When a potential home buyer searches for mortgage information online, your business competes with thousands of others for their attention. But what if you could nurture them as a lead — well before they knew they needed you?
Marketing home loans and financial advice are highly competitive spaces, but did you know that if you’re focusing all your efforts on online ads, you’re vying for the active buyers who make up just 3 per cent of the market?
The most effective digital marketing strategy is to target the other 97 per cent to nudge them into buying mode, so that your business is at the forefront of their mind when their time of need arrives.
Here are five ways to activate potential clients.
Stop talking about yourself
The finance industry is notorious for ‘selfish’ marketing tactics, which focuses on talking about how great the service provider is without addressing potential clients’ needs. Your message needs to acknowledge the client’s current state and where they could be with your help. Focus 80 per cent on your prospect’s hopes and dreams, pains and fears, and 20 per cent on your role in getting them to their goal.
Identify your ideal client
The mortgage and financial advice sectors have many pockets, so work out where you’re making 80 per cent of your revenue and create a profile of an ideal client for that type of loan. Are you making most of your money through refinancing? First homebuyers? High-net-worth serial investors? A profile should go beyond basic demographic information and dig into how your client thinks, feels and acts; a first homebuyer approaches a mortgage very differently from a serial investor.
Then get into their head. What questions are they asking? Forums and search engines are good places to start, but also use your experience to compile frequently asked questions, misconceptions and pain points. If you specialise in refinancing, for example, hair-on-fire questions might include:
Offer value first, service later
Offer value before asking for anything in return to skew the dynamic in your favour. Starting a conversation with your potential client before they even know they need you creates trust and gives you access to a larger slice of the market outside of the competitive online search world.
A free report that addresses the questions you identified is a good way to capture interest. Anyone who exchanges their details for the report becomes a warm lead that you can then nurture.
Target your traffic
Facebook is a great tool to create specific targets. You can promote your report, ‘5 ways to tell you’re paying too much on your mortgage’, to homeowners in a certain geographical location to encourage them to consider refinancing or to seek a second opinion.
Or if you want to go for first home buyers, you could create content around ‘11 things you need to know before speaking to a mortgage broker’ and target an age bracket of people who are likely to consider buying property, and who have a certain income, but who are not yet homeowners.
Financial planners could follow a similar strategy with a report on ‘5 simple steps to triple your retirement savings and avoid a mid-retirement crisis’.
Whatever your audience, make sure the content fits the target and that will optimise your spend and have better cut through.
Nurture your leads
When you’ve captured the contact details of interested leads, make sure you follow up to move them along your sales funnel. If the first report was helpful, they’re more likely to be open to the next interaction. Be sure to include a call to action every time – such as “If you enjoyed this report, we have 20 free mortgage health checks for people who live in Baldwin North” – to motivate hyperactive buyers, the ones who are ready.
Don’t forget the 80-20 rule: every interaction needs to be 80 per cent value and 20 per cent pitch.
Competing for active buyers, just 3 per cent of the market, is an expensive game that can cost a lot of time and effort for little gain. Why not increase your strike rate by investing in the other 97 per cent of the market?
Converting potential clients into leads starts with thinking deeply about who your customers are and their needs so you can formulate a strategy to fix your name in their minds and win them before they realise they need your services. Nurture them well and when they’re ready, they’ll ask you for help rather than a search engine.
Sabri Suby is the founder of King Kong, an award-winning full-service digital marketing agency providing services such SEO, CRO, PPC, Facebook Advertising, web design and landing pages.
Based in Melbourne, King Kong uses true ROI and has clients across Australia and overseas.
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