The use of Social Media in Financial Services organizations is not an option anymore

Social Media picture

 

The use of Social Media in financial services organizations is no longer an option. At the advisor level, Putnam Retail Management found 84% use social media for finance industry business. Ninety-two percent of them said social media has helped them gain new clients. Social Media offers an easy and low-commitment way for potential customers (or clients) to express interest in your business and your products.

-Online Marketing Juice

Small Business (SMB) – Why Blog?

Blogging helps bring customers, and potential clients onto your company website. Blog posts can also help visitors to specific landing pages (A landing page is a page on your site that is designed to convert visitors into leads). This additional and internal linking traffic will help brand awareness, increase sales & leads, and Google rankings.

Blogs are the new PR world order, a blog can become a destination, aggregate of knowledge and expertise that helps customers, clients (or investors) make decisions while also building relationships. Relationships are THE name of the game.

How many blogs per week? To boost organic traffic (from search engines, for example), you should publish 3 to 4 brand new posts per week, each of them fully optimized for search engines (HubSpot). For a specific industry like financial advisors, blogs are a great way to market your Company’s compliant content. Content shows up in Google Search and helps drive visitors back to your website.

Publishing a blog post really depends on the platform, demographic, and region. There is no blanket “best time” to publish. Ideally, should be published when your target demographic is getting home from work and they start checking their favorite websites as well as checking in on Facebook and Twitter.

What do Search Engines like?

Trust. Search engines like Google, Bing, etc., are looking for signals that signify trust. Search engines want to give searchers the best possible result. That’s why you need to work on your trustworthiness on all levels, both technical as well as in content.

Use up-to-date software, have your SSL in order, make strong passwords, use tools such as Cloudflare to protect your site from DDoS attacks. An SSL Certificate (Secure Sockets Layer) is a set of data files that you can add to your server to achieve this encrypted connection between a browser and your server. Besides securing your website by way of encryption, it also helps with SEO (Google Rankings). Google has confirmed that HTTPS is a ranking signal. An unsecured website risks users’ online safety and could be hurting your SEO efforts. Google confirmed way back in 2014 that HTTPS is now a ranking signal. So, if your site doesn’t have SSL certificates and is on HTTPS, then now would a good time to update.

A SSL certificate increases customers trust and confidence in your website. Customer confidence is essential to increasing conversion rates.

Social Media Crisis Action Plan For 2021

Whether your a big or a SMB company, a celebrity or some kind of a famous personality with a large amount external public exposure, chances are you may have to deal with some kind of social media crisis sooner or later. A crisis can occur at random (insensitive tweet), or it can occur with a product misstep or even a social media account hacked. In this digital world, speed of these harmful conversations can implode on you or your company in mere seconds.

While there is no “one size fits all” approach, the below basic social media action plan will help you quickly identify the crisis (issue) and resolve it before it goes viral and turns into disaster.

The first stage of social media crisis planning is to identify the problem or issue in real-time before it gets out of control and goes viral. There are many tools out there that can help you keep tabs and monitor the majority of social media platforms. Most of these social tracking tools depend on keywords important to you or your company. Keywords such as “Company” or “product name” “name of person” “events” “competitors” “social media accounts” etc.

A short list below:

  • Social Mention. A great social real-time listening tool for your brand. It measures your influence within four key categories: passion, sentiment, strength, and reach.
  • Google Alerts. Track your brand mentions across web and news sites.
  • Mention.net. Track your brand across blogs, news sites and forums.
  • Talkwalker. Track your brand across across mostly blogs.
  • HowSociable. Measure and track what your competition is doing in Social Media.
  • Sprout Social. Great tool for monitoring and measuring your brands.
  • Radian6. A salesforce product. It allows you to quickly and efficiently track, monitor, and react to comments, questions, and complaints as they happen on most all social media platforms.

Here are five basic steps to include in your social media crisis plan:

1. Act quickly. Speeds kills, but speed also resolves! Explain the issue or problem FIRST and what your going to do to address it ASAP before it takes hold on Social Media. Be very transparent. You need to do this before it destroys your brand or major lawsuit.
2. Take charge. Step up and take charge of the issue and move fast (even if its at 2am).
3. Be transparent. If its bad and your company screwed up. Take ownership. Own up to the problem or issue!
4. Engage. Engage all the nay-sayers. Engage all the Social Media Trolls and critics.
5. Spread the word. Post your PR response on your website, company blog, social media pages and media releases.

Bottom line: Don’t wait until the threat to your company’s reputation becomes visible. Identify the crisis and get out in front of it before it takes hold.

Quick List of The Best Digital Marketing Weapons (Tools) in 2021

Digital Marketing tools are constantly evolving and changing. They deliver benefits to any organization willing to build up a digital marketing team. Benefits include enhanced credibility, fast and easy access, increases customer relationships, feedback and reviews are easily tracked, cost effective, and can reach an enormous mass of people in a short amount of time. The below is a short list of digital tools in a ever changing digital marketing environment.

Google Analytics. Enough said on this one. Google Analytics is a free web analytics tool offered by Google to help you analyze your website traffic. Fundamentals of working with report data to advanced segmentation and analytics intelligence. Key for measuring and tweaking your marketing campaigns. Google keeps adding more and more functionality each year.

Google Keyword Planner. Once known as the Google Keyword Tool, Keyword Planner is a tool that every search marketer needs to familiarize themselves with and get to know inside out. It is a great way to discover new keywords to target in your campaigns, understand how searches across keywords have changed over time, see suggested bid estimates to help plan your Google Ads budget and more. You can extract valuable data about the demand and competition level of keywords you wish to target organically. The tool will also suggest similar keywords to the one in your query to give you alternative, relevant options for your keyword targeting. The Google Keyword Planner can come in handy whether you’re building your very first keyword list or looking to expand and/or switch directions in your keyword and content strategies.

SEOquake. This is a great Firefox extension. SEOquake is a free SEO extension by Semrush which helps you accelerate your SEO efforts on the fly. SEOquake provides you with key SEO metrics for a specific page, along with other useful tools such as the SEO Audit tool, the Keyword Density report, Internal/External link analysis, and even social metrics.

Salesforce Marketing Cloud. A powerful tool that lets you monitor specific keywords and phrases that are dominating conversations across the social media sphere. Marketing Cloud is also a platform for delivering relevant, personalized journeys across channels and devices — enabling marketers to deliver the right message at the right time throughout all phases of the relationship. Marketing Cloud includes integrated solutions for customer journey management, email, mobile, social, web personalization, advertising, content creation and management, and data analysis.

Traackr. Traackr is the system of record for data-driven influencer marketing that marketers use to invest in the right strategies, streamline campaigns, and scale programs. Traackr includes dynamic influencer lists, automates metrics-driven influencer mapping so you can instantly identify the right people for your projects, real-time listening, sentiment analysis, geo-targeted searches, and shows you all of your influencers’ relevant content in one place so you never miss an opportunity to reach out to them and be part of the social conversation.

TweetDeck or HootSuite. Free tool lets you simultaneously manage all your social media accounts from a single interface. Although it excels with Twitter, you can also effectively manage your Facebook, LinkedIn, or Foursquare profiles.

MailChimp. A really easy, dynamic email marketing platform. Your opt-in subscribers will be able to easily connect to social networking pages in order to share your email marketing campaigns. You’ll also be able to use social networking in conjunction with your email marketing. In one click, you’ll be able to send out an email campaign and update your social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Delicious, with your latest information. You can also see who has tweeted about or liked your business.

SurveyMonkey.  I use this one a lot in my own projects. If you have questions about your products or services and you need immediate feedback, SurveyMonkey is THE best web-based survey solution.

SEOmoz. Anything SEO oriented, use this site. Analytics for all your in-bound marketing. There are a lot of free tools and paid ones as well. I use this site and tools daily for years. This site is an incredible value-add to your digital marketing efforts! Moz builds tools that make SEO, inbound marketing, link building, and content marketing easy.

Wistia. Is video marketing part of your digital marketing strategy? If so, you may want to think about professional video hosting from a company like Wistia. Video is a great way to communicate with your subscribers, prospects and customers. Wistia provides your business with a ton of great tools that you can use to measure your video’s engagement as well as make your videos more interactive. Wistia is designed exclusively to serve companies using video on their websites for marketing, support, and sales. Essentially, Wistia is ideal for “on-site” videos.

Pardot (Salesforce). Pardot is a marketing automation solution that helps companies create meaningful connections, generate more pipeline, and empower sales to close more deals. Pardot is Salesforce’s B2B marketing automation solution. If you’re a business who sells to other businesses (or B2B), Pardot can automate your marketing activities and unite your marketing and sales departments so that they can work better together.

Landing Page Optimization Tip: White Space Improves User Experience

Make sure there is white space in your landing page (optimization). This improves the user experience and makes your call to action stand out. White space (negative space) is any portion of a page that is left unmarked — the empty space on a page. In design terms, white space can be defined as the space between text, margins, columns, graphics, and any other page elements. White space increases readability, Improves focus, and again…enhances user experience.

Your call to action button (link) should be 20% larger than your logo (depending on the size of your logo). Place button at top of page (left). Web readers tend to track through content in a rough “F-shaped” pattern. So format important images flush left. Display the secondary action below the primary action. Make it obvious which button to click to complete an action. By using white space in your copy, you’re able to de-clutter the text, allowing the visitor to have a more enjoyable reading experience. Finding the right balance of your white space is key to converting website visitors into paying customers or new clients.

 

The Importance of Basic Content Marketing in 2021

Besides driving traffic to your company’s website, good sticky content reinforces your brand – The brand becomes a more noticeable name online as people share your content and start commenting on it, retweeting it, and helping it to build trust. These effects “gel” over time and you will see the website traffic increase, SEO benefits (rank higher on Google) and hopefully a conversion (website funnel strategy) in the end. Strong pieces of content can help you become more visible online, both on search engines and in social media. Your social media platforms are one of the best ways to connect and share content with your target audience.

Content creation success is measured many ways including:

– Spike in visitor traffic and page views on a specific content post.
– The number of Shares, Likes, Pins, ReTweets on Social Media.
– Media mentions and stories covering your business or firm.
– Website ranking (SERPs) increase.
– Conversions. Actual product sales or new clients (example: Financial Services).

If you lack the resources for generating content, outsource to an agency or freelancer for help. The basic purpose is to create content and try to post at least 2-3 times per week. Content is scalable and you can add as needed or when more resources become available. Content Marketing is important! Without it, you’re going to struggle to attract the attention you need to collect leads and convert them into sales or clients!