If the Internet Says You’re an Expert, Then You’re an Expert

“If the internet says you’re an expert, then you’re an expert.”At the 2018 ASPPA Annual Conference in October, I heard that during one of the roundtable discussions. Wow, what an insightful comment. Because it’s true. Ask yourself, when you have a question, where do you turn? The encyclopedia? Yellow pages? Phone? No. We go directly to the internet.

We seek out digital answers. We Google until we feel satisfied. Then we contact an expert.That expert could be someone familiar – or completely new. The point is that we sought answers online, made a decision, and took action.

The next time you have a question, watch what you do. Notice how many websites you visit, blogs you read, videos you watch, search results you find, and then pay attention to your actions. Did you fill out a landing page to download a free e-book? Did you ask questions through a chat window? What else?

In the retirement plan industry, we are still a referral-based business. Approximately 7 out of 10 new clients come from referrals. Is it because we’re a niche profession? Possibly. Or does it mean that retirement plan advisors aren’t leveraging the power of the internet? The questions that plan fiduciaries are seeking answers to aren’t available online.That sounds like a marketing opportunity.

If your website says you’re a retirement plan expert, then your blog articles answer common plan sponsor questions, your videos describe best practices, your infographics seek to improve plan operations, and your email campaigns consistently update plan sponsors with timely, relevant information. If that’s true, then wouldn’t one be led to believe that you are an expert?


Read more commentary by Rebecca Hourihan here


All of the materials above are prime examples of content marketing – a concept that is fairly new in the retirement industry. Content marketing is a consistent marketing strategy that revolves around the creation, publication and distribution of content that demonstrates to plan sponsors that you are an experienced retirement plan advisor.

This means you are posting information about our highly specialized and technical profession that demonstrates to plan fiduciaries that you are an expert plan advisor.

While our industry is not currently driven by search engines, it is changing. The advisors who embrace content marketing and own the digital world will rise to become known experts, thus capturing more new business, retaining existing clients, and gaining notoriety. We believe this momentum will continue to propel these offices farther and farther ahead of the competition. As modern plan sponsors are starting to use search engines to find solutions to their problems and seek the help of online retirement plan experts, advisors on the forefront of this movement will rise to the top.

Thanks for reading and Happy Marketing!

Rebecca Hourihan, AIF, PPC, is the founder and CMO of 401(k) Marketing.

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