(From the July 2021 Edition of eFORUM)
By Kelly Maxwell
There have never been more opportunities to connect with prospects online than there are right now. While referrals continue to be a vital source of new business, in 2021, more advisors are seeing the benefits of developing their online presence to ultimately generate new leads.
Consider a recent Fidelity Investment report, Diving into Digital Marketing, which found that:
- more than half of Gen XYZ investors said they had a significantly more positive impression of advisors who have a good website;
- two-thirds of advisors engaging in digital marketing believe that social media is an effective lead-generation tactic with Millennial investors; and
- more than half of advisors engaging in digital marketing believe that email campaigns and online events are effective tools for lead generation with Boomers.
The same report also stated that many firms are afraid to begin a digital marketing strategy, or feel like they lack the skills and resources to do so. The challenge is figuring out what to do. Whenever you implement a strategy that takes time and effort, especially when it involves content creation, it’s easy to lose steam if you don’t see significant progress right away.
Let’s look at a Facebook ads strategy, something where many advisors are seeing results. Facebook ads allow you to reach out to a specifically targeted NEW audience rather than marketing to your existing audience. You can do similar ads in LinkedIn but the price is higher than Facebook’s. Marketing experts agree that Facebook’s back-end ad analytics are superior to those of other social media platforms.
Five years ago, I may not have felt so strongly about this strategy for advisors but the Ads Manager tool has improved significantly and you can target the exact demographics, gender, interests, and behaviours to put your ads in front of the right people. To create an effective ad, here are my tips:
To get people to click on your ad, you need to design an ad that is clickable. We see our clients offer a free webinar or free information kit on said topic. Ultimately, the goal is the same — get contact information to convert the lead into a client. Specific strategy will depend on goals and preferences. First, make sure the topic discussed is specific and interesting. For example, “retirement planning” isn’t likely a title that is going to get a lot of traffic but “5 must-do planning steps to take before you turn 55” sounds much more compelling to your audience. In addition to a compelling title, make sure you outline the takeaways from your offer in your ad. The takeaways should clearly articulate solutions to the problem the audience may have. Next, make sure your media (image or video) is attention grabbing and relevant to the topic. The image should compel the audience to read the text and click on your call to action.
In order for your ads to be cost effective, you want to make sure the right people are seeing them and clicking on them. We have clients who target specific people — professional women, young couples, people with dependants, retirees, small business owners. You can target people by exact neighbourhoods or employers, job titles, etc. The more specific, the better. In Ads Manager, you will be notified if your audience is too broad or too narrow. You can reference industry cost-per-clicks to make sure your ads aren’t costing too much.
Your Call to Action
Many ad strategies fall flat at this point, but this is the most important part of your ad strategy. If the call to action is weak, no one will sign up. You need to entice your audience to participate and engage (e.g., sign up for your webinar, sign up to your mailing list, send you a direct message).
The main goal of a good ad strategy is to acquire information from prospective clients: name, email, and phone number. Effective ad strategies will convert your marketing dollars into “conversions,” or in other words, quality leads. Once you receive a new client lead, it’s important to implement a strategy to help marinate each lead and ultimately persuade them to engage with you further. This strategy may include things like a timely email or follow-up message.
Finally, don’t be afraid to make changes. Facebook ads are dynamic so feel free to adjust if you think that will help your results.
Kelly Maxwell, BBA, is a digital marketing coach at The Personal Coach.