Advant recently had the pleasure of being a Gold Sponsor of the Adviser Innovation Digital Marketing Boot Camp. This one-day event (a day each in Melbourne and Sydney) was a unique opportunity for financial advisers to brush up on their digital marketing knowledge, skills and strategies. With so many great presenters and co-sponsors packed in to one day, we shouldn’t have been surprised at how much we learned from colleagues and clients. But we were.

Before we launch in to a wrap-up, we’d like to thank Sterling Publishing for organising and running the event. Not to mention, the other speakers we heard from. Of course, the Boot Camp wouldn’t have come together without the enthusiasm and of the advisers we spoke to throughout the two days. It was heartening to see such a positive response to Advant Plus as a platform and service.

As a specialist service provider, we like to think we’re on top of the challenges facing advisers handling their own marketing. However, there’s always room for improvement. By listening to the discussions and adviser feedback at Boot Camp, we were able to get a better understanding of what constitutes relevant and appropriate support. We also confirmed something that Advant has understood to be the case; that many advisers simply lack the time, resources, skills, and knowledge about the best way to communicate with their clients. What’s more, we picked up some great tips that we’ll be employing in our own company marketing strategy.

Here’s what we learned:

Basic SEO implementation

Many advisers have a general understanding of what SEO is, and why it’s important. What they don’t know is how the optimisation is actually done. Especially if they have been outsourcing, or if they haven’t been taking advantage of all the optimisation methods available. Adam Franklin from Bluewire Media and James Parnwell, Managing Director of TheOnlineCo., gave remarkably clear explanations. They stressed the importance of careful and considered keyword research. For specialist advisers, as well as niche service providers such as Advant, this is a critical part of setting up an SEO campaign.

The content side of SEO was also covered. Whilst the adage “content is king” has been around for a while, the way content contributes to optimisation has changed over the past few years as Google’s algorithm evolves. To rank well, a site basically requires longer, more relevant, better quality content than ever before. For many advisers (and other SME owners/managers), this is a challenge as they simply don’t have the time or resources. However, it’s worth noting here that a single well-written, well-placed and well-timed guest article on another website can be worth its weight in gold.

How video can be used by advisers

Tim Reid of the Small Business Big Marketing Show opened advisers’ eyes to the potential of video. Having video content on a website or social media profile has a variety of benefits. First, it’s providing a useful experience to the user. Video is often simply the most effective, efficient way of communicating a large amount of complex information. Personal introductions, product demonstrations, service explanations, case studies, testimonials – all much more high-impact in video form.

Then there’s the branding potential. An intro video is a great way for advisers to demonstrate their expertise, professionalism, and passion for what they do. It’s also a highly effective way to communicate personality – an important factor for advisers, who aim to build strong personal relationships with clients.

The ‘Hour of Power’

Jenny Brown is the founder and CEO of JBS Financial Strategists. She is a huge proponent of getting as many staff as possible involved in marketing and social media. It’s an idea that makes a lot of sense when you think of employees as resources and advocates for the business. Once employees have the technical skills – and once a social media plan and policy is in place – having a variety of people who can contribute effectively helps distribute the work. The more staff are involved in social media and marketing, the more likely it is that there will be someone available at the right time to update the company website, write a guest blog for another site, make a social media post, respond to a comment on social media, engage with followers, or manage a digital advertising campaign.

One of Jenny’s tips, which we’ll be implementing here at Advant, was to plan a regular digital marketing ‘hour of power’. This is an hour where everyone works intensively on digital marketing. This can take a number of forms, such as an hour of dedicated work on social posting, or an informal meeting where staff members can exchange insights and ideas for the company’s web presence, social media, online advertising, and other digital marketing channels. The benefit of this – even if a firm already has a dedicated marketing person – is fresh perspective, innovation, and keeping the whole team engaged with the promotion of the business.