It’s easy to get in a rut with your digital marketing strategy. This especially goes for financial advisors. A few years ago, a mailed invitation to a seminar with a no-obligation lunch was a great way to reach prospects. Now, your clients probably pay more attention to an email or a social media advertisement than paper mail. The challenge is to find ways to reach them where they live online without ending up in spam folders; at the same time standing out from your competition.
That’s why utilizing the trends and strategies listed below can make you a relevant, updated company that has consistent consumer engagement. Here are the top five trends in digital marketing for financial services you should consider implementing in your 2018 digital marketing strategy:
- Social Media is for Everyone
Social media used to be just for younger people, but everyone uses it now. According to Fast Company, people age 55 to 64—unquestionably a key market for insurance and financial services—are the fastest growing user segment1. Every business needs to have a Facebook page. You should also be using Twitter to get your message out, as long as you are actively using it and engaging with your followers. These shouldn’t be one-way communications, with you only blasting out advertisements. You should be engaging your customers by responding to their comments and questions.
Did you know? 71% of consumers who have had a good social media service experience with a brand are likely to recommend it to others.2
We suggest: At the least, allocate time every day to share an article or other types of content with your clients and prospects on your social media outlets, or subscribe to a social media publishing service like the Social Media Elite program available through CreativeOne. Advanced practitioners build a social media brand related to their practice and present your thought leadership by crafting B2C content.
- Utilizing Live Video
Thanks to Facebook, it is now being viewed much more relevant and easy to deploy as a native content type, enabling immediate broadcasting and engagement opportunities, with the click of a single button. One of the perks of live streaming is the instant gratification when it comes to engagement. Not only do you get to show your followers what you’re doing right in that moment, you’re also getting feedback instant and continuously, even after you stop streaming.
Did you know? There were more than 4.4 million videos uploaded directly to Facebook in February 2016, generating over 199 billion views.5
We suggest: With video in general quickly becoming a staple in marketing strategies, consumers now expect to see video as part of the mix of content you present when they visit your website. Live streaming is great because it is in the moment and you can gauge the reaction of your followers to create better content and engage with your clients.
- Improving Your Website with SEO and SEM Benchmarking
What keywords do you expect customers to use to find you? Search engine optimization, or SEO, means having an effective web presence that makes your site rank high in search engine results. Ideally, your business will be on the first page of Google search results for relevant keywords. Google periodically changes its page ranking strategy in an effort to weed out junk content; it’s a never-ending battle to make sure your site remains visible. Search engine marketing benchmarking, or SEM Benchmarking, will help you make sure your content is effective.
We suggest: Consulting with a SEO or SEM company to establish these benchmarks before implementing an optimization strategy or subscription. Establishing a web presence can depend on numerous factors, so be wary of excessive promises. CreativeOne offers SEM services to contracted producers and our experts frequently consult with you on relevant keywords and strategies for your site.
- Mobile Optimization
While a responsive website design has been around for a while and is fairly established, the majority of sites tend to fall down on usability. That means a majority of sites are still built for desktop, then fine-tuned for mobile. The world is racing toward mobile-first. Since more people search on mobile than on computers, mobile generates more page views. If your site is not mobile-friendly, users are less likely to stick around. And if your site is slow, they may not even wait for the page to load. Tailoring your website to the “mobile-first” approach can be the difference between an appointment set and losing them to a local competitor.
Did you know? There are 1.65 billion active mobile social accounts globally with 1 million new active mobile social users added every day.6
We suggest: A responsive web design is Google’s recommended way to tackle mobile-friendly sites. You can also consider developing a new site, utilizing different tools to help optimize your website. Consider a custom website through CreativeOne—we adhere to the best practices and updated tools to give your visitors and users the best experience possible.
- Customer Engagement and Maintaining A Relationship
Once you have customers, one of the best ways of keeping them is to stay engaged with them. This means giving them ways and reasons to stay involved after the initial service is provided. You might have a blog or a discussion forum that lets your customers connect with you and others. This interaction keeps your business on their minds and makes it more likely you’ll get repeat business. It also provides a venue where potential new customers see the opinions of your current customers; if those opinions are positive, this is a powerful mechanism for gaining additional clientele. Be sure to consult your compliance officer for guidelines.
Did you know? Businesses that use content marketing get 6x more conversions than businesses that don’t.7
We suggest: Spending some time on social media and writing relevant blog posts to display your thought leadership abilities. By sharing these posts on social media, you are inviting discussion and engagement to your clientele. CreativeOne is able to provide agents with access to blog posts and topics via the Social media Elite program.
The non-stop growth of online marketing means you need to have a bigger and better online presence as part of your marketing effort. Keeping up on online trends is a great first step, but you need to make these initiatives actionable and incorporate them into your marketing campaigns to keep your business growing.
Feeling a little overwhelmed by all of this? No problem. CreativeOne offers services to help you optimize your social media profiles and website through our digital marketing solutions.