A checklist for busy marketing managers

Are you up-to-date with the latest marketing trends? If so, you will be able to check off each item in this list.

Online reviews. Today 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Other research finds that 83% of consumers use online review sites as the first step in searching for an attorney. Reviews on Google and Facebook, which then can be copied to your website, are important to clients who are starting to look for a professional advisor. High reviews, which Google calls ‘trust signals’, are important in ranking high in searches. Does your firm have at least five 5-star reviews?

Blogging. Yes, blogging really does bring in new clients. The optimum frequency is 2-3 times a week. Fresh and in-depth content will improve your firm’s search results. The best way to execute a content marketing strategy is to write new blog posts. How many blog posts has your firm put online this month?

Retargeting. After you visit a retailer’s website, you often see banner ads for the company on other websites, including Facebook. This is a widely employed online technique called retargeting, to remind you to return to the earlier site that you visited. The technique is popular with boutiques and firms in smaller markets, and for large firms that are expanding or launching new practices. Are you retargeting your potential clients to your website?

Site security. Google now labels all HTTP web pages as ‘Not secure’ in Chrome, the most popular web browser. This will deter your potential clients from submitting forms from your website and cause some to exit your website. HTTPS is the secure version of HTTP, the protocol that sends your data between your browser and the website that you are viewing. Have you migrated to HTTPS?

Individual business development plans. These can turn worker bee fee-earners into rainmakers. Advisors should spend four hours a week in meeting a referral source for coffee, taking a client for lunch, or attending a trade association meeting after work. The plan should be filled with face-to-face meetings with clients and targets. Do your fee-earners have individual business development plans?

Facebook advertising. Advisors should pay to boost their posts, because otherwise a post will be seen by only 2% of a firm’s followers (down from 16% in 2012). 79% of all American internet users visit Facebook at least once a month. For the cost of £15, a post can be broadcast to 1,000 readers. Are you advertising on Facebook?

Videos. Many people would rather see an explanation of a technical point in a video than have to plow through an article about it. 81% of businesses use video as a marketing tool. It is super easy to create videos on YouTube right at your computer. Low-tech cell phone videos make an advisor appear authentic, whereas high-tech videos with production values are designed to impress. Does your firm have an effective video programme?

If you checked all the boxes, you are current on the most important marketing trends. If you didn’t, they should be the basis of your next marketing initiative.

Larry Bodine, US Editorial Consultant, PM magazine