To say that the marketing world has evolved over the years would be an understatement. Technological advancements have created a brand new middleman in the business world: the internet.
It’s no longer enough just to run a business that offers a quality service; as tedious as it may be, your firm’s digital presence directly correlates with your success. Almost half of prospects will review 3-5 pieces of content produced by your business before even engaging with sales associates.
What is Inbound Marketing?
To understand inbound marketing, you have to understand its counterpart: outbound marketing, previously the status quo, is you reaching out to consumers with information about your service. Recipients of your marketing message aren’t searching for it, but they might come across it. A great example of this is a billboard advertisement; no one asks for it, but the company puts it there.
Inbound marketing targets consumers that are already seeking out the information your firm offers. It’s consumers looking for you. It’s giving prospects information that they specifically want to see- and it’s 10 times more effective for lead conversion than outbound marketing. Still, inbound marketing requires strategic planning and astute knowledge of the audience you’re targeting. These are some of the biggest mistakes that may be hindering your inbound marketing strategy and how to overcome them.
#1. You Don’t Know Your Audience
Knowing your audience is the basis of inbound marketing; if you don’t know who you’re targeting, anything you put out will just be hit-or-miss. Content marketing is the foundation of inbound marketing. To execute it correctly, you need to produce content that your specific audience is actually seeking out.
If you put out untargeted, generic content, this might be your issue. Not only is untargeted content not as compelling for your audience, but it’ll hurt your organic search traffic and overall SEO.
How Do You Fix It?
Consider your current client base, and use analytics to find out which demographics respond the most to your content already. Most of all, think about your firm’s identity: who are you doing this for? A firm primarily serving high-net-worth individuals is very different from one serving middle-class families.
Now, think about the problems that your audience faces and the subsequent solutions you offer. For example, let’s say you mainly serve the middle-class families previously mentioned. You’re probably going to want to spend more time covering topics such as paying for a child’s education and buying a home than something such as high-risk investment portfolios. Ensure your content adequately reflects your audience.
#2. You’re Not Using Social Media (Effectively)
Maybe you’re tired of hearing it, but it can’t be stressed enough: social media needs to be part of your inbound marketing strategy. Without it, you’re relying mostly on hearsay and organic search to send new prospects your way- of course, those are both valid. But social media marketing, however intimidating, is key to building a long-lasting digital presence.
Even if you’re already using social media, are you building a following? Are you creating content that will pull in the target audience from #1? Are you using the right platforms?
How Do You Fix It?
In this research, the Spectrem Group reveals which social media platforms high-net-worth clients use to keep up with their financial advisors. LinkedIn, not surprisingly, took the forefront, with Facebook and Twitter close behind. Don’t spend all your efforts on a platform that isn’t going to give you a positive ROI in the long run. In general, LinkedIn is a great place to start for financial advisors.
If you’re already leveraging a few different platforms but still see no ROI, it might be time to experiment with your social media strategy. Research shows that consumers like when brands interact, showcase personality, and are vocal about causes and industry trends.
#3. You Don’t Produce Original Content
For advisors, a lack of original content comes into two forms:
- You aren’t producing any content (blogs/articles, videos, etc.) at all.
- The content you put out is syndicated or canned.
Whichever you may identify with, both will hold you back from getting the most out of your content marketing. Putting out quality content is nothing but beneficial: 79% of companies that blog report a positive ROI for inbound marketing. However, this metric isn’t as reliable when your content isn’t original- A.K.A., you’re taking it directly from a content library that offers articles from top publishers, but the content is untouchable and not even credited to you or your firm.
How Do You Fix It?
The solution is straightforward: produce original content. This looks different for every firm, and “original content” doesn’t always mean content you build on your own from the ground up. Realistically, this isn’t particularly sustainable if you want to produce content consistently. That sort of regularity would require a content creation team that most firms don’t have or need.
You could start by setting small content goals. For example, publish an original blog or a 2-minute video every week. Starting small and building up over time is better than producing no original content at all.
Another alternative is using a customizable content library, such as Lead Pilot. This saves you the time of fleshing out content by yourself while allowing you to maintain your integrity and originality.
#4. You Don’t Have a Consistent Content Plan
70% of marketers lack a consistent content strategy. Maybe you are producing original content, but you’re just producing it whenever you see fit- or you did have some sort of content plan, but it became more of a suggestion.
Content marketing is hugely beneficial to firms that choose to leverage it, but you won’t see those benefits overnight. The more often you post content, the more ROI you’ll see (there is such a thing as posting too much, but advisors typically don’t have to worry about this). Still, don’t be intimidated if you don’t have the time to put out content 6 days a week. The most important thing is that your content be consistent.
How Do You Fix It?
Create a realistic content plan that you’ll actually be able to follow through with. The best way to do this is by creating some sort of content calendar where you can keep track of all your content plans.
This can come in many forms, whether you print out a physical one, use an app, or simply create events using Google Calendar. Regardless, it will work wonders in keeping you on track and holding you accountable for content creation. As you’re refining your content plan, make sure not to under or overestimate the time and resources you’ll have to dedicate.
#5. You Have Too Much on Your Plate
This may not seem like it can hurt your inbound marketing strategy all that much, but it’s more impactful than you think. As an advisor, you already have so much to manage. Adding a digital presence on top of all that certainly wasn’t in the job description- and stress does, in fact, correlate with poor quality of work.
How Do You Fix It?
Consolidate your marketing technology into a tool that can automate your content, whether it be a social media post or a new article for your blog. Inbound marketing can get overwhelming if there are loose ends spread across multiple systems; it will save you time, effort, and money to keep track of your inbound marketing strategy in one place.
Lead Pilot’s inbound marketing platform easily creates branded landing pages, offers a customizable content library, and entirely automates all necessary social media platforms. It makes things easier for you so you can create content regularly, reap all the benefits of inbound marketing, and get back to your real priority: your clients.
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About The Author
A part of Twenty Over Ten’s digital marketing team, Katrina is passionate about creating content for others to enjoy. You can typically find her with an Americano in hand as she makes (yet another) bucket list, writes songs or watches wedding videos.