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8 Exclusive Debt Settlement Lead Generation & Marketing Strategies

Generating more leads and sales in today’s ever-growing, technologically advanced market can be viewed similarly by any type or niche. What works for local realtors and lawyers may very well work for B2B Fortune 500 companies, so long as the approach is tailored. When it comes to generating more debt settlement leads, what really matters is the level of expertise applied to your brand’s marketing strategy and efforts maintained to track and monitor the progress, collect data, and remove any unnecessary elements that aren’t providing the most value. With student debt hitting an all-time high and the U.S. national debt soaring to a record $22 Trillion, it’s no wonder consumers need help with their debt now more than ever – it’s only expected to get worse.

Are you tired of the same old sequence of buying debt settlement leads lists? With personal experience in the debt settlement industry, I know first hand the struggle of debt consultants trying to convey the benefits of the program and dealing with leads who are already calling and complaining about why they received a letter in the mail.

Due to many new federal regulations and constraints, the debt settlement industry is nowhere close to where it was ten years ago. During that time debt settlement companies were allowed to market and advertise their services to whomever and however. These tactics were deemed as quite spammy and in some cases fraudulent which led to many consumers complaining to their State Attorney General, the CFPB (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau), and the FTC (Federal Trade Commission). Many lawsuits have put a lot of debt settlement companies out of business.debt-settlement-leads-why-has-your-marketing-hit-a-wall-generate-more-relief-lead-strategy-management-optimization

Increasing Demand In Your Debt Settlement Services

What is demand generation and why is it essential for consistently delivering quality leads? Think of supply and demand, most debt settlement companies have the supply of the market but lack the demand. The demand is how crucial consumers view their services. In this case, consumers are generally battling with figuring out if consumer credit counseling, DIY debt settlement, bankruptcy, or debt consolidation is more viable for their circumstance. After weighing the pros and cons, many debt consultants will tell you what option the consumer usually picks.

A typical debt settlement sales call will start with the consumer telling the consultant everything that they are ‘not’ going to do. The consumer is not going to let their cards close, the consumer is not going to allow there be any late payments on their credit, and they are certainly not going to ignore any creditor calls. This is no different than you going to the doctor for an unknown problem, and after the diagnosis, the doctor tells you what prescription you need and what lifestyle changes must be made to reduce or limit the effects and you telling the doctor everything you’re not going to do.

Demand generation can be defined as the focus of targeted marketing programs to drive awareness and interest in a company’s products and services.

If you build demand for your services, you’re educating them on what you provide, why it’s needed, and why the customer should buy from you and not your competitor, which is what marketing is all about.

Where most debt settlement companies and most businesses, in general, go wrong is believing that advertising is marketing and vice-versa. First, we have to understand the difference.

Advertising is the massive “for sale” sign that gets people to your garage sale. It’s the billboard you see on your way to and from work. It’s the channel that lets people know where you are and that you are open for business. Advertising is a predominant component of marketing, but the keyword here is “component.”

An advertising campaign without a marketing plan is just a recipe for failure. Debt settlement companies must realize that the local Facebook ad agency they hired specializes in one thing and one thing only, and that’s Facebook ads. They’ll get your message across to as many targeted people as possible, but that’s not going to guarantee or even hint at any possible conversions. More often than not, most businesses will start advertising with the single goal of getting more paying customers. It’s not uncommon yet less likely that companies will start an advertising campaign simply to raise awareness and increase brand recognition. However, even with that, many other factors must be in place for it to have any effect, more on that a little later.

For now, let’s cover the top 8 most effective ways of generating more debt settlement leads and sales.

Top 8 Ways To Generate More Debt Settlement Leads

Again, most debt settlement companies have at least tried Facebook advertising, and most have failed, but why? Whether their “marketing” “company” was able to deliver quality leads or not is beside the point (for now) because most debt settlement companies aren’t aware their process needs to be designed and optimized for converting these digital leads.

Right now, debt settlement company website’s are set up to offer some brief information and encourage a few visitors to call or fill out a form. This method of landing page development may have worked when direct mail marketing was at its peak, but as we grow closer and closer toward a new era of digital, these processes are no longer going to be (as) effective.

Sending leads from Facebook to your website should having a different splash page then say advertising on Google, or through Direct Mail. Each channel needs its own dedicated landing page specific to converting that type of lead. Someone on Facebook might be busy doing something else at that moment and happen to click your Ad, whereas someone on Google who is actually looking for the information right now might be ready to call or email you right away.

Furthermore, a lead who calls or visits the website from a letter they received in the mail might just be trying to see if this is legitimate rather than wanting to be obliterated with the information they are not ready to receive yet. As with any marketing strategy, the more touches a lead has the higher chances of it converting into a paying customer and the less likely that customer is going to cancel.

With that, each of these eight lead generation strategies is important, however, more often than not they are pieces of the entire debt settlement marketing puzzle. Very few see success by just implementing one tactic alone.

Marketing is like a machine, and each of these eight strategies is a gear that must work in conjunction with the rest to produce the greatest results. Further going along with the metaphor, they’ll occasionally need to be greased up as well (redesigned/ optimized).

Another good visual is to picture your marketing plan like your fitness plan. Merely bench-pressing every day, skipping leg day and not eating healthy is not a recipe for success, in fact, it’s the complete opposite. For your business to even be ready for more leads and sales, you need a solid foundation which may result in completing knocking down what’s built and starting from ground zero.

1. Search Engine Optimization

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Believe it or not, using a free tool like Google Ads’ Keyword Planner and search volume tool will show you that there are millions of searches per month related to debt. Each year tens of millions of people are specifically looking for help with their (debt), millions are actually researching debt settlement. Why aren’t you targeting these prospects? Many debt settlement companies miss the mark by not targeting the people who are looking for debt settlement. They’re focused on the crazed Facebook Ads that have been around for decades. SEO has been around even longer and continues to show promising results.

Longtail Debt Settlement Keywords

One key is to target long tail keywords. In a market where competition is heavily dominated by a handful of companies, it may not be feasible to rank on page one for the term “debt settlement” yet, ranking on page one for “debt settlement pros and cons” might be. The major advantage of targeting long tail keywords aside from it being easier to rank higher is that these generally produce higher-quality leads. Someone looking at the pros and cons may be more ready to enroll than someone who just Googled “debt” and is displayed with countless information and ads. When your Google Analytics is established, and you can track what keywords are bringing in the most traffic, further reviewing the data will also indicate which keywords correlate with the corresponding consumer buying phase. Are they just now looking for information or have they been looking for information, decided this is what they need to do and are ready for someone to help?

Debt Settlement Geotargeting & Location-Tailored SEO

Another key is to include geolocations. One company has caught on to the impact of targeting keywords plus locations such as, “debt settlement Allen tx,” for example. Some of the main factors that will give you an edge over the competition for the location you want to target is having a business address and local phone number within the targeted area. If you’re targeting Dallas, Texas, it’s best to use a Dallas phone number throughout the page, include your address, and create a Google Business Listing.

Over time, as you collect more (good) reviews, Google will start displaying your company higher in the Map pack. Coupled with an SEO optimized article on your website about your services and their current location, and you will have twice the chances of converting those searchers into leads because Google will be displaying two results under your brand instead of just one.

Another way to capitalize would be to target PPC ads for this location as well and have a total of three results for the search term, but we’ll cover more on this later.

4 SEO Statistics To Know For Your Debt Settlement Marketing Efforts

SEO is one of the most important aspects of generating debt settlement leads. Go where the consumer is, and research shows they are on search engines.

1. 93% of all online experiences begin with a search engine (imFORZA).

Search engines aren’t going anywhere, in fact, it’s where people go when they need answers. How would it impact your company to have first page rankings for a debt settlement keywords that gets roughly 10,000 unique searches per month? Then what if your pages could start converting at the average rate of 2.35%? (Average landing page conversion rate across industries, WordStream).

2. 50% of all searches will be voice searches by 2020 (comScore).

SEO is more than building links and creating content. Every page of your website must be fully-optimized for mobile search, desktop, and now becoming more important is voice search optimization.

3. Google’s first position on desktop search results has a 34.36% click-through rate (HubSpot).

Statistics continue to show you should never underestimate the coveted first page of Google. In fact, as you move down the first page, the click-through-rate (CTR) drops, with the majority of people choosing one of the top three results compared to anything else that they will then come across in their search.

4. 51% of searchers are more likely to convert from a mobile-optimized website (Quicksprout).

Google is pushing mobile search more than ever before which means this figure is only going to increase over the coming years. According to the search engine user statistics, it is evident that the traditional way of purchasing products online has been surpassed by new technology such as mobile first indexing. If your website isn’t optimized for mobile usage, you’re automatically shooting yourself in the foot by reducing your target market by a substantial percentage.

2. Web Design & Landing Page Design

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When people visit your website, what’s the first thing they see? Where many debt settlement companies miss the mark is by not displaying what the customer wants to see. Where are visitors clicking at the most? Do they prefer having a menu at the top or side? Do they prefer a slider or video at the top? Good website design will keep visitors coming back to your website whereas a great website will get visitors there, to begin with.

The Key To Good Debt Settlement Web Design

Google’s ranking algorithm is only getting smarter and is taking into account factors such as website loading speed, user design and user experience as important ranking signals. A debt settlement website should be equally well-designed for the search engines and the end user. Chances are, people are visiting the website to find more information, but if that information isn’t displayed in a format that’s easy to read and digest, they will leave and never come back. That lead just became a competitor’s lead.

A common trend among debt settlement companies is the lack of a well-designed website. Having a website with “wow” factor is a good indicator to the consumer that your company is trustworthy and will do what it says. Think about it, when is the last time you trusted giving your credit card or personal information on a website that looks like it hasn’t been updated in over ten years?

With that, and with Google’s switch to mobile first indexing, it’s now more important than ever for sites to be completely optimized for all devices. Google is going to rank and index sites based on the mobile version of its site as a priority which is something many debt settlement companies lack. With more users browsing the web from their mobile device rather than a desktop or laptop, responsive web design is no longer an option; it’s a must.

You only have ten seconds to leave the first impression and tell your user what it is you do and how they will benefit before you lose them forever. Having a crowded website, or one with not enough information on it will leave the visitor with a poor first impression which will ultimately end up being their last as well.

7 Web Design Facts That Should Compel You To Update Your Site

  1. 94% of people cited web design as the reason they mistrusted or rejected a website (KoMarketing).
  2. 48% of people cited a website’s design as the number one factor in deciding the credibility of a business (KoMarketing).
  3. Given fifteen minutes to consume content, two-thirds of people would rather read something beautifully designed than something plain. (Source: Adobe)
  4. 38% of people will stop engaging with a website if the content/layout is unattractive. (Source: Adobe)
  5. Once on a company’s homepage, 86% of visitors want to see information about that company’s products/services.
  6. Once on a company’s homepage, 64% of visitors want to see the company’s contact information.
  7. Once on a company’s homepage, 52% of visitors want to see “about us” information.

There’s a large number of people who will determine the credibility of your company just on the design of your website alone. The majority of your leads and customers could lose trust in your business, cancel, or never call back simply because the design of your website looks old and outdated. The internet has come from a time where anyone could hide behind their ugly website and take payments for products or services that don’t deliver. People naturally associate bad design with these old online scams.

3. Email Marketing

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With the rise of DocuSign among debt settlement companies, it’s virtually impossible not to have the email addresses of all clients. Yet, as soon as the customer enrolls, that seems to be the last they hear from the debt settlement company via email.

Email marketing has been a powerhouse of digital marketing for decades. It was one of the first marketing strategies to take the forefront with the advent of the Internet. Research by Salesforce.com notes that for every $1 spent on email marketing, you will receive an average of $38 in return. That’s a 3,800% ROI on email marketing alone! So why aren’t debt settlement companies taking advantage? Same reason you can lead a horse to water and not force it to drink.

Email marketing is known for generating new leads and getting sales from existing ones. Unfortunately, long gone are the days where one could simply Google, “email marketing lists” and pay a couple of hundred dollars to the website that ranked the highest. Although this is still possible, it is no longer feasible. Just as Google was able to pick up and penalize spammy tactics, Google and many other email providers have picked up on the spam and are blacklisting all those who oppose their terms.

Contributing factors to whether or not your emails will be seen, sent to the spam folder, or totally blocked are your open and response rates. If people aren’t opening your emails, this is an indication of spam. Think about it, when is the last time you opened an email from Warren Buffet who claims he’s ready to send you ten million dollars? Furthermore, if people are opening your email but not replying to them, this is a less severe yet still critical factor as to whether or not your emails should be automatically sent to spam. Once this occurs, you can kiss all the emails on your domain goodbye; this includes all the executives, sales team, support team, and anyone with an email on the company’s domain name.

The best way to take advantage of email marketing is through delivering quality content via a company blog. Start posting those updates on social media and SEO optimizing that content. As more people begin visiting these blog posts, for the users who do not call you right away, or fill out the desired form, they just may subscribe to your email list to receive more updates similar to the one they just read.

Through email, your company able to remind and convince your leads to take action. Creating sequences and triggers will further enhance the effectiveness and returns for your campaign. But don’t stop there.

When someone enrolls and becomes a customer, this should set off a trigger that they are now a customer and should be getting a different email sequence than someone who is not. A welcome email is essential, for the first 90 days, and email per week will keep them engaged, then every other month or once per quarter with updates on your company, events, articles, etc., will keep them engaged and less likely to start researching your competitors. Good email marketing will increase the retention rates and the lifetime of the customer. A high-retention rate is a must have for the debt settlement industry, especially when most companies are dealing with high-cancellations due to various reasons of lack of communication, lack of information and lack of credibility. Email marketing doesn’t control every aspect of marketing, but it sets and maintains the right tone throughout.

5 Quick, Must-Read Email Marketing Statistics

  1. For every dollar invested in email marketing, you can expect an average return of $38 (SalesForce).
  2. 80 percent of professionals agree that email marketing drives customer acquisition and retention (eMarketer).
  3. People are two times as likely to sign up for your email list as they are to interact with you on Facebook (Forrester).
  4. 61 percent of consumers enjoy receiving promotional emails weekly. 38 percent would like emails to come even more frequently (Marketing Sherpa).
  5. Email marketing has a higher conversion rate than social media marketing and search engines combined (Wordstream).

4. Public Relations

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Any information coming from another source that’s someone else besides your brand is public relations. Public relations is just that, the practice of relating to the public and influencing the public’s perception of your company, products, services, and people. Having someone else verifying your claims and statements makes the consumer feel confident.

How many websites have you visited that include logos for USA Today, Forbes, Inc Magazine, and so forth? Having your brand name mentioned throughout the media is a tactic that has been utilized for centuries. It’s one thing to tell your customers your service is the end-all be-all to their problems but to have another source, verifying these claims with research is what sends public relations over the edge.

There’s less than a handful of debt settlement companies taking advantage of public relations. Many confuse public relations with press releases because the two share the acronym of “PR.” Press releases have their purposes and benefits but are not even scratching the surface of what public relations entails. Press releases are more like a smaller component of Public Relations.

5 Public Relations Statistics That Prove Debt Settlement Companies Need PR

1. Millennials are 247% more likely to be influenced by blogs or social networking sites (Hubspot).

With Millennials being the next generation to experience more problems with their debt and need help should become the target marketing. Millennials especially want to read content from third-party sources to gain insight and information on a topic or trend, so with them, PR is a must.

2. SEO leads have a 14.6% close rate, while outbound leads (such as direct mail or print advertising) have a 1.7% close rate (imFORZA).

Public Relations has countless SEO benefits that come with it. In terms of direct effects, visitors that click on your website from a PR piece have a much higher chance of closing compared to outbound marketing tactics. These visitors are better, more qualified leads coming to your site from a source they know, love or trust.

3. 70% of consumers prefer getting to know a company via articles rather than ads (Content Marketing Institute).

What generates more sales than a script or salesperson? The story behind the company and its founders. People want to know the people behind the brand, as well as their thoughts, opinions on industry issues, social responsibility, etc. Consumers prefer this over the ad experience and are far more likely to engage and close.

4. 68% of consumers are likely to spend time reading content from a brand they are interested in (Content Marketing Association).

Many businesses, especially debt settlement companies have concerns that writing a thought-piece or bylined article is a waste of time, yet 68% of people want to read this content from brands they like. Reaching out to writers of Huffington Post, USA Today or Forbes and getting your experience or opinions annotated is what the consumer wants. You don’t find just anyone on these websites.

5. People are growing tired of old tactics. People want to be in control of what information they receive (Ragan).

  • 86% of people skip TV advertisements;
  • 44% of direct mail is never opened;
  • 91% of email users have unsubscribed from a company email that they had previously opted for.

Debt settlement companies know that marketing is shifting but keep refusing to acknowledge the signs of consumers wanting a different approach. Consumers want more inbound, personalized tactics instead of outbound, appealing to the masses tactics. Public Relations puts the control back in the hands of the consumer as opposed to it being imposed upon them.

5. Reputation Management

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What’s the first thing people see when they go to look your company up online? Hopefully, it’s your website, but just like web design, Google, Bing, and Yahoo leave powerful first impressions. In today’s world, more and more people are basing their trips to stores and restaurants on reviews. Personally, I refuse to eat somewhere that has less than a four-star rating as do 49% of other consumers. The same goes for debt settlement companies. In an industry that already receives a lot of heat, the last thing you want people to see are many negative reviews and bad links associated with your company.

Most people assume that reputation management is a miracle pill that will simply make all the bad reviews go away whereas its more of a compromise with the customers and search engines. There’s no cure for a bad reputation and anyone telling you otherwise is trying to take your money and run. Anyone guaranteeing they can remove any bad links and bad reviews does not have your best interest at heart. While it is possible to achieve these things, it is not 100%.

Instead, managing and building your brand’s online reputation is about getting to the root of the problem, fixing it, and displaying those fixes. Whether it’s taking a proactive approach or reactive approach, it’s utilizing that method as a marketing strategy. Convincing a customer to change a one-star review to a three or four-star review is more marketable than simply flagging the review and having it removed. One will leave someone with a bad feeling about your company whereas the other showcases your care and concerns for each person you’re associated with.

6 Reputation Management Statistics That Prove The Debt Settlement Industry Needs ORM

After researching online, I’ve come to find some of the more powerful statistics about reputation management to come from studies by Bright Local.

1. 97% of consumers search online for local businesses.

Going back to what we covered earlier on geotargeting for debt settlement leads, the star rating displayed next to the company name and website are a critical factor in obtaining leads and generating sales.

2. 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

No matter how this issue turns, the response is overwhelmingly positive towards customer reviews. Online customer reviews and personal reviews are nearly equivalent in their trustworthiness.

3. Consumers read an average of 7 reviews before trusting a business.

If online reputation management was an afterthought before reading this article, these statistics should change your disposition. In the view of the modern consumer, a company that does not exist online does not exist at all. Furthermore, how a company appears, with or without stars, positive or negative reviews – is equally important.

4. An additional one-star Yelp rating causes a 5-9% increase in revenue.

According to a Harvard Business School Working Paper, every additional one-star Yelp rating causes an increase in the business’s revenue as high as 9%. How could going from a three start to a five-star rating help launch your business?

5. 69% of job seekers are likely to reject an employment offer from a company with a bad reputation.

The greatest asset any company has isn’t it’s machinery, databases or technology, it is its own employees. Most unemployed job seekers would say no to an opportunity for a job if the offer came from a company with a bad reputation. According to a Corporate Responsibility Magazine / Allegis Group Services survey, the percentage of rejections from job prospects could be as high as 69%! Don’t lose out on obtaining higher-quality talent that could potentially increase sales, revenue, and overall production for less cost by not investing in reputation management.

6. 77% of consumers think that reviews older than 3 months aren’t relevant.

Relevancy is not just important in the eyes of the search engines but also consumers. The concept of keeping reviews up to date is the same as keeping your company social media profiles and blog up-to-date with relevant information. Developing and implementing an effective and even automated review generation system can continue to provide returns for your business. The moral question of how each review is obtained, naturally or paid, will have a positive or negative outcome.

6. Pay-Per-Click Advertising

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An additional form of search marketing, for company’s that cannot or will not wait the three to six months it takes to earn returns from organic traffic through search engine optimization, many will opt for per-click-click management programs (PPC) and for good reason. Searching on Google for any “debt settlement” or “debt relief” related keywords will reveal the larger debt settlement companies are exercising this marketing strategy.

Pay-per-click is just that, paying for each visitor that clicks on your ads. Unlike traditional advertising through TV, radio, or other ad spots, the brand only pays when that person has successfully clicked on the ad. PPC for B2C businesses has been perceived as most efficient in Google and Facebook, among other major search engines and social media websites.

Instead of it taking months to get page one rankings for desired keywords, through relevant ad copy, companies can get on page one within a matter of days through PPC. Among the many other advantages, PPC allows companies to target specific metrics such as age, gender, device, location, and even annual household income. Collecting this data over time indicates where the more engaged and higher retention customers are coming from and can allow debt settlement firms to reduce campaigns or stop advertising to the customers who are not engaging or the leads who are not converting.

Of course, it has some downsides albeit few, like 1% of consumers viewing online ads as a negative. Or, not implementing each campaign with the proper targeting, keywords, and landing page design could produce little to no returns. This shouldn’t discourage debt settlement companies from starting PPC advertising campaigns; it should only encourage them to do their research before starting.

4 Stats Proving Why Debt Relief Companies Need PPC Advertising

1. Businesses generally make an average of $2 in revenue for every $1 they spend on Google Ads (Google).

This statistics should be enough in and of itself. Google’s Chief Economist measured double the return on investment through its advertising platform. For this reason alone, debt settlement marketing strategies should at least include some form of PPC.

1. Internet traffic funneled through pay-per-click advertisements bring approximately 50% more lead conversions than organic web traffic (Power Traffick).

Driving targeted web traffic through high-converting campaigns can provide higher conversion rates. Targeting the right keywords with PPC allows brands to target consumers who are further along the decision-making process and convert those who are ready to buy or become a client.

2. 40% of brands want to increase their PPC budget, indicating that this is an effective and lucrative tool for marketers (SocialMediaToday).

It’s not uncommon; many brands are wanting to increase their budget in PPC simply because it works! If it didn’t, the large players would not be wasting money investing in it. However, there’s a reason you see a handful of companies showing up in ads for the same related keywords. It took them time to figure out where their ‘buyers’ were, but once they did they honed in, increased their budget and began seeing substantial returns.

3. 65% of all clicks made by users who intend to make a purchase go to paid ads (Wordstream).

When someone searches Google for “men’s large collar shirts” chances of them making a purchase right away are very high, almost promised. This ideology is no different than with any other business including debt settlement. The only factor that must be attributed is needing to find the “buy words” that users are searching for. Take that same person for example, if they were to search for “t shirt” there’s no telling where they’re at in the buying phases of online search. They could be searching for t-shirt printing sites or services, and they could even be looking at buying t-shirts in bulk. In a similar manner, advertising for the keyword “debt” would be just as, if not more useless for companies in the debt settlement space.

Now, targeting specific keywords like “how much will creditors settle for” or “best debt settlement companies” would yield much higher conversions since these searches are more intended to make a purchase or signup with a debt relief program.

4. Google and Facebook Ads are the two largest advertisers on the Internet (eMarketer).

Google controls 37.2% of the digital advertising market, whereas Facebook holds 19.6% of the market share, with no other competitor breaking 5%. The reason these platforms dominate the market is simply due to their usage. Users spend more time searching for answers on Google and scrolling through their Facebook feed than on any other platform, which is why campaigns targeting these platforms are able to generate leads and sales quicker. Research from a dive in Google’s average cost per click suggests that most advertisers are more likely to experiment with Bing, Snapchat, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and other websites than spend 100% of their ads on either Facebook or Google’s advertising platform.

Companies have increased their PPC ROI by 250% by remarketing through Facebook. Advertising through Facebook may or may not be the solution, but if your campaign at least implements remarketing on a website most people spend their time, the overall conversion rate and effectiveness of the campaign will rise.

7. Social Media Marketing

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A concept that began towering in 2015 that has gained even more traction recently is social media marketing or sometimes referred to as SMM. Social media, like search engine marketing, it’s divided into two categories which are ‘paid’ and ‘organic.’ Social media has its own PPC programs while creating content to post on each platform is the more organic approach. Just like search marketing combining the two are very important. What don’t debt settlement companies already know about social media marketing?

Debt settlement companies aren’t too far behind the rest of the business world on this one. Many companies have been approached by some Guru who overpromised and underdelivered, which isn’t an uncommon trend nowadays. Creating a few ads and a few posts with hashtags aren’t going to cut it. The real power behind social media marketing, as with anything, is the research. Knowing exactly what your consumers are searching for and engaging with is the only way to build a loyal following and drive both conversions and sales. Social media is not some pie in the sky start making money tomorrow type of marketing strategy.

First, people want social proof; whether it’s researching your brand online or being shown ads that have your brand behind them. Before they engage with you, give you their information, follow you on social media and interact with your social posts they need to see social proof. Social proof is everything from the social media reviews, likes, followers, shares, comments, etc. Buying fake engagements will eventually backfire because people are getting smarter when it comes to spotting these fake interactions and it destroys credibility.

Second, it’s not too different than SEO and PPC. Your social media profiles must be fully-optimized to gain maximum exposure. Today, social media are what I call ‘social engines’ because they are their own search engines and people are using them. What many experts fail to realize is that most users are not using social media for searches like they are with Google, they are using them for research purposes. If you’ve made a claim that you’ve helped thousands of people, the consumer cannot prove this via Google, so they go to your social media profiles, see your posts, following, engagement, hashtags, and see if anyone is mentioning you. Without these simple factors (that are not paid for) your campaign is simply flowing in the wind. It doesn’t matter how optimized your social media advertising campaign is, it will kill your conversion rates.

Third, your splash/landing pages that the user sees when they click your social media ads must be different. It must be unique for each social media channel and must absolutely be different from paid search and PPC campaigns. Following the same ideology from earlier where searchers preferred ads tailored to their geolocation, social media user prefer ads tailored to their interests, experiences, etc. Over time, you should have different landing pages for different genders, age groups, interests, etc. This will make the experience seem much more personalized as if you are only targeting that one person with your campaign, as opposed to targeting the masses and not showing any care for the individuals. This is the simple psychology behind social media marketing and advertising that people skip or leave out for whatever reason then wonder why it failed to produce a single conversion or sale.

Finally, for the companies who are having a hard time finding their target market (the market that actually engages – not the one the company believes or has a hunch that is their market) or cannot afford to invest in finding their target market, social media marketing is best used in a remarketing campaign. Remarketing is the ads that follow you everywhere after you click on an ad then leave the page. The short tracking pixel that’s embedded on each landing page embeds a cookie in your browser. Most consumers must see an ad estimated between five and seven times before being comfortable enough to make a purchasing decision. Through remarketing, you can further filter out the leads from the noise and increase your advertising response rate by up to 400%.

Social media has its advantages and will continue to soar as the organizations who implement it effectively realize unparalleled returns. Imagine all the consumers visiting a debt settlement company’s website who are being wasted as leads. The number of dollars spent on direct mail for each person that calls in, looks the company up online and then proceeds to be bombarded with phone calls. The consumer has no control over these efforts, and that’s why direct mail advertising has such a low conversion rate, as with telemarketing. The consumer, however, does have control on whether or not they click on advertisements, follow your brand on social media and interact with your posts to grow your reach.

It shouldn’t be an option whether or not social media is implemented it should be a given, just as with email marketing and just about every other strategy on this list. When someone visits your website they are looking for information, the best way to increase the ROI of direct mail marketing and letters is by displaying ads to all those who have clicked on your website, then only remarketing to those users who show more signs on calling back and signing up. It’s an equation that must be figured out before the results start pouring in.

Whether it’s YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, SnapChat, Instagram, Pinterest, etc., will depend on where YOUR consumers are spending the most time, then from there, which platform offers the highest engagement rate, till finally it can be narrowed down on which social media sites are delivering the highest conversion rates and ROI.

4 Social Media Marketing Statistics To Grow Your Debt Relief Brand

1. 89% of businesses with more than 100 employees use social media for marketing purposes (eMarketer).

If all the big companies in your industry are doing it, chances are high that you should be too – yes, this applies to debt settlement. It may seem as though the market is cornered by a few big competitors, but when you really asses the data and the volume of potential leads, the amount of untouched opportunity is vast. Everyone knows they need social media marketing because they see it working for the big companies but what they don’t know is how to completely flip their process from direct mail focused initiatives to targeting consumers through micro-targeting and geotargeting efforts. If your debt settlement company has more than 100 employees, there is no logical explanation for you not implementing social media marketing.

2. 93% of Pinterest users use the platform to plan or make purchases (Pinterest).

Pinterest is one of the most underutilized social media sites. The conversation always begins with Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, but startups and bloggers have begun noticing the increase in traffic from posting to Pinterest, let alone advertising on their platform. Pins have been known to generate quality traffic for years, not minutes like other social media channels.

If it’s so great, why aren’t most brands using it? The problem most brands are facing with Pinterest is lack of ‘creative.’ Pinterest requires compelling visuals that must be unique to draw the user in and influence them to click on the link to your website. Without that, posting to Pinterest would be a waste of time. Luckily, by spending 15 minutes per week designing images, Pinterest can generate hundreds of website visitors within a few months. Pinterest also has a tracking pixel so that remarketing can be established and provide even greater returns.

3. 21% of consumers are more likely to buy from brands that they can reach on social media.

Again, consumers want to be able to find your brand easily, whether it is through Google or Facebook. In the same way, having live chat functionality increases conversions by up to 45%, being available and active across social media shows your audience that you care and are willing to listen. Not everyone wants to call or provide their email right away. These options serve a purpose, but for that 21% who still want to hold on to that little bit of control, it’s best to oblige because those are going to be the most engaging customers. They will be the ones contacting you with questions as opposed to stop making payments without ever calling, and to never be heard from again.

4. 45% of consumers say social media is one of the first channels they go to in case they have any questions or issues.

Picking up where we left off on the last social media stat, not everyone wants to provide their information up front. Instead of completely losing those leads the opportunity to convert them will increase just by being available on social media. Conversion rates are higher for brands that promote their sales funnels by encouraging visitors to contact them through social media if they have any questions.

8. Traditional Media Marketing

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In most cases, traditional media would not have made this list because its effects are really only noticed when the company has developed a successful brand. Having enough brand recognition and brand awareness is required to profit and drive sales through traditional media unless it’s being used for that purpose.

What is traditional media advertising?

Infomercials, TV and radio commercials, direct mail advertising, billboards, buying an ad in the local paper, etc., are all forms of traditional media marketing. The handful of debt settlement companies that are utilizing these advertising and marketing strategies are already implementing most, if not all of the other strategies on this list. Therefore, they already have enough brand recognition and awareness for these strategies to drive conversions and sales. Think about it, would you buy some unknown product or service from some unknown company and an unknown person on TV? This is how consumers feel. Over time, the more they see your ad and your brand they will feel more comfortable in hearing you out.

Starting out you are a stranger to everyone. Right now, in debt settlement, there are only two, maybe three companies that advertise at the national level on TV. With that, these are companies everyone knows in the debt settlement industry, and these are names people know who have dealt with or know someone close that is dealing with debt. In order to compete with them on this platform, one must have sufficient brand recognition, and more importantly – brand authority.

Once established as an authority figure in the debt relief niche it would be beneficial to open up other avenues of increasing exposure and building more recognition for the brand. However, there’s a reason this is listed as number eight. Traditional media marketing and advertising should be the last marketing methods implemented as it requires much more time to establish, more startup costs, higher ongoing costs, and could take longer to generate returns than digital marketing and advertising.

How To Generate More Debt Settlement Leads

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Other services that are important include things like market research, management consulting, brand management, relationship management CRM consulting, and the list goes on. Yet, for the purpose of developing a clear-cut marketing plan and setting goals, these eight marketing strategies are sure to get your debt settlement company to the next level.

Ensure everything is implemented right, don’t cut any corners, take your time with each step and your success is inevitable. I’ve had some years of experience in the debt settlement space, but my background comes from marketing. When I was a debt consultant, I looked for every way I could start generating more debt settlement leads and closing deals. I used my own money, created my own websites, landing pages, designed and put out my own ads on social media and advertised on Google, within a few weeks of optimizing and analyzing the data I was getting leads like crazy. They ranged from $10,000 to over $90,000 worth of debt. Now, I work with people who have decades worth of debt settlement experience, they’ve worked in just about every position within the industry that you can imagine, and we are redefining the whole process. Whether you would like assistance with getting started, optimizing your campaigns, or making sure your marketing company or in-house team is doing what you pay them to do, we can help!

How has digital marketing changed your debt settlement company? How long did it take you to get set up and running? Let me know below in the comments.

D'Vaughn Bell
D'Vaughn Marqui Bell is a millennial entrepreneur, author and businessman. As CEO of Marqui Management he is responsible for day to day operations, management and insight. He continues his leadership development and training for the millennial generation at his website: D'Vaughn Bell

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