Using Webinar Marketing for Financial Advisors
By now, most of us are familiar with Zoom Meetings. Since the pandemic, you’ve likely attended at least a handful of Zoom meetings and perhaps, even hosted a few. But if you’re scrolling through this post today, it’s because you’re entering new territory.
For many advisors, our familiarity as attendees doesn’t translate to confidence as a host. Whether you’re new to webinar marketing or you’re trying to figure out why the last one didn’t produce the results you hoped for, today we are talking about how to run a successful webinar campaign.
This model for webinars will give you the structure you need to run lead-generating webinars as well as digital client events.
The #1 (and #2) Reason Financial Advisors Should Use Webinars
Before we dive into how to structure a webinar campaign, we wanted to mention this one important point – are webinars worth the work for financial advisors? We believe that they are for two reasons.
The first is that when it comes to your pitch as a financial advisor, you’re not selling someone a $20 t-shirt. You’re inviting them to trust you with their financial future. This means your marketing needs to be able to showcase both your depth of expertise as well as your personality. Webinars give your audience an opportunity to engage your expertise at a deeper level while building a sense of familiarity.
The second reason is that referrals are still the #1 driver of new business for advisors – again, it’s still a heavily trust-based business. Webinars are useful in this way because not only do they help scale your “face-to-face” client relationships, but it gives them opportunities to invite their connections to get to know you in a lower-pressure, higher-value environment.
It’s a tool uniquely valuable for financial advisors. The task is to do it well. Now, let’s get into it.
An Outline of the Webinar Life Cycle
We’ll get more in-depth in a second, but let’s take a high-level look at the whole process so you can get an idea of where we are going.
- Topic + Target Audience Selection
- How to Promote Your Webinar
- Strategies for Hosting Your Webinar
- Follow Up and Nurturing
Important Note: Please consult your compliance officer for how they would like to review your presentation. If you plan on using webinar recordings instead of live events, you may have a different process required. Also, get your compliance officer’s approval of any platforms or communications involved prior to launching your strategy.
1. Choosing the Right Topic for Your Webinar
Let’s start with the hard truth – hosting a webinar isn’t always enough to produce results. Picking a compelling topic is the #2 place webinar strategies stumble. The good news is that in your conversations with your clients, you’ve heard their pain points. You know many of the life events that set money in motion. Here are a few examples of topics you could use:
- What steps can they take to make a smooth transition from the workforce to retirement?
- How much investment risk can they afford as they get closer to retirement?
- How to create a new financial plan after a divorce or the death of a spouse?
- What next steps are available to someone who’s already maxing out their 401k?
As you’re brainstorming, one of the best ways to avoid this pitfall is to talk to a few of your best clients. Run your topic ideas by them and ask for their honest feedback. Do they find it interesting? Would they make time for that webinar? Would they invite a friend?
If you can get their feedback, you’ve done two important things:
- You get honest feedback from your best kinds of clients – households you’d like to target.
- You can improve your chances of buy-in because they were part of the planning – resulting in more attendance and bring-a-friend referrals.
Another way to vet your topics is to try out topic “hooks” on social media. See what topics get the most engagement. It’s far less commitment, less work, and you get natural feedback to guide your topic selection.
2. How to Promote Your Webinar
If you read the last section, you may be wondering what the #1 pitfall was for advisor webinars. It’s promoting your webinar. In a perfect world, you would just send an email out and you’d have plenty of attendees, but a rhythm of effective webinars takes intentional communication. It’s all manageable with a clear structure and cadence.
What Resources You’ll Need
For those of you that like task lists, this part is for you. These are the key resources we recommend you create for any webinar you plan to run. Make sure to have all items approved by your compliance officer before setting them in motion.
- Slide Deck: Every webinar should have visuals to help your audience follow along, and it makes a great resource to send out after the webinar.
- Registration Page: Every webinar needs a home base where you can send people to register. This can be just a sign up page, but we recommend going the extra mile and adding more info on what will be covered to get their buy in.
- Registration Tracking: Use your CRM to create a registration form for the webinar. This will allow you to better track and identify what people were interested in the specific topics you’re covering.
- Confirmation Email: This is the email you’ll send to registrants with instructions on how to attend your webinar.
- Promotional Emails: We recommend creating 2-3 reminder emails that keep your virtual event on people’s minds as the day approaches. These can be general reminders, or they can include things like slide previews or invitations for their friends.
- Marketing Graphics: To promote your webinar on social media, make a simple set of graphics to share the info about your event.
- Invitation Video: You may feel camera shy, but it goes a long way to record a 60-second invitation video that you can use to send to clients and post on social media!
Bonus Idea: Partner with Other Hosts like CPA’s or Estate Lawyers
Most advisors have adjacent service providers they recommend to their clients and vice versa. If you’re looking to create win-win relationships, consider hosting webinars together. As each of you invites your audiences, you create opportunities to get in front of prospects in a trust-warmed environment. If their CPA trusts you enough to host an event together, it’s a great introduction for you!
3. Best Strategies to Host Your Webinar
This may be the part that scares many advisors away from leveraging the powerful tool webinars can be. Understandably! Technology learning curves can feel more intimidating than basic marketing plans.
Before you jump into selecting a platform, it’s helpful to decide how you want to deliver the webinar. Here are a few recommendations:
This is what most people think of when they think of webinars. You are presenting live with the option for participants to ask questions and interact in real-time.
These are great for advisors who are nervous about a live webinar having too many moving parts. While they are less interactive, you can still have an advisor managing the live chat features to allow for Q&A’s. You can also record your presentation ahead of time, giving more grace if you want to re-record for a better presentation.
This is a relatively newer strategy for financial advisors, but it follows the same principle as pre-recorded webinars. Instead of scheduling a time to have people join the webinar, you can allow them to watch the webinar on their own schedule. These can be delivered immediately and watched any time after they give you their contact information.
Which Platform Should I Use?
You’ll want to ask your compliance officer this question to confirm which platforms are approved, but here are a few common examples.
- Zoom Webinars – If you’re familiar with Zoom as a meeting software, their Webinar upgrade adds features that give you more marketing functionality. This is a great option for getting started in the webinar space.
- EverWebinar + WebinarJam – This combination is much more robust than a hosting platform like Zoom, giving you all the tools you need to market your webinar in one place. Even better, it gives you easy ability to set up On-Demand webinars that can generate leads on autopilot once created.
There are many options out there, and more keep popping up every day. Ask your compliance officer for a list of approved platforms, and compare your options to find the best choice for your marketing goals.
4. Following Up With Webinar Registrants
While you’ve gotten through the hard work up to this point, it’s important to remember that if you stop once the webinar is done, you are often leaving more opportunities on the table! Here are a few ways you can turn webinar engagement into tangible business development.
Have a clear call to action in your webinar.
While the webinar should be valuable in and of itself, you should have a clear next step if someone needs more personalized help with their specific circumstances. Don’t wait to the end to mention it – mention what the CTA is and how to do it at the beginning and middle of your presentation.
Send a thank you email with the slide deck or other resources.
Sending a “Thank you for attending” email immediately after your webinar concludes is a great way to add a personal touch to your event. It’s also a great way to deliver value-added resources. This could be the slide deck you used during the event. It could also be a bonus resource they get for attending. Effective follow-up is about continuing to add value to their decision to participate.
Engage webinar registrants who didn’t attend the webinar.
We’ve all been there – you don’t always have the time for the webinars you sign up for. It’s understandable with so many things pressing people’s calendars. Do you lose the opportunity to connect if they registered but didn’t attend? Not at all!
You can follow up with this group of people specifically. With this group, you can:
- Send them an On-Demand Webinar or even a YouTube link with the full recording.
- Send them the resources the attendants received.
- Highlight interesting moments or info from the presentation.
Don’t let a busy schedule be a barrier to someone who would otherwise be a great fit for your webinar. By making it more accessible after the fact, you can engage people who would have otherwise missed it.