We’ve all heard the cliché of taking a “shotgun” approach to marketing: rather than talking specifically about a single topic, we throw out a variety of subjects hoping that one of them will resonate with our audience. While there’s some merit to the shotgun approach in certain circumstances, specificity can massively improve response rates with digital advertising.

Here are three reasons why I believe specificity is critical with digital marketing.

1: Specificity Simplifies The Decision-Making Process

Imagine yourself strolling the isles of your local grocery store trying to find something to make for dinner. It’s the end of a long day, you want to put food in your mouth, but you don’t know what you want to eat. Pasta? Tacos? Burgers on the grill?

OK – new scenario. You’re headed home from the office, and your significant other shoots you a text and says, “Hey babe – I’m making tacos for dinner. Can you grab tortillas, hamburgers and avocados?” Boom! Your trip to the store just became super simple. Yes, you’ll still have to choose which tortillas and other items to buy, but you now have a clear path forward. You have fewer decisions to make.

Successful advertising online is exactly like this situation. If we advertise a class where Social Security, Tax Reform, Estate Planning and Investment Management will all be covered, we’re asking people to make two decisions: what topic is interesting, and do I want to go. When we choose a specific subject matter to drill deep on, we can focus on a single call to action: responding to the event.

2: Specificity Allows You to Establish Yourself As an Authority Figure

Let’s think about two financial thought leaders – Dave Ramsey and Ed Slott. Dave Ramsey has built an empire developing content and teaching classes on all things finance. You’re just as likely to tune into his radio show and hear him talking about budget planning for millennials as you are to read an article of his that discusses index funds. Ed Slott has created celebrity status for himself by mastering one single topic: IRA’s.

If you were asked to attend a class taught by one of these financial experts, would you be more likely to sit in on a “shotgun” seminar where Dave Ramsey talked about a variety of financial topics or a class from Ed Slott where he dives deep into the nuances of qualified money?

I believe most of us would choose Ed Slott, but why? Rather than wading through a litany of topics that may or may not apply to me, I’d prefer to listen to something that’s uniquely applicable to me. I would feel more in control knowing exactly what I would gain from a single-topic focused discussion, and I’d wonder if the generalist approach to finance may not apply to me specifically.

The same is true with online advertising. Each time we attach our name to a program, we have the opportunity to put our flag in the ground and tell consumers exactly who we are. A laser-focused approach to marketing can help you be perceived as a subject matter expert on topics that are uniquely applicable to our audience.

3: Specific Types of Bait Bring You Specific Types of Fish

You’ve worked hard, you’ve saved, and you’ve planned every moment of this trip. Now it’s time to meet your guide for your long-awaited salmon fishing trip in Alaska. As you approach your highly-acclaimed and experienced guide, he hands you an armful of various rods and reels each one rigged up with different lures. As you try to not snag yourself with the different lines and hooks, he explains how each lure is designed to attract a different fish. Equipped with all of this tackle, you’re sure to catch something!

What’s the problem? You didn’t fly half way across the globe to catch just any fish. You’re here to realize your dream of slaying some of the great north’s famous wild Salmon. When we craft offers online, we have the ability to attract the right kinds of prospects, but it requires that we use the right type of bait.

If you want to attract pre-retirees before every competing advisor in your market pounces on them, Social Security focused content will help you attract people who are still working and are in the final stages of preparation. If you’re hoping to work with affluent prospects, tax focused content will help you find well-prepared retirees with specific tax planning needs. Different bait catches different fish.

So, what’s the best way to market your practice? While there is no single recipe for marketing success, often times specific messaging and calls to action result in more efficient advertising campaigns. If you’re interested in applying these principles to your business, ask us about our turnkey Foothills seminar programs that are focused on specific subjects and even come with flat rate prices and performance guarantees. Until then, we’ll see you at the top!

Jonathan Musgrave

Author Jonathan Musgrave

Jonathan Musgrave has specialized in marketing for advisors for the past 11 years. He founded Steep in 2017 with the goal of making digital marketing accessible to everyone. He has had the opportunity to design and build a variety of digital marketing systems ranging from scalable seminar programs to fully automated conversion funnels. Jonathan has a reputation for being a talented copywriter, creative problem solver and highly experienced social advertiser. Outside of work, you can find him and his wife Ruth enjoying many of the things that make Colorado a great place to call home like snowboarding, mountain biking or exploring new hiking trails.

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