When it comes to marketing for financial websites, there are rarely any “Best Used By” dates on the packaging. However, that doesn’t mean that what worked last year, last month, or even last week will work today.
Indeed, some of the most prevalent tactics in digital marketing are now winding down to a close. Financial advisers would do well to pay attention, and invest their marketing resources in efforts that are projected to do well in the coming months and years.
Here are some important digital marketing tactics, set to become increasingly obsolete as of January 2018:
#1 Long eBooks
Attention spans are shortening, which makes it harder and harder to engage prospects and consumers with lengthy, text-based content.
There is still some level of debate here. Prominent digital marketers such as Ramit Sethi argue forcefully for “long form” content. From an SEO point of view, there is still considerable merit in the view. Financial websites certainly benefit in search engines, for instance, when they have a 1000-word landing page dedicated to a particular subject or keyword in their industry.
However, the general trend in marketing is certainly heading towards shorter eBooks. Especially those which contain interactive features such as surveys and quizzes. Video and digital animation are also likely to become far more prominent on financial websites, along with interactive landing pages.
#2 Non-Personalised Drip Campaigns
If you have a very large email list, then this may come as some bad news.
Financial websites will no longer be able to rely on high engagement rates with these kinds of large email lists, especially if the emails lack personalisation. Even automated drip campaigns are suffering, and are likely to continue in this downward trend.
If your financial website uses a web form and other subscriber-building tools, then your email marketing system will need to be set up for the increased demand. You will need to be sending personalised, targeted emails to your subscibers, based on their demographics, psychographics, online behaviour and recent engagement levels.
#3 Blogs Which Neglect Quality
There is a tough reality facing financial websites in today’s digital environment.
The web is completely saturated with content. That means that for your brand to be heard amidst the noise, you need to provide serious quality in your blogs.
These need to quickly and powerfully connect with your audience’s pain points, and answer their burning questions. Financial websites which rely purely on the quantity of content, rather than quality, are likely to see their organic search rankings and engagement rates decline.
A strong way forward for financial websites is to focus their subject matter on one topic within each blog post. Ensure that each of your blog serves a specific, distinct purpose. That might be to drive awareness, or to support a separate marketing campaign. It might be to drive leads.
#4 Overloaded Automation
The drive for efficiency in business’s marketing s highly understandable.
Budgets and time are both typically stretched, and automating digital marketing functions can be a powerful way to increase efficiency and save resources.
That said, automation often conflicts with an increasing consumer demand, and expectation, for personalisation. People can usually tell when they’re being marketing or sold by a robot, rather than a person. This is often very off-putting for people.
Financial websites which rely on automation for their external marketing activities will, therefore, likely witness stagnating or even declining engagement rates as we enter 2018. Use automation sparingly, and try to restrict it to your internal marketing endeavours.
#5 Organic Facebook Strategies
At CreativeAdviser, we often tout the potential of Facebook Advertising for financial websites. It’s just such a powerful tool for engaging defined audiences, you really need a reason not to do it rather than to do it.
That said, Facebook has become something of a bane to financial websites in recent years. With the rapid decline of organic reach, businesses are now having to face some difficult decisions about the platform’s place in their marketing strategy as we enter 2018.
In financial services, gone are the days when you could simply post on your business Facebook page, and expect dozens of likes, shares and comments to flood in.
You now need to pay to play on Facebook. If you purely rely on organic reach, then only around 2-5% of your posts are going to be seen by your followers.
#6 Text-Based SEO
Online users still like to engage with text-based media. We wouldn’t be writing this blog, or still recommending them for financial websites, if this were not the case!
However, today’s consumers are obsessed with multi-media. People want video, imagery and audio to engage different senses and stimulated different parts of their brain.
Google Lens will even soon be allowing users to search online using their smartphone cameras! In other words, it is no longer enough for SEO purposes to simply optimise the text on financial websites.