It’s no secret that the Financial Services industry is struggling with marketing and sales, being heavily reliant on old, outdated methodologies for connecting with clients. It’s becoming increasingly well-known that Inbound is the newest and most efficient way for the Financial Services Industry to market to potential clients.
For those who may not know:
Inbound marketing is the holistic practice of creating valuable, data-driven content to attract and convert clients when they look for resources.
It is a more cost-effective and efficient way for financial services companies to market to their target audience and, in turn, develop mutually beneficial relationships. But for firms small and large it can feel overwhelming to know where to start and how to adopt this new framework.
Some firms even feel skeptical, because this new way to attract and close leads feels so foreign to conventional strategies such as cold calling, email blasts, conferences, and client appreciation events. That is why, over the next few months we have decided to introduce this new blog series “Inbound Marketing 101,” that will introduce you to the key principles of Inbound marketing. Our hope is to provide you a high-level overview, so you can feel less alone in what you and countless others in the financial services industry are experiencing. And can hopefully take a few simple, tangible strategies and tactics back to your firm to implement. We want to empower you to diverge from this dead-end path of constantly searching for prospects and instead position yourself as an expert in your industry, so you can attract the right clients to close with ease.
So, where should you start? Excellent question. First, you need to establish a Buyer Persona.
Buyer personas are semi-fictional representations of your ideal client. They help to refine your content strategy and core marketing message by narrowing the audience to those most like to engage with you.
Detailed buyer personas go a long way in helping you establish your voice and tone, the topics you cover, and your point of view (also referred to as a POV). Putting out plain vanilla content does nothing to improve your reputation or uniquely position you as a thought leader in your industry. Your audience can get generic content anywhere. It’s all over the web and flooding inboxes and mailboxes. It's the quickest way to turn off your ideal audience. Clients need a compelling reason to come to you for information and keep coming back.
To do so, you must consider who your target is, what content would be of value to them, what pain points they wish to solve or goal they aspire to reach, and what information they need to serve their clients better.
When you have a strong Buyer Persona (we always suggest to start initially with just one), you are able to craft relevant, contextual, and optimized content that is able to meet your client at each stage of their Buyer’s Journey. Your client's Buyer’s Journey from cold audience member to a closed lead is important to understand if you want to nurture the right relationships, increase revenue growth, and sustain a steady stream of leads.
In the Inbound methodology, your Buyer’s Journey can be defined in three key stages: Awareness, Consideration, and Close.
In the Awareness Stage, your potential client is just becoming aware of a goal or potential problem that they have. As they move along their journey, they transition into the Consideration Stage where they have defined their problem and are actively gathering resources to make an informed purchase decision and finally there is the close stage. During the Close Stage, your business development team can better utilize their resources to close the sale, because less effort has been allocated into sourcing leads. Instead, your client has been effortlessly attracted, nurtured and guided by you to make an empowered decision- taking them from a completed stranger to a loyal customer that you can continue to nurture a relationship with for business in the future.
A Match Made in Data Heaven
We know that adopting new sales and marketing techniques can feel overwhelming, but if you are willing to try something new and embrace change, we promise you that you will be rewarded ten times over. Inbound is the future of how Financial Services will connect to qualified leads. And with a strong understanding of your Buyer Persona and their journey, you can set yourself up for success!
And that is why we have partnered with Discovery Data, a leader in the Fintech industry that offers a “consolidated view of the financial services and insurance industries, including 40,000 firms and over 2 million professionals, to assist your recruiting, sales and marketing efforts,” so you can create amazingly accurate profiles of your Buyer Personas and start driving consistent results for your business.