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A common mistake many businesses make is equating all web traffic with website marketing success. This is true as of wealth management firms as it is other enterprises. While having content that attracts a large number of visitors is great, the goal of most wealth management firms isn’t to get just whatever traffic they can.
It’s to develop qualified leads that sales or business development can convert into billable mass affluent to ultra-high net worth clients. Any other outcome leads to wasted marketing dollars and lost business opportunities.
When reviewing the stats on any piece of content for your site, don’t just focus on the raw data. Ask yourself what the number of views that content has received means and whether your site’s content is reaching the right audience.
Watch for These Three Signs of Content Failure to Thrive
You might determine your content is missing your target audiences. Here are three reliable signs it probably is.
A Poor Visitor-to-Lead Conversion Rate
Your wealth advisor firm’s content may be receiving a lot of interest online. But, you want to see a corresponding and increasing rate of conversions—those actions that visitors to take on your site that lead to contact with them to close business. If you’re not, then you’re probably not reaching your ideal wealthy audience.
Conversions can appear in different forms. Those can include following your firm or its leaders on social media, subscribing to your email marketing list or downloading a wealth development or management guide (which may happen further into your ideal client’s buyer journey).
These or other actions allows you to increase marketing touches with them and calling for a consultation. It’s not about getting visitors to become your client, but that’s the goal.
What an excellent visitor-to-lead conversion rate looks like will depend on the wealth industry market you serve. But, generally in marketing, a percentage of anywhere between 3% and 4% is a healthy one. You may be consistently generating just a 1 to 2% conversion rate or worse, none. That is despite your firm having high site traffic each month.
That can mean other things, but it probably means your firm’s content is not resonating with site visitors. Once you recognize that, set aside some time to revisit the client personas you created to attract the right clients to your site.
Ask yourself if you’re delivering content to them is addressing their pain points or other needs and if you’re using the proper distribution channels to reach them.
Get the perspective of your business development manager or consultant if they’re part of your team. Otherwise, involve the firm’s partners doing the BD work in your firm.
Work with them to modify your content marketing strategy to reach and engage your ideal wealth management clients. They’re in daily contact with your current and prospective clients, including some referring advisors or other professionals who work with your ideal clients from real estate agents to attorneys. That makes them an invaluable resource for insights into improving content for conversion.
Your Firm is Spending Too Much Time Disqualifying Poor Leads
Not every new client lead that is passed to or received online by managing partners, your business development manager or consultant will be ideal, but the majority of them should be. They should meet qualifiers that your wealth management firm established in its marketing plan based on strong client personas.
If you or your BD consultant or team is spending an inordinate time disqualifying leads or trying to figure how to convert them, poorly targeted content may be the problem.
You already know one key to rectifying this situation is creating more focused content based on the needs of your target audience. Make sure, too that your client personas got designed not just to attract your ideal clients but avoid those you don’t want. That way, your content makes it clear who you serve best and helps those you don’t make a better choice for you both.
When you implement this more focused content marketing strategy, expect your traffic numbers to decline. But, the quality of your site’s visitors will increase and so should your visitor-to-lead conversion rate.
Your Firm’s Sales Cycle is Extended Beyond Industry Norms
Wealth management firm client acquisition is sales or business development process with a sales cycle with associated costs of bringing in new business. An excessively lengthy sales cycle is unacceptable to any organization because it has a significant impact on customer acquisition costs. The longer your firm takes to close business, the more it spends to obtain that business.
There are several phases of the sales process, but it typically starts with marketing awareness. If prospective clients don’t know about your wealth management firm and its solutions, they won’t be contacting you with their wealth management issues. You’ll have to conduct robust market research during which you learn more than just their financial pains.
You should know what their wealth management advisor search process is and what the phases of that process are. You’ll want to identify where they spend time online when they’re searching for information to solve a financial issue. That way, you know what type of content and reach strategy you should use to make sure they connect with your content when it’s most needed.
But, if you haven’t completed this process, you’ll likely provide content that is useless to those prospective clients or never reaches them. That usually leads to an extended sales cycle; often well beyond your practice area or competitors’ norms.
Moreover, it frequently results in your managing partners or business development professionals spending the time to educate prospective clients the way your content messaging should have.
That is frustrating for everyone involved in the sales process. Your firm should be getting representation agreements established with ideal clients instead of trying to sell services to poor leads.
Conversely, a properly planned and executed content marketing program leads to more quickly closed business. When done right, the leads your firm receives are from business owners who’ve decided to partner with your practice to solve their financial issues or meet their wealth or life goals.
Sync Your Teams to Get Your Content Marketing Strategy Right
Work to prevent the maddening outcomes above and work well by fully aligning your communications content marketing strategy with your wealth management firm’s specific business objectives. Focus it on the primary target business audience your practice wants to convert to billable clients. The content you create addresses their wealth development or management pains in a way that makes them call your firm for help.
But, the most effective content marketing strategy is one devised both by firm business development (or small firm partners) and communications marketing professionals. It takes into consideration the business development plan and develops communications marketing collateral that might be used by BD or sales to accelerate the site visitor-to-client conversion process.
It ensures the content messaging is strictly targeted to the ideal wealth clients while avoiding others from the beginning. It’s also always a formal communications marketing plan, never spray and pray content marketing.
A formal communications content marketing strategy should keep all firm personnel involved in business development and marketing activities in sync with each other on firm growth goals. All should be working together consistently to create and refine strategies that complement each other’s efforts.
That should vastly improve wealth management firm business development and communications marketing team collaboration and shorten the sales cycle. You’ll receive increased revenue and higher respect for your wealth management firm, too.
(c) 2016-2019. Dahna M. Chandler for Get Money Moxie, Inc., a division of Thrive Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This article may not be reproduced in whole or in part without express written permission of the author.
I’m an award-winning finance journalist with marketing expertise and business acumen. I offer engagement-generating, personal finance and small business development content writing services to thriving—high growth or established—blogs and media outlets. My passion is to help your consumer readers make their dollars make sense and operate their business with growing wealth as their focus.
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