Why Financial Companies Need Digital Marketing
Financial companies are often their own worst enemies.
Bound by strict regulations and confined to the “we’ve always done it this way” mentality, the financial industry is going through a much-needed change of pace. If you’re looking to expand your business and bring in new customers, you need to incorporate a hard-hitting marketing strategy.
The financial SEO experts at EverSpark will help you reach and appeal to clients while abiding by the strict rules set by the SEC and FINRA.
Call us when you’re ready to take your business’ marketing to the next level, but in the meantime, keep reading to learn why financial companies need digital marketing.
1. Marketing can help you connect with customers on an emotional and rational level.
“When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but with creatures of emotion.” -Dale Carnegie
Customer relations are kinetic. Ever-changing and evolving, an advisor-client relationship won’t look the same today as it did 10 years ago, and in light of the market upheaval introduced by the coronavirus pandemic, those relationships won’t even look the same today as they did 10 months ago.
That’s due to the unique problem facing financial advisors: people are worried about their life savings. Advisors are tripping over themselves trying to help clients make rational financial decisions while maintaining high customer satisfaction.
However, as contributors Alan Zorfas and Daniel Leemon write in Harvard Business Review, the most effective way to maximize customer value is to “move beyond mere customer satisfaction and connect with customers at an emotional level – tapping into their fundamental motivations and fulfilling their deep, often unspoken emotional needs.”
Here’s why that’s important. Research shows that emotions can play an important role in customers’ decision-making by helping them form predictive models of the world.
Emotions trigger memories and experiences that are stored in our long-term memory. And as we all know, because emotions are not always rational, they often cause us to make irrational financial decisions.
Certified Financial Planner and author Derek Tharp uses this example in the article “Why More Emotion – Not Less – May Be Needed To Make More Rational Financial Decisions”. John believes all rich people are evil because a rich landlord wronged his family when he was a child. The landlord may have truly done something terrible, but the emotions tied to John’s memory are making him overgeneralize, which can be harmful in making financial decisions.
Tharp argues that advisors need to acknowledge that they cannot simply rationalize clients’ emotional beliefs. If a client is engaging in emotionally-driven investing, it’s likely rooted in some past emotional learning which logic will not diminish.
Therefore, Tharp says, advisors should get comfortable with the idea of being more emotional with clients and helping them update their predictive models of the world.
On a lifetime value basis, emotionally connected customers are more than twice as valuable as highly satisfied customers.
According to Tharp, advisors can engage clients in conversations and exercises which may both identify the root of the problem behavior (The landlord harassing John’s family when he was a child) as well as lived experiences that contradict the emotional belief (e.g., John had a wonderful landlord in his 20s). This way, advisors can help clients update their predictive models of the world to better align with reality.
Now, here are some online marketing strategies that your firm can use to encourage and facilitate emotionality, which will help clients feel secure and confident in their decisions:
Tell Meaningful Stories
- Include a client story page on your website
- Showcase client testimonials and reviews
- Humanize your ‘About Us’ page with pictures and descriptions of your team. (Yes, we included our own page. What can we say? It’s great.)
- Include personal touches like a ‘thank you’ or ‘welcome’ note
- Offer informational resources such as blogs, YouTube videos, downloadable guides, etc.
2. Marketing can help your business stand out from the rest.
After conducting a study with a brokerage and investments firm, Zorfas and Leemon discovered that customers were more likely to choose and invest more when the firm met two key drivers: the customers’ need to stand out from the crowd, and the need to bring order and structure to their lives.
Taking a cue from their clients’ unconscious desires, financial companies can create ways to stand out from the competition, forming a unique social identity and convincing clients of the company’s intrinsic value.
That’s a critical differentiator in today’s market, an environment saturated not only with hundreds of thousands of financial advisors, planners, business consultants, and accountants, but with dozens of new fintech companies popping up every day.
Here are just a few ways you can use existing resources to differentiate your firm from the rest:
Leverage Your Team
We cannot stress enough the importance of hiring positive, proactive team members. When you have employees who aren’t just there for the day-to-day tasks but truly care about their work and the company they work for, they can spread positive news of the business online and on social media.
Don’t force it, but if your employees are open to it, you can also initiate a social media campaign for your business. Set up a posting schedule for your employees to share their responsibilities and things they enjoy about the company on their personal LinkedIn pages. You can share those posts on your company’s own LinkedIn page, and soon you’ll have traffic rolling in from your employees’ peers and friends.
This is also a great way to inspire feelings of pride and accomplishment in your employees.
Know the Competition
We know, we know – this one probably sounds obvious, and if you’re already familiar with the competition, good for you. But it’s not enough to know who your competitors are; you need to know their point(s) of difference.
In other words, what are your competitors doing well online? What are they doing badly? One of the best ways to discover these points of difference is through a deep analytics dive in Ahrefs or SEMrush.
The SEO for financial services experts at EverSpark can help you every step of the way in the analysis, discovery, and implementation of the best digital marketing strategies in the industry. Give us a call today to get started on your plan.
The internet is wanting for original ideas: if you want to stand out from the crowd, you’ll need to have some of your own.
But don’t worry, you won’t need to create a whole new department. In fact, all you need for a creativity boost is a couple of apps, a clear voice, and a central goal that you’ll communicate to customers. Here are a few ways for your financial company to get creative and stand out from the crowd:
- Create interactive content – Not only does interactive content (for example, polls, quizzes, and video experiences) allow customers to participate and feel connected to your company, but they can bring your business’ vision and value to life, giving clients a sense of ownership and propriety.
A wonderful example of financially-focused interactive content can be found on the infogr8 website. This company recognized a need for a dynamic, engaging platform to provide advice for clients seeking the best insurance policy for their needs. Take a look:
This tool helps people understand which type of insurance they need based on their current living and financial situation. Your company could create a similar tool and display it prominently on your website to engage and inform clientele.
- Break down complex topics into consumer-friendly content – You know it and we know it: often, financial information is so convoluted that clients have a difficult time understanding even the most simple aspects of their financial situation. That’s why financial companies in need of digital marketing have a great opportunity to translate complicated material into easily accessible ideas. For example:
This infographic designed by infogr8 provides a visually compelling, step-by-step guide to remortgaging a home. Usually, this topic would require hours of research and communication between you and the client, but with an accessible graphic, customers will find simpler answers to their questions and free up your time to provide actual assistance, and not just answering the same questions over and over.
- Promote cross-departmental collaboration – Although it’s easy to keep to your section of the office and collaborate only with people in the same position or team, doing so limits your company’s creative potential. Encourage staff to work with employees outside of their immediate sector to carry out projects and develop business acumen. When employees understand and appreciate how other departments work, they’ll drive innovation and may even discover that someone else’s idea corresponds perfectly with theirs, setting the stage for innovation.
3.Marketing can help you stay in compliance.
Compliance is essential in every financial company’s operations. You must follow consumer privacy laws and data privacy regulations, one of the most recent being the California Consumer Protection Act (CCPA), a state statute that affects how companies use targeted and behavioral advertising tactics.
As Big Data, machine learning, and artificial intelligence (AI) technology rapidly reshapes the financial regulatory landscape, companies need to adapt to follow and abide by regulations while providing a satisfactory customer experience.
One of the best ways to do both? Be straightforward about how your company uses customer data, and for what purpose. You’ve surely noticed how issues of data privacy and ethical responsibility have become tantamount to business success, and that data privacy has an enormous influence on consumer trust. In the wake of dozens of high-profile data leaks, it’s more important than ever to ensure customers that their information is safe with you.
Of course, you can’t just claim that their data will be safe if you don’t have the proper tools to make it so. But if you’re transparent about the way you store and handle data, your customers will feel more confident in your business and will be more likely to return or refer you to friends and family.
Here are some marketing tactics your company can use to get the word out about your business and stay in compliance:
Set up your website to be compliant from the beginning.
Creating and publishing appropriate content will become second nature if you set up your website to be compliant from the beginning. You must make your website accessible to everyone under the Americans with Disabilities Act; you must avoid making guarantees, optimistic projections, or ambiguous statements that may be misinterpreted, as stated under Rule 2210 of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), and you must be mindful of third-party links to and from your website.
Any website that you link to or that links to you should also be in compliance with the regulations set forth by the FINRA and SEC. As a financial SEO firm, EverSpark will ensure that all pages on your site are accessible and meet industry regulations. We are meticulous professionals who understand how serious any discrepancies can be.
Document and archive everything.
This is a must, as regulations mandate that you archive all of your content (and content-related activity) for at least three years. This is for your own protection: if someone disputes something you said or claims it’s false advertising, you can pull up the document and prove that you were in compliance. You really should store these documents for longer than three years, but that’s a good guideline to follow.
Begin Planning Today
Understanding why financial companies need digital marketing is step one. Getting the right financial SEO firm to make it happen is next. If you want to grow your firm the right way, EverSpark has the proven strategies to get you there.
Contact EverSpark Interactive at (877) 323-4661 today.