My Conversion to Digital Marketing

I’m preoccupied with turning lemon into lemonade.  What could be worse than the current pandemic?

I decided to make use of time usually spent outside my home office and to channel my energy into something productive. 

I never understood much about digital marketing, except every advisor I knew told me they had no success using it.  That was good enough for me, until I delved deeper – much deeper.

I took a 40-hour course offered by Google called “Fundamentals of Digital Marketing.”  It was eye-opening.

My conversion is total.  If you aren’t using some form of digital marketing, your viability is in doubt.

At Evidence Based Advisor Marketing, I supervise the work done by our digital marketing alliance partner.  They employ engineers and analytics experts with vast experience in all aspects of digital marketing.

Digital marketing is expensive and beyond the reach of most small firms who don’t have a minimum budget of at least $25,000.

Don’t despair.  There’s a lot of digital marketing you can do yourself.  It doesn’t take a lot of time or technical know-how.

Here are the basics:

1.Identify your ideal client. 

2. Decide on your calls to action (CTAs).  Do you want prospects to call or chat with you? Schedule a meeting? Sign up for your newsletter?  

3. Make each of those CTAs as easy to accomplish as possible on any of the platforms where you have a web presence: your website, Google My Business, social media platforms.

4. Set up a content marketing schedule. Brainstorm 12 subjects you want to talk about with prospects and clients for the year. Focus on what’s appropriate for each season.

January might be perfect to discuss tax planning issues.  December might be better for charitable giving questions.  Think about what unique spin your firm puts on these issues.

5. Create a Google account.  After you’ve set up a Google Account, add Google Analytics and Google Search Console to your account. 

Understanding Analytics can be difficult because it provides so much data.  This is where setting up some simple indicators can be helpful.  If you want visitors to take a specific action when they visit your site, set up a goal through Google Analytics, like clicking on the submit button for your contact form or downloading a white paper.

6. Do basic SEO. At a minimum, each page of your website should have a page title and meta description. 

Set up Google My Business and Bing Places for Business for your company.  Pay particular attention to your “NAP” information: name, address, phone number.  This information needs to be the same everywhere you publish it, right down to the abbreviations and periods you use. 

Update Google My Business and Bing Places regularly.  These platforms can be particularly useful if you run events for prospects. 

7. Publish content and share it on your website, social media and, if it’s in video format, on YouTube or Vimeo.

8. Set Up Email Marketing. E-mail marketing is the most powerful digital marketing tool you have. 

Establish an account with one of the popular services like MailChimp.  MailChimp allows you to have a free account for audiences lower than 2000 subscribers.

Repurpose your website articles and videos/podcasts for your newsletter.  You can replicate all or part of each article in your newsletter and provide helpful links to your website for further reading.

You may find that some subscribers are not yet clients.  This is where email marketing becomes a lead generator.

Incentivize newsletter signups by offering a free infographic or white paper to each subscriber.  Make the incentive simple and practical, like “5 Simple Things You Can Do To Enhance Your Retirement.”  

MailChimp has a nice guide for setting up an email marketing program: https://mailchimp.com/resources/email-marketing-field-guide/.  Neil Patel is another great resource.

9.  Set up your social media accounts.  At a minimum, claim your business pages on LinkedIn, Facebook and YouTube.  These pages are powerful brand ambassadors.

We recommend a Vimeo account for your videos so you can embed them on your website without the advertisements for other videos at the end each YouTube video.  Make sure you post to YouTube as well and pay attention to the SEO aspects of your YouTube videos.

Include a transcript of the video in the description field and caption all videos.

Ask your team to associate their LinkedIn profiles with your new LinkedIn company page.  You don’t need to post content to your LinkedIn business page.  Content is more authoritative and genuine when it comes from your individual LinkedIn profiles.

You may find prospects and clients use these social media platforms to communicate with you.  You’ll want to pay attention to notifications from these platforms.

10 Create videos and consider podcasts. People are visual first and auditory second.  They retain far more when they can see an infographic or video or hear the spoken word.  Because the written word format is so competitive and saturated, focus at least half of your attention on these other mediums.

You can create informational and story-telling videos and podcasts for your website visitors that you’ll then post on your social media platforms using low-cost or free tools.   Here’s an example of an informational, visually rich video we created using Lumen5.com. https://vimeo.com/319466321.

Don’t be overwhelmed.  Take small steps and build slowly.  You’ll be surprised at how quickly digital marketing gains traction.

Resource of the Week:

Take a look at this article on the effectiveness of digital marketing for RIAs from Twenty Over Ten.

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