Vanguard's Differentiated Approach to B2B Ads

Advertising
Display Ads
Paid Search
Content & Messaging
Linkedin
April 1, 2021
Financial Services

Key Takeaways

Web Infrastructure — Website for FAs: The Vanguard Group maintains different websites for its various business verticals — information for financial advisors is hosted on advisors.vanguard.com. The Vanguard’s website for advisors has been getting on average 143K visits per month. Organic Search, followed by direct, is the main source of traffic. Paid traffic (search and display ads) drives slightly over 7% of the total visits.

Paid Ads Tactic — Organic Searches Complimented with Paid Ads: 7% of all traffic comes from paid search ads. Vanguard leverages a wide variety of paid keywords to capture relevant traffic. The company runs ads for a variety of keywords that cover the following topics: portfolio analyses and rebalancing, fixed active income, factor-based investing, topics revolving around economic outlook and others. Vanguard ran 206 different search text ad variants since the beginning of 2020, which were directing traffic to various landing pages.  

Paid Ads Tactic — Focused Approach to Display Ads: Vanguard invested $167K in the display ad channel. The company ran display ads in the Q1 of 2020 and then resumed them in the third quarter of 2020. Vanguard invested 58% of its display ad budget into the banners promoting active fixed income. The second focus ($50K) was given to advertising factor-based strategies with emotional ads. The rest of the display ad budget ($19K) was invested into ads directing users to the articles and market outlook reports on the advisors.vanguard.com website.
Organic Social Focus — A LinkedIn Page Dedicated to FAs: Vanguard has multiple LinkedIn pages that focus on a specific business vertical. The Vanguard Financial Advisor Services page dedicated to the FA community has 38K members. The company runs ads from this page that cover a wide variety of topics, from promoting a brochure about increasing client satisfaction to inviting FAs to check Vanguard’s core bond fund.

The Vanguard Group maintains different websites for its various services. Information for financial advisors (FAs) is hosted on the advisors.vanguard.com domain.

Vanguard Group Websites

Vanguard’s website for FAs has been generating a stable volume of traffic, averaging 146K visits per month.

Vanguard - Website Traffic

Organic Search and Direct are the main two channels of incoming traffic to the Vanguard for the FAs website.

Vanguard - Traffic Channels

Paid traffic (paid search and display ads) accounts for about 7% of all visits to advisors.vanguard.com.

advisors.vanguard.com - Paid Traffic

Paid Search Ads

Vanguard leverages a wide variety of paid keywords to capture relevant traffic.

Vanguard - Top Paid Keywords

The company tests multiple ad copies for its search ads, experimenting with call-to-actions and value propositions. Since the beginning of 2020, Vanguard ran 209 search ad variants targeted at financial advisors.

Vanguard - Search Text Ads

Vanguard directs search traffic to various pages on the advisors.vanguard.com website, such as Advisor’s Alpha, an education page designed to help FAs better manage their clients, and Insights, a resource of all the latest news about markets and economy.

Vanguard - Paid Search Ads Landing Pages
Homepage | Advisor's Alpha | Insights | Investments

Vanguard’s paid search efforts resulted in 108K visits since January 2020 and cost the company about $872K.

Vanguard - Paid Search Spend
Spend is a directional approximation and does not include retargeting, or behavioural targeting.

Vanguard ran display ads in the first and last quarter of 2020, investing $167K in this paid channel.

Spend is a directional approximation and does not include retargeting, or behavioural targeting. 

Display Ads

58% ($98K) of the total display ad budget was spent on raising awareness about Vanguard’s active fixed income funds. 

Vanguard - Display Ad Budget Allocation
Active Fixed Income | Factor-based strategies | Articles and Resources

Vanguard ran a series of bold display banners highlighting its “rigorous and time-tested approach to active bond fund management”.

Vanguard - Display Ads - Bold Display Banners

Vanguard invested $50K in driving traffic to the Factor-Based Strategies page with emotional display banners highlighting the fact that its clients are more likely to be involved with their kids.

Vanguard - Display Ads Factor-Based Strategies Page

The company invested the remaining part ($19K) of its display ad budget into directing traffic to its articles about the market outlook.

Vanguard - Display Ad - Articles About the Market Outlook

76% of display ads were published on desktop devices.

Vanguard - Display Ads Device Distribution

90% of the display budget was distributed between 5 news websites, with the biggest share (36%) going to the Wall Street Journal.

Vanguard - Top 5 Publishing Websites

Vanguard maintains a separate LinkedIn page for its financial advisor services and runs ads from this account.

Vanguard - Linkedin Page

LinkedIn FAs-focused ads cover a variety of topics, from promoting a brochure about increasing client satisfaction to inviting FAs to check Vanguard’s core bond fund.

Vanguard - FAs-focused Ads

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