5 Lead Generation Tips for the Financial Services Industry
Creating compelling content that converts a site browser into a sales qualified lead is one of the key struggles faced by the financial and investment services industries. This is of course even more important than ever in the current environment. People are spending more time online, especially within the financial services industry. Comscore reports that traffic to investment-specific websites is up 43% since stay-at-home orders were put in place on March 16, 2020.1 Whether it is difficulties with form submission conversion on a landing page, or a lack of understanding regarding the complexities of creating an effective give-and-take lead generation program, there are several pitfalls that could be limiting your marketing effectiveness. Whether you are targeting B2B intermediaries or content that is meant for direct investor consumption, making the most of your content marketing can build your brand awareness and help to drive new leads.
When collaborating with clients on brand positioning, we have made it a core goal to help solve what we call the conversion rate crisis by focusing on the user’s journey, from introduction to acquisition, ultimately helping our clients not only create original firm-specific content that differentiates, but incentive-driven investment-based marketing automation strategies and content that streamlines the conversion process and captures new leads.
In this article we will provide you with a strong lead generation framework by walking through our own 5-step process for a successful lead generation campaign within the financial services industries.
Step 1: Connect through Content
First and foremost, it really does start with the content. According to HubSpot, 96% of business-to-business customers were looking for high quality content from industry thought leaders to inform their buying decisions. In essence, creating compelling content is key to establishing your firm as the ‘go-to’ resource in your industry, giving the readers more reason to conduct business with you. This brand-building strategy is centered around promoting your firm’s expertise is specific financial industries or within niche investment strategies.
This all starts with your homepage. Your lead generation strategy should begin with the content on your site’s most prominent page, because this is where most users make those all-important initial judgments.
But it’s not just about creating quality content. If the information is irrelevant, or there is no clearly labeled call-to-action (CTA) for an offering, they will more than likely bounce from your site. Likewise, if your lead generating content (such as forms, white papers or email captures) is buried somewhere that is difficult to find, then your web marketing structure will lead to rapidly diminishing returns.
Strategically placed CTA on top of homepage to get in touch with Cambiar and easy to fill-out form.
Step 2. Use LinkedIn for Geo-Targeted B2B Leads
LinkedIn has recently made B2B targeted lead generation easier than ever. For a financial services firm, this is extremely valuable. Although broad-based advertising can be expensive, firms can take a more tactical approach to marketing while spending less through geo-targeting tools. If utilized effectively, geo-targeting can eliminate waste in marketing spend while focusing on a much more relevant and receptive audience.
We’ve noted a strong correlation between intelligent geo-targeting and lead quality, with the best campaigns finding captive audiences who see the location and criteria-based relevance as a uniquely compelling value driver for firms they would like to do business with. Think of the ability to target financial advisors that work at a specific firm, in a specific location or that are at a particular conference. It can be a great way to reach the right people with a limited amount of spend if you have compelling content to trade.
Whether your geo targeting is done by state, or narrowed down by city, you can help increase your lead generation numbers and improve the quality by qualifying leads by asking the right questions and then providing those answers in the form of a targeted marketing campaign.
This has been supported further by LinkedIn’s user-friendly ad features, such as eliminating the extra click needed to go to an offsite landing page and optimizing their platforms to sync with your existing CRM and gather leads for you directly on the LinkedIn platform.
To demonstrate this, we have included an animation below relating to how ads can now live completely on LinkedIn itself—a powerful tool for investment industry digital ad strategy:
Process: Your leads will answer a set of custom pre-qualifying questions, submit the form and receive your offering. Your leads will both populate in your LinkedIn dashboard along with your synced CRM platform. Your offering of an exclusive whitepaper or webinar can thus be seamlessly promoted on the platform.
Step 3: Incentive-based Lead Generation
As marketers, we want users to say yes to an offer. Yet, that is easier said than done. While you may have an attractive ad and relevant offer, it could still be quickly dismissed due in part to the volume of offers people see online on a daily basis. When looking at the biggest drivers of underperforming lead generation programs, one of the most prominent results from your offer not being compelling enough.
Humans are incentive-based, which is especially apparent in the digital space within financial and investment services, where firms and businesses are constantly fighting to create the perception of value in their offers. This does not mean to continue racing to the bottom in terms of discounts or savings, but rather to find targeted ways to incentivize potential clients with content that will provide a value-added experience that they won’t find anywhere else.
In financial services, the offer may be as simple as a free 30-minute consultation with a financial advisor, or access to a truly educational content piece such as a whitepaper.
Other incentive-based materials are:
- Training videos
- Interview or round table with experts
These incentives drive decision making and ultimately help turn those content browsers into qualified leads. The digital world we live in for the majority of the day provides a unique setting for advertising, and we have developed a very simple equation to help codify how to interact and incentivize these online audiences:
High value offer + persuasion = irresistible
Step 4. Optimize Forms and Landing Pages
How do you create an effective landing page for your customers to convert? While there are a few types of landing pages, there is one in particular that has worked well for firms in the financial services space: The Give-and-Take.
The term for type of landing page is quite literal, essentially “giving” something to the user in exchange for “taking” their information. For example, an investment firm will provide access to a valued add industry white paper or upcoming webinar on something very topical, while asking the potential lead for their info. This “give before you ask” relationship-based landing page behavior is crucial to the user experience, and the content being given out has to live up to the hype or consider that lead a dead end.
If you want to more efficiently convert landing page visitors or incentivize them to interact with lead generation forms, you must constantly A/B test different elements on each. For example, headlines, subtitles, CTAs and bullet points need to be tested more than just once. In this case, consider your landing pages and forms as a prime piece of real estate in the lead generation strategy, and the more time you tend to and cultivate this piece of the digital space that people want to experience, you will be rewarded in the form of form submissions.
Best practices are to provide an ideal setting for users, give them all relevant information while providing multiple opportunities to dig deeper or contact the firm. In this case, the visitor already expressed interest in the content, so we can afford to ask a wider variety of questions to better assist the client with targeted materials moving forward. All of this combines to create a differentiated and enjoyable user journey and experience. This creates more engaged leads that will be more receptive to that sales call.
Step 5. Scoring your Leads
Gathering leads through an effective investment industry digital advertising campaign or successful landing page will be the bulk of the marketing challenge. In many cases, this is enough to generate results. But, if you want to maximize the reliability and effectiveness of lead generation over the long-term, then you need to also score those leads to help your business development team understand and prioritize who these leads really are and who they should reach out to. The act of scoring helps better prioritize their levels of engagement with your inbound marketing content in order to provide a more accurate determination of who is actually ready to purchase.
If your landing pages and forms are set up correctly and your leads scored accurately, you can remove a substantial amount of guesswork from the equation, consequently saving your business development teams’ time and money, as they will already know a leads interests or habits.
In terms of how leads are actually scored, the process boils down to quantifying the interactions of your leads with your marketing materials, web pages and forms by assigning points based on behavior. Here are some common interactions and their point values we use in financial services with our clients and their lead generation and CRM platforms:
- Subscribe to insights – 5pts
- Download a whitepaper – 10pts
- Attend a webinar – 15pts
- Webpages visited – 2pts each
These are just a few examples of scoring metrics that we track for our clients, ultimately helping provide in-depth reporting on the performance of lead generation efforts across multiple channels.
Take the Lead
The conversion rate crisis is very real, especially in investment services as the sales process can be long and arduous, with many human touch points required to educate intermediaries on sophisticated investment processes and philosophy. Yet, good content marketing coupled with intelligent planning and implementation can help support the efficacy of an investment lead generation program. Best practices will include systematic strategies that integrate incentive-based marketing that make sense on each digital platform. MBC Strategic has helped the investment services industry take advantage of these strategies, and when it comes to lead generation, we can help your firm grow as well.
To learn more about how MBC Strategic can improve the lead generation strategies of your firm, please, give us a call and contact us today.
- Comscore. Understanding Media Consumption During the Coronavirus Pandemic. 2020.
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