No matter the industry, marketing is a key element for all business owners. But with new tools being released daily and platforms updated regularly, it’s very common for independent RIAs to make marketing more complicated than it needs to be.
That’s where having a strategic marketing plan in place comes in. In order to see a measurable increase in new clients, revenue, and brand recognition, it's crucial to include a variety of marketing strategies in your plan.
What channels work best for financial advisors?
Unfortunately, there's no magic formula. But there's marketing advice from experts who specialize in the personal financial services sector that we can all learn from.
I sat down with Seven Group to hear their best advice on how to help every financial advisor market their practice better. Here are 5 proven ways to make marketing simple:
1. Build an ideal customer profile
One of the biggest marketing challenges financial advisors face is trying to stand out in a crowd. So don’t spend precious budget, time, and resources on flashy tactics; instead take a more personal approach and only seek out your ideal clients.
How do you find your ideal clients?
By developing an ideal client profile and focusing your marketing to this segment. You can start creating this profile by interviewing ten of your best clients and gathering as much information as you can about their behaviors. For example, what social platforms do they use? What time of the day are they most active on social media? How often do they attend webinars or live seminars? What blogs or media outlets do they spend the most time on?
Analyze the information you collect and reverse engineer it to build your content framework and serve your content at the right time and place to your targeted audience.
2. Don’t fall victim to technology fatigue
Technology is disrupting the financial services industry and advisors are facing more competition than ever to get — and keep — the attention of clients. And the tools available today can do wonders for your practice and hyper-speed growth from an AUM perspective.
But that doesn’t mean trying out everything under the sun or bouncing from one tool to another without giving it a proper go. Many advisors think it’s the technology that brings success, but the reality is, if you don’t stick to one tool — combined with a strategy, consistency, and content — you won’t see any results.
3. Develop a customized marketing plan
Technology brings us to the importance of planning. What works for a large brokerage probably won’t work for an independent RIA. More so, with all the parameters in the financial services industry, it’s important to have a good handle on your own compliance and security measures, and the role it plays into your marketing plan.
For example, do you want to launch a podcast offering financial advice to your audience? A marketing plan for this channel looks very different than a traditional direct mail postcard sent out to your community.
Figure out your unique marketing mix and then spend your time executing on what works best for you — not what may have worked in the past.
4. Work the plan
“If you don’t work the plan, the plan won’t work.” Consistency is key when it comes to seeing results from your marketing efforts. It’s tempting for many financial planners to push a strategy for 30 or 60 days and then jump ship because they’re not seeing any additional conversions or leads come through. But immediate ROI is hardly attainable from most marketing technology.
In order to truly scale your marketing efforts, it’s crucial to be consistent in your delivery and execution. That doesn’t mean you have to post on your social media channels every day or run a weekly webinar, but it means you need to figure out what works for you (and your audience) and then stick to those tactics.
For example, if you send out a monthly eNewletter, deliver it on the same date every month and with the same banner, subject, or theme. Sending out routine announcements like that can prep your audience to anticipate, and even look forward to, your next piece of content.
Always be tracking and improving
As financial planners, trending, analyzing, and making decisions is part of our day-to-day job. How much of that type of analysis bleeds into our marketing strategy?
For financial firms to see success, having a metric-based marketing plan in place that can track data will allow you to do so.
For example, pick a handful of metrics to measure on a monthly basis that show growth on the specific channels and tools that you identified in your unique marketing mix. Over time, you’ll be able to clearly see which channels can be a catalyst for marketing or relationship building.
Let’s say you’re focusing on brand building tactics and would like to see an increase in website traffic. The obvious metric to track is website visitors, but in order to measure progress on your marketing channels, you want to dig a bit deeper. How many website conversions are happening on Facebook ads? Which paid ads are bringing in the most visitors? Take a look at the individual tools you’re using and you’ll start to see that success leaves fingerprints when you're doing something right.
With the surge of FinTech apps and more secure mobile capabilities, many forward-thinking advisors are starting to implement innovative ways to acquire clients. In fact, many of the most successful financial firms are combining traditional marketing strategies, like print ads and direct mail, with digital acquisition channels, like email nurture campaigns, to boost their growth with an offline and online approach.
To learn more about the Allison, Alex and Seven Group, visit their website.