In this webinar, Twenty Over Ten Chief Marketing & Business Development Officer, Samantha Russell and Director of Business Development of Braun-Bostich & Associates, Steve Conroy, discuss how his firm has used inbound marketing to grow their business and grow new leads for their business. This topic is so pertinent for those who have used more traditional methods in the past, but as the pandemic has taken over, we are all looking for ways to grow and connect.
Steve Conroy is the Director of Business Development of Braun-Bostich & Associates, Inc. He is not a financial advisor but spends most of his time doing business development related work, such as website management, admin, working within the Lead Pilot platform, which they have been using for about eight months. They have a website through Twenty Over Ten and Lead Pilot.
- Switch from BD to RIA
- Going from Generalist to Niche
- Tools for Marketing Success
- Weekly Marketing Workflow
- The Importance of Content Marketing for Lead Gen
- How they are Using Social Media for prospecting
We feature success stories in Lead Pilot, and we feature Braun-Bostich & Associates. He can share how the tool has really grown over the years,
They have had a lot of “Quick Wins” using the Lead Pilot tool.
- They received 20 warm leads in the first 6 months.
- They reduced marketing costs by eliminating HubSpot from their tech stack.
- They increased their email open rate by 346% in less than one year.
The Braun-Bostich & Associates Story [6:37]
Braun-Bostich & Associates transitioned from a Broker-Dealer relationship with Ameriprise but moved into an independent status back in 2017. Once you do that transition, there is a pretty significant set of handcuffs that get taken off in terms of what you can or can’t do in terms of compliance when it comes to everything related to marketing.
Once we moved into independent status, we investigated how to put a website together, the one that we had with the BD relationship, was where everyone had the same format, same sorts of things from a content standpoint. In the time that we made the transition, it was a clean slate for us to do a ton of different things. It was exciting to get the website up and running, and this was a really good thing for the firm.
With the help of Twenty Over Ten, we put together what we believe is a very good website. After three years, they started wondering if we should make some changes. It makes a lot of sense to make changes based on what sort of activity you’re doing in terms of activity to the website, so it’s wise to reassess every 2-3 years.
At some point, Braun-Bostich & Associates decided to move to an inbound strategy, so when you first started on that journey, where did you start?
What’s the Most Important Part of Inbound Marketing? [10:31]
Once the website was up and running, the next big thing was content. Feeding the best is what I like to refer to it as. It is a very arduous resource-intensive thing, most advisors that are trying to do this plus create content, struggle with this. With many others, we struggled to get the content and put it in a blog format.
We migrated from an inbound marketing perspective into blogging first. We had some success with that, put together original content and posted it. We also used some third-party material, curate content from another vendor. But by and large, we spent as much time as we could creating our own content and driving the authority.
It was the kickstart for our inbound marketing. You start to do the research and become acclimated to what inbound marketing can do for you. Through research and looking at some of the things that we wanted to do from an inbound marketing standpoint. We got involved with HubSpot, and one of the big distinction between HubSpot and Twenty Over Ten is that Twenty Over TEn with their vertical stance with advisory firms, they understand exactly what we need to do and the content that we need to drive.
When you look at Twenty Over Ten, it was a very easy decision for Braun-Bostich & Associates for us to migrate into the Lead Pilot platform.
Regardless of what you choose, you do need some sort of technology to automate things. The more that you can automate. To Steve’s point, with HubSpot, they don’t provide you with the content, but it is a great tool
In the Lead Pilot or Tenty Over Ten library, you can use them as a starting point and completely edit them.
How Do You Use the Content Library? [15:17]
First and foremost, ask what is the audience you are trying to attract? Niche is first and foremost. Steve looks at current research interests by niche. He does research ongoing and puts them out there that are of current interests.
Go in the filters in Lead Pilot and look at the persona and then category to see what is relevant and current in terms of what the niche market is reading.
If you don’t have a lot of time, one of the best tools to use is Google Alerts. It can really help you find articles that people are reading. It’s a great source to use as a research tool to find out the type of content that you are going to push to target audiences.
I position most of the articles as if they are coming from Braun-Bostich & Associates and not a specific advisor, but he does specific advisor stuff inside the content itself, such as in the sidebar.
When you set up your Lead Pilot account, you get to brand the pages as a whole. You can make one person as the spokesperson for the brand, and it can reinforce someone as the “face” of your brand.
Based on the ease of getting into your platform, if you do six posts a week, then Steve probably spends about 6-7 hours a week.
What are Specific Pieces that Have Performed Really Well?[21:10]
- Anytime there is a piece of timely content, that always performs well.
- Steps and tips type of content is very popular because they can jot it down, absorb it quickly and carry on.
- Anything trending, lifestyle and family is big, as well.
If you do the research on the niche and understand what they are reading, it makes the job very easy to come into the platform and pick and choose what you want to push out. He tries to do credit card tips, anything like that.
Steve’s Weekly Marketing Schedule [22:39]
He is utilizing different pieces of tech, tools and resources in general. He uses both third-party curated pieces from things, such as Vestorly, which can go to your social media platforms as another piece to fill your feed. Third-party content is interesting, however, it isn’t continuing your authority as a strong resource in the industry.
They put together a COVID-19 section, “COVID-19’s Silver Lining News” and it performs exceedingly well. It’s light-hearted, and they pull light-hearted information, and then two from the Vestorly source that is light-hearted and humanitarian.
It’s great to share information that is beyond financial advising and more personal articles, as well.
Steve goes through Lead Pilot and as the contact lists grow, he pulls contacts that are looking at the same types of things in order to center off.
You can do something like this in MailChimp, as well. You can see pieces that were delivered, opened, what the engagement is like, etc. You can look at segments and see what is resonating the most with particular segments.
Importance of Landing Pages [30:28]
We encourage advisors to direct people from social media, not just back to your website but to a landing page, where you ask people to take some sort of action. It’s not just sending someone to your website, but it’s always one call-to-action, which in marketing we know will always get higher interaction. If you give the user one choice, your rate of conversion will go up.
Landing pages capture the traffic and get people to complete an action. You can look and see how one particular piece of content performed.
It’s pretty much all subscribing and Steve proactively searches out lists of individuals that fit into the niche that he is trying to target. Braun-Bostich & Associates has published lists that they can get such as “Women Business Owners,” “30 Under 30” lists, etc. He uses a business journal within this marketing place. They provide a book of lists where you can find very niche-specific names, email addresses, phone numbers, etc. Remember, you should pick and choose who you want to send emails to, and you can drip them into your campaign.
You can put them into your contacts and segment. The day after he promotes to contact, he looks to see who unsubscribed. Less than 10% actually unsubscribe. It’s a very good and proactive way to get your name on the streets and start to spoon-feed content to people who had not come into your environment unless you had done that.
When adding in the list, he is manually going in, choosing a piece and sharing it, then, he will choose from the list who he wants to share the article with.
Whatever he is sending to the group, the new person gets it. Unless your clients are taking this content and sharing it, it won’t be seen. This is an unobtrusive way to add contacts to your lists.
Do You Ever Send a Plain Text Email to Welcome Them or Do You Just Start Dripping on Them? [37:22]
He has not done a lot of personal emailing but he has done some. With drip campaigning, you have the custom that came out and then the automated platform with the company. The lists that Steve has so far, they are at the point where it makes sense to do a drip campaign.
If you are an advisor and wearing a lot of hats, you can come in and choose a campaign, and it will you that campaign is used to address specific concerns. All of the things that Steve is doing, is automated for you automatically. You can send different contacts to different lists, and you can edit articles and make it more specific to your audience, then choose what day it will go out on.
Day after day, you can drip on your social networks and via emails, specific pieces of content designed to drive more leads. The more specific you can make content, the more specific your campaign and niche can be.
You can choose the day you want to start your campaign, it will add it to the queue, and then you can start it on a certain day.
You can import lists, as we have one-click integrations with Wealthbox, RedTail and Riskalyze, but if you have al ist, you can add people as a one-off, or you can add in contacts in a list using a CSV file.
If you google business journals in your market, you will see articles that you can read and it also has a whole plethora of lists by niche, jobs, whatever you are looking for. You can go in, pull the content down, and you can have them physically send you a book of lists. Those lists will keep you busy for a long time. They give you enough contact information, where it gets better every single week. It’s a very easy thing to do.
We worked with an advisor who targeted physicians, so he gave them people at a hospital and made a presentation on how they can lower their student loans, etc. He had two different hospitals tell him that he could speak with their team and did two different webinars for hundreds of physicians. He put everybody on that list and started to send them to content in a drip campaign.
How One Advisor Grew Expotetially Through Niche Marketing
With Chad Chubb, CFP®, CSLP®
Social Media Prospecting Tips [45:09]
- Ensure each account is complete with a good profile image and have a good copy
- Be active on each network where your audience is
- Post consistently as least twice a week
- Promptly respond to mentions and messages, engage though likes and updates, shares and comments.
- Follow and engage with any potential prospects through monitoring and tools
- Pst on niche-specific content that attracts people by solving a pain point and built authority
- Work on becoming known for being a source of no-strings-attached information
- Use as many different content mediums as you can.
- Keep visitors engaged by being aware of what types of content they read and target more concisely over time.
- Share and promote links to gated content.
Boosting Posts on Facebook [47:25]
You can also boost posts on Facebook, where you take posts that you already have and put money behind it. You can pay Facebook to sponsor it and get it in the feeds of more people. It’s easy and inexpensive. If you try boosting once or twice, you may see some pretty dramatic umps in how many people have read the piece.
We make it very easy to retarget people on Facebook, as well. With Facebook Pixel, that tool can track landing pages, read a post, do something online, and it’s a very low-cost way to target more people online.
Facebook can look at the data and find more people that are alike, so it’s a great way to expand your reach. He has loaded his Pixel ID, so Braun-Bostich & Associates has started to do it, as well.
How Much Time Are You Spending Each Week Creating Content? [53:04]
From time to time, we do put together original content, and those take a lot of time. We try to focus more on Whitepapers, and things of that sort to have people download. The content with Lead Pilot, Steve might spend maybe 6-7 hours per week. He is pumping out about 6 new pieces a week, as well.
You can also filter by editorial and infographic videos. All of these pieces can be edited, and every Friday we add in new pieces. You can’t edit body copy of market summaries, but you can edit what it says on social media.
There are over 600 pieces in the library, but you can filter it in categories or persona and can search for a particular topic. Anything that you can do specifically what’s happening in the world gets clicked on more.
Even if a piece isn’t evergreen, you can make it so, by editing, add in keywords and make it much more timely and relevant to whatever is happening in the world.
How Many New Clients Has Your Firm Taken On in the Last 6 Months? [55:30]
The new client pieces have been a hurdle. We are getting a lot of readerships, but converting has been more difficult. What we are doing with the platform and the way that we are approaching these targeted audiences, it is going to get much better, much faster. It’s always a long process to bring in a prospect, fed them information, have them read, to the analytics, get them comfortable, it’s a lot of work.
Marketing is a long-term game, and there’s an exponential nature. After about 18-20 months someone did inbound marketing, they did the ROI.
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