Social media is no longer a “nice to have” for any agency that wants to stay competitive in today’s fast-paced marketplace. Having an online presence is critical, whether you are targeting millennials or seniors. The right social strategy will make your lead gen efforts more effective. It will multiply your number of qualified prospects. And it will tackle one of the biggest challenges advisors face: building consumer trust.
At NAILBA 34 later this week, Amy McIlwain, author, speaker and vice president of social and digital strategy at Moore Communications Group, will dig deep into the benefits of digital marketing. In advance of her innovation workshop and panel discussion, McIlwain gave us a sneak peek of what really matters for advisors when it comes to SEO, email marketing and social media, in particular.
LHP: The panel you are speaking on at NAILBA 34 is called “Digital Marketing Demystified.” What is the No. 1 mystery around digital marketing in the financial services space?
AM: The biggest mystery is that digital marketing is a silo. The truth is that it’s not. A number of digital techniques have to work together in harmony in order for you to see success. You think of social media, SEO, email promotion, etc. as individual techniques, but you really need to have all of these working together to be successful.
LHP: How has social media evolved as a marketing tool in the past year?
AM: The biggest change in social is advertising. Advertising is really coming center stage as a social strategy. We’re seeing pressure on the major social companies — Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter — to monetize for their investors. So, if you have a Facebook fan page, if you don’t spend money to promote that post, very few of your fans will see it. Five dollars will go a long way to ensure that your posts are being seen, but it’s probably best not to invest time on Facebook if you’re not willing to spend that money.
LHP: What is your advice to advisors who are looking to launch a presence on social media? Should they start with just one platform and really commit to becoming visible there?
AM: Yes. You don’t want to spread yourself too thin. Start where your clients are. Are you trying to reach business owners? LinkedIn is a good bet. If you’re looking to reach baby boomers, you might want to try Facebook. Remember, too, that today’s social networks are sophisticated enough to allow for behavioral targeting: You can target, say, affluent baby boomers on Facebook and get your posts in front of the exact audience you are looking to reach.