Getting found by lending clients who want to buy
By Atul Dhakappa
As marketers of technology products and services working to sell into lending firms, it can be very difficult to pin point exactly when your lending prospects are ready to make a purchase. You may have sales pros who have relationships with several key people within client organizations, but does that guarantee that your firm will be invited when they are actively considering a purchase? Probably not. Ever wondered why all of this is happening? And all of this, when you are spending thousands of dollars on your sales and marketing?
Research tells us that over 60% of the B2B decision-making process is already done, even before a single sales person is contacted… In the absence of your sales pro, who is doing the selling for you? Your marketing, of course? Well, maybe not.
The world has changed. Everybody is now used to helping themselves, calling up Google for support. When they seek a solution to a problem, most will turn to an online search engine or reach out to their social network. If your business has any hope of being relevant, you have to find a way to take part in these discussions, to ‘be found’, when the search is happening.
Now, you might say, “Great suggestion! But how can I be found across the whole wide Web?” Here are some things that you can do to make sure that you are found so you can engage with the lenders that are actually looking for solutions.
1. Find out what you should publish content about. Invest in content research, keyword research, SEO research.
Choosing the right content topics for your audience is a task that shouldn’t be taken lightly. You need to spend a good amount of time scoping out what your readers are searching for and relevant questions they are seeking answers to.
Create a handful of broad categories (5–6) based on issues that your target audience may need help with. For each category you create, add a one-sentence description or a ‘why.’ Why would my reader care about this? Why would this be valuable to my reader?
Google’s Keyword Planner, BuzzSumo, and questions found in forums such as Reddit and Quora are perfect places to find ideas to feed your content planner/calendar. And don’t forget the trades and industry blogs for more good ideas.
2. Create a content calendar.
Your content calendar will streamline the publishing schedule for your content assets. The calendar will detail the types of content, categories, the forms it will take and dates it will be ready to publish. Everyone on your team will be able to see the topic coming up and the direction the article/content piece is going to take at a glance. Sharing this information and your notes is great for collaboration and minimizes confusion.
Share the topic chart with your team and seek ratings from them on a scale of 1–5, with five being the highest. Go back to the drawing board to come up with a better angle for any topic earning a 3 or lower. It’s always helpful to have a second set of eyes just to make sure your topics that you are writing about are worth the effort and will help you achieve your marketing objectives.
3. Publish your content – then promote it
Once you have your content finalized and published you have to make sure the right people read. This means you have to publish where your audience is actually going to find content, and not just where you think they should be.
It can be tempting to publish your content everywhere in an attempt to get as many eyeballs as possible on your material. This is usually a waste of resources and will not produce results. It can be difficult to get the balance right, but by spending the time to research where your customers are and how to use the social network they prefer will pay dividends. And don’t forget to strive for continuous improvement – your customer won’t stand still, nor should you. Constantly measure, test, learn, adjust, and then repeat!
While you publish on other 3rd party channels, always spend efforts to increase traffic to your own content hub as well. It will be worth the effort to start building opt-in subscribers, right at your content hub.
4. Promote your content even more – 3rd party websites, press releases, article insertions, email marketing, SMM posts, Google ads, FB ads… Make sure that it is found by the people that matter to you.
Once you know the networks where your target market socializes, spend efforts to get your content into these forums/networks. There are tons of great strategies to try for getting your content seen by the most people possible.
Send different variants of your content to your email list, promote it in different ways
Share on social media, boost using Facebook ads and target the right audience
Submit content to a 3rd party content community
Promote content using Google display ads or use re-marketing to target users who visit your landing pages or website
5. Build an audience through opt-in lists – be valuable to your audience. Create assets that are valuable for them… engage frequently, don’t spam… and you will build your own following and thought leadership
Building an opt-in list takes time and effort, but it will bring you significant long-term gains with higher response rates and continued growth at a lower cost. Refrain from list purchases, and focus on your long-term list building strategy while supplementing it with more legitimate paid marketing efforts to give you some short-term results, as well.
- Start blogging to attract website visitors
- Create an offer to convert visitors into leads
- Supplement with paid marketing in the short term
6. Monetize once in a while – once you have built the following, you can monetize with some smart CTAs and offers once in a while… If there are some people ready to jump in, offer them the option to jump in now.
Once you have built a following and are engaging with this audience from time to time, delivering value and resources, you can use this engagement to do some promotional messaging from time to time. Make sure that you do not overdo this. You have built an excellent level of goodwill with these members, now it is time to monetize some part of this relationship. And you will find that it becomes a lot easier to do this now, as the audience trusts you a lot more than when you were reaching out to them with cold emails.
We can certainly spend more time on each of the strategies listed above in separate posts, but we thought this could be a good starter to get you started on what everyone is investing in across every industry, ‘Content Marketing.’
Content Marketing is a powerful tool for marketers working in the real estate and mortgage lending industries. Please reach out to us if you are interesting in support to get your program off the ground.
About the author:
Atul Dhakappa is an avid marketer with over 22 years’ experience. He has worked for over 5 years in the real estate mortgage lending domain supporting a products & services company to create and manage a branding presence across the US. Atul owns a digital marketing agency called Xenia Consulting, which specializes in content marketing and promotion of content, leveraging email marketing, social media engagement, SEO and pay per click advertising to deliver you the results that you are expecting from your marketing initiatives.
Disclosure: Xenia Consulting partners with RGA Public Relations to provide a full range of marketing services, including Content Marketing.