When it comes to online marketing, social media is one of the most powerful tools out there. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and even Nextdoor all present a wealth of opportunities. We use them to boost brand awareness, generate new leads, and stay connected with clients and prospects. One of the biggest benefits of social media is the ability for entrepreneurs to actively participate in conversations with their target market.
This level of engagement is your chance to showcase your expertise to social media users looking for advice from a knowledgeable professional. The time spent scanning these platforms for opportunities can pay off big in the end. That said, social media can be a crowded and competitive space. This is why advisors may want to include alternative avenues of engagement. There is one avenue in particular that has been gaining momentum as of late – Reddit.
What is Reddit?
Reddit is a forum-styled news aggregation board that launched in 2005. By 2018, it had become one of the most highly trafficked websites in the world, with more than 542 million users logging in each month to post about an endless number of topics. The site does have somewhat of a questionable reputation due to the amount of explicit content. But there are plenty of legitimate and productive conversations taking place within the hundreds of “safe-for-work” communities hosted by the site.
Reddit communities, known as “subreddits,” cover a wide range of topics. This includes several that fall under the wheelhouse of financial professionals. These subreddits are filled with posts from users with questions and concerns over personal finance, life insurance, investments, and other relevant topics. Advisors can build and foster relationships with users by responding to these posts with credible and qualified answers.
Keep in mind that it might take a little time and effort for new users to learn how to properly navigate the site. They also set strict rules outlining what you can and can’t post. But once you become familiar with things, you’ll have access to dozens of finance-related subreddits. Some worth exploring include:
Targeting Reddit Users
Reddit’s ad platform is set up to target specific communities and users. Reddit campaigns can be used to boost brand awareness, drive website traffic, lead generation, and other methods of engagement. Advertisers can target users based on location, interest, or the subreddits they frequent. The platform also features scheduling and budget options.
The value Reddit can provide for you as an advisor is largely based on how well you use the site. Some may find it worth the effort, while others might not. But due to the number of Millennials who actively participate in the site, it deserves some exploration.
Good luck and happy Redditing!
Happy Valentine’s Day! Over the last few weeks, most of you have probably come across the latest “Insure Your Love” life insurance awareness ads. This year’s LifeHappens.org Valentine’s Day campaign features a heartstring-pulling video of a young girl and her father reading a bedtime story titled “Life is for Living” (one of the central themes of the campaign). We won’t spoil the ending for those who haven’t seen it yet. But those who have already seen this example of emotional marketing know this one is a real tear-jerker.
Watch the video here:
There are two ways of looking at an ad like this. One is to question why anyone would want to put their audience through the emotional wringer with a video this sad? The other answers that question – because it works.
Marketing efforts that tap into real human emotions can be one of the most effective ways to capture consumer attention and leave a lasting impression. Do you remember the movie “Old Yeller?” Of course, you do. And you also know why you’ll never forget watching the film. A boy and his dog. Love and loss. Life and death. These are all very real themes that every one of us can relate to in some way. And when we, as viewers, see these experiences unfold in front of us, we can’t help but internalize them.
What Makes Emotional Marketing So Powerful?
Content aimed at eliciting an emotional reaction – be it sadness, happiness, fear, anger, nostalgia, etc. – can inspire people to take action. Often times, the more impactful the content, the more significant the action. We see this play out all the time on social media every time someone shares a meme, story, or video. Whether the content is funny, political, sad, or motivational in nature, it impacted that person enough that they wanted to share it with friends and family. If they hear a song or watch a show that hits close to home, they buy the album or binge watch the series. The point is, they take action.
Consumers favor content that connects with them on an emotional level. It gives them a reason to remember your brand. follow your social media channels, and take the time to look into your services. All of these are forms of engagement that can ultimately lead to you shaking hands with a new client.
Going back to the “Insure Your Love” ad, it’s easy to see why and how this type of content can be such an effective vehicle to promote the importance of life insurance. It puts us in front of a very real, and likely familiar, scenario. The endearing parent/child moment draws us in before the heartbreaking surprise at the end. The emotional reaction is genuine, the impression left is long-lasting, and the message is powerful enough to inspire action.
While the “Insure Your Love” campaign is exclusive to February, the concept is evergreen. So, next time you’re brainstorming for your next marketing effort, think about those things that would inspire action on your behalf. Chances are, your prospects feel the same way.
Whether or not you’re familiar with his name, as a financial professional, you owe a debt of gratitude to Jack Bogle. Born May 8, 1929, Bogle’s family was hit hard by the Great Depression. This experience would prove formative as he later went on to change the financial industry by creating the first index mutual fund available to consumers.
A Pioneer of the Financial Industry
Not long after founding the Vanguard Group in 1974, a company that now handles nearly $5 trillion in assets, Bogle established the First Index Investment Trust. This was the first to be built around the S & P500. Bogle’s creation introduced a low-cost, passive approach to investing. This leveled the playing field for the “small-time” investors of the world. Bogle frowned upon unreasonably high broker fees, non-transparency, and unethical practices. His common-sense philosophy and disdain for corporate excess sparked a revolution that allowed millions to save for retirement.
Bogle’s fierce advocacy for indexing was a dramatic break from industry tradition. While Bogle he faced criticism from Wall Street, he went on to become one of the most respected names in finance. Warren Buffet once called Jack Bogle a “hero.”
In his 1999 book, “Common Sense on Mutual Funds: New Imperatives for the Intelligent Investor,” Jack Bogle laid out these eight basic rules for investors:
- Select low-cost funds
- Consider carefully the added costs of advice
- Do not overrate past fund performance
- Use past performance to determine consistency and risk
- Beware of stars (as in, star mutual fund managers)
- Beware of asset size
- Don’t own too many funds
- Buy your fund portfolio, and hold it
Bogle left Vanguard in 1999 and, a year later, founded the Bogle Financial Markets Research Center. He passed away on January 16, 2019, leaving behind a legacy built on philanthropy and standing up for the “little guy.”
Thanks for another great year!
Over the course of 2018, the Legacy Financial Partners team has worked to deliver a treasure trove of marketing collateral. Our guides, sales kits, and blog posts are all crafted to put agents and advisors on the fast track to success.
To say thanks for another great year, we have compiled our Top 5 Marketing Corner posts from 2018. The list below is just a sample of the valuable insights, tips, and exclusive content we provide every week.
As an added bonus, we are offering a newly updated collection of sales tips and marketing ideas that will help jumpstart 2019. Scroll down to receive our New Year Revitalization Guide and start 2019 off one step ahead of the competition.
Stay connected and keep tuning into Marketing Corner for more kits and tips throughout 2019. Thank you and Happy New Year from Legacy Financial Partners.
Two emerging trends are becoming major factors for life insurance carriers. Blockchain technology and the decriminalization of marijuana. While worlds apart, both could impact your business.
Believe it or not, Millennials are the perfect storm of opportunity for agents and advisors. Get valuable insights on the largest generation in history to help tap into this wide-open market.
Guerrilla Marketing describes any “unconventional marketing tools used in cases when financial or other resources are limited or non-existent.” Learn how agents and advisors can apply this concept to their marketing efforts.
If a picture is worth a thousand word, then a video is worth far more. Using video as part of your marketing strategy is a necessity in today’s digital landscape.
The integration of new technology into our smart devices is ushering in big changes to the underwriting process. How biometrics are laying the groundwork for tomorrow’s life insurance industry?
Get Our 2019 New Year Revitalization Guide
Learn how self-evaluation, calculated goal-setting, and solution-oriented strategies can breathe new life into your marketing plan. Click here to receive your copy today.
This is the time of year when most entrepreneurs are fully engaged in holiday marketing activities. The next few weeks will see businesses hitching themselves onto the Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and other year-end sales wagons. However, there is another, often-overlooked event coming up that is also worthy of your attention – Small Business Saturday.
The locally-focused alternative to Black Friday, Small Business Saturday is an annual event held on the Saturday after Thanksgiving as a way to encourage people to patronize businesses in their own communities. The main goal of SBS is to get holiday shoppers to spend money with local retailers. However, there are ways for small agencies and independent advisors to take advantage of Small Business Saturday as well.
Small Business Saturday Marketing Tips
During the weeks leading up to Small Business Saturday, reach out to a few local businesses about cross-promotional opportunities, such as:
- Hand out each other’s promotional items (business cards, branded “swag,” fliers, etc.) to your respective clients and customers.
- Share each other’s social media posts and pages. Relevant hashtags include #ShopSmall and #SmallBizSat.
Those partnerships don’t need to be limited to local retailers. Locally-owned establishments, service providers, and other non-retail businesses often get in on the Small Business Saturday action.
- Gyms/fitness centers
- Cafes and coffee shops
- Home improvement and remodeling contractors
- Auto repair shops
Connect With Your Community
In some cities, especially those with vibrant shopping districts/centers, Small Business Saturday can be a community-wide event. Hosting, or simply showing up to one of these events in your area is a great way to mingle with the crowd and introduce yourself to a variety of new leads. Make sure to bring plenty of swag to pass out and/or offer incentives to anyone willing to join your email list.
Think of the resources you invest into Small Business Saturday as lead gen activity. For instance, your presence shows other area business owners that you have a vested interest in the community as a whole. This can go a long way toward building solid B2B relationships. Contact your local Chamber of Commerce to see how you can get involved.
Looking for more Small Business Saturday ideas? Our Guerrilla Marketing Tactics for Advisors & Agents guide was created exclusively for financial professionals who are looking for unique and creative additions to their marketing toolkit.
November is here and with it comes the “unofficial” beginning of the holiday season. By the time you’ve finished reading this, most stores will have moved their Halloween stock to the bargain bin, bringing out any Christmas inventory that isn’t already on display. Yes, the holiday shopping blitz is underway and consumers are reacting with the typical “Uhggg, Christmas decorations already? I’ve barely started thinking about Thanksgiving!” And this is exactly why agents and advisors should be thinking about Thanksgiving.
Maybe it’s the sentiment surrounding the occasion. Or the lively, yet still-lighthearted stroll we take during the weeks before the rush that kicks off on Black Friday. Whatever the reason, there is something about Thanksgiving that presents a golden opportunity to interact, engage, and foster relationships. The overall goal of a Thanksgiving marketing campaign is more about showing appreciation than sealing a deal. You can achieve this by setting aside the sales pitches in favor of soft, subtle touches that tap into the traditional spirit of food, family, and friends. Here are a few ideas to try out over the coming weeks.
“30 Days of Thanks” Social Media Campaign
This is a simple, low-to-no-cost way to boost your social media presence and show a little personality to your audience. Spend a few minutes each day thinking of something that you are personally thankful for and share the sentiment across your social networks. Encourage your followers to reply with their own expressions of gratitude and use relevant hashtags (listed below) for improved organic reach.
A straight month of social media content can be a little taxing, so try switching gears from funny one day to heartfelt the next. Just make sure to keep things simple, genuine, and—most importantly—positive. And do your best to remain consistent throughout the entire month. Feel free to pull from the example below to get things started:
“Day One of #30DaysOfThanks – I am #ThankfulEveryday for the continued support of my #family and #friends who have stood beside me through the good times and bad times. To them, I say #ThankYou. What are you most #Thankful for this holiday season?
Thanksgiving Giveaways and Gifts
Raffles and giveaways are extremely popular during the holidays, especially when the offer involves food. Depending on your specific goal, there are a few different ways to approach a Thanksgiving giveaway.
If you simply want to give your clients a small token of appreciation, send them a gift card for a local grocery store, bakery or winery. Advisors with large client rosters can randomly select one or two to receive a free turkey or gift certificate to a local restaurant. Or consider the incentive-based approach and offer to your clients a raffle ticket for referrals, sharing your Facebook page, or scheduling an appointment for a policy review.
For prospecting and lead generation, a heavily promoted Thanksgiving contest can be a good way to draw new people into your pipeline. Whatever direction you decide to go, make sure you stay within the boundaries set by state and federal giveaway regulations.
Recipes and Holiday Cooking Tips
Do you have an old family recipe that’s too good to keep to yourself? Maybe you know the secret for the perfect turkey or have a few quick and simple appetizer ideas. Online searches for recipes and menu ideas skyrocket during November. Offering your own culinary tips, tricks, and techniques can be a great way to latch onto one of the top trending searches of the month, so you’ll definitely want to include these in a blog post and share liberally on your social media pages. Your monthly newsletter, email blasts, and direct mailers are also good delivery methods to consider. This is a subtle, yet effective form of content marketing that can not only help with brand awareness but make you come across as more personable to clients and prospects.
Legacy Financial Partners is thankful for YOU. Request our free 2018 Off-Holiday Marketing guide which provides tips for year-round engagement with prospects and clients.
Content marketing is becoming one of the most valuable and effective methods for consumer engagement, rapidly outpacing traditional strategies many businesses have come to rely upon. According to recent studies, 70% of internet users would rather learn about a product or service through content versus traditional advertisements (Cision). Chances are, most of you are already engaged in some form of content marketing. This could be through press releases, blogging, or social media posts. While the overall goal for any marketing strategy – content or traditional – is the same, there is one aspect that separates the former from the latter – storytelling.
The concept behind story-driven content marketing is simple – deliver the message in a way that resonates with the people you are trying to reach. Note that we use (and emphasize) the word “people,” rather than “consumer” or “prospect” here. This is an important distinction to make, especially for financial professionals. After all, you’ve built a career around your ability to make personal connections with clients, so why wouldn’t you use a marketing strategy that does the same?
Humanize Your Message
Like any other entrepreneur, you are selling a product – financial advice, life insurance policies, annuities, etc. Beyond that, you are offering something far more significant – peace of mind, protection, the financial security to retire without worry. These are more than just buzzwords we see used frequently in ad/marketing campaigns, they are real goals set by real people. Facts, figures, percentages, and stats are all an important part of the overall persuasion process, but not many people find data emotionally compelling.
A good way to capture their attention is to lead with a narrative that focuses on the overall value of financial services/retirement planning, rather than you specifically. Tell a story based on the goals, concerns, situations, pain points, and – ultimately – solutions that many people experience on their journey toward financial independence. Remember, at this point, you’re trying to engage; not sell. Keep things loose and low-pressure, but close with a call to action. Once your well-crafted and emotionally-relevant story draws them into your funnel, follow up with more detailed and specified content geared toward their situation.
Fine-tune Your Message
Before launching your story-driven content marketing campaign, there are a few key things to remember:
- Be Concise: Creativity and flowery language is fine and can often help drive the emotional aspect of your content. But don’t go overboard. Your narrative should be well-rounded, concise, and easily digestible. Avoid using jargon and industry speak until they get a little farther along in the funnel.
- Be Real: Most people can smell a hard sales-pitch a mile away. This is one reason why more businesses are moving away from traditional marketing in favor of content marketing. A good story-driven campaign shouldn’t come across as an obvious advertisement. Make it a conversation that gets more personal with each interaction.
- Be Credible: Your narrative not only feel real but be real as well. Using a real-life scenario as the foundation for your message can provide a sense of authenticity. Clients who have given referrals or testimonials are a good source for this. Reach out and see if any might be willing to share their success stories.
**Side Note – This tactic can also be used for agent/advisor recruitment campaigns. Who better to speak on the benefits your agency has to offer than current employees?
Delivering Your Message
The medium used to deliver your content can be just as important as the content itself. While blog posts and/or emails might be ideal for written content, don’t limit yourself. Consider repurposing your content as a script for a short video to post on social media and your website. This will let your audience put a face with your name. In turn, you will establish a sense of trust and credibility.
Story-driven content doesn’t always mean “long-form” content. A well-designed mailer or social media post that uses compelling imagery and minimal text can just as effective as a two – three-paragraph narrative. Whatever methods you use, stay focused on making meaningful and emotional connections with your audience.
It’s Your Turn
Have you delved into the world of story-driven content marketing? If so, did your efforts pay off? What worked for you? What didn’t work? If your campaigns could benefit from a little outside support, or if you just want to brag about your latest success, feel free to get in touch. We’d love to hear your story.
You’ve probably never given much thought into incorporating Nextdoor into your marketing strategy. If you haven’t, don’t feel bad. Not very many have. In fact, for many marketers and businesses, Nextdoor is barely a blip on the radar. All that might change in the not-so-distant future if the company has its way. For the last seven years, the community-based social networking platform has built itself up as an online neighborhood message board of sorts, giving people a place to post about garage sales, lost pets, crime, and other local happenings.
This “Craigslist with a newsfeed” feel hasn’t made Nextdoor the most popular digital destination, but a number of small, niche businesses (home repair, lawn services, daycare, etc.) have discovered the value in advertising through Nextdoor. In April, the company introduced the ability for businesses to sponsor posts, making now a good time for agents and advisors to give Nextdoor a look as well.
Nextdoor is often described as “hyperlocal social media,” because its users only see what others in their own or surrounding neighborhoods post. For them, the increased privacy and relevancy, along with the lack of unsolicited, “spammy” posts, makes the platform a more neighborly alternative to global social networks. For you, Nextdoor offers unsaturated access to a localized list of potential new clients.
Your Friendly Neighborhood Financial Planner
The obvious first step in your Nextdoor marketing campaign is to create or claim your business page. This will differ from a personal Nextdoor profile in that the business page won’t have any specific neighborhood affiliation. The owner of a business page also can’t access neighborhood directories or the conversations that take place on the site. These limitations are in place to, according to Nextdoor, make sure “…members’ experience remains positive and is not overwhelmed by posts from businesses and service providers.”
Your page will also lack the bells and whistles of a Facebook business page, and displays little more than your contact info, profile picture, location on a map, and
what Nextdoor members are saying about your business. This last feature is where the value of Nextdoor can be found – word of mouth marketing.
According to Nielsen, two of the most trusted forms of advertising are online
consumer opinion and recommendations from friends and family. Nextdoor brings both together under its “Recommendations” section. Like Facebook or Google reviews, Nextdoor recommendations allow customers to offer feedback about their experience with a business. With more than 17 million recommendations posted, this can be a powerful brand awareness tool. Be sure you review the site’s Community Guidelines to avoid any violations or conflict of interest.
Hyperlocal Social Marketing
As we mentioned above, Nextdoor is in the process of incorporating Sponsored Posts into the newsfeeds of its members. However, in the interest of keeping the content relevant, they’re taking a calculated approach in doing so. Thus far, Nextdoor has only partnered with select businesses, including home and auto insurance providers, to give Sponsored Posts a test run. While they have yet to open the floodgates, the company says the option will be more widely available in the near future. When this happens, participating businesses will have the ability to build a geographically-customized audience based on zip code, neighborhood, or individual home address. This targeting method could come in handy when trying to fine-tune your message to homeowners, and/or people who live in a specific community.
Whether Nextdoor will be an effective way to market your individual business depends largely on how active your community is on the site. If you aren’t already a part of the more than 150,000 Nextdoor neighborhoods across the U.S., this might be a good time to sign up and start exploring.
**This post is part of Legacy Financial Partners’ ongoing Marketing Corner, a space that offers advisors short sales ideas, yellow-pad concepts, and alerts to aid advisors in lead conversion, marketing, and client relationship building.
We are deep into summer. Don’t forget to request our Summer Survival Kit, which provides great tips for advisors on how to deal with the slump in business that naturally happens each summer.