Despite the time and resources required, local seminars have long been a staple business development tool for top-performing financial advisors. Now, with tomorrow’s retirees increasingly going online for financial planning guidance, savvy financial advisors see an opportunity to add less costly digital marketing solutions to build new pipelines for business growth. In this interview with Flackable founder and president Brian Hart, Samantha Russell, chief marketing and business development officer at Twenty Over Ten, explains one such solution that is gaining popularity and delivering results for financial advisors: webinar marketing.
BH: Let’s start with the basics. What is webinar marketing, and how can it generate leads for financial advisors?
SR: Webinar marketing is a digital tool used to promote your thought leadership and business while connecting with a larger, untapped audience. Webinars can serve as a great lead generation tool as they deliver more high quality leads to advisors. In fact, according to ReadyTalk, 20% to 40% of webinar attendees become qualified leads. When a prospect registers for a webinar it’s a clear sign that they are willing to give up some of their time to hear what you have to say about the topic at hand while also providing you with their basic contact information (typically a name and email).
BH: Is it time-consuming to create a webinar marketing strategy, and what are the costs involved?
SR: While creating a strong webinar strategy really pays off, there is a lot of pre-work that needs to happen in order to run a successful webinar and working a line item into your marketing budget for it is also important to factor in. Webinars can cost up to 40% less as compared to the typical costs of more traditional marketing methods like direct mail, hosting seminars, etc.
The biggest cost involved in running your webinar will be the hosting platform you choose. There are tons of hosting platforms out there to choose from. At Twenty Over Ten, our preferred webinar partner is Zoom. Zoom and other webinar providers offer free plans but you’ll be limited to the number of participants that can attend. The only other cost associated with webinars will be your time.
BH: How can advisors integrate a webinar marketing strategy with other marketing investments and initiatives?
SR: There are so many ways that you can integrate a webinar into other existing digital marketing initiatives. For example, you’ll want to promote your webinar in blog posts on your advisor website and/or on landing pages, into your email marketing campaigns and newsletters and of course via your social media channels.
In order to boost attendance and generate more leads with your webinars be sure you integrate it with your other digital marketing initiatives both before AND after the event – we call this pre and post-promotion and both are incredibly important.
BH: Tell us about some of the success stories you’ve seen.
SR: As far as our own personal experience, we started hosting webinars in 2017 and generally generated around 50 registrants per webinar. Now we’re seeing anywhere between 400-600 registrants, so in only 3 years, we’ve seen 1100% growth! I like to call this the digital referral shift. There is a huge shift in the way referrals happen this day and age in the financial industry. No longer are advisors sitting and hoping that they provided a decent enough service that their clients will recommend their firm to their family, friends and colleagues. They’re leveraging more digital methods, like webinars, to generate leads for their businesses.
BH: Many advisors still use in-person seminars as their primary business development mechanism. Do you believe that will remain a popular option over the next five years, or will webinar marketing and other online lead generation methods prove to be more viable and effective?
SR: Seminars have historically been a tried and true way to generate business on our industry. However, as we’ve seen more traditional means of marketing like direct mail decline in popularity and be replaced with inbound marketing methods like email marketing I think the same shift will happen for seminars as well.
Don’t get me wrong, networking and in-person meetings will still be a necessary piece to delivering an exceptional client experience for many advisor businesses but I think we’ll see more and more advisors experiment with webinars to cast a wider net to overcome the geographical limitations seminars present while also lowering costs and delivering a more convenient comfortable experience to prospects.
Learn more about how to host effective webinars to generate leads for your advisor business in Twenty Over Ten’s webinar replay: http://bit.ly/32aT6xq
Samantha Russell is the chief marketing and business development officer at Twenty Over Ten (a digital marketing and website development company for financial advisors). Samantha helps financial advisors create digital marketing strategies that produce explosive growth through website development, content marketing, SEO, social media and video.