content marketing, marketing, digital marketing, lead generation, fisher formula, content, lead magnet, lead magnet content,
Generating leads through content marketing is not an exact science. What works for one company may not work for another — especially if it’s a firm in a different sector and country. There is no single, optimal solution, and working out what works best for your own organisation is likely to be the result of extensive iteration.
There is, however, one strategy that, in our experience, works especially well — so well, in fact, that it’s our own preferred method for generating leads for ourselves. It basically entails producing a piece of landmark content — it might be an e-guide, a podcast, a video or even a short documentary — and then using that content as a lead magnet.
So, how is it done? Well, a good example of a company that uses content in this way is Fisher Investments, a fee-only financial advice firm based in California. The second largest advice business in the US, it has around 40,000 clients, $83 billion under management across and almost 2,300 employees across the US and around the world.
This is a business that does marketing very well indeed. Over the years, it has built and refined an inbound marketing model that drives traffic to the site and converts prospects into paying clients.
Michael Donavan at AdvisorAdvance, a specialist business development consultancy for the financial advice sector, has outlined what he calls The Fisher Formula. It really is an interesting read.
Essentially, the formula goes like this:
A > L > M > N > A = C
Ads (Traffic) > Landing Page > Magnet (Guide) > Nurture > Appointment = Client
The company has two principal websites — the main Fisher Investments website, and an educational site called the Fisher Investments Education Centre. The sites combined attract around 240,000 visitors every month. Although the firm makes some use of Google Adwords, most of the traffic is generated by advertising — principally display and native advertising, but also Facebook Ads. The adverts themselves are simple, and they focus on particular issues or problems that potential clients may be facing.
The purpose of the adverts is to attract attention and direct people to a series of landing pages. Again, these pages simply designed, and they are also easy to navigate. They have only one objective, and that’s to persuade the prospect to provide their email address.
Of course, people don’t part with their email address lightly these days. They want to receive something of value in return. In the case of Fisher Investments, the “gated content” on offer is a series of guides.
The adverts and landing pages are designed to pre-qualify the leads they generate. For example, there are specific guides for those with at least $500,000 to invest, for pre-retirees and for those already in retirement. So, once Fisher Investment has the email address, it’s simply of matter of nurturing the client and arranging an initial appointment.
The Fisher Formula isn’t necessarily the right approach for every firm. For a start, Fisher Investments’ marketing budget undoubtedly dwarfs that of a typical advice business. Remember, too, that Ken Fisher already has an established reputation in the US investing industry, mainly through his work as an author and newspaper columnist. Lesser known firms will also need to invest time and effort in establishing though leadership through regular content and social media marketing.
However, in our view, combining advertising with landing pages and, most importantly, high-quality gated content, is the single most effective way for a larger firm to generate large numbers of leads.
I can highly recommend reading Michael Donovan’s entire article. Here it is:
ROBIN POWELL is the founder of Ember Regis Group, and he specialises in helping businesses in the financial services sector to attract, retain and educate clients.
This is a revised version of an article that recently appeared on Robin’s blog for financial advisers, Adviser 2.0
If you would like to find out more about gated content and how to use it to generate leads, why not get in touch?