You’ve heard us say it before, and you’ll hear us say it again: Digital advertising is an excellent way to boost awareness of your firm and generate leads. Platforms like Facebook and Linkedin, for example, make it easy to reach new audiences and target users that are likely to be interested in your services.

Every advisor should utilize digital advertising, but it’s important to have realistic goals and expectations for an ad campaign. Many of us expect immediate, spectacular results right out the gate, and unfortunately in most cases, digital ads aren’t an overnight miracle. 

Capturing leads via digital ads is similar to capturing leads through any other type of marketing strategy. It takes time, practice, patience and testing – oh yes, lots and lots of testing. Having unrealistic expectations of how your ads will perform will not only frustrate you, but it could discourage you from ever trying digital advertising again. 

Mark Schlipman of Schlipman Wealth Advisors says advisors have a particularly difficult time keeping the long game in mind when it comes to marketing, and it’s a great lesson to keep in mind for advertising, too. 

“When it comes to marketing, a lot of advisors wouldn’t make great farmers,” he said. “They plant their seeds, and then go back just a week later looking for growth. When they don’t see it, they plow it all under.” 

Related Content: How Schlipman Wealth Combined Marketing Efforts to Jumpstart Growth and Increase Site Traffic by More than 800%

Reviewing industry averages for digital advertising will help you form a realistic mindset about how well your digital ads should perform. While you might be tempted to compare your firm’s ad performance to that of Nike or Amazon, you must realize that asking a web user to consider you as their financial advisor is a lot different than asking a web user to take 25% off their next purchase. 

Wordstream did some great research on benchmark performance for ads on Facebook and Google and broke the data down by industry. Take a look at the averages they found for the finance and insurance industry (updated for 2019):

Platform Click-Through-Rate Cost Per Click Conversion Rate Cost Per Action
Facebook 0.56% $3.77 9.09% $41.43
Google Search 2.91% $3.44 5.10% $81.93
Google Display 0.52% $0.86 1.19% $56.76

Here’s a quick overview on what the above terms mean:

  • Google Search: These are the ads that run at the top of Google’s search results, sometimes referred to as “text ads.” These ads appear when a web user types keywords into Google’s search engine – “financial advisor near me,” for example.
  • Google Display: Ads in the form of clickable images Google displays on a variety of websites.
  • Click-through Rate (CTR): The percent of people who clicked on your ad out of the number of people who saw it.
  • Cost Per Click (CPC): The total amount you spent on the campaign divided by the number of clicks it received.
  • Conversion Rate (CVR): The number of people who performed the desired action (typically filling out a lead-gen form of some sort) divided by the number of people who clicked on your ad.
  • Cost Per Action (CPA): The total amount you spent on the campaign divided by the number of people who performed the desired action.

What Can We Learn from Industry Averages?

For starters, the finance industry experiences more of a challenge than most of the other industries in terms of click-through-rates and cost per action. Again, this can partly be contributed to the fact that we have bigger “asks” than other industries. Users can be wary of giving away their personal information to a wealth management firm, especially if they’ve never even heard of the firm or advisor before.

These industry averages serve as a good reminder not to set unrealistic expectations for your digital ad campaigns. Keep these metrics in mind when your campaign comes back to you with 10,000 impressions and 700 clicks. You can remind yourself that you’re actually a little better than average!

It’s also helpful to take into account how many leads you currently get per month. If you are like the majority of advisors, your digital marketing efforts likely yield somewhere between one and ten leads per month. Advertising will help you bring in more leads, but if you’re doing it right, you shouldn’t expect exponential growth. 

Sure, you could go a route that brings in hundreds of leads per month but picking the good leads out of the pack would be like finding a needle in a haystack.

What Does This Mean for Advisors?

These averages serve as a great benchmark for advisors to gauge the success of their digital advertising strategies. If your ads are consistently falling short of these averages, your ads could probably use a bit of TLC.

The challenge here is discovering which aspect of your campaign is turning people off. It could be the copy, images, landing page layout, offer or several other components. Try doing some research on what type of copy works best for each ad type, switch up your images, make your landing pages more user-friendly, or try adding an emotional component to your ads. 

So much of advertising is trial and error, so if your results are below-average, it’s no reason to get down. Just adjust and move on. The absolute worst thing you can do is quit digital advertising altogether because you aren’t hitting the numbers you want.

And one other thing to keep in mind: When it comes to leads from your advertising and other marketing efforts, quality always trumps quantity. How much would you pay for one new $1 million client? 

If you paid $1,000 to run a campaign on Facebook for one month that brings in eight leads, and one of those leads becomes a new $1 million client a year later, would you say that campaign was worth it, even if none of the other leads pan out?

Again, it’s important to keep the long game in mind. 

Remember: It’s About More Than the Metrics!

While we certainly try our best to achieve and out-perform the industry standards for digital advertising here at Carson, we also know that digital advertising is about more than just the numbers. Sure, the numbers are important to help us measure what types of ads and messaging perform the best, but we also understand that there’s not a metric that captures the amount of awareness, trust and positive recognition a brand is building from its ads.

Even if someone isn’t clicking on one of your ads or filling out a form, they are still seeing your name on their screen. They’re becoming more and more familiar with your brand and its services, which makes them more likely to engage with your marketing efforts in the future – whether that’s liking your Facebook page, checking out your blog or simply not flagging your marketing email as “spam” (and let’s be honest – that’s a huge win!). When it comes to digital marketing, visibility should always be one of your top goals

Remember: keep the long game in mind. Just because we have the power of measuring metrics like clicks and cost per action doesn’t mean this is the only way to measure the value of our digital advertising efforts. Use these metrics as guidelines to help you determine what does and doesn’t work for your online audience, and continue to improve your ads from there.

00527083 – 09/10/19

facebook twitter linkedin mail print
Share Post: facebook twitter linkedin mail print
Recent Posts

Three Takeaways From FinCon 2019 (That Aren’t Pens, Shirts or Stress Balls)

By: Sara Hinds
A lot of us are familiar with that post-conference attitude, right? After being out of the office for a couple days, we return to the real world ready to unload the weight of the pens, stress balls and ideas we took away from the conference.  Except I didn’t come back from FinCon 2019 bearing any extra weight. (I did visit the pizza shop down the street from the hotel quite a few times. I’m surprised they never recognized me.) Sure, one of the straps broke on my carry-on bag of conference goodies. But books are heavy and I had paid the bookstore near my hotel a generous visit.  Yes, I did go to the conference – I didn’t just go to Washington D.C. to eat pizza and buy books. I just didn’t come back to work bursting at the seams, and that’s a good thing. Here’s why. FinCon was like peeking behind the curtain of your favorite TV show or movie and not regretting it. Seeing how the meat is made, per se, usually replaces the mystery and romance with disappointment and feelings of underwhelming. FinCon’s tagline – making personal …

The Only 3 Activities an Advisor-CEO Should Spend Their Time On (and the Top 3 Time-Sucks to Avoid)

By: Michael Rose
Imagine an aspiring Olympic archer who has difficulty selecting the right target. It’s a safe bet that our intrepid sportsman will not make the trip to the next summer games. As an advisor-CEO, you must also identify and aim for your target if you strive for world-class performance. Ask yourself these questions: Which activities should I be performing, and which should be delegated to capable team members who have the capacity and desire to do that work? What narrow range of high-impact tasks are worthy of my time and energy? Which key functions am I uniquely qualified to do, and how can I arrange my team, processes and schedule so I can focus exclusively on them? With those questions in mind, and before we look at the three high-value activities we believe should top your list, let’s take a quick look at the top three time-sucks to which many advisor-CEOs fall victim. Top 3 Time-Sucks for an Advisor-CEO 1. Inbound Email When asked about daily activities that deplete energy and diminish productivity, many advisors admit they get crushed by the wave of inbound email. Note that just like a …

Building Key Stakeholder Plans for Team Members You Can’t Live Without

By: Tammy Breitenbach
If you were a coach looking to improve your struggling football team, you’d have two options: Bring in new people Invest in helping your current MVPs get better  Coaches who are trying to improve a team often find that investing in their MVPs gets them a better return on their time and energy than focusing on struggling players. A well-supported MVP has a way of lifting up the whole team, so even less-than-stellar players start improving.  Firm management for financial advisors can be similar. Investing in your MVP stakeholders should be a priority for your time and energy, and you’ll find they lift the whole firm in terms of growth and morale. Self-starting, self-motivated players are worth more than roomfuls of “yes men/women,” and keeping them should be a priority.  Let’s look at what it means to be a “key stakeholder” and how you can make a plan to keep these valuable players on the field and at the top of their game.  3 Qualities of a Key Stakeholder For the love of the game is a popular phrase in sports, and tells us something central about being a …

What Are Lead Gen Ads on Facebook and How Can Advisors Use Them?

By: Zach McDonald
Facebook ads are becoming more and more user-friendly and universally adopted, and it’s easy to see why. Facebook allows advertisers to be very specific with their targeting.  Sure, they include the basics: But then they go seriously in-depth, with everything from shopping habits to income to relationship status and much, much more. With that kind of targeting, it’s no wonder that 68% of all money put toward social media ads is spent on Facebook (and that it's one of our favorite platforms for advisors).  One of our favorite kinds of ads (and one that is far under-utilized by advisors) is Lead Generation ads.  These ads don’t send people to a different landing page when clicked, they simply bring up a form to capture the person’s information. You can set which form fields you want to require and add any custom disclaimer information you need.  Why do we love these ads so much? They remove a pretty big barrier from the lead conversion process – getting users to leave Facebook and put their information in on your landing page. With lead ads, your prospects never have to leave Facebook at all.  Wordstream did …
1 2 3 49