Remember when marketing was all about print ads, direct mail, and cold calls? Some of these traditional marketing techniques are still effective to this day. Personalized letters, in particular, are one of the highest ROI channels we’ve seen for financial professionals to date. That said, a lot of these methods are only usable in very specific cases now – they’re not as effective for many reasons…
Navigating the Digital Wave: A Guide to Digital Marketing for Financial Advisors
The Evolution of Financial Advisory Service
Remember when marketing was all about print ads, direct mail, and cold calls?
Some of these traditional marketing techniques are still effective to this day. Personalized letters, in particular, are one of the highest ROI channels we’ve seen for financial professionals to date.
That said, a lot of these methods are only usable in very specific cases now – they’re not as effective for many reasons.
The biggest reason for this is that most people get their information online. It’s only right that you promote your business where your ideal clients are. For example, while you might get some success promoting through printed ads, digital ads on a select few social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, or Instagram have better reach.
The internet also allows you to create more strategic marketing campaigns. Now, financial advisor marketing wasn’t just about throwing money at ads and hoping someone would bite. It became more strategic, more targeted, and a whole lot more efficient.
Let’s say you’re a financial planner specializing in retirement planning. In the past, you might have had to place an ad in a newspaper and hope it catches the eye of someone nearing retirement. But now, you can create a blog post or a video about financial planning, share it on social media, and reach out directly to your target audience.
The content lives forever on the internet, so you can repurpose those to create even more content that will be helpful for your target audience. You can even engage with your target audience in the comments section, answer their questions, and build a relationship with them – all from the comfort of your office.
The Basics of Digital Marketing for Financial Advisors
In simple terms, digital marketing is everything you do to promote your services through the Internet and other digital mediums.
There are many benefits of having a digital marketing program – which we’ll touch on later – but what’s certain is you need to do digital marketing to survive in the industry.
An online presence is a must-have. But to thrive, that’s not enough. You need to have a strong impression as well to stand out from your competitors.
Imagine a potential client searching for advisory firms in their area. They come across your Google My Business page or your website. What will they see?
Your website is beautifully designed, UX-friendly, and packed with all the information they need to know before meeting you. They see testimonials from satisfied clients, informative blog posts, and a clear description of how you come up with personalized financial advice for your clients. On top of that, everything they see is extremely relevant to their needs, problems, and their current financial situation.
Compare this with a website with a generic template, text, and design. When nothing stands out, prospects won’t remember a thing about your business either.
Fortunately, your website isn’t the only tool in your digital marketing toolkit.
It’s probably the closest touchpoint to a prospect converting to a client. But there are other channels your prospective clients usually go through before they even come to your home page, such as social media, email marketing, and content marketing.
The Benefits of Digital Marketing for Financial Advisors
There are several advantages to digital marketing when you compare it with traditional marketing practices.
For one, you can reach more people. With digital marketing, you’re not just communicating with people in your area. You can reach people all over the world – whether your potential client is in the next town over or on the other side of the globe.
In addition to its reach, digital marketing allows you to get to know and engage clients on a whole other level. Social media and email marketing open a two-way marketing channel so you can have a conversation with clients. You can respond to their comments, answer their questions, and get their feedback.
Thanks to the data you collect, you’ll also be able to segment and target your audiences better. This amount of data is enough to offer personalized experiences to clients at scale. By understanding things beyond your clients’ demographics, such as your clients’ needs and preferences, you can tailor your offers, marketing plan, and others accordingly.
Finally, digital marketing helps you measure the ROI of your acquisition efforts. By installing analytics tools and monitoring certain metrics, you can get measurable results and attribute revenue to certain channels. This allows you to track what works and what doesn’t – so you can pivot to improve their strategies if necessary.
Leveraging Digital Channels for Prospecting
Now that we’ve covered traditional, let’s talk digital. Digital strategies are superior when you want to look for more prospects. These strategies scale easily, and they work together to create a lead generation pipeline. They’re designed to cast a wide net in the hopes of winning over a small portion of the pool.
Your website is your home base. All of the information clients should know before booking a meeting should be here. It’s common for clients to visit your website as part of their due diligence after getting to know your brand. The role it plays is to make sure that people choose to work with you over the competition. So think about it: if your website looks like every other financial advisor’s site, how will prospects see what sets you apart? Make sure that your website looks good and offers a good experience for clients. It should be easy to navigate, and prospects should easily find the information they’re looking for. On top of that, highlight your value proposition so clients know what’s different about you.
Social media is a powerful tool for engaging prospects and expanding your reach. Whether it’s sharing insightful articles on LinkedIn, hosting a live Q&A session on Facebook, or sharing client success stories on Instagram, social media allows you to connect with prospects on a deeper level. It keeps you top of mind and warms up prospects for your brand.
SEO and online advertising are good tools to get in front of people who are already thinking about solving a problem you can help with. You can see these like the billboards and signposts that guide prospects to your website. By optimizing your website for search engines and investing in targeted online advertising, you can boost your online visibility, especially when people look up topics related to your expertise.
A lot of people get this wrong, but email marketing isn’t about selling. It’s about nurturing leads and building a connection with your prospects, so they’ll only need a little nudge to convert. Similar to social media, you need to have a consistent schedule with email marketing to make sure that you’re top of mind when prospects are ready to talk to an advisor.
Critical Digital Marketing Strategies for Financial Advisors
There is an endless stream of strategies that you can use to market your services. Here are the 5 inbound channels we highly recommend to lay the foundation of your lead generation and digital marketing efforts.
- Your website is your storefront. It’s what people see when they’re considering working with you. Sometimes, your website is the first introduction people get to your business, but it’s unlikely that you’ll convert prospects into clients on their first visit. At the very least, your website needs to be memorable enough so prospects will remember you or even seek out your content on different platforms. Other times, they might know you from other channels, such as referrals or other inbound channels, and are doing their due diligence to make sure you’re the right fit.
- Social media marketing is your chance to get discovered and connect with people who already have you on their radar. Keep your services top of mind and grow your social media presence by updating and interacting with clients regularly. You can share updates, create informative social media posts, and engage with your audience. You can also use social media to discover potential possible common acquaintances between you and your target prospect. It’s like a continuous networking event – you can easily find people who might be a good fit for your services and build a relationship with them – whether at scale or 1:1.
- Email marketing, on the other hand, is a good channel to continue nurturing people who are already willing to hear from you. Send regular updates, valuable tips, and keep in touch with people who are already closer to the conversion point. A regular schedule when sending out these emails will also help you build a stronger connection and trust with these prospects.
- Content marketing is a great way to build your authority and credibility with prospects. Great content gets remembered, and content marketing might open doors to unexpected opportunities. People respond to content in different ways. Include various forms of content within your strategies, especially when you haven’t discovered what your target market prefers, such as blog posts, short-form video content, podcast episodes, and hour-long webinars. The goal is to provide valuable content that your clients will find useful and have enough content so they’ll stay within your bubble for a while.
- Finally, SEO supports your content marketing efforts. SEO, or search engine optimization, is all about making your website more likely to be seen by potential clients when they look up relevant keywords. The higher your website ranks, the more likely potential clients are to find you.
You should pick 1-2 channels at first and start by mastering it first. Then build more channels as you go to broaden your reach and build your brand awareness.
Overcoming Regulatory and Compliance Challenges in Digital Marketing
Now, let’s talk about something that’s not as fun but just as important — regulations and compliance. It’s not the most exciting topic, but it’s mandatory, and you might get into legal issues if you don’t pay attention to current regulations.
The financial industry is a maze of regulations, so you might be familiar with the game here. For most of these laws, non-compliance might result in big fines.
Let’s start with the most common topic first: privacy and security compliance laws.
The transfer of data is unavoidable when you’re required to do most things online. When you handle a certain volume of sensitive data, you’re responsible for protecting this data against misuse and cybercriminals.
The law and regulations around sensitive data differ depending on where your customers reside. Make sure you check your state’s privacy laws to get all the details.
If, for some reason, you have new clients from another state, you should also check with the regulation in those states to make sure you’re not violating any rules.
For the most part, however, the only thing you need to pay attention to is the CAN-SPAM Act. This regulation prevents you from sending unsolicited marketing emails. You need a written agreement that people want to receive emails from you when sending a commercial email. You can do this by creating an opt-in, where people are supposed to fill out a form to get your email newsletters.
In addition, make sure that people can opt out of marketing emails easily. If you use email marketing tools, such as MailChimp, ActiveCampaign, or MailerLite, you wouldn’t have to worry about this, as the unsubscribe button is already implemented in the email. These email service providers also have a lot of automation options, such as granular segmentation options and call-to-action buttons, so you can run your campaigns from one tool.
And then there are advertising regulations, which apply to all businesses. You need to make sure your marketing materials are accurate and non-misleading. You can’t make false promises or use deceptive tactics to attract clients. It sounds like common sense, but some people do use sketchy tactics just to get more clients who won’t feel satisfied with their financial service anyway.
And remember, when in doubt, it’s always a good idea to consult a legal expert. They can help you understand the regulations and ensure you’re on the right side of the law.
The Future of Digital Marketing for Financial Advisors
In the future, it’s expected that marketers will be able to form stronger connections with their audience through personalization at scale.
This is within reach with the help of recent technological developments, such as AI and Machine Learning.
Generative AI tools like ChatGPT, Jasper, and Synthesia help creators create content within minutes. The velocity of content production is now much faster, which means it’ll be much harder to stand out as well.
You’ll need to adapt as you see digital marketing trends like this appear. While some trends are just 99% hype, there are also some that are worth trying for your target audience.
Bill Good Marketing Can Enhance Your Digital Marketing Efforts
Digital marketing helps you reach a wider audience at scale. You don’t have to create all of your channels at once, but having multiple channels to interact with your audience will help your brand awareness.
Quickly establish your essential brand awareness and skip the experimentation phase
Learn more about how Bill Good Marketing helps financial advisors get new clients and grow their Assets Under Management (AUM) to $19.8 last year.
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