Marketing is the cornerstone of growth for any business, and as the adage goes, one has to spend money to make money.
But advisers must ask whether they are spending their marketing budget effectively and whether their strategy is keeping up with consumer preferences.
An effective marketing and branding strategy should position an adviser and firm to evolve with consumer preferences. Not only must the messaging resonate with the target audience, it must also be easily accessible to them.
Clients are online, whether it is creating a Pinterest board for a new outfit, watching a YouTube video for a cooking recipe or checking their Instagram feed while standing in line at Starbucks.
And when it comes to financial information, studies show that 54% of high-net-worth investors between the 55 and 64 use LinkedIn for financial communication and research.
So advisers should be online with them. And the best way to do this is with an omni-channel approach to marketing.
Although it may seem that one social-media network is more important than another, each platform serves a unique purpose. Two-thirds of adults with investment accounts have a social-media account, so to ensure that advisers reach these prospective clients, it is important to be available to them on all platforms.
But it isn’t enough to simply post to multiple channels. With the vast amount of information online, the challenge to actually get the message through is increasing.
An adviser’s content must be interesting, engaging and relevant. Quality content about the client experience, investment approach or thoughts on the market can help enrich a digital footprint and keep people coming back for more.
Where to Begin
Here are some thoughts to get started on effective marketing in the digital world:
1. Clarify the target market and the firm’s objectives. Are you trying to reach a particular market niche; a specific age group; an interest group?
2. Create consistent and connected digital accounts (e.g., LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube) to reach more consumers.
Do all the firm’s accounts carry consistent branding? Is it using a dashboard to manage accounts and ensure that posts are well-timed and appropriately coordinated?
3. Share and create interesting, informative and relevant content. Keep number one in mind when creating original content and links to others’ posts that will resonate with the firm’s target audience.
4. Engage with the audience, so that it is a two-way conversation. Advisers must ask themselves if they provide meaningful responses to comments on posts?
With 63% of affluent consumers taking action after learning about financial products and services on social media, an adviser’s digital presence must be relevant and robust. Considering these four steps will get the ball rolling.
Khalid Usmani is head of adviser success at GuideVine, an online platform that provides education about financial planning topics and matches consumers with right-fit advisers.
This story is part of a 30-30 series on ways to upgrade your practice.
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