How Inbound Marketing Creates Leads, Traffic, and Revenue for Asset Managers and Investment Advisors
What is inbound marketing?
Inbound marketing is about being part of the conversation. It’s about generating leads that turn into delighted clients. Being part of that conversation means sharing helpful, relevant content. By creating content specifically designed to appeal to your ideal customers, your best prospects will come to you.
Traditional marketing is marketer centric – usually consisting of cold calls, cold emails to those who have not given their permission for you to contact them, and ads that generally interrupt.
Inbound marketing, on the other hand, is customer-centric – meant to attract and inform via remarkable content – blogs, whitepapers, videos. Inbound marketing is based on knowing your customers (their “personas”) and creating and leveraging content just for them. Your content should act like a magnet, to capture your prospect’s attention – so they come bounding in to your for more helpful information.
In this post, we’ll discuss the steps needed to bring prospects in to you, to build leads, conversions, delighted clients, and assets under management.
1. Optimize Your Website
Is your site optimized for searches by people more than search engines?
Your website should be the hub of all inbound marketing and lead generation activity. Websites should evolve – they should not be static. If you are a start-up and currently don’t have a website, or are evaluating your current site, please keep these in mind:
Relevant, Helpful Content. Content publishing is the most powerful strategy available to increase inbound links, boost search engine rankings, and generate leads.
Clean Design. An easy to understand format, relevant and consistent look, color scheme, font hierarchy, images, short sentences and paragraphs, bullets, and boldface all mater.
Streamlined Next Steps. What would you like your site visitors do to next? Ask for a product demo? Call for more information? Download an eBook? Subscribe to your blog? Produce calls to action so that potential investors will be able to engage and ask for additional information.
2. Build Your Blog
43% of businesses acquired a customer through their blog in 2015. (HubSpot)
A blog is a collection of articles that provide helpful, valuable, educational content for your potential investors. It is a fundamental way to easily and effectively draw prospects to your site. But blogging can be challenging. If you are currently blog-free, what do you write about? How often? Successful blog elements – which we can help you create and manage – include:
Relevant Content. What do your potential clients want to know more about? Each blog post and bylined article is an opportunity. The more indexed pages you have on search sites, the more opportunities you have to get found online.
Keywords. Ranking for the right keywords can make or break how many leads you get.
Responsiveness. Your blogs should be optimized for viewing on smartphones and laptops.
Sociability. Each post should display in your LinkedIn and other sites at the same time.
Meta Descriptions. A meta description is the snippet of information when you pull up a search that describes the page content below. Better metas can increase clicks.
Connectivity. Your post should be connected to a specific marketing campaign.
3. Create a Call to Action
The CTA is a link, button or image that prompts your visitors to take action.
Calls to Action are the forms and links on your site, blogs, emails, eBooks, and landing pages where you ask leads to go for more information. Here’s what they look like:
4. Land Your Landing Page
The landing page is where your leads click when they ask for your free, educational, and informative offer.
Landing pages are, quite simply, the pages where your prospective new clients “land” when they respond to your free eBook, white paper, demo, or request for phone consultation. Each offer should have its own landing page.
5. Say Thank You
The “Thank You” page is what your prospects see after they fill out the form on your landing page.
The thank you page is what your leads – your potential new customers – see after they fill out the form on your landing page. Here you can restate the value of the offer, and help guide your lead through the sales process. You can also provide more value by adding a link to a blog, or to your site, or for a consultation call.
6. Build an Inventory of White Papers
The white paper (oftentimes called an eBook) is your free digital offer.
White papers are the informative, educational free offer that your prospects see on your landing page. Along with blogging, eBooks – or their cousins, the case study, podcast, and research report – can help make you an industry leader through education.
Through education, you can build authority and trust with prospective clients. We typically create one or two new papers per month for clients; your mileage my vary.
7. Manage Your Email Marketing Campaign
Email marketing seeks to nurture your list of existing leads further through the sales funnel, and ultimately, into delighted clients. What’s more, email has a longer lifespan than social marketing. We’ll seek to help you.
Create Educational Content that matches the unique interests of the investors in your target markets.
Determine a Schedule to maximize click-though rates and open rates. Once or twice a week is often best, daily is too much, and monthly not quite often enough.
Build and Segment Your List. Your prospects may have different goals, or come to you from different channels. You can create lists based on your client’s personas and actions.
8. Social Media
Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Google, and other platforms can help build visibility, clicks, leads, and clients.
Registered Investment Advisors, financial advisors, and asset managers are using Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ to grow their business. It’s critical to have a social media strategy, to think of it as a marathon, not a sprint, and to make social media part of your overall marketing and distribution strategy.
Do find and use the best social platforms for your firm to drive traffic to your blog posts, and from there, to drive engagement and ultimately, to build those relationships into clients.
Pay Per Click Advertising: LinkedIn
LinkedIn provides two different ways to reach potential clients – through Targeted Ads and Sponsored Ads. With both, you pick your target audience by profession, LinkedIn Group (such as Family Offices, Hedge Fund Managers, RIA Wealth Managers) job title, location, or other critical demographic factor.
You can start and stop your ads at any time, set your budget, with no commitment or long-term contract. Campaigns start with as little as $10 per day. And you’ll receive email notification of a new lead the moment a visitor clicks on your ad.
Targeted Ads. Like the examples below, targeted ads are text and image placements that can help you precisely target your professional audience.
Sponsored Updates. Sponsored Updates allow you to promote any post from your LinkedIn Company Page to a specific audience to help increase the visibility and reach of that post.
9. Pitch Books, Fact Sheets, and Multi-Media
The pitch book and fact sheet are your calling cards for success.
A persuasive pitch book can be the key to promoting your fund’s investment story, style, and pedigree.
The basic elements of a powerful sales deck include these simple sections: the executive summary, why you, why now, performance history, management biography, service providers, legal disclaimers, and contact information. And of course, you should strive to:
Be Transparent. Potential investors often see hundreds of pitch books, many with investment processes as clear as a black box.
Be Comprehensive. A comprehensive pitch should define the principals of the firm, the minimum investment, historical returns, redemption process, service providers, and disclosures.
Be Direct. Can you tell a compelling investment story with approximately 20 slides in 20 minutes? Short is often best.
A fact sheet – often referred to as a flyer or throw-down by brokers, and as a tear sheet in the hedge fund world – is your opportunity to present your case. An effective fact sheet does more than tell the facts – it sells your story.
Multi-media platforms may also part of your content marketing mix. Are the following appropriate for your marketing and lead generation efforts? We’ll help you decide and provide:
Motion Graphics. Motion graphics are PowerPoint presentations on steroids. Animation, voice-over, music all add power to the presentation.
Videos. Whether posted on your website, on your YouTube channel, or both, a suite of videos on your firm, investment strategy, management style can also help generate interest and provide another avenue for your prospects to learn about what is important to them.
Podcasts. Do you have or are you considering a radio program? The podcast is pre-recorded audio on the web, and another way to reach your audience, whether you are on the radio or not.
Webcasts. Webcasts are live, and can recorded for future playback.
10. Measure, Test, and be Compliant
Always test your lead generation efforts. And compliance, always.
How are we doing? Here are key metrics and reports you should track, and we’ll provide:
Blog Post Views. What do your potential clients want to know more about? Each blog post is an opportunity. The more indexed page you have on search sites, the more opportunities you have to get found online.
CTA Click Through Rates. How many of your visitors are clicking on your ad?
Email Click Through Rates. Do your posts display in your LinkedIn and other sites at the same time?
Landing Page Conversion Rates. It’s the ratio of those who click to those who fill our your form.
Traffic Sources. Sales calls, conferences, and events should not be the only source of traffic. The key to inbound marketing is to increase the avenues in which your leads come from, including organic search, paid search, referrals, and offline and online campaigns.
Phone Calls. How many phone call appointments are you making? What is the ratio of clicks to calls?
Clients. The most obvious metric is how many prospects turn into clients
The rules for social engagement for financial services firms is of course, ever evolving. The requirements for RIAS, separately managed accounts, private equity, and mutual funds may be somewhat less restrictive in general solicitations than that for hedge fund managers.
RIAs, Separately Managed Accounts, Private Equity, and Mutual Funds
The majority of social media usage – on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, and blogs are considered interactive content by FINRA. Current guidance for RIAs, SMAs, and private equity firms in social media holds that the use of internet-based social media communications must be viewed and monitored in the very same way as written communications and in-person conversations.
Regulations and suitability requirements also apply to any forms of advertisement, sales literature and correspondence when used in social media situations.
Hedge Fund Managers
The JOBS Act may provide an opportunity for smaller firms that are less well known to get noticed by investors, which otherwise may have been inaccessible. For these firms, new opportunities to build a brand, which allows them to communicate their core values to a wider audience, may have positive implications on fundraising in the future.
The objective is to work with you legal and compliance departments to ensure that communications are in accord with the appropriate guidelines and requirements.
Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results. We’ve seen in it a million times. It’s true, and a necessary component of all your marketing communications.
Are you ready to increase your website traffic, leads, and revenue generating capability? InCapital Marketing can help. Call us today for a free consultation. We’ll talk about what you have in mind, estimate the cost and time of your project, and create a plan to get started.