I haven’t been in the industry as long as some others, but my unique experience has made my 8-ish years more like dog years. In talking with hundreds of advisors over my career, I’ve heard them say countless times “I know I need to get on digital,” or just “I’m old school,” and they don’t want anything to do with digital marketing.
This won’t work anymore. “Digital” is not the future. Digital marketing is now. It’s 2018 and the nature of the internet itself is social media. Websites are optimized for sharing content with others, and people are getting on social media to be educated or entertained, so delivering on those “needs” is super important for advisors who want to remain relevant.
If you’ve worked with us for your campaigns in the past, you know that we use Facebook advertising to reach your ideal prospects. Successful marketing happens when you can provide a timely message that reaches your potential customers through the correct medium.
The following six reasons lay out why allocating some of your annual marketing spend to Facebook marketing should be essential for the foreseeable future.
Knock Knock. Who’s There? Baby Boomers
As of January 2018, 65% of US Baby Boomers said they used Facebook, which is by far the most popular social media platform for Baby Boomers outside of YouTube. Baby Boomers spend 27 hours per week online, which is actually two hours more per week than those aged 16 to 34.
Baby Boomers are spending most of their online time on Facebook, and so being able to reach them where they spend the most time, and capture their attendance with hyper targeted ads is the logical next step.
You Have Their Attention
Facebook ads are sometimes known as “sponsored” posts or “dark posts”, because those posts are only displayed to the people you are targeting with your ads.
Sponsored posts are considered “dark” because they aren’t like organic posts that stay on a profile or business page, they only show up to those that meet the criteria for your demographics, and would be “dark”(ie won’t show up) if they went to the Facebook page itself and tried to view the ad. They are hyper-targeted and get inserted right in their newsfeed between pictures of their grandchildren and newest Minions meme.
Stay On Target
The targeting capabilities of Facebook are unmatched. Although there are thousands of targeting options, we use Facebook users by age, location, behavior, interests, gender, income, net worth, and liquid assets.
Rather than leveraging the power of specific targeting, there are other digital marketing companies who only specify in their landing page copy that the event is only for those with investable assets of $250,000 or more. Not only is this bad from a messaging standpoint for brand visibility, but it’s doing nothing from a credit data standpoint to get people that actually have this amount of liquid assets. At the end of the day, our job is to introduce you to more of your idea clients – being in financial services requires that we find you high-quality prospects with assets.
Algorithm Learning For The Win
This may be getting a little into the weeds in regards to the ins and outs of Facebook, but it’s good to understand how we are able to continue targeting the right people for our ads over time.
Facebook gives us a tool they call the “Pixel.” Here’s a 30,000 foot view of the Facebook Pixel: The pixel is a unique piece of code we insert into our ads and landing pages that learns every time there is a view, click or conversion. In addition to helping us to track the results of our ads, over time it is able to learn what kind of people are responding to our content so that Facebook can find more ideal prospects like them. In the end, as we spend millions of dollars on ads all across the country, every one of our clients benefit from the massive volume of advertising we’re doing.
Don’t go organic
If you were only trying to use your business Facebook page to reach the same number of people we are able to reach with Facebook ads, you would have a hard-if not impossible- time trying reach that many people.
Over the last several years, including January 2018, there has been a decline in the reach of organic posts. For those not as Facebook lingo savvy, organic posts are the posts that you make regularly on your Facebook business page that reach people without the help of ads.
The reason for this decline is that Facebook recently updated their algorithm for their Newsfeed to show more content to their users from friends and family. Facebook announced in January 2018 that they were going “shift ranking to make News Feed more connecting with people.”
This meant that the content businesses were creating would now be taking a backseat to more posts and content from friends, and they would be rewarding posts that drive people to interact more with each other. Facebook ultimately cares about their user experience, and don’t want the platform to become over saturated with businesses promoting their services to the point where they begin losing the user base.
As of June 2016, 50,000,000 businesses had a Facebook page. After these changes the average reach of an organic post fell to just 2% (and it was still declining). Based on those numbers, in order to reach the number of people we reach using Facebook ads to fill your seminars, you would need more than 750,000 Facebook followers on your page. Most advisors I know have less than 500 followers, much less 750,000.
Small Investment, Big Results
We are still in the place where Facebook ads are underpriced. The only time we’ve seen traffic this cheap was way back when Google Ad Words was brand new. You used to be able to buy pay per click ads on Google for the “annuity” keywords for less than a dollar, but now you’re looking at a cost per click of around $38.
Gary Vaynerchuk, e-commerce and social media pioneer as well as the founder of VaynerMedia, an 800+ employee digital marketing company that works with Fortune 500 companies like GE, Budweiser, and Toyota stated,
“When you are David and you are playing against Goliath, you have to do David tactics. And our little slingshot with a rock right now is Facebook ads.”
You are fighting for the attention of prospects that could go to big brokerage houses who advertise with big TV budgets, and continue to keep their money at risk, but Facebook ads levels the playing field and allows you to reach the people in your area that need help in planning for retirement and optimizing their retirement income.
There is no single marketing tool that works for every business or every advisor, but few tools provide the flexibility, cost-savings, detailed targeting and dynamic control that Facebook gives us. Sure we might be a little biased, but in our opinion allocating at least part of your marketing budget for advertising on Facebook is a move that every advisor should consider.