Fintech PR Case Study: Generating Leads from IFAs and Charities

Discretionary investment management specialist, TAM Asset Management, was launching two new services:

  • FinchTech – a white labelled online investment service for IFAs
  • Greenfinch – a direct to consumer service to be used by charities to raise additional funds from existing donors with assets under management.

TAM’s Objectives

  • Raise awareness of ‘robo adviser creep’ in the IFA community
  • Boost organic website keyword rankings
  • Generate marketing qualified and sales qualified leads for main TAM business, FinchTech and Greenfinch 

Our Strategy

We developed a bespoke digital PR strategy that included:

  • Set up and management of marketing automation software for content marketing lead generation, lead tracking and cross selling automation
  • Downloadable hero content to help IFA audience deal with threat of robo advisers
  • Media relations based on pain points of IFA and charity audiences
  • Optimisation of onsite content for increased organic search visibility

The Results

The campaign delivered:

  • 51 pieces of tier one coverage (including FTAdviser, City AM, bobsguide, Wealth Management, Professional Adviser, Money Observer, International Adviser, Global Capital)
  • 15 media interviews
  • Net gain of 406 organic places in Google across multiple keywords
  • 59 ready-to-nurture marketing qualified leads from content downloads
  • 33 ready-to-buy sales qualified leads from PR and SEO activity 

“TopLine Comms are a dream to work with. Their knowledge and expertise is second to none and we are delighted with what they have achieved and created for our company to date. We look forward to continuing our work with them and would thoroughly recommend their services to any firm looking for a professional, driven and friendly agency, that is easy to work with and committed to getting you the best results.”

Lester Petch, CEO, TAM Asset Management

 

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Which B2B lead generation techniques are right for you?  

B2B lead generation: it’s a tricky one! Much harder than bee-to-bee lead generation, which is mostly affected by ecological factors such as vegetation and local colony density.

Luckily for you, we’ve worked with over 100 B2B companies to drive leads, and we know what works and what doesn’t – and how the secret formula for success is different for every company.

Organic search engine optimisation (SEO)

Organic SEO (check out our SEO services) gives you the chance to capture prospects at the precise moment where they need your services. Do it properly, and it’ll blow your competitors’ faces clean off their skulls. If you’re ranked first (or thereabouts) for the right search terms on Google, you will see your brand grow immeasurably.

On the other hand, organic SEO is a long, lonely road (because of Google’s intermittent updates and algorithm changes, you might find what worked one day is killing you the very next – you have to keep doing it in order to see results). It also takes ages to see good results: ranking for key terms can take months, even years. Finally, securing the help of an agency that knows what it’s doing is easier said than done.

Paid search

If you need quick and dirty custom, a good way to get it is to pay for it. Promoted campaigns via services such as AdWords can be organised in as little as three hours, give you microscopic control over your budget – and offer many of the advantages typically associated with unpaid SEO, where you have to work at it for ages.

On the flipside, it’s pretty hard to find a genuine expert to help you rank within the first few results, the success – or failure – of the campaign depends largely on whether or not people are actually searching for your thing, and it doesn’t get cheaper over time, so if you’re struggling to afford it and it doesn’t work, it could be a pretty costly mistake.

Content/inbound marketing

When content marketing works, it works like nothing else. Good content, managed well, can coax customers over the line when they need your services; it can generate leads forever (or for as long as there’s an internet, anyway), and it’s pretty good value: you’ll have to put some money behind marketing software and actually producing the stuff, but there aren’t any ongoing costs to speak of.

On the other hand, while there are some general pointers that are always useful – don’t misspell things, don’t write anything inappropriate, etc. etc. – it’s really hard to find people who know how to do this effectively, in terms of hooking an audience, sustaining their interest, and, most importantly, making them act.

In-person sales

Don’t let Death of a Salesman fool you: people do appreciate the personal touch, so long as that touch isn’t too personal. Charisma, an easy smile, and a bit of gentle encouragement can win the day – even if your competitor has a better or more cost-effective product.

But be forewarned: salespeople can be expensive, and if they’re not attracting and converting leads on a regular basis, they’re essentially a financial metaphorical albatross around your company’s metaphorical neck.

Telesales

People really don’t like telemarketers. You almost have to admire the patience, persistence, and emotional resilience of those who do it. But there’s a reason it’s still a thing: if the outbound caller is good enough – and takes pains to do it in a non-intrusive way, i.e. following up about a gift sent in the post – they can get great results in a way that costs far less than direct sales.

Broadcast/print advertising

With the advent of digital channels – and with daily circulation and viewership dwindling – it’s easy to assume that old-fashioned print and broadcast advertising are on the way out. Easy, perhaps, but still a mistake: TV, newspapers, and magazines boast a wide reach, and offer you full control over your messaging within the ad space.

That said, it’s still pretty expensive, and you can’t tinker with it once it’s out there: it either works or it doesn’t.

Networking

A more surreptitious version of in-person sales, but useful because you’re talking ‘founder-to-founder’ or ‘marketing director-to-founder’, removing much of the power imbalance present when a junior salesperson is trying to impress a plainly disinterested CEO.

It requires a considerable investment of time and energy from senior members of your team, and you’re not guaranteed any kind of meaningful result. However, when networking works, it works.

Partnerships

Generating leads is a pain. Why not share that burden with a partner? It can be difficult to find a simpatico company, of course – and because you’ll have to forfeit some of your profits to your new ‘friend’, it’s understandable if you balk at the cost. But if you’re struggling, buddying up with another business can be a very easy way to generate high quality leads.

Trade shows

A room full of your target audience! What could be better than that? If you can get talking to the right people, you can come away from a trade show with a barrel full of quality leads and a belly full of gratis popcorn.

Of course, yours won’t be the only booth in the hall, and people are far more likely to walk past it without a second thought than indulge in a bit of stop-and-chat. It’s also pretty expensive to set up a booth at all: you have to pay exhibition fees, you have to lose members of staff for entire days to run it, and there’s no guaranteed ROI.

If you’re feeling more lost than ever after all that, don’t worry: it’s perfectly natural. Also unlike bee-to-bee lead generation, it’s more of an art than a science, and there’s no magic formula for success. To get ahead, you’ll need expert help. Luckily, we’re experts – and we’re very, very happy to help – get in touch.

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The 10 best HR podcasts for 2020 (and how to pitch them)

As an agency that takes HR seriously, we’ve researched the best HR podcasts for 2020. And if you’re a brand looking to get in front of the HR community, we’ve suggested how best to pitch these podcasts too.

HR Happy Hour@HRHappyHour

HR Happy Hour Show is the longest running and top downloaded HR podcast. The show is part of a network focused on human resources, workforce technology, and leadership.

The short, snappy episodes allow you to fit it into your daily routine effortlessly, while you can catch up on news from the latest HR technology events and conferences whenever it suits you.

Good to listen to if…

  • You want something short and conversational – between 20-45 mins per episode.
  • You want a podcast that will make you think.
  • You want some actionable and inspiring advice.

How to get on it

 HR Happy Hour has a wide array of guests – HR leaders, academics, practitioners, consultants, and authors – to talk about the most relevant and challenging issues impacting work and workplaces today. To pitch them, fill in this application form – https://www.hrhappyhour.net/contact/ .

GoodPractice Podcast@GoodPractice

Aimed at the learning and development and HR communities, the weekly podcast show offers critical insights into the world of work, learning and performance. Featuring special guests and regular appearances from the GoodPractice team, they tackle topics such as the effect of technology on the work environment, training needs analyses, and evidence-based practice.

Good to listen to if…

  • You want something short – between 30-45 mins per episode.
  • You want to find out more about a broad range of subjects in L&D.

How to get on it

Guests include authors, performance consultants and learning designers. To pitch the GoodPractice crowd, visit their website  https://podcast.goodpractice.com/# or reach out on Twitter.

CIPD Podcast@CIPD

The CIPD is a professional body for HR and people development representing some 150,000 members across the world. The body has access to some of the biggest, best and brightest minds in HR and L&D.

Good to listen to if…

  • You want to follow a well-established podcast – this one has over 160 episodes!
  • You’re interested in a wide range of subjects – such as the future of flexible working, menopause, unconscious bias, and neurodiversity.

How to get on it

That HR Podcast@PeopleMgt

The UK’s leading magazine for HR and L&D professionals, People Management, is the host for That HR Podcast. The monthly podcast covers a wide range of topics.

Good to listen to if…

  • You’re interested in topics like recruitment and retention, future of work, HR transformation, diversity and inclusion, and leadership.

How to get on it

It’s a little unclear how to get on this one, but we’d suggest pitching to the editorial team of the magazine: https://www.peoplemanagement.co.uk/contact/editorial

The Future of Work@jacobm

In these podcasts, futurist and author Jacob Morgan engages with some of the world’s top business leaders to explore their perceptions of leadership, the future of work, the 4th industrial revolution, employee experience, and more.

Jacob’s work has been endorsed by some of the world’s most prominent CEOs.

Good to listen to if…

  • You want to hear insights from some of the world’s biggest brands on a weekly basis.
  • You want a US-focused podcast.

How to get on it

DriveThruHR

DriveThruHR is a series of laid-back, yet fascinating lunchtime conversations that cover a range of topics applicable to HR professionals. They broadcast three times per week (Tuesdays – Thursdays, 12 PM, Central Time) for 30-minutes per session. Their podcasts have been running continuously since February 2010.

Example episodes they publish are:

  • ‘When the Tables are Turned: Hiring For HR’
  • ‘An HR Leader’s Roadmap with Kindrick’
  • ‘HR Tech & Recruiting Automation with Jonathan Duarte of GoHire’
  • ‘Putting People First with HR Leader Erin Miller’

Good to listen to if…

  • You’re not looking for anything too heavy, but rather bite-sized chunks of information.
  • You’re interested in a variety of HR topics.
  • You’re interested in hearing from new guest speakers every week who share their knowledge and experience within different areas of HR.

How to get on it

Nine to Thrive HR@NinetoThriveHR

These podcasts offer fresh content for professionals who are looking to solve their human capital issues but have limited time available. The podcasts tend to be between 9-30mins each and provide access to leading HR practitioners from Fortune 1000 companies, together with thought leaders, academics, and authors.

Good to listen to if…

  • You’re interested in hearing advice from members of the largest companies in America and other industry professionals.
  • You’re interested in a variety of HR topics, including talent acquisition and analytics.

Typical episodes include:

  • When Employees are Stressed Out: Social Science Solutions for Better Productivity & Engagement‘ – Robert Stewart, HR Administrator, Brigham Young University
  • ‘The Best Way to Boost Well-being for Women in the Workplace’ – Sarah Devereaux, Google
  • ‘Including the Employee in Employee Engagement’ – Scott Rigby, PHD, MotivationWorks

How to get on it

HR Leaders

This is a daily show is anchored by Chris Rainey and features detailed conversations with senior HR executives and thought leaders who share lessons and insights gained along their respective journeys.  Each episode of the podcast explores a new topic, such as the future of work, why it’s changing, and how leading organisations are approaching the matter.

Good to listen to if…

  • You like to listen to daily podcasts.
  • You’re interested in hearing valuable insights from experienced HR execs.
  • You’d like to keep up with a broad range of current HR topics.
  • You’re interested in how big global brands handle their HR.

Typical episodes include:

  • ‘How Siemens Empower their Employees to Take Ownership of their Careers‘ – Interview with Robert Neuhauser, EVP & Global Head of Siemens People & Leadership.
  • ‘Shell’s Journey into Integrated Strategic Workforce Planning’. – Guest speaker, David Doe, Vice President HR Talent Excellence, Shell.

How to get on it

  • Most of the guests are approached by Chris or the show’s producers, but it’s worth reaching out through the show’s LinkedIn
  • Guests usually include senior HR executives, thought leaders, and HR leaders from global brands like Shell & Siemens (see above examples of speakers).

Hiring On All Cylinders

Hosted by Entelo, the quirkily named Hiring On All Cylinders is joined each week by HR professionals at the forefront of talent acquisition and recruitment.

Good to listen to if…

  • You’re interested in hearing weekly content purely focused on recruitment.
  • You’re interested in topics such as employee engagement, automation tools, the future of talent acquisition, recruiting, onboarding, and sourcing for diversity.

Examples of typical episodes are:

  • ‘Talking HR Technology: Gaps in the current landscape and consolidation’ – Proactive Talent Founder & CEO, Will Staney
  • ‘The Economic Influence in Talent’ – Josh Wright, iCIMS Chief Economist
  • ‘A Different Take on Recruiting’s Future’ – Erik Kostelnik, Founder / CEO, TextRecruit

How to get on it

  • To pitch, contact Entelo on Twitter
  • Guests are normally professional HR specialists, talent founders, and CEOs who are well acquainted with recruiting (see above examples).

Hire Up

Hosted by John Beck, the show is dedicated to the latest news, interviews and updates on all aspects of human resources. John has 25 years’ experience in management, HR, and the employee assessment industry.

Good to listen to if…

  • You’d like to keep up to date with the latest HR-related topics from an industry veteran.
  • You’d like to listen to a broad range of HR related topics.
  • You’d like to hear advice and guidance from a variety of guest speakers, for example:
    • Lee Caraher (Author of Millennials & Management: The Essential Guide to Making it Work at Work and CEO/ Founder of Double Forte PR & Digital Marketing).
    • Stephen Pacinelli (co-author of Rehumanize Your Business: How Personal Videos Accelerate Sales and Improve Customer Experience and CMO of BombBomb).
    • Jamie Serino (Corporate social responsibility expert and Director of Marketing for Blackbaud’s Corporations & Foundations division)

How to get on it

  • Reach out to John via LinkedIn: or on Twitter.
  • Website: https://hrhireup.com/
  • Guests are typically authors, CEOs/ CMOs and Directors of marketing companies, as well as business leaders and experts in corporate social responsibility (see above examples)

Looking to reach the HR community with a cracking campaign? Read more about our B2B PR services. Or keep browsing our blog:

 

10 important anniversaries in 2019 [Infographic]

How to get people’s data – with their permission

Effective digital marketing strategies depend on customer information. The more you know about your target audience, the better you can personalise your communications. This goes for the content of your message as well as how and when you deliver it. Of course, with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in full effect, getting hold of data is not quite as easy as it once was.

The regulations forbid the unauthorised use of any EU citizen’s data – and penalties for non-compliance are strict. This means you have to earn permission to use your customers and prospects’ personal information in order to market your products and services to them. It’s a potentially challenging process that requires convincing people to volunteer their details. Fortunately, there are some successful ways to earn this sort of marketing currency – here are our top five.

 

Quid pro quo

Consumers are inundated with advertising and marketing information daily. The volume of irrelevant stuff that litters their inboxes and screens is making people increasingly wary of signing over their details for nothing worthwhile in return. If you want a prospect to share their information with you, then you need to give them something of value.

Relevant content is a valuable commodity in this transaction. By identifying your target audience’s most pressing needs, you can create insightful resources such as eBooks, whitepapers and special deals that provide solutions. Be clear about your offer, tell people exactly what benefits they will get and make your calls to action convincing. When people feel they are engaged in a fair exchange, they are much more willing to engage.

 

Don’t be greedy

We live in a world that seems to favour quantity over quality – and it’s easy for marketers to get caught up in this trap when in pursuit of data. The more data you have does not immediately translate into good data. In fact, gleaning irrelevant information from people can make it harder to focus your communications. Unless you’re Twinings, it’s unlikely you need to know how many cups of tea someone has every day.

Increasingly sophisticated consumers do understand the importance of data tracking, and many are willing to hand over their information – as long as it leads to a tailored shopping experience and more personalised content. However, if at any time they start to feel used and that they’ve given too much away for nothing; they will unsubscribe and move on.

 

Ask nicely

The best way to build a quality database is to go about it the hard way and entice prospects using tried and tested methods like these:

  • Add ‘Contact us’ forms on your website
  • Encourage visitors to sign up for your newsletter
  • Offer a resource like an eBook or whitepaper in exchange for details
  • Get people to enter a competition
  • Offer the opportunity to attend an event or sign up for a special deal
  • Give prospects exclusive access to ‘members only’ content
  • Ask visitors to fill out a satisfaction survey

 

Be trustworthy

Nowadays marketers are up against many consumer concerns such as privacy, security and abuse of personal information. To overcome these challenges, you need to earn your consumers and prospects’ trust. While the GDPR provides overarching protection, make it clear that your company abides closely by these regulations and respects its customers’ data.

When it comes to payment processes, highlight your verifications with logos such as ‘Verified by Visa’. You are trying to build a mutually beneficially and long-lasting relationship so make it clear that your business is trustworthy, reputable and operates in line with the law.

 

Put yourself out there too

It’s only fair that if you’re asking prospects to hand over personal information that you share details in return. At the very least, you should list your contact details so that people can put a face to the company name – and get in touch with a human if and when they need to.https://toplinecomms.com/contact

If you’d like a top-notch inbound marketing agency to help you persuade people to give you their data, then please get in touch.

Selling to HR professionals?

HR professionals can be highly elusive and knowing how to get (and retain) their attention is important.

To find out how to do just that, we surveyed over 250 UK-based HR professionals across several different industries: particularly those who choose where the departmental budget goes – and who it goes to. Our findings shed light on the ways they learn about new products, their busiest (and least busy) periods, and ultimately, the thinking that drives their buying decisions.

You can download our report – Marketing and Selling to the HR Community – for free to find out who influences this demographic, how they buy new services, which media they prefer and which professional bodies they follow.

As a B2B PR agency we know the HR community well – we’ve helped recruiters, software vendors, consultants and fintech companies get their products and services in front of HR decision makers. Get in touch if you need help with your strategy.

Who influences the HR community?

We asked over 250 UK-based HR professionals across several different industries to tell us about their professional associations.

It turns out that a large minority (43%) are members of the CIPD, with the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the HR Society also well represented at 37% and 35%.

And the same organisations emerged when we asked our whole sample which organisations were most respected or followed.

“So what?” you might be asking. Well, if influencer marketing is on your agenda, and the HR community is on your hitlist, then consider this the start of your influencer list.

And if you need a little more help building out your strategy for reaching the HR community, then download our report on selling to the HR community, or look into our B2B PR agency services.

Why Blogging is Important for Your Business

A case study showing how blogging actually generates leads

Blogging is a crucial tactic in your marketing plan. When it’s done right it can attract leads to your website, improve your Google rankings, keep customers engaged, help you stand out from your competitors and drum up interest in your products or services. What’s more (just in case you’re still raising a sceptical eyebrow), good blog posts keep generating traffic long after they’ve been published.

However, there are many sceptics out there who believe that blogging is simply a waste time: lots of hard work for little reward. The truth is, it often is. Most companies publish terrible blogs that don’t do anything for them – except tick a box. In this sort of environment, blogging becomes an irritation rather than a legitimate business marketing tool.

If we can do it, so can you

TopLine is an inbound marketing agency that understands the power of ‘show and tell’. In other words, let us show you how blogging has bumped up traffic for our business. And then we’ll say a bit more about how we did it.

Looking at our own Google Analytics, our blog has attracted 45,863 visitors over the last 24 months. In terms of lead generation, 371 of those visitors who landed on our blog, ended up visiting our key services pages. This resulted in 325 new leads and 13 new customers in the last two years.

Our blog has enhanced our online presence. This means that we now attract around 2,000 organic visits to our website every month.

We don’t just use our blog for external engagement. Our employees and industry peers are important audiences too and we use our blog to keep them updated on our goings on. We’ve attracted good speaking opportunities and great staff thanks to this approach.

Ok, so I know why blogging is important – but how do you get it right?

This is where we start talking about content with a purpose. No bland blah-blah-blah that waxes lyrical about various products or services. Nor do we just write blogs about random stuff that takes our fancy. Every blog we write has a purpose – be that an internal or external purpose, and needs to deliver a message that is in line with our business objectives. Here are three examples of what we mean.

In this blog we discuss the importance of YouTube marketing and offer readers some smart tips for doing it right. We’ve basically created a useful business resource while simultaneously showcasing our very own YouTube expertise.

Video production is something we take very seriously and do very well. However, there are cheaper production houses out there and we sometimes get asked why we charge more. So, we decided to write a blog that explained why good videos aren’t cheap (and vice versa), and reinforced our top-notch show-reel.

Cryptocurrency is taking the world by storm and we are doing a lot of work in this sector. All our new knowledge and experience is valuable marketing content. We put together an educational blog that provides some simple yet interesting information to help readers understand this complex topic a bit more. And it positions us as experts which is great.

As the above examples show, purposeful content offers solutions. But to do that, you first need to know who your target audience is and what problems they face. Here are six steps to help you blog better and generate more leads.

  1. Create buyer personas

Buyer personas are fictional representations of your ideal customers. They are based on actual data and a little speculative information. Draw on your target audience’s buying patterns, challenges, goals and motivations to bring these personas to life. The better you know them and what moves them, the more able you are to reach them.

By creating buyer personas, you are essentially putting yourself in your customers’ shoes and walking the buyer journey with them. This makes the sales process much easier. Prospects do a lot of online research and reading before choosing a specific product or service. You want your company’s blog posts to provide the answers and solutions they’re looking for. That way, when prospects do get in touch with a salesperson, they’re already very informed and ready to buy.

  1. Plan your blog content

Once you’ve identified who you are writing for, you need to source topics and subjects that will grab their attention. It’s critical to remember that your blogs are not standalone pieces; they need to fit in with your overall marketing strategy and be on-message. What your blogs look like is just as important as how they read. Make sure you develop a template that is in line with your company’s look and feel and meets your branding guidelines. Also consider looking at your Google Analytics when planning content. Analyse the demographic and interests data you collect on your converting, high-value website users – after all you’ll probably want to attract a similar audience in future so produce content they’re interested in. More on that here.

  1. Write well

What constitutes a well-written blog? Well, it needs to be interesting and engaging, an altogether memorable read that inspires further action. Before you start writing, have a clear purpose in mind. What do you want this blog to communicate and how do you want you reader to react? Be conversational and personable. Avoid hard-selling (remember blog content typically serves the top of the sales funnel) and keep your reader – and their needs – front of mind. This will help guide your words and deliver an effective and shareable blog.

  1. Optimise your blogs

Every blog you write and post is a new indexed page of your website. Optimise your blogs with relevant search terms and key phrases that are in line with your content marketing strategy. Search engine optimisation is crucial to boosting your site’s online presence and pushing you up the search engine results page. Also, don’t forget to use them to promote the other content you create. Ideally content that will move the reader slightly further down the sales funnel – a relevant ebook for example or ROI calculator relevant to the blog topic.

  1. Distribute strategically

A great piece of writing is great – but now what? You need to push your content out on relevant platforms. If your target audience is not reading your blogs, then double check that you are posting content in the right places online. An unread blog, or a blog that doesn’t generate any response, is a waste of time – no matter how well-written it is.

  1. Track the results

The only way you can determine how effective your blogs are, is by tracking audience engagement. Measure the number of views, shares and likes each blog post gets, and, critically, whether they generate leads. This way you’ll see which topics are popular, which platforms are responsive and how prospects and customers are engaging with the content. If you’re not hitting your desired targets and KPIs, identify what’s not working and focus on what is.

Planning, writing, designing, optimising and promoting a good blog involves a lot of individual skills. It’s not really something you can task the marketing intern with. It’s a team effort that when done well, can deliver incredible lead-gen results for your business.

The TopLine team knows why blogging is important. If you’d like some help boosting traffic and converting leads with great content, then get in touch!