Recently an article of mine on digital marketing for mortgage brokers & financial advisers was published in Australian Broker. It outlined a marketing plan any broker can follow to get results online. Read the transcript below:

7 STRATEGIES TO KICKSTART YOUR ONLINE MARKETING PLAN

Online marketing agency director Darren Moffatt on how you can compete online without a massive budget

THREE REASONS TO THINK ABOUT THE DIGITAL CHANNEL

So, it’s early 2017 and your mind is turning to a plan for the year ahead. Do your thoughts include the digital channel? If not, here’s three reasons why they should:

  • 81% of Australians now access the internet daily (ABS 2014)
  • 13 million Australians make 6 million Google searches every day (Google)
  • 60% of the population is now on Facebook (socialbakers.com)

Put simply, it’s where your customers are. The game is changing – fast. If you need cost efficient client acquisition (lead generation), or you just want to successfully defend your loan book from the banks, you must have a good online presence. The digital channel is no longer an option you can ignore. It’s both a huge threat and opportunity.

E BANKS and large broker franchises are spending vast sums online. But the great thing about digital is that it’s inherently democratic. You don’t need a massive budget to compete. As mortgage brokers, there are hundreds of potential strategies and online platforms for you to choose from. The trick is to focus your energy on those few that will provide the ‘biggest bang for your buck’. Below are what I consider to be the seven essential hacks for mortgage brokers who want to kick start their online marketing in 2017. Good luck!

  1. Review your website meta data and content

Would you build a house with dodgy foundations? Your website content and site optimisation is the bedrock upon which most of your other online marketing will rest. Before you pursue an SEO or pay-per-click ad campaign, this must be right otherwise you risk wasting time and money. First, review your website’s content – is it genuinely useful for your target market? Do your research and find out what terms your site should be optimised for to attract the kind of clients you want, then create compelling content rich in keywords. If this sounds too technical, engage an agency to help you.

  1. Start blogging

Attract more traffic and possible enquiries with fresh and regular original content. There are many bloggers out there today, but few brokers use it as a marketing tactic. I’ve had huge success with it over the years, but it does require discipline and persistence. Each blog post gives you a new opportunity to generate new leads. Blogs also help you establish authority in the market. A mortgage broker who blogs about current market trends will always be one step ahead of his competitors. For a confused customer, a well-written blog filled with information is golden. Blogs spark interest and discussion, especially if you maximise their reach through social media channels.

  1. Pursue a ‘Barnacle SEO’ Strategy

This works by listing your business on as many relevant, domestic directory sites as possible. Barnacle SEO is attaching yourself to sites and pages that are ranking so that your own website benefits from it. You need to get a link from the directory site to your own for this to work, but if you get enough it can be incredibly powerful. We regularly use this strategy for Webbuzz clients. If you are a mortgage broker in Australia, make sure that you take advantage of industry listings such as True Local, Hotfrog etc.

  1. Create ‘Google My Business’ Listing

Google My Business is Google’s newest interface that allows local businesses and brands to be easily found across Google. You can put your business information and Google will automatically make it available on Search, Maps, and Google+. Effectively, customers can find your business no matter what device they are using. Did I mention it’s FREE? Putting your phone number and location allows customers to call you right on their mobile phones or drive to your place by using the directions found in Google Maps. The best part is, you can be well rewarded if your clients appreciate your business. They can put review and ratings, give +1, and share your Google+ posts to their network. This is absolutely essential in my view.

  1. Automate social media posting with Buffer.com

Gone are the days when you have to log in to different social media accounts, only to post the same content. Thanks to Buffer app, you can now have multiple posts in one single click. Keep your social media accounts active, but save lots of time by posting to multiple social media at once with Buffer. You can also schedule your posts and track their effectiveness with Buffer’s built-in analytics.

  1. Try an online advertising campaign for one niche market

If you are new to online marketing don’t use the Internet to ‘broadcast’ your services as a generalist. You will be more effective if you settle on one niche within your product offering – say, first home buyer loans – and target that instead. Choose the online platform that best suits your target market, test your campaign with a smaller budget while you are learning, then increase as your conversion improves.

  1. Try Facebook ‘lead ads’

Recently, Facebook announced a new addition to its advertising tools. Facebook ‘lead ads’ are now available to marketers around the globe and have received positive reviews so far. Facebook lead ads allow customers to sign up for newsletters, send queries, join contests, and more, without having to leave Facebook. Businesses can benefit from captured leads from sign up forms that Facebook automatically populates with the user’s account data. Early days, but so far our testing has shown this to have excellent conversion rates, at lower cost.

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