• Sat. Jul 20th, 2024

How Advisors Can Fix Holes in Their Digital Marketing and Do SEO Right

Digital marketing is not a set-it-and-forget-it project. Indeed, it requires ongoing, precise strategies requiring substantial investments of time.

But executed correctly, this endeavor can reap rich results for financial advisors.

“Digital marketing is essential for the vast majority of advisors,” Robert Sofia, co-founder, CEO and chairman of Snappy Kraken, a leading marketing technology firm providing systems for financial advisors, argues in an interview with ThinkAdvisor. ”[Certainly] those who have a desire to serve the next generation … and do something other than have a tiny exclusive club of billionaires in a family office need to be marketing online.” 

Sofia serves up a number of ways that advisors can create online impact, and he also names the biggest digital marketing mistakes they make.

Sofia, who also discusses search engine optimization, artificial intelligence, text messaging and social media, previously was director of business development at Ford Motor Co. and worked as a financial advisor for several years. 

In the interview, Sofia delves into ways that AI can save financial advisors money and why many advisors are not good podcast hosts. He also reveals the No. 1 method of generating referrals, the stats of which, he says, “blew [his] mind.”

Here are highlights of our conversation:

THINKADVISOR: Is digital marketing a must for financial advisors?

ROBERT SOFIA: It’s essential for the vast majority of advisors.

Advisors who have a desire to continue growing to serve the next generation, to be relevant online, to do something other than [serve] a tiny exclusive club of billionaires in a family office probably need to be marketing online.

What’s the primary goal of digital marketing? 

A way to scale connections — to communicate with your clients.

The No. 1 reason people leave their advisor has nothing to do with performance or service. It has to do with lack of communication. 

Digital marketing is a great way to stay in touch in meaningful ways.

What’s the biggest mistake that advisors make in marketing online?

Having holes in their strategy, not having a strategy at all or being too impatient with their strategy.  

Holes: not having a niche focus or automated follow-up or nurturing sequences to take leads and opportunities they’re creating to convert them into meaningful conversations.

If you write a blog but then don’t have a clear call-for-action at the footer so people can opt in, that’s a hole too. 

And if you don’t promote your blog by email to a list you’ve been accumulating or don’t publish it on social media channels with a link, those are holes.

What do advisors need to know about search engine optimization?

If you don’t have a strategy for Google, the biggest search engine — with 95% of all search results coming through it — that’s obviously a big problem.

So prioritize Google by leaning into their technology: Claim a free “Google Business Profile.”

Certain things that [come with that] will help you range higher in search results; for example, making it a complete profile by including your website URL, client reviews, a list of your services.

What else is key about SEO?

Advisors should be very specific to their target audience by including the types of things [these prospects] are searching for and their concerns. Identify relevant keywords so you can optimize your website’s content.

For instance, a keyword about a specific company and its stock option plans and how they work will rank much higher than something generic like “maximize your retirement plan.”

Use tools like Google’s Keyword Planner and Semrush to optimize your website’s content around those keywords, including page titles, page headers and body text.

This involves writing very thoughtfully. 

Is that all there is to it, then?

No. You want to continue to create high-quality content over time and answer queries about your blog, videos, infographics and podcast — with transcripts. 

That way, you continue to build with content that supports your SEO strategy.

And you have to make sure your website is optimized for mobile browsing because if it’s not, you won’t rank high [in searches].

What about marketing using text messaging?

Text messaging is capturing the most lead conversion activity.

If you put a call-to-action on a page like, “Do you have a question about how to save money on taxes? Text to me,” people will quickly pick up the phone and text a question.

When they do, you can have a conversation and get their name and email address. You already have their phone number!

What follow-up strategy should advisors use?

For every new lead that opts in, [prospects of financial advisors using Snappy Kraken] receive a series of email messages from the advisor. They also get a video and text messages at various intervals. 

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