Using a Digital Marketing Strategy to Grow Your Practice
By Brian Neil, Wealth Management, Financial Planning Consultant
Competing in today’s environment requires financial advisors to find ways to exceed client expectations. Investors are increasingly looking for greater personalization and innovation from their financial advisors, expecting both digital and in-person options for accessing financial information and advice. Advisors with a focused digital strategy are more effective at increasing their pipeline and typically outperform their peers who don’t use one.
Let’s look at some key areas to consider as you build out a digital marketing strategy.
Go Beyond the Advisor Website
As a financial advisor, the centerpiece of your brand and identity often starts with a website. A good advisor website helps customers and prospects understand what to expect, as well as what sets you apart from other financial service providers. It also offers opportunities to educate clients and help them determine if your experience and expertise is the right fit for them.
But it takes more than a website to grow your business. Pairing it with a targeted digital marketing strategy increases the volume and improves the quality of traffic on your site.
Consider Online and Email Marketing
Online and email marketing is a great way to attract new clients and keep in regular contact with current ones. A regular email newsletter allows you to share insights on current market conditions, educate clients about common planning strategies, and share upcoming events and links to your website and social channels. If you have a diverse client base, consider segmenting clients into different target markets and send out customized content for each audience based on their interests. Personalizing the content to specific client or prospect needs, concerns, or areas of interest is a best practice to increase engagement.
Many broker-dealers have relationships with marketing services that provide FINRA-approved content and the ability to easily set up and schedule newsletters and emails to clients and prospects on a regular basis. Along with more evergreen content, most of these services also provide content to address current events and market conditions so advisors can quickly respond and reach out to clients and prospects during times of uncertainty.
Expand Your Reach with Digital and Social Media Marketing
Beyond email marketing, it’s critical to develop a digital and social media marketing strategy to attract new business. Social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter allow you to target messages to your ideal prospects to amplify your messages to the right audience. You can also drive more traffic to your website by posting unique, relevant content to social media platforms, including blog posts, invitations to webinars, video blogs or educational videos, and podcasts. You can also share third-party articles or research that may be of interest to your target market.
Using digital and social media marketing can help expand your reach and find new clients. Before diving in though, make sure you understand your firm’s guidelines and resources to help you build a successful and compliant strategy.
Build a Marketing Strategy
A well-defined marketing plan can help you communicate the value of your brand to prospective and current clients to grow your business. Here are a few important steps for setting up a plan:
Define Your Future Goals: What is your idea of growth and success? Do you need to focus on bringing in new clients or further develop current clients and their heirs? Your marketing plan should be in alignment with your goals for growth.
Identify Your Target Market: Don’t try to be all things to all people. Successful advisors develop a niche or two and understand what motivates and drives their ideal clients. Understanding your target clients allows you to segment them and develop personalized marketing strategies that speak to their unique needs.
Showcase What Makes You Different: What makes you unique as a financial advisor in your market? What can a potential client expect from you? Defining your brand and developing a consistent way to showcase it are key components to your marketing plan.
Choose Your Channels: Determine which channels you will use to market your services to both current clients and prospects. Then define the strategies you will use in each channel and develop a marketing calendar to ensure you stay on track.
Measure Your Results and Adjust as Needed: It’s important to regularly monitor the results of your current marketing campaigns and adjust your strategy when you are not getting the results you want.
Create the Right Messaging
To build an effective digital marketing strategy, you need to ensure your messaging and branding are consistent across all channels – whether it’s your website, a blog or podcast, or social channels. Again, consider your target market and think about what types of issues they face, what motivates them, and the solutions you can offer. To build trust, part of your messaging to clients should include information about your experience, similar clients you have helped, and your education and credentials.
You may want to write up a core messaging or value proposition document you can refer to regularly to ensure you are keeping messages consistent. If writing is not your strength, you may want to hire a contract writer for assistance and take advantage of other marketing resources your firm provides.
Find the Right Resources and Budget for Your Plan
As a financial advisor, you are talented at developing financial plans and strategies for clients but may need help when it comes to developing an effective website or social media strategy. You may want to consider hiring a sales writer or marketing expert to optimize the content on your website, emails, and social media platforms to ensure you are hitting your target market. As mentioned above, your broker-dealer firm may also provide resources and tools to help you automate client and prospect emails and newsletters and find pre-approved content that you can easily use.
For example, HilltopSecurities offers advisors a complete package of resources to help with your digital presence. AdvisorStream is an integrated tool that provides evergreen content, news from well-known publications like The Wall Street Journal, and reviewed content from the firm and its affiliates for customized newsletters or social media postings. HilltopSecurities also provides websites for advisors as well as support for keeping them updated.
It’s important to make sure you follow all industry and firm regulations regarding advertising and client communications, so don’t forget to engage your firm’s compliance department as you develop your marketing efforts.
You will also need to budget for your marketing plan based on the resources already available and those you may need to contract out to an agency or freelancer, as well as any dollars needed for hosting a website and advertising on social media. Your available budget could help determine the best time to deploy certain strategies so you can stretch your dollars and maximize the impact.
There are nearly unlimited combinations of tools and techniques available to help the modern financial advisor develop a digital strategy. The key is to establish a roadmap for where you want to go based on your goals for the business, bringing in support when it makes sense. As you begin to see results and determine what works, it will become easier to manage and automate more of your strategy.
For more information about growing your business with a digital marketing strategy, contact your dedicated Financial Planning Consultant: Craig Callon, Joseph Turek, Patrick Deist, or Brian Neil.
To learn more about Momentum Independent Network, contact Wealth Management at WealthManagementInfo@hilltopsecurities.com or 833-4HILLTOP.
The paper/commentary was prepared by Momentum Independent Network (MIN). Momentum Independent Network Inc. is a registered broker-dealer and registered investment advisor that does not provide tax or legal advice. MIN and Hilltop Securities are wholly owned subsidiaries of Hilltop Holdings Inc. (NYSE: HTH) located at 717 N. Harwood St. Suite 3400, Dallas, TX 75201 (214) 859-1800, 833-4HILLTOP. Member FINRA/SIPC