Inbound Marketing for the Financial Services is something that should be investigated thoroughly as many independent financial advisors embark on their solo careers knowing that the success of failure of their business will come down to their network. By that I mean the people they know that can be leveraged to generate quality referrals and introductions. In short, lead generation of a quality basis is what’s required to succeed in a very competitive market. What they don't always understand is what exactly they can achieve by applying the inbound marketing methodology to their business activity.
How does Inbound Marketing solve this problem?
If you don’t already know the basic premise of Inbound is to drive traffic to your website by posting and sharing quality informative and educational content (blog posts, podcasts and infographics amongst others) that will enable the reader to adopt a position that you are a leader in your field. How else would you be able to share this quality information if you weren’t a consummate professional in whatever field of financial services that you operate in?
You share this content on social media, by email and on your website's blog.
Explain inbound further?
Okay, so let’s break down a hypothetical practice. Acme Financial Services are selling mortgages and mortgage protection and they are an independent financial advisor. They are currently engaged in some aspects of marketing (newspaper and magazine adverts, a little social media and they attend regular network events) but they have found their lead to conversion time extremely lengthy. In fact, it’s usually a 2-3 month incubation period before conversion and that factor is around 37%.
This means that 100% of their activity converts at around 37% over a 3 month period, obviously to maintain any business at that rate, you need a high number of potential candidates or leads.
At a networking event, Acme meets Inbound Services who go on to explain about some of the increases to their clients who have adopted an Inbound Marketing strategy and in particular PTT Financial Services who saw a 700% increase in qualified leads. PTT achieved this by adopting the full inbound marketing practice which in its stages are
Inbound Marketing: The Attract Stage
Inbound Services explained that at stage one, the attract stage you are distributing the high-level general interest type content for people who are initially browsing for interest or education. Generally, people could be searching for terms loosely related to that industry such as investment information or financial information services and hopefully if your website is fairly well optimised Acme Financial will be amongst the results and this high-level content will be what the potential lead will be reading.
Inbound Marketing: The Convert Stage
At this stage, the content produced will be far more targeted and/or product or service specific. The type of content that you would be distributing would be gated – that means the reader would have to exchange their contact details with you in order to receive something like an ebook or access to a Slideshare presentation or even register for a webinar you could potentially be holding. Whatever the content, it has to be worth that visitor registering their details.
Now you have qualified a person interested in some aspect of your business and you could tentatively reach out, at the bare minimum you would have started building out your content marketing email lists. Your content will determine the products or services that this particular visitor will be interested in and you can immediately begin segmenting your lists so that the content you share is only relevant to their needs or interests. Remember that you have to convert your website traffic but you have to keep them interested longer term, we’ll cover this shortly.
Inbound Marketing: The Close Stage
The close stage of the inbound marketing workflow is the most important, you’ve already delivered content that has gained the interest of that all-important website visitor and quite possibly gained their trust and they have exchanged their details with you enabling you to start looking at email marketing. Well in the close stage, email marketing is a vital component and you would now be looking at sending out an offer specifically related to the content that visitor exchanged their details on.
For example, if the content was about remortgaging, then you wouldn’t send out information about mortgage protection, your email would more than likely be for a free no obligation mortgage assessment, which gives you a chance to talk about selling a product to this now qualified lead. It stands to reason that someone who says yes, I’d like a free assessment is very near the buying stage in their decision to remortgage, for sure they can still go elsewhere, but the fact you’ve drawn them down a sales funnel, educating them with content as they’ve progressed it’s highly likely a good salesman could convert this prospect.
Inbound Marketing: The Delight Stage
The delight stage of the Inbound Marketing methodology is where you have successfully closed your sale and really added value to that client’s life. These customers are really ready to become your advocates, they will now become your salesman, because surely if you have saved them money by remortgaging and getting them a better interest rate, they’ll happily tell their friends and family about your services potentially opening up new avenues of revenue.
How you maintain the delight stage is entirely up to you, remember a mortgage can always be remortgaged but you have to remember that this is an ongoing sale and that to keep your client interested you have to “look after” them during the down period, that in this case is the fixed period of the remortgage, but after that’s up… well, this client already happy with your service once, will highly likely return to you further down the line.
As long as you keep that client feeling like they matter you can always look to a further sale down the line.