If your distribution and sales efforts aren't getting your firm the results you want, maybe you are not lacking execution, but you are still approaching Financial Advisors like it was 2005. As technology has evolved, so has the way buyers/investors make decisions. Most industries now complement their sales and marketing efforts with an inbound marketing methodology to attract and engage with their ideal prospects. While employing inbound marketing at the core of your distribution efforts might be a different approach for asset managers, the strategies for a successful inbound marketing campaign, especially when paired with a well thought out traditional paid marketing effort, can have a dramatic impact on the quantity and quality of your leads.
What's at the Center of Inbound Marketing?
At the center of inbound marketing is educational content, through which marketers attract leads. The organic reach that can be achieved through content is far greater than from any other source. Think about each piece of content as a “digital” Wholesaler that is responsible for educating your target audience and attracting them to your firm. When prospects are engaged with your firm, they are more likely to become clients than those prospects that are being reached with your traditional, disruptive outbound marketing efforts.
For example, email marketing strategies can get you in touch with a lot of people, but only a few of them will genuinely be interested in what you have to offer to begin with. Inbound marketing helps you attract potential customers that are interested in your content because they have a problem that your firm is helping them to think through or solve.
Why Asset Managers Need Inbound MarketingEmploying an inbound marketing strategy is important because the way people make buying decisions has evolved:
- 94% of B2B buyers begin the sales process online
- 84% of potential client’s first impression will be from your website not your salespeople
- 91% of searchers online do not go past the first page of google
The buying process now begins online. As an asset manager, the first challenge is to make sure that your prospects can find you when they are searching for a solution to their problem. When they do find you, it only takes 0.2 seconds for them to make their initial impression about your firm from your website.
It has also become increasingly difficult to connect with prospects using traditional methods. If you are only using traditional methods, you are probably struggling to get valuable prospects and are spending a lot of time, energy and resources to convert prospects into leads.
Apart from what is mentioned above, inbound generates strong sentiments of value for its adherents and evangelists:
- The majority of B2B companies that invest in blogging say that they have a positive return of investment.
- The ROI of inbound marketing is greater compared to PPC marketing methods for long-term SQL traffic generation.
- Marketers value inbound over PPC because 91% of people believe that ads are increasingly intrusive.
How Can Asset Managers Use Inbound Marketing?
Asset managers that use inbound marketing rely on various types of digital content including videos, blogs, white papers, podcasts, eBooks, and other types of content to give valuable answers, bring solutions, and provide insights to the audience of a certain organization. This content is carefully created, while bearing in mind what problems the target audience encounters on a daily basis.
Once created, all of this content is shared through emails, websites, and social media profiles which are associated to that business. The next step is to use analytic tools which can be paid or free, to track how the content is affecting the visibility of the company and measure the ROI.
Increasing Your Reach
One of the biggest challenges asset managers have, as mentioned before, is to reach prospects that genuinely have interest in their business organizations, services, or the products they offer. People who are able to accomplish this can witness that one of their most valuable parts of the value propositions that they provide is an institutional culture that adds, well, even more value. Simply put, inbound marketing has a way of finding the right people and enticing them contact you on their own, while having a meaningful conversation that might lead to something valuable. It’s not about quantity, it’s about quality, and every single prospect you come in contact with through LinkedIn, Twitter, your website or email will come to you because they saw your content, and they found it valuable. This brings us to the next vital facet of inbound marketing.
Creating Engaging Content
When asking prospects for contact information, asset managers need to give them something in return, or they won’t get what they need. For prospects, it might be valuable to get a portfolio review, however this might be quite premature. To create a greater reach and acquire more leads for the firm they are representing, asset managers need great content that has value to prospects, no matter if they are at the beginning of their buying cycle, at the middle of it or at a later stage (these are known as the awareness, consideration and decision stages of what inbound marketers refer to as The Buyer’s Journey).
Blog posts, research reports, white papers, newsletters, webinars, and quarterly updates are just some forms of content that have the potential to do this. However, it’s important to determine what the right type of content is depending on your target audience.
The content you choose for the early stage should be reachable by everyone and it should not require filling out any type of forms. This is how you will be able to introduce potential investors or prospects to your business organization, your philosophy, and build a certain level of trust with them. Additionally, you will also have to determine which will work best for the early, middle or late stage of their buying cycle.
Combining Outbound and Inbound Marketing
By combining traditional and inbound marketing methods, you will be able to provide your prospects a much better overview of your business organization. For example, it’s possible to attract new prospects with banners and then convert them into a lead with an amazing infographic or a blog post that talks about a topic pertinent to the entire industry.What Are the Benefits of Combining Outbound and Inbound Marketing?
When these two work well together, it’s possible to establish immediate trust, while at the same starting two-way conversations with your clients and prospects. A marketing strategy that has both of these marketing methods implemented will allow you to see how people consume the content that you provide them with, while at the same time always being able to give them what they need, no matter the stage of the buying cycle they are currently in.
Asset managers are in need of exploiting the benefits of inbound marketing if they desire to remain industry-salient in the years to come. This is a methodology that offers many possibilities for improving lead generation, lead scoring and although investors that use it are still unique, there are good chances that in the future everyone will rely on inbound marketing. The sooner you start applying it, the better.