This post is sponsored by Compare Forex Brokers.
Digital marketing can be a challenge for financial services firms, particularly when it comes to understanding different data privacy laws in various countries.
In this blog post, we talk with Noam Korbl, co-founder of Compare Forex Brokers, about making the most of digital marketing mixes to expand business, particularly outside of your home country.
Digital marketing mixes for financial firms continue to rapidly evolve. How has that online mix changed since you started the site in 2014?
As an online business, most of our website traffic is generated from search engine optimization and Google organically. This is largely thanks to our background in digital marketing. However, in the early days, we also invested quite heavily in AdWords. In recent years, certain marketing platforms like Google and Facebook have clamped down on paid advertising in certain industries and niches. Ticket reselling, payday loans and some financial services products were banned from advertising on Google Ads back in 2018. Unfortunately, our business was caught up in these changes too, which meant we had to rethink the way we advertised online.
Not only did we look at alternative marketing channels such as Native, Bing and others, but we also invested heavily in creating more engaging content. These days, engagement is a serious ranking factor when it comes to SEO. Adding more interactive tables, graphs, videos and images has certainly boosted this metric on our site and, in turn, has helped our organic rankings and traffic on Google. I’d highly recommend other online businesses consider doing the same.
How have you been able to capitalize on these changes in your own business and expand it internationally?
Originally, our business was mainly in Australia. We set up our website as www.compareforexbrokers.com.au in late 2014 and in October 2019 migrated to the .com (www.compareforexbrokers.com). Until the migration late last year, 78% of our customers were Australia-based, but we felt we were overexposed to impending regulatory changes here, so we decided to target countries abroad. So far the change has been successful and we continue to invest in our online platform to ensure we maximize SEO rankings.
What trends are emerging in online digital marketing that will change the nature of the financial services business going forward?
I think it has a place when it comes to e-commerce. I love nothing more than browsing an online electronics store and then being dynamically remarketed to with ads relevant to the products that I previously viewed. However in finance, where there is more sensitive information at play, I think more robust regulation is necessary. I think many jurisdictions will follow the EU’s lead with online tracking of users.
What challenges have you faced during your international expansion and how have you addressed them, especially around regulation and data usage?
Many of our challenges are around financial regulation in different countries. Financial regulatory bodies across the world have been reviewing the online foreign exchange and contract for differences industries due to the high rates of retail investors losing their money when trading.
Unfortunately, the rate of trader losses among retail traders is high, and watchdogs have imposed restrictions on the amount of leverage brokers are able to provide to retail traders. This brought a drop in average customer values, but we’re combatting this by 1) diversifying the countries where we advertise (as some countries don’t yet have these rules) and 2) tailoring our business to entice professional traders by offering more back-office-style customer service and support. We’re only a few months into our expansion, but so far we’re seeing some encouraging results. The added customer engagement is benefiting our business, which has us excited about the future.
What tips do you have for other businesses looking to expand to other countries, particularly when it comes to complying with complex and varying regulations?
It’s important to stay ahead of the curve. Keep reading, researching and networking so that you’re not suddenly caught off guard by things like legislation changes that could drastically impact your business. There’s no shortage of businesses that have succeeded or failed due to government incentives or stricter legislation. The one thing that always wins out is a product or service that people need. If you can build a trustworthy reputation and solid customer experience, your business is in a great position to succeed at whatever you offer your customers.
Noam Korbl is an avid digital marketer with 10 years’ experience. He co-founded leading FX comparison website Compare Forex Brokers in 2014 and another company in the health/medical space in 2015. Both companies leverage the power of online to drive long-term business growth.