13 Financial Services Lead Generation Strategies for 2023 and Beyond
Financial services lead generation is evolving. While cold calling and traditional media ruled supreme in the past, online is now the undisputed leader in generating leads for financial services providers, and the numbers concur.
Between 75% and 90% of financial services searches start online (LSA Global)
B2B buyers read on average ten pieces of online content before making a decision (Marketing Charts)
It’s safe to say that most buyers are looking for financial services online. But this shift has also triggered stiff competition in the financial services industry, especially in the paid promotion category.
AdWords and Bing data show that financial services keywords are among the most expensive, running as high as $50 or more per click. What’s more, financial marketing accounts for 14% of all online ad spend, representing the most ad spend for a single category.
Financial services brands face two opposing scenarios. On the one hand, opportunities to generate financial service leads online have never been better. At the same time, beating the competition requires either outspending them on digital marketing for financial services (difficult) or outsmarting them.
The latter makes more strategic sense and requires adopting a unique and integrated financial service lead generation approach that delivers results.
This article provides an arsenal of financial services lead generation strategies that can be employed in various combinations to win more leads and increase revenues.
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How to Generate Leads in Financial Services
1. Establish Your Website as a Beachhead
A website provides better control over the experience you can provide to prospects. While other channels have excellent tools built-in for user engagement, they mostly falter in enabling financial services (FS) brands to offer a customized experience.
Gartner recommends that FS providers lean more on their websites to provide leads with a more integrated and customized experience. When designing a digital experience on your website, options to consider include self-service and self-led actions that allow prospects to complete lead-qualification tasks.
One advantage of establishing your website as a lead-capture device is that you can funnel traffic from other digital channels and possibly generate more qualified leads.
2. Ensure Mobile-First Readiness
Since as early as 2018, Google has prioritized mobile-ready websites on search results using its mobile-first indexing algorithm. At the same time, the explosion of mobile search is showing no signs of abating.
FS brands must acknowledge that mobile-first readiness is no longer an option but a necessity. When potential leads visit your website on mobile, they are more likely to click through and convert on a mobile-ready website.
In addition, having a mobile-ready website increases the chances of ranking higher since it complies with Google’s mobile-first indexing algorithm. One way to achieve mobile readiness is through a responsive website that adjusts to the device screen.
3. Find Your Unique Brand Voice
Brand voice, also called tone of voice or brand personality, is integral to generating leads. Does your message stick in their minds when people hear of your brand? Do they find your message relatable and attractive?
The best way to create a unique brand voice is to examine your brand values. Determine what you stand for and how this makes your financial services company unique. While doing so, avoid the usual FS clichés like trust, integrity, and value that no longer stand out.
Dig deeper to find that unique voice that makes your brand different. If you can’t find anything extraordinary, you might need to search for new values and brand personality traits to adopt so your lead generation efforts stand out.
4. Embrace Inbound Marketing
Inbound is the future of lead generation, especially in FS. When you consider that 80% of business decision-makers prefer to get information in a series of articles versus an advertisement, you quickly realize the adage ‘content is king’ still rings true.
Financial services firms must embrace the transition to becoming an inbound organization to win more leads in this rapidly evolving marketscape.
While this does not mean ditching outbound techniques like PPC and telemarketing, it does mean investing more in inbound strategies like blogging, video creation, webinars, and SEO and case study publications to generate more organic leads.
5. SEO and Landing Pages Still Work
Gartner’s State of Marketing Budgets report discovered that CMOs are shifting more marketing dollars to performance marketing channels like social media and SEO.
While paid media still reigns supreme in financial services lead generation, more brands are experimenting with organic lead gen to offset the rising cost of paid lead generation.
SEO and landing pages remain resilient organic lead generation tools that FS brands can repeatedly use without substantial financial costs.
As an FS brand, it will pay to invest in SEO and landing pages alongside paid media to ensure your brand remains abreast of organic search trends.
6. Publish Educational Content
Today’s FS customers want to be empowered to make the right decisions. While in the past, most customers trusted FS brands to tell them what choices to make, today, they want all the information up front and the space to decide.
Over the coming years, education will prove to be a critical lever in FS lead generation as it feeds into this narrative.
Publishing unbiased educational content like a case study or white paper will be vital to winning more qualified leads, as it will establish your brand as an authority in the niche.
In addition, publishing high-quality education content will assist in ranking efforts because it will establish your brand as an expert, authoritative and trustworthy (EAT) source of information, a well-known Google SERP ranking factor.
7. Adopt a Localized Approach
National is great, but local is better. That is the mantra many FS brands are adopting regarding lead generation.
This approach offers several benefits.
- It reduces exposure to competition and allows a brand to become a big fish in a small pond.
- Local SEO is exceptionally effective in attracting potential clients because it generates localized search engine results that can be quickly followed up with.
- It provides an avenue to participate in local events like networking events and industry shows, which can grow brand visibility
Whether your brand is local or national, it pays to embrace a localized approach to lead generation over the following years.
8. Offer Free Financial Management Tools
Customers are hungry for free financial management tools. Google found that mobile searches for “retirement calculator” increased by 115% over the last two years.
This trend is a clear sign that FS customers want to be empowered. Take advantage of this trend by offering downloadable FS management tools like customized wealth manager spreadsheets through a landing page to generate leads.
You can also embed B2B financial services management tools on your website to make it more sticky and interactive and increase the likelihood that potential customers will take an action that converts them into a lead.
9. Capitalize on LinkedIn Networking
LinkedIn networking is one of the most effective ways of reaching a highly targeted audience with just an investment of time. If you have a sales team, train them to prospect for sales leads on LinkedIn through networking and groups.
At an organizational level, you can also establish your brand as an influencer on the platform, generating followers and potential leads through high-quality content and consistent engagement.
The potential to generate leads and referrals on LinkedIn is massive, but it requires an approach balancing proactive lead prospecting with genuine interactions.
10. Adopt Personalization Technologies
Personalization in marketing is still a significant lead acquisition and nurturing driver. For example, providing potential leads with personalized or tailormade offers can help increase the conversion rate.
Personalization technologies like CRMs, chatbots, and customer data platforms (CDPs) can help accelerate lead generation efforts by doing most of the heavy lifting like lead capture and lead segmentation.
However, while adopting personalization, it is necessary to note that in FS, service providers must remain within privacy boundaries. If not, over-personalization (showing prospective leads that you know too much about them) can spook them and cause them to seek services elsewhere.
One workaround would be to adopt one-to-many (not one-to-one) communications but with more granular segmentation.
11. Invest in Community Building Initiatives
Community building can drive lead generation by humanizing a brand and making it more accessible to its target audience.
For instance, building a community on LinkedIn or Facebook offers users an outreach platform to interact with your brand, learn its values, ask questions, and learn from its insights.
Although community building does take time, once the community starts growing organically, it can become a tremendous source of organic leads.
Moreover, having a community can help corral potential leads to allow for lead nurturing efforts like content marketing to persuade them to take a conversion action later.
12. Enhance Brand Visibility Through Digital Storytelling
Digital storytelling uses digital tools like video and interactive web pages to tell a story. It provides a means of explaining concepts, ideas, services, success stories, or products in a storytelling format.
For example, an FS brand can create a whiteboard video that traces the history of cryptocurrency, leveraging interest in the topic to drive brand awareness. Digital storytelling can also be commercialized as an advertorial that talks about a product or service but within a more widely accepted narrative or point of view.
When done correctly, digital storytelling humanizes a brand, creates highly sharable content, delivers genuine value to an audience, and can generate a tremendous number of leads over an extended period.
13. Promote a Digitized Interaction Experience
Today’s FS customers want an end-to-end multi-channel digital experience. For the most part, it means initiating contact, exploring products, making a purchase, or requesting more information digitally.
When performing lead generation, crafting an integrated digital user experience can enhance the results by making it easier for prospects to shuttle through the conversion funnel unassisted.
For instance, when a prospect visits your website, offer them multiple digital options to interact and convert like a chatbot, live chat, an interactive knowledgebase, contact forms, or landing page.
Multiple digitized interaction options mean a higher possibility of capturing new leads.
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Preparing For the Future of Financial Services Lead Generation
While the B2B lead generation strategies above are effective when combined correctly and within the context of your brand and audience, the FS marketing landscape is changing.
Customers want more control over the purchasing process, privacy concerns are mounting, and security is more important than ever.
How do FS brands accelerate lead generation while adapting to this shifting environment?
Gartner proposes three approaches:
- Implementing transformative initiatives that improve the customer experience
- Prioritizing customer acquisition over customer retention, especially among identified leads
- Evolving personalization strategies to remain in step with privacy concerns and avoid the perils of customer data management
These three approaches have one thing in common – they are customer-centric, and FS brands that adopt this approach will win over other brands.
It will pay to consider the marketing strategies shared above through a customer-centric lens, ensuring all campaigns follow this central theme, regardless of the strategy or tactics used.
How O8 Helps FS Brands Win More Leads
At O8, our financial services lead generation approach is informed by data, including trends, industry insights, regulatory considerations, and competitor analysis.
We combine this data with your brand’s unique personality and apply a curated list of strategies to create customized financial services lead generation campaigns that produce results.
If your FS brand has been struggling to generate leads cost-effectively, our marketing agency can help. O8’s financial services marketing experts are on hand to analyze your brand, audience, and opportunities and craft you a winning strategy.
Contact us today by calling 612-276-5880 or get in touch and claim your free consultation.