“Since 2010, Sitetrail worked with several top trading platforms to grow annual revenues by more than 600% on average. The methods used to acquire new traders are vast – and not what most companies anticipated in their initial business plan. Each year we improve channel diversification, whilst lately, social trading created the most exciting channel of all – almost surpassing the contribution made by our strongest channel. We’re now also helping Forex platforms to have direct access to GoogleNews – which is a major game changer”. (Adriaan Brits, CEO, Sitetrail)
In the Forex / CFD trading industry there are givers and takers – now this does not only relate to players and traders, but the brokerage firms themselves: An analysis of several players including FXPro, Barclays, HSBC, Forexboat, XM, AVATRADE, FXOPEN and THINK Markets will quickly uncover the reality:
And the winner is…? GOOGLE! (2nd place? FACEBOOK)
Yes, The winner is Google because in order to acquire new traders onto CFD and MT4 trading platforms, it seems that most companies enter the pay-per-click warzone, thinking the way forward is to go head-to-head with the competition and not back down. Many off course think that by investing more in attribution software, data science and other keyword research solutions, that they will beat the competitors, however such gains are still marginal as it does not negate the psychology and ego’s involved in deciding that cost per click (CPC) allocations. Many also feel that by spending more time on CRM systems and reducing churn, they can stretch their competitive advantage and justify a higher CPC – which also offers a marginal advantage. The winner here is still Google – and perhaps Facebook, as stalking people through remarketing seems to be another ill-conceived tactic which only racks up your bill.
So how then can the industry become the winner again?
The short answer is that we have to grow the pizza – and not try to grow the size of the slice we take from it. But how do we go about achieving this? What metric do we need to improve as an industry? What steps do we need to take?
Let’s start by looking at the funnel which represents the war-zone most egoists are fiercely engaged in:
It is currently too narrowly defined. The industry focus on the final conversion stage where users are searching for trading platforms or competitor names. These are then used as keywords for both display and search targeting – with current CPC’s of around $40 and CPA’s in excess of $800. This is hardly a recipe for success. Be prepared to sleep with one eye open if this is your tactic: the mere introduction of more affiliates cannot change the game either – and the smart strategists know this all too well.
The one metric we need to change: SEARCH VOLUME
If all of the participants can increase awareness of the industry in order to attract NEW INTEREST, search volume will increase. This will in turn lower the intolerable levels of CPC and CPA currently experienced in the Google warzone. There is a lot that can be done here and that is where more strategists will now begin to focus:
One man, George Van der Riet and his team across Africa (including Sandile Shezi) have shown remarkable courage to take up this task: Global Forex Institute have raised more than 8000 new traders per year over the last 3 years – mostly people who never heard of Forex Trading. They have increased the size of the industry in their region without taking away from the exisiting industry. These are the givers of the industry, not the takers.
One could argue it is all about give and take – and that this would constitute a superior strategy. That would mean doing enough to help the industry grow and staying focussed on maximizing gains within the Google warzone.
Here are 4 things serious players in the industry should think of:
- Acquire a forex training company: Divert some of your Google budget to grow that company exponentially.
- Boost your affiliate recruitment: Grow the affiliate industry NOT by offering more per conversion, but by creating more affiliates.
- Get more refunds from Google: Before spending more on programmatic media, procure refunds for invalid inventory.
- Hire a content marketing firm: Just like plus500, you should recruit an army of content marketing to spread the good news!
- Service expansion: Look at the leadership demonstrated by ThinkMarkets and Plus500, the offer so much more today.