a 150% increase in email engagement. For advisors on the Digital Agent platform received an average email open rate of 38% while the industry average is 21%. Furthermore, the click-through rate is at 17% while the industry average is only 2.75%. Finally, visitors to an advisor site that is on the Digital Agent platform see an average of 7 minutes spent on the site. Advisors will have a strong understanding of what financial concerns people have in their area and will provide valuable content to those people and have a real person they can speak with that understand these needs.

Lead generation

While creating enhancing marketing efforts is important, the most important for financial institutions is new client acquisition. Those on the Digital Agent platform have seen an average of 70% of new form submissions are inbound leads. Additionally, an advisor who is passively creating marketing content is getting an average of 1-2 new leads per month. An advisor that is actively creating a digital engagement routing through consistent marketing is getting on average 5-10 new monthly leads.

One wealth management advisor from a leading Canadian bank, adopted a blogging strategy a year ago and recently told us that he finds that leads that come through his website are more qualified. In initial meetings, prospects know more about who he is and the blog articles that he’s written, making initial meetings more productive and a better client and prospect experience overall.

Conclusion

During The Business Case for Transforming your Advisor Marketing, we explored the challenges enterprise marketers face in trying to achieve growing results with tighter budgets. One of the best ways to meet these requirements is the leverage the advisors. They are an enterprise marketer’s team of experts in financial matters, and they know the clients. When financial enterprises empower their advisors through Digital Agent, they will ensure brand consistency and compliance, all while marketing metrics surpass industry averages and bring in more leads. Ultimately, Digital Agent has been proven to lower overall lead costs and increase the number of leads and the quality of leads that advisors are generating.

Ready to learn how to get started? Talk to us on how best to start seeing these results in with your advisors.

Contact Vincent Kwan at Veriday

 

Lower Your Lead Generation Costs by Rebalancing your Marketing Budget

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To effectively engage customers in this digital age, you need to support their buyers’ journey. Supporting this journey will require content distribution and authoring strategies that help your field teams connect with customers in a more human way. As marketers, we are all trying to get leads. Except budgets and teams are not growing. So, marketers must produce more with less. How can marketing budgets be stretched to deliver growth while reducing the cost of acquiring new customers?

Traditional budget allocation is heavily focused at the enterprise level. Content is created by the enterprise and broadcasted to all customers and potential clients. As we discussed in our previous article, Three Opportunities Enterprise Marketers are Missing Out On, This means that micro-segments and customers in local markets are less engaged with the content. Those missed opportunities include personalized email engagement, hyper-localized content, and the customers to connect with advisors.

Rebalancing the marketing budget to have a larger focus on distribution will empower field employees. Using a content distribution platform, enterprises can access the field to leverage them for marketing efforts. This allows messaging to reach a larger number of customers that will be provided better value and results in stronger engagement.

By empowering advisors allows for the engagement activities closer to the clients and prospects. By doing so, advisors will be able to create valuable personalized content that is relevant to local markets. When financial advisors are actively involved in the distribution of marketing content there is significant growth in online engagement and more qualified leads for the advisor. So why aren’t more companies implementing this kind of strategy and rebalancing for favor distribution?

  1. They couldn’t if they wanted too.
  2. Platform vendors aren’t developing this strategy. The major vendors are designed for the head office marketing teams. These vendors cannot provide these platforms to all their field agents, both because it would be too costly, and it wouldn’t allow to ensure compliance and brand consistency.
  3. It’s hard to break tradition
  4. As mentioned, budgets are small, and requirements of marketers are growing. So, changing up is “working” can be worrying.
  5. Fear of change
  6. Changing the way funds are allocated can cause fear for marketers. As shifting around budgets and implementing new processes and platforms will involve other major stakeholders. The new changes will need to be justified as a better approach than the traditional budget.  

Who is Doing This Already?

While most organizations know the importance of providing valuable content to their customers. However, fewer companies have implemented the proper tools to leverage a successful distribution strategy. Some of these companies include RBC, American National, UBS, Mortgage Master, Manulife, CIBC, Morgan Stanley, and others.

With the realization of this problem and the opportunity that exists, what can you do? First, begin by re-examining your marketing budget. Where can distribution benefit you? Than explore possible vendors and run a pilot to test your new thesis. Remember, not all vendors are created equal, while the goal may be similar, certain platforms focus on social media, emails, legacy systems, or integrated solutions. Finally, find a vendor that offers internal distribution platforms that best suits your needs.Our product, Digital Agent is one of the platforms that allows enterprise marketers to achieve that distribution strategy and empower advisors while ensuring content and brand compliance.We hope you find the platform that will allow you to transform your advisor marketing programs. If you wish, we’d love to speak with you further about how you can lower your cost for lead generation.

How Email Newsletters Generate New Business

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businessman looking laptop and contact email

 

Email marketing is not something new. It has been since shortly after the invention of email itself. We all remember being copied and pasted on email threads of anyone and everyone they knew to send them some funny joke or chain letter. You would open them because you received it from a person, someone you know and like and trust. The key thing to note is that people open emails from people more than they do from brands.

According to the Data & Marketing Association, it takes between 7 to 13 touches to deliver a qualified lead. When an advisor’s goal is to generate leads, creating this many touch points can be time-consuming and costly. Email marketing has been proven to help develop trust and credibility by sending prospects and clients the right content at the right time that is relevant to them. Of all the marketing channels, email has been proven to generate the highest return on investment. There are case studies that walk through exactly how this can be done.

As an enterprise marketer, you most likely have an email distribution tool that you send emails to clients who have opted in to receive your emails. But what about all the people who have been researching your brand or all the people that are connected in one way or another to a financial advisor. Advisors are trying to leverage best practice email tools like MailChimp or Constant Contact to stay in touch with their network but these emails might not follow compliance rules and regulations.

By enabling advisors to email their clients and prospects through a compliant platform where messaging is approved, they can still create a personalized local approach. Their emails can reference local events, news, and tie them to articles they write.

When advisors adopt an email strategy, we see that email results are higher than the industry average, as well as corporate email newsletters. People tend to open more emails and be more engaged with by clicking and reading on multiple articles.

5 Reasons Why Email is a Must

  1. Nurture LeadsAdvisors most likely have contacts in their database that are not leads. In order to turn these prospects into clients one day, advisors need to be continuously nurturing them with expert advice and thought leadership. If they have not unsubscribed from the email list, that means they are still interested in hearing what you have to say.
  2. Learn about your Audience and let them Learn about youAs advisors write and distribute content they are building trust and credibility. Prospects and clients are getting to know who the advisor is and what their views and approach is to certain topics. On the flipside, as prospects and clients interact with email content by sharing and clicking on articles, the advisor learns what topics are of interest and relevant to their audience. This is important so advisors can write articles that their audience cares to read.
  3. Fill up your Calendar with AppointmentsEach time an email newsletter is sent out to an advisor’s community, there is an opportunity to book appointments with clients or prospects. A client could call or email to book an appointment after reading an article. Similarly, an article might spark some interest with a prospect that could result in a booked meeting.  Every digital interaction with a prospect could bring them one step closer to making initial contact.
  4. Keep in Touch with Past ClientsSometimes there are circumstances that take place where an advisor might lose clients. Some scenarios could be moving to a new city. With these older clients, there is an opportunity for referrals that shouldn’t be ignored.
  5. Reach a Wider AudienceWith new technology, it’s very easy for people to share contact they consume. Though email it can be easily shared on social media channels or forwarded to someone new.

In conclusion, the successful savvy advisor is already doing some version of this already. If you are not currently taking advantage of the opportunity to email customers you are missing out on ways to connect your audience. Remember, if clients and prospects are not getting information from advisors, they are likely going to get it from someone else or somewhere else.

 

How a Compliance Advisor Marketing Platform is Transforming Advisor Marketing

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Photo female hands holding modern tablet and man touching screen.Businessmans crew working new investment project office.Using electronic devices.Graphics icons, stock exchanges interface.

Over the past several weeks, we have examined the struggles that organizations with advisors can face. The goal is to provide valuable, targeted, and personalized content to existing and prospective clients, however, even with the right marketing intentions and objectives, limitations caused by regulations, ineffective platforms, brand cohesiveness, and technical ability. Compliance Marketing platforms allow organizations to empower advisors to produce their own marketing efforts while remaining compliant to regulations and maintain brand cohesiveness.

Before the Transformation

 

Prior to implementing a compliance marketing platform, if advisors wanted to produce additional marketing content targeted to their customer and host it on their own website, this would not be an efficient system. Advisors would use a website builder to create their site. All these sites created could not be viewed or managed by enterprise marketers. Each site would be different and not have any brand consistency. Furthermore, any technical issues would be managed by the financial advisors who may not be tech-savvy.

 

The other major issue that existed with advisor marketing is content compliance. Firstly, there is no way to ensure the proper use of enterprise-created content, it could be edited and lose its compliancy; or if the enterprise marketer makes changes to content, there is no way to push those changes to the advisor sites. With advisor-created content, the compliance review process is very lengthy. An advisor would create the content and submit it for approval to compliance. Taking days and weeks, the advisor would then receive an email of the comments. The advisor would need to make those changes and send back to compliance for review. This lengthy process limits the ability to publish currently relevant content, and also lacks an official record of the review and approval process.

 

After the Transformation

 

With the integration of a compliance marketing platform, all these issues are addressed. The platform should enable advisors to easily create and manage their own website without the need for advanced technical knowledge, all while keeping with consistent branding. Furthermore, enterprise users will have ability to view and manage all sites, and advisor marketing content in a centralized location.

 

The need to meet compliance is a major feature that is needed for financial organizations and advisors. The right platform shortens the compliance review times, allowing for the content to be created in the website, sent for review, tracking the process, and when the content is approved, it will go live immediately to the website. For the enterprise marketers, any content created can be organized, formatted, and laid out exactly as desired. Advisors can easily drop that content into their website immediately. Any changes made by the enterprise marketer will be automatically pushed to every advisor’s website. User of a compliance marketing platform just as Digital Agent have seen a 70% in lead-based form submissions on their site.

 

The Bottom Line

 

A platform that transforms the marketing efforts of financial organizations is Digital Agent. Digital Agent is an enterprise digital marketing solution that enables the enterprise to amplify marketing efforts by leveraging their team of advisors to distribute relevant content to clients. This content is personalized, targeted and receives a higher engagement than traditional forms of digital marketing from enterprise directly to clients. Empowering advisors to be part of the marketing distribution and create their own content has seen 100% more engagement on websites when the advisor is actively blogging.

What is Holding Advisor Organizations Back from Implementing a Martech Strategy?

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The Business Case for Transforming Your Advisor Marketing. Part 2 Research Phase BannerInternet of Things
In a previous post, I wrote about how the high demand for individualization across investment advisors websites put many firms in a difficult situation to manage these expectations without fragmenting their visual brand. This was primarily due to the lack of available technology (at that time) and it caused firms to meet the demand by implementing one-off customization programs. For many firms this created a fragmentation of the visual aspects of their brand and was thus faced with the challenge of reigning it all back in but to their credit, they attempted to solve a digital experience problem for their advisors. Firms that did not move in this direction, resulted in a very templated (or what many of my clients call “cookie cutter”) representations of their advisors’ businesses. This is still the pervasive model used by the wealth management industry today and many firms are still trying to grapple with the best way to deliver a superior digital experience as cost is no longer the main decision factor.
So why is it, that many large firms are not leaping into the realm of modern marketing technology for their advisors’ websites? It seems obvious that any business considering a strong digital presence would first want to establish a strong online and differentiated brand right? Well, as it turns out, it’s not that obvious and there are a number of very legitimate concerns that we’ve not only experienced ourselves but also concerns that our clients have voiced directly to us.

 

Change Management

This is likely a word you are very familiar with and depending on your risk profile, you are either in love with this word or you quite simply hate it. For larger firms, however, it’s not as simple as hating or loving the word. There is a true cost to change and it’s a very large commitment because it implies a longer-term strategy to get to a particular destination. With the wealth management industry as competitive as it is and with all the disruptive technology in place, many firms not only consider the potential attrition that may occur as a result of a failed change but they equally feel the pressure (well, really banking as a whole) to make a change.
Technology change, particularly when it comes to the technology that can make you appear trustworthy or incompetent, requires users to adopt behavioural changes and develop new routines in order to maximize the use of the technology. Everyone from the advisors, to the support, to compliance officers all have to adapt to this change and ensure that they are all playing their part to support the new ecosystem brought forward by new technology.
The top change management concerns I’ve heard consistently generally fall into three categories:
  1. Compliance: Will our advisors publish something that will hurt our brand or themselves? Is our compliance department prepared to handle this new workload?
  2. Advisors: How will we train and empower our sales force to reap the benefits of these new marketing routines? How quickly will advisors adopt this technology?
  3. Software: Can we slowly introduce features into the field? Does your software stay stagnant or does it update and evolve over time?
  4. Team: Are our teams structured or capable of supporting this new digital marketing paradigm? What’s our long-term support strategy?
  5. Implementation: How are we going to move all of this content from one CMS to another without major disruption?

 

Return On Spend

 

In any good business, ROI is a key driver that helps decide the priorities for key initiatives and whether they should be done. Many CMOs face the ongoing question from their executive stakeholders about the ROI of a campaign or the investment of some marketing technology. The reality though is that marketing ROI from a new technology you’ve never deployed into the field before can be difficult to measure.

 

Traditionally, firms will treat marketing technology spend as more of a cost centre rather than a revenue or profit centre. That is to say, that purchase decisions are heavily weighted on the cost of the software and the implementation of the software rather than the potential revenue impact it will make once it is adopted and in use. While I haven’t performed any special research around this topic, I suspect this is happening because the technology that was previously deployed simply did not have a measurement framework wrapped around it so there was no way to determine the impact of the older technology – no matter how little or much it may have done.

 

Advisor Marketing Strategy and Vision

 

When firms eventually decide they need to replace old advisor website technology, it is usually performed at a time when the technology has reached end of life (end of life technology is typically defined as the point in time in which a software vendor will no longer support the old technology) or when the firm realizes that it cannot fulfill their corporate goals with the existing technology. Without a clear view of the future state of their advisor marketing portfolio, the projects surrounding these two scenarios are typically centered around technology replacement as opposed to a replace and grow.

 

Firms that have a grasp on their longer-term advisor marketing strategy tend to be better prepared for post-project growth of the program where they have an understanding of what questions to ask and prioritize increasing the adoption of the technology rather than supporting the technology – this is a new and interesting shift in behaviour. The teams built around these programs have traditionally been very focused on doing things for the advisor rather than empowering the advisor to perform some of the key tasks on their own. Why? Because they know that once they have active adoption, they have a platform to accelerate their strategy so it’s no surprise the firms in this category will also deploy the technology at a greater speed, meaning they will open it up to their users as quickly as possible and actively manage the change.

 

 

Deploying new marketing technology to a high demand population isn’t something for everyone to do but it is something everyone will eventually need to do to remain competitive. Ultimately, it comes down to more of the cultural and process aspects of the firm. How easy is it to introduce change and is your firm prepared to manage that change? Do you have a strong data-driven decision making process? Have you considered what your advisor marketing program will look like in 5 years between the teams that support it, to the content that’s generated from it, to how your advisors will participate and drive their own success?

 

These are just some of the key questions we’ve been helping our clients answer and perhaps are questions you might want to ask yourselves if you’re considering the next phase of your advisor marketing evolution.

Good Customer Service Just Isn’t Enough Anymore

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The Business Case for Transforming Your Advisor Marketing. Part 2 Research Phase Banner

Five Stars Rating. People are holding stars over the heads.

Today, more than ever financial advisors need to provide exceptional service to their clients. This is how advisors can have high retention and get referrals for new business. When clients feel they can trust their advisor, they are more likely to feel they are taken care of and refer friends and family. Clients need to feel they are more than a number and that the financial advisor genuinely cares about the well being of their family. So how can an advisor provide exceptional service to their clients? Is providing exceptional service enough?

Take The Time To Care

When meeting with a client, attentively listen to what is going on in their life. Know how many kids a client has and what ages they are, their interests. Know if there are significant life events taking place. Take the time to either mail or email to wish someone well, or congratulate them on a significant life event like the birth of a grandchild or a big promotion or a birthday.

This time and extra effort it takes to have amazing notes on each client and take action can pay off 10 fold if a client feels they an advisor truly cares and pays attention to the details and events of clients lives.

Consider What Truly Differentiates Your Service

By proactively setting up a time to review goals and current portfolio, clients will feel they are being looked after. Goals and objectives often change so it’s important to review goals and a client’s portfolio

According to a recent survey, 76% responded that the ability to understand client needs and objectives is the number one factor that advisors claim as their differentiator. The second highest response was differentiating on client service but what exactly does that mean. Is this something that would set an advisor apart from other advisors or is this a basic expectation.

Consider what is truly unique about your advisor service? It seems that the key to true differentiating is either to provide a more specialized and unique service or to provide a service to a very specific clientele. Each generation will value and place importance on different specializations so having an understanding their investor profile and how they want to communicate is something that can’t be ignored.

Consistent Email Touchpoints

As much as advisors would love to take a personalized approach to speaking to clients, sometimes there isn’t enough time to effectively have that personalized connection with each and every client.

Email is a way to provide that consistent touch point without the manual effort of calling someone or emailing clients individually. According to the Direct Marketing Association, email can result in a 4300% return on investment.

Effective email builds a relationship with your audience through compelling relevant content that encourages engagement and sharing,  intriguing subject lines, and a distinctive voice which helps to bring out a unique individual personality. With increasing amounts of data available through email marketing tools and platforms, advisors can effectively segment their list to provide relevant content that is important to their audience.

There are many programs and tools available to help make email marketing something that’s easy to implement and effective. Our platform, Digital Agent, has a built-in email marketing capability that allows advisors to create compliant email newsletters and send to prospects and clients in a way that it is integrated into blog and website content.

Consider what is one thing advisors can different today that would improve the way they service their clients? Creating a service model that would differentiate from other advisors is not something that is recommended but is crucial for success and high retention.

Five Digital Marketing Trends for Organizations with Advisors To Take Advantage

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The Business Case for Transforming Your Advisor Marketing. Part 2 Research Phase BannerYoung and creative start-up team discussing ideas in board room. Group of multi ethnic people during business meeting.

What customers want, how customers think, and how customers interact is changing – constantly. Every year we see the rise and fall of certain platforms, trends and memes that explode, and changes in customer preferences that force the evolution of marketing channels, strategies, and tactics. These conditions and our new awareness of buyer journeys are creating new marketing opportunities where advisor networks can deliver breadth and depth to head office marketing programs.

New tech and new trends will keep you on your toes. It can be easy for some opportunities to slip past, and it’s sometimes hard to predict exactly what trends will manifest in the near future.

So to help prepare for the changes to come in 2018, we’ve put together a list of the top digital marketing trends to keep an eye on.

Advisor Blogging

Blogging is a great way to strengthen digital presence by developing and distributing content that will help customers find your brands. Advisors who blog receive 97% more leads to their websites. Organizations need to develop strategies to train, incent and create regular blogging growth within their advisor community. Doing so will increase customer engagement and drive business growth in a unique way. Whether starting to produce a blog or long-time blogger, there are some tweaks that should make to blogging strategies in 2018.

  • A lot of people with small to medium-sized businesses think they need to match the blogging frequencies of big brands. Unless you have a team of dedicated content developers to produce and promote content all day long, this just isn’t feasible. Instead, choose a frequency that allows for creating high-quality content on a consistent basis. After all, it’s high-quality content that’s going to help you stand out among your competitors, not the number of content pieces that gets published.
  • Engagement on blogs used to mean getting readers to leave comments. However, now that social media is a world of its own, comments on blog posts have declined. They’ve been replaced by shares, likes, and follows. Add social share and social follow buttons on your blog that makes it easy to share.

Advisor Content Distribution Network  

Content Marketing has become widespread and there is a lot of noise that customers will need to cut through before they find your content. This shouldn’t discourage you from producing and publishing high-quality content. Instead, make sure your content distribution strategy is performing to get the best possible results on your content. Accessing an advisor network to distribute content can create both greater reach and ability to integrate content testing and data-driven strategies for customer engagement

  • Old post can be repurposed into a variety of content such as podcasts,  infographics,  short videos, ect. Video sees great metrics. For example, one-third of online activity is spent watching video and generates 1200% more shares than text and images. This allows for a refresh of all content without having to always come up with something new. Additionally, these formats are easily consumable and easily shareable on many different channels – such as email and social media, as well as infographic and video sites.
  • Share content with your email list. These people have already shown an interest and have given you access to their inbox. Utilize this to present the high-quality content to them. As this content meets their needs, they will become more engaged customers. Lead nurturing emails get 4-10 times the response rate compared to standalone email blasts.

Brand Personification

There is a lack of connection between brands and customers because head offices have limited ability to connect in a human way. And, social networks illustrate a model of human connection that organizations should aspire to. Corporations with distributed service and sales organizations like advisors have a built-in advantage because that extended human channel can create warmer connections with customers.  In financial services, customers don’t want to be limited to a 100% transactional relationship. Sensitive and higher value transactions require a more human engagement and a strong sense of trust. When you connect customers to your people your brand is warmer more likely to engage with..

Aligning your brand persona with key customer contacts ensures that more of your content and engagement models build more personal client engagement. Furthermore strategically automating the human component to personalized engagements such as email will add a warmer touch and better results in building connections with customers.

Advanced Find and Advisor Search Criteria

A find an advisor search model is an opportunity for organizations to support multiple stages of a buyer’s journey, but assuming that customers only want location and contact information bypasses some of these stages.  As customers progress their research into financial products and services they will look for specialists and local advisors. Reducing friction in their research process by providing flexible search capability across a diverse set of criteria will reduce abandonment and increase engagement. Organizations need to think carefully about buyer journeys and so customers can find what they’re looking for easily and quickly. Examples include retirement and estate planning specialists along with insurance, small business, and family trusts.

You have created high-quality content that creates a personal connection between the brand and the customer, but all the work in building these personal relationships may be a waste if customers are not given every opportunity to contact advisors. Some financial organizations offer limited search ability to find an advisor. Implementing advanced search criteria will allow customers to connect with advisors very quickly and not require them to jump through hoops to find what they need.

Personalization

Getting customers the right content specifically designed for them is a challenge for any organization and even more so for large organizations. So in addition to automating content delivery by client selection, organizations with advisors can access a personalization model that has much more awareness of micro-segments and specific needs of customers in their local markets. Examples of this personalization strategy is both the advisor micro-sites and email campaigns.  

With individual micro-sites, advisors can provide to their customers with highly targeted content. Empowering field agents to create their own content will result in content that meets the needs of the hyperlocalized customers. Email campaigns are another marketing program that advisors can action with great success. As customers prefer personalized messaging; a mass email from a faceless enterprise does not meet the desires of the customers. When advisors contact the customers directly, there is a person behind the email and customers recognize that. This means that customers will be more receptive to the messaging and will feel that the content is personalized for them.

4 Tools to Transform Your Advisor Lead Generation

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The Business Case for Transforming Your Advisor Marketing. Part 2 Research Phase Banner

Marketing Platform Lead generation funnel

 

The buying process has changed. In the old world, Marketing found a list of customers through lists, email blasts, and mass advertising and passed the list on to Sales. Today, buyers can do their own research online and can find a variety of resources through search, social media, and other online channels. Customers can learn a great deal before even speaking to a salesperson. Organizations need to make sure they establish and build that digital relationship. What tools might a financial advisor use for lead generation and lead nurturing?

Inbound Marketing Platforms

There exists a variety of 3rd party marketing platforms that can be used to help your lead generation efforts. Two of those platforms are Hubspot and Marketo. These platforms are designed to create a workflow and buyers journey around your leads. These platforms must be integrated with existing systems, such as a website, email, social media, etc. Then any leads generated can be imported and nurtured through both marketing and sales initiatives. These platforms allow you to monitor the entire process from start to finish and identify weak spots in your customer experience.

Your Own Enterprise Platform

It may be possible that an enterprise has their own platform to manage their lead generation efforts. The concern with this is the cost, the staff, the maintenance, and the training that the enterprise will need to provide to the advisors. A potential issue with an owned platform outside of the cost is integration and implementation. The platform is not likely going to integrate well with email and websites. Due to its lack of integration, it will demand of advisors to manually input the lead data into the system. The concern with manual input is the question of will it be utilized or will the extra steps lead to low adoption. Furthermore, when advisors manually input lead information, this opens the door for human error.

Doing It Themselves

A poorly adopted platform or a lack of any lead generation platform will require the financial advisors to do the lead management and generation on their own. This could be done in an email platform such as Gmail or Outlook, or even in a Spreadsheet document. Lead generation increases the potential of human error, both in the entry of the contact information but as well as contacting clients with wrong information or forgetting to contact them at all. Furthermore, while this is being managed by the advisors, the enterprise is being left in the dark as to what is happening and if advisors are generating and converting leads.

Another component of advisors handling their marketing autonomously is creating their own website. Each advisor will turn to different tools from Wix or GoDaddy, to hiring a developer to create the site. Regardless of the method, each site will not resemble brand standards, will not be integrated with a lead management system, and cannot be overseen at the enterprise level

Digital Agent – The Compliant Advisor Marketing Platform

The Digital Agent platform brings in some of the best features and excludes the pitfalls but creating a fully integrated marketing platform. It empowers financial advisors to create personal localized campaigns while remaining compliant with regulations and brand standards. When advisors are actively creating marketing content, it allows enterprise marketers to expand their reach and the field can grow leads at a fraction of the cost. The Digital Agent platform is implemented and monitored at the enterprise level. This allows for mass utilization, reducing human error, while still give the control for the enterprise.

Lead generation and nurturing has evolved, and it is crucial to give your financial advisors the proper tools to bring in and manage leads through the customer journey. A platform that allows for complete integration meets those objectives of lead generation while also reducing the possibility for error or blind spots caused by financial advisors having to juggle too many tools.