Tag Archive for: digital marketing

Social Media for Financial Services Companies

The use of social media in financial services is often disputed. Some believe that social media does not hold the same value for business-to-business (B2B) brands as it does in the business-to-consumer (B2C) market.

This, however, is not the case.

While it may be true that B2C companies are often more successful on social media than B2B companies, there are still a multitude of various reasons why building a social media presence benefits a financial services company.

Take it from our Social Media Team at Digital Storyteller: “A marketing strategy without social media is like a margarita without tequila. No one wants that!”

In this article, we’re detailing the key benefits of using social media marketing for financial services companies.

1. Strengthen Existing Relationships

One of the greatest benefits for all businesses to developing a social media presence is to strengthen their existing client relationships.

This may refer to:

  • Engaging with existing or past clients, or
  • Nurturing relationships with contacts that have yet to become clients

Either way, social media networks provide a platform to maintain relationships.

Email marketing and consistent calls are of course another option to nurture relationships! These methods, however, have the potential to get irritating rather quickly.

While blasting your clients’ inboxes with emails may lead them to the dreaded unsubscribe button, they may not feel the need to take such drastic measures when their level of engagement is the casual viewing of sporadic Instagram posts.

Social media provides a relaxed addition to your existing client nurturing process while additionally providing a platform to develop new relationships.

2. Build Trust 

In the same way that Google evaluates content for SEO purposes, viewers evaluate clients based on their authority and expertise. Developing a depth of content on social platforms provides potential clients an opportunity to review your level of expertise within your field.

Over time, existing clientele and prospective clients will likely begin to follow your accounts and engage with your content. Engagement with your content shows that you have a proven following and support system that trusts your business.

Read on to learn more about Instagram engagement.

3. Provide Customer Support 

Social media has turned into an easy, new line of communication.

It has become common for consumers to utilize social media to gain support and answers from companies rather than going through their traditional customer service channels. Various social media platforms provide space where clients are comfortable and familiar.

It is easier for a client to tag, tweet, or comment on a company’s latest post than it is to sit on hold with the customer service line for hours trying to solicit help… No, thanks!

Companies love to see their favorite clients and prospects engaging with them on a personal level through social media. Brands that engage and respond to their clients on social media have overall higher customer satisfaction ratings. 

It’s 2022, your clients are on social media—and your competitors are, too.

The truth of the matter is: Brands are expected to have a social presence.

Giving your clients an additional outlet to contact you offers them the support and guidance they’re looking for.

After all, your product or service already serves to solve a problem that they’re facing. Why not fix another one by making yourself more accessible?

4. Humanize Your Brand 

In a sense, this goes along with the previously mentioned need for customer support. Making your brand available on social media is like positioning yourself as their friend. Social media platforms were created to connect friends and share experiences, so why can’t the same be the case with brands?!

Social platforms allow your brand to share a behind-the-scenes look at the people that make your brand what it is. For example, our co-founders, Andrew Marr and Amanda Rogers, each have their series of relevant videos that we share weekly.

Not only do these videos “share the secret sauce” behind our brand, but they also give our viewers insight into the faces behind the brand! Plus, who doesn’t love a chardonnay review!?

The same may also be the case with your brand. Finding a way to interact with your clients on an informal basis allows them to consider you a friend or peer. It creates a relationship of trust and mutual respect: Two things you definitely want in your client relationships.

5. Gain Insight

Lastly, being engaged on social media allows your brand to gain insight. Be it consumer or competitive insights, social media functions as a reporting platform. 

The way that consumers engage with your social media account can tell you about their buying behavior, likes, dislikes, and needs.

Instagram, for example, has transitioned its functionality to operate similarly to a search engine for users. Tracking the views of your page, accounts reached, post likes, comments, shares, and saves can provide significant insight into how your brand is performing.

Read on for our article “What is Going on With the Instagram Algorithm!?

Similar claims can be said about your competitors. One of the benefits of public social media accounts is that you can track insight into your competitors’ content. As they provide content for their followers, you have a front-row seat to see what they’re doing!

A Final Word

If your brand is already on social media, there are additional ways to ensure that you are optimizing your channels. This is particularly the case for financial services companies interacting on social media.

Check out this article for additional tips on the use of social media for financial services companies!

girl on video using camera on tripod to build her digital marketing strategy

Are you a business owner? If the answer is yes, please tell us you’re incorporating video into your digital marketing strategy… If you’re not, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity. 

Why? Because video is crucial to showcasing your brand and ultimately, getting more clients. And what business owner doesn’t want more clients? After you’re done with this article, circle back to find out how to attract the right clients.

But for now, we’ve got Andrew Marr, Owner and CEO of Digital Storyteller on camera to discuss the importance of using video in your digital marketing strategy.

Let’s hear what this ranting Scot has to say.

Why is Video Important to My Digital Marketing Strategy?

So, why is video important? At Digital Storyteller, we love our metrics and statistics. (Our awesome SEO manager, Devin Aubert, however, is on another level when it comes to statistics love!)

This considered, we thought we’d demonstrate the importance and popularity of video with some stats from Techjury. Let’s take a look at the booming industry. Did you know…

  • “Video is the number 1 source of information for 66% of people.
  • Over 500 million people watch Facebook videos every day.
  • More than 75% of all video views come from mobile devices.
  • The global video market was valued at $39.61 billion in 2018…” (Imagine where it’s at now!?)
  • “YouTubers upload 300 hours of video content to the platform every minute.
  • 93% of businesses gain new customers as a result of branded video content.”

The point is so many individuals watch videos nowadays.

In fact, our owner and CEO Andrew admits to watching at least 50 to 100 short videos a day through Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Hey, it’s where his enjoyment sits!

But it’s not just cute puppy videos that grab his attention, Andrew reminds us.

“I learn from video. Most clients in the financial services world, the clients that we work with, have a hard time with video, and understandably so…”

Why? Truth is, it’s hard to sit in front of the camera and talk, especially about ourselves!

Today, Andrew says, your digital marketing strategy must include not only long-form blogs, newsletters, white papers, etc. but also videos. Why? If not, you’re missing out on a huge group of viewers, and therefore, prospects.

How Can I Get Started?

So, if you’re a business owner, you might be wondering… “How do I get started with this video stuff?”

Don’t worry, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel.

All you need in terms of video length is 30 seconds to a minute.

“But what do I talk about?!” Don’t worry—Think about the questions you receive over and over as a business owner.

For Andrew, these questions include the following:

  • Why should I outsource my marketing?
  • How long does it take to see an ROI when it comes to organic marketing?
  • Why does Digital Storyteller specialize in financial services?
  • How much does your marketing cost?
  • What is organic content marketing?

So, think: What are the five main recurring questions you get? Then, sit down and answer those questions.

Make your videos short and to the point.

If you’re not answering a question that you frequently get from clients, consider telling a story instead. You can tell a story about…

  • How your business helped a client
  • Someone on your team

You can even ask a client to record a video testimonial for you if you’re not quite ready to jump in front of the camera yourself! Here’s how to ask for a client testimonial.

Still Not Convinced?

Video is social media’s favorite form of content right now. By using video, you will increase your traffic, up your engagement, AND people will simply get to know you better by seeing your face, hearing you talk, and getting to know your personality!

Read on for more information about boosting your engagement via video in our article “Want to Connect with Your Prospects? Use Video.

How to Record a Great Video

Need more guidance? Not sure what to wear in the video? Or, how to position your camera? Read our article “How to Record a Great Zoom Testimonial” for all the answers you seek.

PS: These tips apply just as well to non-Zoom video recordings! Happy recording!

two employess on a computer building brand awareness

Amazon, Apple, and Google. We’re assuming you, like pretty much everyone else, know about each of the aforementioned companies. They have some of the highest global brand awareness. 

Everyone wants more brand awareness. Why? The more people who know about your brand, the more likely they are to engage with you and ultimately purchase your services or product(s). Let’s discuss more on how you can use an organic social strategy to build your brand awareness. 

What is Brand Awareness? 

Brand awareness is how consumers recognize or remember your business. The more brand awareness you have, the more people are familiar with your logo, who you are, what you do, and most importantly- your products and services. 

Why is Brand Awareness Important?

Brand awareness is a vital part of your overall marketing plan. The goal with bringing awareness to your brand is to increase the number of people who are familiar with your business. This familiarity breeds trust, which, in turn, creates deals. 

Toobla Blog says it best, “If you can build brand awareness among your target demographic, you can help your brand become top-of-mind when these consumers are ready to research and make a purchase.”

Consumers are more likely to buy from a brand they are familiar with than a brand they have never heard of. 

For more secret sauce tips on brand awareness, watch our Chief Creative officer speak more about it in the video series here

Now, that you’re a brand awareness expert, let’s discuss how an organic social strategy is one of the best ways to build it. 

What is an Organic Marketing Strategy?

An organic marketing strategy is essentially the opposite of paid advertising and with more benefits (woohoo!) Learn more about the difference between paid and organic social media marketing here. 

Examples of organic marketing include:

  • Blog posts optimized for SEO
  • Website (optimized) 
  • Landing Pages
  • Email campaigns
  • Eye-catching social posts
  • Articles you write for other publications or industry blogs
  • Videos you post on YouTube 
  • Instagram Reels or TikToks

All of these items combined help increase your business’ visibility digitally. When you share your organic content to social media and your website, it will be seen by the following consumers: 

  • Existing followers/clients 
  • Followers of your followers 
  • People following the hashtags or locations you mention

It’s not enough to show up online a few times, you need consistent content to help create a consistent brand message and build an engaged community. 

Inconsistent messaging confuses your audience. It makes it harder for them to understand who you are and what your business does. This inconsistency leads to a lack of trust among your audience and therefore fewer leads. 

Best practice is to choose your brand archetype and stick with it. Your audience will thank you for it.

Content that is consistent and aligned with your brand voice performs. Every time. Keep in mind that it won’t happen overnight. Be patient with the timeline because the rewards are worth it.

When working with our clients, here’s a typical timeline of what we see and when.

Read on for more information on how each media platform and what each should be used for your business.

tracking marketing kpis

SEO, CTA, KPI … The list of terms you need to know for your marketing strategy seems to go on and on. We’re here to help break it down and make it easy for you to understand. Keep reading for our full guide to marketing key performance indicators (KPIs).

What is a KPI?

KPI stands for key performance indicator. They are a way to measure performance over time. Following certain metrics over time can help your business reach milestones, gauge processes, and provide insight to make better business decisions. 

What Marketing KPIs Should You Track?

Tracking the right key performance indicators can provide a holistic view of how  your business is performing. 

We, like Semrush, believe that these are some of the best KPIs you should be tracking:SEO KPIs

  1. Conversions: How many of your site visitors are qualified leads? How many of them convert to closed sales? 
  2. ROI: Return on investment is a metric that tells you how profitable an investment is/was, in this case, likely how profitable your marketing investment was.
  3. Organic Visibility: How are people finding your site? Are you showing up through organic search?
  4. Organic Sessions: How many users are finding your site through an organic search? 
  5. Bounce Rate: How quickly are users leaving your site after visiting? If your site is not user-friendly, loads slowly, or doesn’t provide the information your users are looking for, they might exit the site after viewing only a single page. 
  6. Average Time on Page: How long are your users spending on your site pages? Pages with more content, such as blogs or videos, typically tend to drive longer time on-page.
  7. Organic CTR (click-through rate): Does your site have clear calls to action (CTAs)? How often are users clicking buttons or links on your site? Which buttons/links are you driving them to click?
  8. Backlinks: Sites with higher authority are more likely to see increased backlinks. If your site provides valuable, authoritative information that users find helpful, and useful, they may be more likely to link to it from their own sites. This helps drive referral traffic to your site and continues to support authority improvements. 
  9. Keyword rankings: Keyword rankings are the primary driver of organic search traffic. Targeting specific keywords relevant to what your business does is critical to increasing organic search traffic. It’s important to track keywords in two ways: total ranking keywords, and keyword ranking positions. 
  10. Branded vs. Non-Branded Traffic: Branded keywords are directly related to your unique business. For our brand, this would include keywords such as “Digital Storyteller,” “Digital Storyteller marketing agency,” “Andrew Marr,” etc. Non-branded keywords are those that your site ranks for that are not specific to you, such as “digital marketing,” “social media management,” and “search engine optimization.”
  11. Page Speed: Page speed is a huge determinant of how your site performs. According to backlinko, the average page loading speed is 10.3 seconds on desktop and 27.3 seconds on mobile. If your site takes longer than this to load, chances are your user won’t wait and will instead visit a competitor’s site instead. Safe to say we’ve become a pretty impatient society … 
  12. Coverage Issues: Performing site audits can ensure that your site is functioning properly and that Google is indexing and reading your site as it should be. Google Search Console is a critical tool in identifying coverage issues and can help you solve any issues that you find.  

How to Develop your Marketing KPI Strategy

Your business’ marketing KPI strategy should be unique to your business needs. Sure, you can glean ideas from other similar business models, but tailor yours to help guide you where you want to go. 

Here are a few tips on how to develop your marketing KPI strategy.

  1. Define your KPIs- Which specific KPIs will your business track? How will you collect the data and how often will you track shifts? 
  2. Use the SMART Method- KPIs should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-Bound. For example, “Onboard 7 new clients in the next 12 months.”
  3. Keep your KPIs clear- Your team should understand your KPIs and how to act on them to make decisions that ultimately lead to reaching your goals.
  4. Revisit your plan- Sometimes plans need to change. Revisit your KPI strategy to make sure the strategy is still working for you. Maybe you need to adjust a few action items based to keep propelling forward in the right direction. 
  5. Don’t overdo it with KPIs- Try to avoid doing too much, too quickly. With access to a plethora of data, it can be easy to try to measure every little thing. We recommend using the information to stay on track with your most important targets- however you define them. This will help you avoid KPI overload. 

See an example below of how we at Digital Storyteller keep track of the important KPIs to our business strategy.

man using a phone

Frequently, our clients ask us, “Should I ask for testimonials?” or, “Do people even read testimonials?” and, “Should we do video testimonials?”

The short answer to all of these questions is… YES!

The bottom line is that we receive a lot of questions around the idea of other people (past or current clients!) talking about what you do as a business and how you help people.

So, how do you request a client testimonial? Listen to our CEO, Andrew Marr, speak more about how to ask for a video testimonial.

Why Are Testimonials Important? 

Don’t lie, you’ve spent time on Yelp or scoured Google reviews… The truth is, as we all know it, a review can make or break someone’s decision to partner with your business.

Use this fact to your advantage. This means you should showcase clients you’ve helped and those you’ve created great partnerships with (because your business is awesome!)

Collecting and displaying testimonials for the world to see helps prospects know how great it is to work with you. After all, Boast found that 72% of consumers say positive testimonials help increase their trust in a business.

Testimonials are powerful, and video testimonials are especially imperative to tell the story of how you helped people.

Many of us grew up in a culture of not asking for help and not talking about ourselves. Video testimonials, however, go against the grain.

When you ask a client to contribute a testimonial for your business, what you’re essentially asking is, “Please, will you talk about us? Will you talk about how we helped you?”

(Hint: These questions are super consequential to those reading—or watching—your testimonial!)

Different questions you can ask your clients to help guide the testimonial are:

  • How did we solve a problem for you?
  • How did we help you save money?  
  • What was working with us like?
  • Why do you like working with us?
  • How can others benefit from partnering with us?

If you ask your client for a video testimonial, remind them that it doesn’t need to be very long at all. Ideally, the video should be very short, 30 seconds to one minute. Keep it straight to the point.

The clients might need some coaching, but it’s very easily done.

Lucky for you, we have an entire article that you can send to your clients to prep them titled, “How to Record a Great Zoom Testimonial.” Check it out!

Once you have the video, put it everywhere. We recommend testimonials live on your website, in blog posts, on LinkedIn, and more. Tell the world how you help people. Hell, shout it from the rooftops!

We’re sure that the clients that you did help will be more than happy to do this for you. 

The Right Way to Ask for Client Testimonials

Don’t make things complicated. It’s just five simple steps.

  1. You have to ask for a testimonial to get one. Think about it… When was the last time you gave a testimonial unprompted? You can ask clients whom you’ve partnered with for years, a new client who is excited to partner with you, the list goes on!
  1. Create an easy form fill for your clients to fill out their experience with you. Strike while the iron’s hot and ask for the testimonial during or right after the conclusion of your partnership (these days you can also ask for a testimonial through a short text message).
  1. Offer an incentive. Think outside of the box of gifts! An incentive can be more brand recognition on your website.
  1. Post the testimonial (with a nice headshot) on your website. 
  1. Check out our testimonials page on our website for more inspiration. 
Digital Marketing Team optimizing marketing for business

How do you know if you need a digital marketing agency? The simple answer is: if you’re ready to focus on your business and do what you do best. Then, you can let a marketing agency do what they do best- help market your business. 

There are, however, more signs that your business is ready to partner with an outsourced marketing agency. 

1. You have a Reactive, Not a Proactive Marketing Plan 

Yes, there is a time and a place for a reactive strategy, but that time and place is not with your marketing. Why? Because reactive marketing doesn’t work. It’s a band-aid for a long-term problem. 

It usually sounds like this… “Oh s**t, we don’t have any holiday posts scheduled for tomorrow!” and/or “We need more leads, ASAP!” Last-minute posts made hastily are more prone to contain errors or be off-brand. 

At Digital Storyteller, we help create a proactive marketing plan for our clients through our content calendar that details an entire month’s worth of content.  This accessible and downloadable template can be customized to fit each client’s needs. It also helps our team stay aligned with deliverables. 

Need a Thanksgiving post? Boom added to the calendar. Celebrating an employee’s birthday? Bam! Added to the calendar. 

Trust us, this content calendar is the best thing since sliced bread. 

2. You’re Not Focused on Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Are you focused on Search Engine Optimization (SEO)? If not, how are people supposed to find you in the black hole of Google?


Amazing blog posts paired with a stunning website can only get you so far without SEO. SEO is how you can tailor your content to rank for search engines like Google. For an in-depth review of SEO, read our article here.  

When you use SEO consistently and throughout your content and social media, you’ll see organic growth, keyword ranking, and a higher authority score. Hint- it’s what we see with our clients when we apply these same methods. 

3. Your Content Isn’t Consistent 

Be honest with yourself: Is your business posting content consistently? That could look like weekly blog posts, and at least 3 social posts a week. It won’t cut it anymore to post on social media when you feel like it. In today’s market, your audience is looking at how active you are. 

Posting consistent content helps build a better experience for your customers by building credibility and trust. You are seen as an authority in your field as well as a resource for people to go to. 

The audience we’ve built at our digital marketing agency knows to expect to see a new article a week along with social posts on our different social media platforms.

4. You’re Not Posting on Your Social Media Platforms 

Now that you know you need to post consistent content, let’s discuss where you should be posting this regular content. 

As an organic digital marketing agency, we believe in the value of blog posts on your business’ website. Each week, we announce our new blog post on social media platforms that work best for us: LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram. To find out which social media platforms your business should be on, read here.

We also use these social platforms to post relevant content that add value to our audience. Sometimes, we like to have a little fun with our social posts (okay maybe most of the time we do!)  

You’re Not Optimizing for Mobile

It’s 2022, everyone uses their phones for everything- unless somehow you managed to survive this long with just a flip phone. 

Everything you do, from emails, blog posts, website builds and social posts should be optimized for mobile. Think about it, we all live on our phones. According to research from Oberlo, 63% of Google’s United States organic search traffic came from a mobile device. 

It’s time to get with the times and be as mobile-friendly as possible. If not, you may lose customers who are frustrated with navigating something that is non-mobile friendly. 

A Final Note

If you find yourself committing one or more of these marketing no-nos, it’s a sign that it’s time for you to partner with a digital marketing agency. An outsourced partner has the resources to help your business grow, rank, find leads, and establish yourself as an authority in your field. 


Read on to learn about more benefits of outsourced marketing.

Person using twitter on their phone after being bought by Elon Musk

If you’re like us, you’re trying to stay updated on what the heck is going on with Twitter. The nearly 20-year-old app has experienced some changes recently, and we’re here to explain what’s going on. 

Elon Musk Bought Twitter

Earlier this year, electric vehicle tycoon Elon Musk expressed interest in Twitter because he sought to continue the company’s commitment to free speech. In April, Musk bought over 9% of Twitter, making him the largest shareholder. 

After negotiations, Musk and Twitter finally agreed to a deal. According to the New York Times, “Twitter agreed to be taken over at $54.20 a share, a 38 percent premium over the share price before it was revealed that Mr. Musk had been buying up the company’s stock.”

In simple terms, he bought Twitter for about $44 billion. This is the largest deal in history to take a company private. 

Critics, however, question the deal since the platform has around 217 million daily users compared to the billions of users logging into Instagram and Facebook daily. Additionally, the little blue bird app hasn’t turned a profit in nearly a decade. 

Tesla’s CEO counters financial criticism because he is placing a higher value on opening the platform to free speech. In a release announcing the agreement between Twitter and Elon Musk, the new owner explains “free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated,” said Musk. 

The billionaire tech mogul added, “I also want to make Twitter better than ever by enhancing the product with new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating the spam bots, and authenticating all humans. Twitter has tremendous potential – I look forward to working with the company and the community of users to unlock it.”

C-suite level Executives Quit Twitter 

A company reshuffle is to be expected during any merger or acquisition. Twitter is no exception. This company, however, is experiencing a larger than usual reshuffle as three C-suite-level executives and two vice presidents depart from the company. 

Amid this new chapter for the company, their CEO, Parag Agrawal, has assured the staff at Twitter that they are not planning company-wide layoffs. 

Only time will tell how Twitter will fare after the dust settles. 

How is Twitter Reacting to the New Owner?

Of course, Twitter users have plenty to say about how they feel about Elon Musk purchasing the app. There are mixed feelings about it, but we thought we’d share a few of our favorite reactions below. 

The Twitter saga is long from over, and we’re excited to keep you up to date on any new news that surfaces. Save this link to stay updated on what’s going on with Twitter. Speaking of social media apps, read our next article explaining what’s going on with the Instagram Algorithm!

The Golden Screw

At Digital Storyteller, we believe storytelling is absolutely essential to the success of your business. But of course, you already knew that (we mean, the word ‘storyteller’ is in our name for goodness sake…)

But anyway, storytelling is key. Today, we’d like to share a story from our rockstar client, John Milikowsky, Founder of Milikowsky Tax Law.

It’s the origin story of his business, the inspiration for his logo (check it out here!), and how his skill set makes him a fantastic tax lawyer. Let’s dive in.

—————

“I’d like to set the scene… Come back in time with me, if you will.


It’s 1987 and I’m 10 years old. I’m sitting in a windowless supply room in the back of my
parents’ lighting store on a stool and in front of me is an oil barrel filled with screws. Machine
screws, wood screws, drywall screws, Phillips screws, and… you get the idea… a lot of screws.
And my task, set out for me by my father is to sort these screws into containers.


So many questions fly through my mind… why am I in the back storeroom when my sister gets
to be out on the floor of the store, actually TALKING to people, doing something useful and fun?


Who is the Machiavellian monster who has indiscriminately put screws from every facet of
construction just WILLY NILLY in an oil barrel?! Why does this oil barrel live in the storeroom of
my parents’ lighting store…


Sort
Sort
Sort


In that entire summer, I never made more than an inch’s worth of progress in sorting those
screws.


But sometime in the middle of that summer, I realized I had a choice to make… I was at a
crossroads. I could be furious, resentful… victimized by the mundane monotonous task set in
front of me… or, I could do it well and fast. I could be the best at screw sorting…


It’s possible that hindsight has put that perspective on my young experience…


But certainly, as I navigated my first few years of audits with my Tax Law clients, as they handed
me THEIR metaphorical oil-barrels filled with numbers… profit and loss statements for 3, 4 5
years, receipts faded with time and transactions whose recipients had long gone out of
business, I came to appreciate that summer of sorting. That training in detail work, that
patience for sifting through the most minute details.


I discovered that my passion was for the detective work it took to uncover the one piece of
information that made all the rest of a company’s business narrative fall into place. I realized it
was like finding a needle in a haystack, a diamond in ice… a golden screw… And that through
that kind of attention to detail, I could help people in their moments of crisis, at their crossroads.
Through diligence, expertise, and attention to detail, I can help save people’s businesses,
their families, and often, their sense of humor.”

How to attract the right client

So, you’re a business owner looking to get more clients? (Trust us, you’re not the only one!)

Every business owner ever:

But hold on – before you go all Heidi Klum on us and start looking to get MORE clients… Have you taken a minute to consider how to attract the right clients? Yes, the right clients. After all, you don’t want to be marketing your products and/or services to every person you walk by…

Not sure where to start? Lucky for you, we’ve got Andrew Marr, CEO and Owner of Digital Storyteller on camera to chat about how to attract the right clients.

Let’s see what he has to say.

Who is Your Ideal Client?

Clients, for any business owner, are obviously extremely important. Without clients, you’d have no business! (But you already knew that).

This considered, building a successful business and getting more clients is most likely one of your primary goals as a business owner.

Before we jump the gun and talk about getting more clients, however, it’s important to first discuss who the right clients are for you. How can you attract the right clients to your business?

Identifying the Perfect Client

The question isn’t, “Do you want more clients?” Of course, you do! The number one thing is, have you identified your perfect client?

Then, after you’ve identified your ideal client, think: Are you willing to create strategies around that particular client?

Our Perfect Client at Digital Storyteller

At Digital Storyteller, we focus on marketing for financial services companies. The realm of financial services ranges from commercial insurance to wealth advisories, commercial real estate firms, the list goes on.

While we love whisky, chardonnay, puppies, and tacos, we don’t market for companies that have anything to do with these elements. Why not? Because we’ve identified our perfect client (financial services clients) and unfortunately, whisky, chardonnay, puppies, and tacos have nothing to do with this industry (a little sad, right?)

We know it’s difficult not to accept whatever business walks through the door. It’s important, however, to hone in on who your ideal client is and not accept anyone else apart from this target audience.

So, to attract more clients, you have to first, figure out who your perfect client is. Put your energy and resources into that.

Interested in meeting one of our ideal clients? Check out this spotlight we did on our client Frank Crivello, founder and CEO of SBMA Benefits.

Woman conducting a work meeting

At Digital Storyteller, we market for financial services companies. This can encompass a lot of different types of businesses that offer different products or services. Think law firms, HR consultants, commercial real estate firms, wealth advisories, commercial insurance, and more.

We know, a little bit random… but we love it! Read on to hear more about why we chose marketing for financial services (hint: this industry is wildly underserved).

Working in the financial services industry means helping our clients might look a bit different from your typical B2C marketing agency. So, how do we help our clients?

Today, we’ve got Andrew Marr, CEO and Owner of Digital Storyteller answering that very question. It’s your lucky day.

But what is the main goal of a digital marketing agency? We’re going to hand things off to Andrew.

What is the Main Goal of a Digital Marketing Agency?

There’s one major goal, and it’s simple. That is to shorten the sales cycles of our clients.

What is a Sales Cycle?

A sales cycle is defined as “the repeatable and tactical process salespeople follow to turn a lead into a customer.”

This includes everything from the first encounter a client has with your business (whether it be through seeing your posts on social media or through receiving an email) to closing the deal and follow-ups.

sales cycle seven steps
A great illustration demonstrating sales cycles, courtesy of Snov.io.

How Do We Help Our Clients Shorten Sales Cycles?

Well, there are a lot of things we do to achieve a shorter sales process at Digital Storyteller. This might look like:

As you can see, there are a lot of different branches that come off of that tree.

The number one goal, however, for any marketing agency, is to use their toolkit to shorten sales cycles for their clients.

Want to hear some more of this Scottish lad ranting? Visit this page on our site that’s decked out, head to toe, with Andrew reviewing chardonnay. (We know, it’s kind of ridiculous—but we promise it’s entertaining!)

Marketing for Financial Services Companies

“At Digital Storyteller, we focus exclusively on [marketing for] financial services companies in the B to B space.”

Above is the text you’re faced with when you first visit DigitalStoryteller.io. Some of you might be thinking, “Great!… But what the heck is a financial services company?”

Most marketing agencies work with brands (think: restaurants, fitness centers, influencers, beauty companies, the list goes on). At Digital Storyteller, we’re a bit different… Here’s why.

Why Do We Focus on the Financial Services Industry?

So, why do we focus on financial services at Digital Storyteller? Well, aside from the fact that our team thinks financial services are wildly sexy (kidding… kind of?), we recognized a need and a gap in industry offerings.

But first, before we go into more detail, what is the financial services industry?

What the Heck is Financial Services?

We’re glad you asked.

According to the International Monetary Fund, the financial services sector “covers many different types of transactions in such areas as real estate, consumer finance, banking, and insurance.”

At Digital Storyteller, we have clients ranging from law firms to HR consulting firms, commercial real estate firms to wealth advisories, and commercial insurance. (Geez, that’s a mouthful, isn’t it?)

Anyway, when we say financial services, that’s really the realm we’re talking about.

Marketing for Financial Services Companies

So, back to why we market for financial services, at Digital Storyteller, we feel like that level of business, and that community of businesses, are underserved from a marketing perspective.

There are plenty of agencies out there who spend their time on biotech, startups, and influencer marketing—but not a lot who spend their time with financial services.

A Quick Aside

How did all of this come to be? In 1997, Amanda Rogers, Chief Creative Officer and Founder of Digital Storyteller taught herself how to code from a book when the actors union was on strike. 

She taught herself to write HTML, CSS, and Javascript before WordPress, Squarespace, and WIX existed. Although Amanda believes a lot has changed in the “how” of creating online presences for people and their businesses, the why is still the same… Tell the world what you do better than anyone else and the right people will be able to find you.

Why is Marketing Important for Financial Services Specifically

The financial services industry is a competitive and unique industry to market for. We know that those in the financial services industry navigate the difficult terrain of regulatory and compliance hurdles while seeking to successfully market their products and services.

Moreover, when it comes to financial services, you must build trust and authority through consistent content that is:

  • Reliable
  • Informational
  • Educational
  • Engaging

This considered—its difficulty—it’s essential that financial services companies seek out the right marketing for their businesses. Interested in learning more? Read on in the importance of digital marketing for financial services companies.

Top Seven Categories of Digital Marketing

How They Work Together

The world of digital marketing is constantly evolving. (We know you know this because we remind you of this in nearly every piece of content we push out!) There are, however, a handful of tried and true marketing efforts under the larger umbrella term of ‘digital marketing.’

Because let’s be honest, not all marketing efforts are created equal. Here we will discuss the top seven categories of digital marketing and how they work together. These seven categories of digital marketing are fundamental to the success of your business’s content marketing strategy.

So, let’s get started.

Content Marketing

First, what is content marketing? Content marketing is the bread and butter of what we do at Digital Storyteller.

Content marketing is “a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience—and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action,” as put by the Content Marketing Institute.

Today, the traditional sales pitch style of marketing is decreasing in value every day. Instead, content marketing approaches prospective clients by providing useful, relevant content to help solve problems or answer questions. Furthermore, content marketing aims to build trust with your prospective clients rather than simply complete a sale. 

Effective content marketing utilizes the “creating and sharing [of] relevant articles, videos, podcasts, and other media.”

This type of marketing helps to establish expertise and increase brand awareness. The goal is to make sure your business is at the top of your prospect’s mind when the time to purchase a product or service comes.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO is another crucial pillar in terms of your digital marketing strategy. SEO, in simple terms, is what allows your content to be found.

For our friends who love definitions, SEO, according to Moz, is “the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.” SEO is how marketers tailor their content to appeal to search engines like Google, Yahoo!, and Bing.

For example, you might search ‘affordable chardonnay near me’ on Google. The way that Google then provides results based on your search is determined by SEO. SEO is the tool that tells Google, “Hey! This is what information my website has, this is what I’m talking about, and these are the types of people that would find my website interesting!”

One of our favorite SEO tools to use at Digital Storyteller is Semrush. Semrush is an online tool that collects research on your business’s SEO, pay-per-click (PPC), content, and social media efforts. It can also help you identify keywords you are currently ranking for or targeting.

If you didn’t know, information about ranking keywords is critical to making your way up the Google Search Engine Results Page (SERP).

For more on all things SEO, check out this article for 10 tips to maximize your SEO efforts, this article we wrote on why SEO is important, or one of our more recent articles on how to effectively combine SEO and content marketing!

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

Parallel to SEO, we have SEM. You guessed it, another crucial piece of digital marketing.

SEM stands for Search Engine Marketing, which is, according to Optimizely, “a digital marketing strategy used to increase the visibility of a website in search engine results pages (SERPs).”

In the past, SEM typically encompassed both organic and paid search. Today, however, it almost exclusively refers to paid search advertising.

SEM is “the act of using paid strategies to increase search visibility.” Every day, businesses pay big money for their ads to rank first on search engine results pages. Hint: You can tell when businesses are using SEM by the bold “Ad” text that accompanies a search result.

SEO, SEM, why so many acronyms?! While these two may seem like the same thing, they are actually quite different. Learn more about the difference between the two in this article.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is not dead. It has, however, become increasingly difficult to grab the attention of clients and prospects through their inboxes.

Email marketing, as defined by MailChimp, is “a form of direct marketing as well as digital marketing, that uses email to promote your business’s products or services.”

Email marketing can be used to promote your latest items and offers, or it can assist with lead generation, brand awareness, relationship building, and customer engagement. 

The biggest challenge with email marketing is breaking through the noise. The best email marketing experts:

  • Craft compelling campaigns
  • Understand optimal audience outreach
  • And analyze customer interactions and data

Email marketing software companies, including HubSpot, Campaign Monitor, Constant Contact, and more, help perfect your email marketing campaigns by providing automated email workflow options as well as in-depth email marketing data (i.e. open rates and click-through rates).

Data Analytics

Marketing without data is merely speculation—a guessing game of what you hope will land with your prospects and clients.

At Digital Storyteller, we recognize that data is a crucial part of your digital marketing strategy. When it comes to our analyses, we use Google Analytics (primarily for website data), Semrush (for keyword analytics), and additionally Metricool (to look at social media performance).

Design and Website

As far as design goes, making sure your brand is consistent across all digital and print platforms helps clients and prospects recognize your brand immediately. 

Contrary to popular belief, design—whether for marketing collateral, social media, or a website—is more than just pictures and drawings. Venture and Grow state, “Graphic design is the art of communication that requires creativity and a systematic plan to solve a problem or achieve specific objectives.”

So, what makes effective design in digital marketing?

Effective graphic design “highlight plans to discover what makes [content] genuinely stand out and get shared.”

Additionally, top-notch design helps:

  • Build trust
  • Increase brand awareness
  • Influence the customer decision-making process

Don’t underestimate this component’s power in your digital marketing strategy. After all, you could have amazing content that gets swept under the rug because of poor presentation.

Speaking of design, let’s take a moment to chat about your website. Your business’s site isn’t just an opportunity to showcase your branding and design. Whether or not your site is easy to navigate and structured properly has a huge influence on how (and IF) clients and prospects will interact with your brand.

So, take a minute to ask yourself these questions: Is my website easy to navigate? Is it nice to look at? Does it lead people on a journey to find out more about my business?

Social Media Marketing

Of course, social media is a huge pillar in your digital marketing strategy. The platforms that you use (and that are essential to your digital marketing strategy) depend heavily on your target audience. Ask yourself where your prospects spend the most time, and where they are most likely to be influenced to trust a brand.

To learn which social platforms your business should be on, read our article “Financial Services Companies: Which Social Media Platforms Should You Be On?

Social media marketing includes any content that is released via a business’s social media channels. When it comes to a business, however, it’s not all fun and games. Crafting the perfect social media marketing strategy to fit into your larger digital marketing strategy is more complicated than posting on your own Instagram or LinkedIn.

Social media marketing is integrated and strategic. It takes hard work. Everything that pushes to social media must mirror the messages that are used throughout your business.

Social Media Analytics

Analytics are also crucial to your social media marketing.

This data can help you discover what types of posts do or don’t do well and why. With this data, social media marketers can better tailor their strategies for their business’s benefit.

Digital Storyteller is Here to Help

We know, there is a lot that goes into a successful digital marketing strategy. At Digital Storyteller, we like to think of your digital marketing strategy as a giant system of gears working together. Content is at the heart of this system and drives all of the marketing components like SEO, SEM, social media marketing, and so on.

The system would fail without each gear in place. So, how does your digital marketing strategy measure up? Read on to learn how to measure the success of your digital marketing strategy. You might be surprised by how your business is really doing.

Outsourced Marketing

Outsourcing isn’t as complicated as it sounds. When you outsource your digital marketing services, you save time, energy, and money. Here are six benefits of outsourcing marketing.

How Do You Measure the Success of Your Digital Marketing

So, you finally caved and implemented a kick*** digital marketing strategy for your business. Congratulations, that’s amazing!

But how do you know if it’s working? How do you measure the success of your digital marketing strategy? It’s an important question and is often an inquiry that Andrew Marr, CEO & Owner of Digital Storyteller, gets from prospects and clients.

He’s here to answer it today. Watch Andrew’s video below to learn how he measures the success of a digital marketing strategy. Let’s get started.

The Most Important Question to Ask

Whether or not your digital marketing strategy is successful or not comes down to one main question: Are you getting more clients?

If the answer is no, it’s time to reevaluate your strategy. Here’s how you can do that.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

We’ve all heard of KPIs.

Digital marketing KPIs, according to Digital Dot, are “quantifiable metrics that you can use to measure and monitor the partial and overall success of your digital marketing strategy.”

KPIs help to establish clear goals regarding campaigns and can be used in a variety of marketing approaches, including:

  • “Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC)
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Email Marketing”
  • And more

Here are some of the most important KPIs to track when it comes to your digital marketing strategy.

How to Measure the Success of Your Digital Marketing Strategy

At Digital Storyteller, we conduct monthly and quarterly reporting for all of our clients. These reports help us show clients how we’re moving the needle, what’s working for them in their digital marketing strategy, and where we can shift to improve.

Below are some factors we evaluate:

Authority Score

Authority score, according to Semrush, is their “compound domain score that grades the overall quality of a website or a webpage.” Your score can range anywhere from 0 to 100. The higher the score, the more credibility a site typically has. Obviously, an authority score of 100 is #goals, but realistically, a score ranging from 32-48 is where you’ll see a strong organic marketing score lie. 

This figure is determined by a few key factors including:

  • Backlinks
  • Organic keyword rankings
  • Site health
  • Site age
  • Among many other factors

Because of these factors, authority score takes time and consistency to grow. After all, you can’t grow your authority score overnight– even though we wish you could. 

Ranking Keywords

There are, of course, specific keywords that your business will want to rank for. If you’re in the commercial insurance industry in San Diego, for example, some of your keywords might include:

  • “Commercial Insurance San Diego”
  • “Business Insurance”
  • “Business Owner”
  • “Risk Management”
  • And so on

Using a tool like Semrush—which collects research on your business’s SEO, PPC, content, and social media efforts—can help you identify the keywords you are currently ranking for (or currently not).

Information about ranking keywords is critical to making your way up the Google Search Engine Results Page (SERP).

Organic Traffic

Organic traffic is defined as “visitors that land on your website from unpaid sources.”

The amount of organic traffic that your website receives is a huge indication of where or not your marketing strategy is successful.

Average Session Duration

Session duration shows how much time visitors spend on your website. As a general rule of thumb, you want a high session duration. That means people are engaging more on your sight instead of clicking away! 

You can increase session duration by:

  • Providing quality informational content on your site
  • Ensuring your site is easy to navigate; user-friendly
  • Incorporating video content

Bounce Rate

What is bounce rate? Bounce rate indicates how quickly someone exits (or “bounce” from) your website after visiting it. For this reason, we want a high session duration and a low bounce rate. Semrush tells us that “an optimal bounce rate would be in the 26% to 40% range.”

Our goal is to keep people on-page as long as possible. You can decrease your bounce rate by:

  • Making sure your website loads quickly
  • Including all information that prospects might be looking for
  • Creating an easy to navigate the site
  • Prioritizing engaging content
  • Eliminating page errors

Social Media Statistics

We, of course, cannot end this article without talking about social media statistics. In our monthly and quarterly reports we give in-depth information for each social platform being used on:

  • Growth (i.e. followers)
  • Interactions
  • Reach
  • Comments
  • Clicks
  • Number of posts
  • Profile views
  • Impressions

As we’ve worked with our clients, however, we’ve noticed that it’s not uncommon for clients to get hung up on numbers. For example, the number of followers or likes they get on an Instagram post.

It is very important, however, to identify where their prospects spend time. For example, Instagram followers and likes might not matter so much for a financial services company compared to a clothing brand.

While it’s important to be active and engaged on Instagram, a better indication of a financial services company’s success might come from a platform like LinkedIn or YouTube. For those interested in learning more, here’s an article on what social platforms are best for your business to be on.

To reiterate, likes and followers don’t automatically equate to success, but it is important to be engaged and consistent within your social media strategy. Naturally, this means that as time goes on, your following, likes, engagement, etc. should increase.

Notice the trend? Slow and steady growth wins the race. 

Depending on who you ask, engagement might be a more important factor than the number of likes and followers.

Well, that’s all folks. We hoped you learned a thing or two from this article! If you’re interested, read on for more on social media, specifically the difference between social impressions and social engagement.

Outsourced Marketing

When it comes to marketing your business, there are a lot of options available to you. Not all marketing efforts, however, are created equal.

Do you know what outsourced digital marketing is? How much does it cost to outsource marketing? How exactly does it work? Here’s what to expect working with an outsourced digital marketing agency.

What Does It Mean to Outsource Your Marketing?

The word ‘outsource,’ by definition, means to “obtain (goods or a service) from an outside or foreign supplier, especially in place of an internal source,” according to Google.

Therefore, as Precision Marketing Group puts it, outsourced marketing is “the engagement of a professional marketing firm to serve as your own firm’s marketing department.” Simply put, outsourced marketing means letting a third party take care of your marketing efforts. You then have more time to do what you do best—which is run your business.

Who Can You Expect on an Outsourced Marketing Team?

Well, depending on the outsourced marketing agency’s specialties, you could work in close contact with a variety of different marketers. At Digital Storyteller, for example, our team is made up of:

  • A Creative Director
  • Social Media Manager
  • Social Media Coordinator
  • Social Media Specialist
  • A Client Success Manager
  • SEO Manager
  • Graphic & Web Design Manager
  • Junior Graphic Designer
  • And numerous content specialists!

Why Would You Hire an Outsourced Marketing Team?

By hiring an outsourced marketing team, you allow your team to place focus on running your business.

An outsourced digital marketing agency covers every aspect of marketing so you don’t have to worry about:

  • Posting creative, consistent content
  • SEO optimization
  • Managing your online reputation
  • Website design and branding
  • Staying up to date with social media updates and algorithms 

The list goes on…

As we mentioned previously, by hiring an outsourced digital marketing team, you gain access to creative directors, social media experts, content specialists, and more, at a fraction of the cost it would take to hire an in-house team.

All the support you need is wrapped up into one flat monthly rate.

How Much Does It Cost to Outsource My Marketing?

Now, as a business owner, one of the first things you’re wondering when you hear about the benefits of outsourced marketing is: How much is this going to cost me? The short answer? It’s cheaper than doing it yourself. 

Let’s talk numbers. Our most popular package at Digital Storyteller sits at $5K a month, which totals $60k for the year. Sound like a lot? Let’s consider the cost breakdown of hiring a team of four marketers in-house instead:

Hiring four marketing experts in-house, after salaries and benefits will cost your company $260,000 annually, plus some $16,000 for new hire costs. In just one year, your company has racked up $276,000. That’s only with four experts. The cost grows as you continue building your own team. 

We know it’s not spooky season anymore, but for more frightening math, visit this blog post where we break down the cost-benefit of outsourced digital marketing.

At Digital Storyteller, we try to make things less frightening, which is why our most popular digital marketing package is $60K annually as opposed to $276,000.

Our rate gives you access to an entire team that’s also dedicated to building your business. Outsourced marketing is a great, cost-effective way to invest in your company’s marketing efforts.

How Do You Know if You’re a Good Fit to Outsource Your Marketing?

There are many reasons why outsourcing your marketing is a great option. Here are some signs you’re a good fit.

  • Your current marketing efforts are not consistent
  • The world of digital marketing is overwhelming to you — so many changes are constantly taking place!
  • You want to focus on what’s most important: running your business
  • You don’t have a marketing “strategy”
  • You want to take your marketing to the next level, but aren’t sure how to
  • The idea of hiring someone in-house worries you — how could a single person have all of the marketing skills I need?
  • You are ready to trust an agency to get to know your business and market for you

How Effective Marketing Can Be When You Let Your Outsourced Agency Do Their Job

The last bullet above is SO important: “You are ready to trust an agency to get to know your business and market for you.”

When companies bring in outsourced digital marketing agencies but don’t let them do their job (i.e. hold off on pushing content, stay inside their comfort zone), the results of outsourced marketing are poor. 

Part of our job is to challenge you! We get that it can be hard to let someone take the reins and run a big piece of your company. But that’s what we know and do best. You’re juggling a million things when running your own business, let us take a large chunk off of your plate so you can focus on what you love to do.

Here’s an example of a client who lets us do just that, take the reins.

SBMA is an Affordable Care Act (ACA) compliant Minimum Essential Coverage (MEC) benefits provider that provides affordable coverage for thousands of employers. We’ve been working with SBMA for nearly two years. Here’s what we’ve done for them during our partnership.

When we first started working with SBMA, they had very few keywords. What are keywords, you might ask? Check out this article for everything you need to know. 

Anyway, all of the keywords that SBMA was ranking for on Google were branded keywords (think names of specific employees and the literal name of their company ‘SBMA).

Long story short, if you only rank for branded keywords, you won’t come up on Google very often, unless someone is searching that exact, specific keyword. You really want to rank for more than just branded keywords.  

SBMA, as a benefits provider, would also want to rank for things like ‘MEC plan,’ ‘Health Plan Administrators,’ and ‘Worksite Benefits,’ to name a few.

With our ongoing content marketing strategy, we’ve been able to work wonders for them. Here are some numbers to prove it.

Currently, 80% of SBMA’s site traffic comes from organic search. Last October 2020, SBMA had 2,155 site users in a month. This October, in 2021, SBMA had 3,566.

Additionally, they had a 60% increase in their authority score. Last October, they had a domain authority score of 16 whereas this October they have grown to 23.

Authority score is based on a number of various factors including site health, organic keyword growth, backlinks, and more. It takes time, research, and consistent effort to grow an authority score, so a seven-figure jump in authority score is incredible.

When we first began working with SBMA, they let us know that they wanted to rank for ‘MEC.’ Now, SBMA dominates the organic search engine results page (SERP) when it comes to the ‘MEC’ space.

Lastly, SBMA currently ranks for 965 keywords whereas last October they ranked for 408. The graph below shows SBMA’s organic keyword growth over time.

SBMA Organic Keywords

Marketing: It’s What We Do Best

The goal of an outsourced digital marketing agency is to understand your business and your brand voice to then let the world know how awesome you are.

We start every engagement with a Brand Storytelling Session where we identify your unique brand voice. Then, our team uses bi-weekly client calls, Monday emails, and content calendars to make sure you know what’s happening, always.

We have monthly reporting where we let you know what the return on investment that you’re getting is from your relationship with us.

Of course, there’s always a team member available to you just a call, email, or even text away. Not to toot our own horn, but we’ve been told on multiple occasions that our bi-weekly calls are their favorite calls!

Happy with the direction we’re headed in? We’ll keep running that way. Want to tweak something? More than happy to adjust.

We’ll bring you fresh ideas from our kick*** creative team from a relationship built on trust. Because that’s the beauty of digital marketing.

For those who are interested in learning more about the difference between outsourced marketing and in-house marketing, read on here.