Like any other business, loan officer professionals need to maintain a marketing edge to remain competitive. The digital age we are in has created a shift in marketing that leans heavily towards digital content rather than traditional media like newspapers and magazines.
As consumers head to their phones, laptops, and desktops to perform the first step in researching a new business, the loan officer marketing plan needs to take advantage of consumer behavior.
Researching your demographic and targeting the right audience has become a critical component of online marketing plans. You can no longer be all things to all people if you want higher levels of success. Your goal should be to reach the loan officer leads you know will be most likely to convert.
Marketing is still a numbers game, but the more you can stack the house in your favor, the better off you will be. A significant advantage of digital marketing is that you can target prospects more efficiently than with a billboard or magazine campaign which are far more expensive anyway.
Digital marketing can be broadly split into two camps: outbound and inbound. The two approaches use varying techniques to achieve lead generation for loan officers, so let’s look at the differences between these loan officer marketing plans.
Inbound marketing is a marketing technique that forms connections with audiences that are most likely to convert. You will often see inbound marketing referred to as permission-based marketing because the lead desires the information you have made available and has likely found you through research, including ads.
The average inbound marketing strategy focuses on content, and engagement most often happens before the audience is ready to convert because only about 3% of the market are ready to go at any given time.
There are various inbound marketing techniques available to loan officers, including content marketing, blogs, email marketing, events, social media, and search engine optimization (SEO). In short, you are providing loan officer leads with the answers to their questions when they need them the most. Connecting with an audience during this early stage of the sales funnel delivers several advantages.
Loan officer leads will find you appealing because you provide informative, educational material without a sales agenda. By revealing your expertise through inbound marketing techniques, you establish yourself as an authority. Plus, the strength of your brand is increased because your business name is regularly seen in search engines and social media feeds.
When the mortgage marketing leads reach the conversion stage of the journey, your inbound marketing efforts have already forged a connection, established you as an authority, and built trust. Therefore, your business is the one they are most likely to reach out to first.
People arriving at your business via your online content is called organic traffic and includes visitors who have not necessarily arrived by a paid ad. Once you have made the initial investment in content creation, the traffic will continue to show up without you having to do anything.
For example, a blog post that ranks high in the search engines could feasibly work for you at attracting loan officer leads for years with no further effort on your part. However, it does take time to gain traction and see results, making inbound marketing more of a long game.
What is Outbound Marketing?
Outbound marketing is a technique that distributes information to an audience that may or may not be seeking that information. It is often referred to as interruption marketing because the message is not entirely related to what the audience is currently doing, such as browsing a Facebook feed or drawing attention away from an article they are reading.
Unlike inbound marketing, the goal of outbound marketing is to reach as wide an audience as possible. Before the digital era, outbound marketing was the dominant form of loan officer lead generation and included cold calling, flyers, letterbox drops, billboards, and TV commercials.
While the above marketing methods still attract huge budgets today, online versions of outbound marketing have attracted more of the marketing budget over the last decade or so.
Examples of online outbound marketing methods you see online include Facebook Ads, Twitter Ads, and search engine ads. Many organizations will also display banner ads on websites that cover a related topic to their industry. For example, a loan officer may attract leads who have seen their ad on a website discussing investment strategies.
Outbound marketing strategies involve paying for ads on various platforms. The main advantage is you can generate almost instant traffic to your business. The disadvantages are that a large portion of people who see your ad will not click through or will only browse your offer through curiosity rather than any real need for your services. This means conversion rates are usually a lot lower than leads brought in through inbound techniques.
The most successful loan officer marketing strategies include a mix of inbound and outbound marketing strategies. When you use targeted and remarketing outbound strategies, you can achieve some quick wins. Combined with inbound marketing, it will reinforce your brand in the marketplace, create a sustainable source of traffic, and build your authority.