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Digital Transformation , Go-to-Market — 06.26.2020

How financial services firms can use digital marketing to retain clients and engage new prospects

Austin Westerfeld, Business Development

Financial services firms are familiar with volatility. 2020 not only affected the market, it drastically changed the way financial services firms do business. The industry was built on high-touch cadences and personal relationships. Let’s face it — most of the time it’s those amenities that clients appreciate in times of wavering confidence. How are financial advisors and firms adjusting their client communications and how they deliver service?

The Challenge

These are two major takeaways from conversations I’ve held with financial advisors and investment bankers over the last two months:

  1. Small business financial services firms are increasingly challenged to distinguish themselves from the national competition and its marketing teams and agencies who can deliver consistent messages digitally and frequently.
  2. Offline marketing tools are limited in their ability to directly engage with prospects and drive new business. Digital tools are available, but many don’t know where to start.

Here are digital marketing tips specifically for financial services firms on how to stand out from the noise and rapidly grow your business in the process:

Evaluate your digital marketing strategy

Take a step back and evaluate what information your clients ask for and the many digital channels in which you can deliver it to them. Do they need specific information daily? How can they submit questions to you? What channels are currently overwhelmed, such as high call volume, that you need to redirect? What channels are no longer available, such as in-person events, that require digital alternatives?

If previously your clients wanted an update on the market every month, an email newsletter makes sense to manage that information. A webinar affords you the opportunity to interact with and gather info from your clients. Posting a daily briefing to your website can reduce daily calls from highly-active clients.

Consider where your target audience is. Those who previously enjoyed in-person visits might like the face-to-face opportunity webinars can bring. Others who use emails or texts for communication might like to receive short, daily summaries or know where they can go online to read them.

Reduce frequency and deliver value

Some national financial services firms offer hundreds of webinars per year. This strategy might look appealing, but the quality of the webinar is generic. Attendees have little opportunity to ask questions and the information is not localized to speak to their needs.

Avoid massive quantity and focus on quality. Your goal should be to fill your webinar with engaged prospects and to deliver the content they need and when they need it. Narrow in on a specific topic or update that you can deliver quality content on through a webinar presentation. Keep the presentation focused and use consistent messaging.

Not sure what day of the week or time of day to host your webinar? Consider testing a few options to see what your clients and prospects respond best to.

Don’t slack on webinar promotion

How can you promote your webinar to reach new prospects? Re-marketing strategies, Facebook Ads, AdWords Customer Match, and Gmail Ads are all tools that allow you to target prospects by location and how they search the Internet. You can serve ads about your upcoming webinars to those who are looking for the information you can provide. You can also use ads to direct traffic to your web pages that display daily briefings.

Email marketing is a familiar tool for communicating events that you shouldn’t overlook. Let your clients know you’re hosting a webinar by sending an email about it with information on how to RSVP. The presenter or moderator of the webinar should be the name and email address of the sender instead of the name of the company. Your prospects are used to interacting with people, and this provides a level of personalization they will respond to.

Make sure your webinar presentation stands out

Webinars are visual, and in addition to seeing the presenter, your main objective should be to convey information in visual form through a slide deck.

Slide decks that only contain bullet points are a thing of the past. Invest in the creation of a slide deck that is highly engaging. Consider using imagery to support words when needed. Incorporate your brand elements into the deck so that attendees associate your brand with the information they received.

Analyze your digital marketing results and proactively follow up

Whether you are hosting webinars or running ad campaigns — or both — you’ve collected data that will allow you to analyze the effectiveness of your marketing strategy. Use it to understand whether your ads targeted the right keywords or audiences. Deploy a survey to your webinar attendees asking them how effective the presentation was and if you answered their questions.

Key Takeaways

  1. Financial services firms are burdened by a volatile market and high call volume from clients and prospects who want information on their investments. A digital marketing strategy can redirect clients and prospects to tools that can manage high volume.
  2. Start by evaluating your current online presence and your clients’ communication preferences. Align the right marketing tactics for the right client and prospect needs.
  3. With all of your marketing tactics, focus on quality over quantity. Your value prop to your clients is personalized and high-touch.
  4. Craft a visually engaging webinar presentation, but don’t forget to spend time promoting it to clients and prospects.
  5. A thoughtful follow-up strategy can move webinar attendees from prospects to clients and further engage existing clients with your brand and services.

If you’re interested in creating a digital marketing strategy for your financial services firm, contact us today

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