Referrals alone are not enough to ensure that your practice continues to grow. Digital marketing is the easiest way to increase your client base and stay connected to your clients. However, there are considerations as you start your digital marketing journey in a regulated industry.
Here, we outline seven basic ways to help grow your digital presence, and ultimately, your clients:
- Presenting a positive company image
- Use of educational content
- Authenticity and empathy
- Social media
- Direct messaging
- Newsletter marketing
- Employee advocacy
Questions to ask yourself before getting started
First, think about how you currently use digital marketing to inform others about you and your services:
- How do you currently show up on the web?
- Are you using content marketing?
- What story does your social media presence tell?
- What scares you about digital marketing to reach new clients?
Once you determine the answers, you can effectively assess the areas your digital marketing strategy is lacking by using this playbook as your guide.
Presenting a positive company image
Companies that recognize the importance of how the public views them will have a much higher chance of digital marketing success. 71% of consumers who have had a positive experience with a brand on social media are likely to recommend it to their friends and family. By interacting with ideal prospects & current clients through positive experience-based communication (email and content marketing, etc.) your efforts are working toward creating and maintaining a positive perception of your company.
A positive view of your company can be impacted by more than just direct client communication, too.
Every piece of your marketing efforts can affect how the public views your company. Everything from community involvement to services offered or how existing clients view your team (think testimonials) needs to be considered with the potential impact on your business in mind.
Content marketing: It’s here to stay.
Digital marketing in financial services has evolved dramatically since the pandemic, and companies embracing digital engagement and content marketing are reaping the rewards compared to their counterparts.
With 3.5 billion social media users worldwide and consumers preferring a digital experience with thought-provoking content, right now is a great time to engage consumers with content that educates them on financial topics. Why do consumers choose to interact digitally?
Consumers can interact on their terms:
Engagement is a two-way street. For example, you post content to social media, and consumers engage with it at their leisure. Often, they will choose to follow you or interact with you because what you post has value to them.
They can gain financial education without being sold:
As the saying goes, education is priceless. Fueled by a desire to help educate consumers to make better financial decisions, our industry’s shift toward financial education demonstrates a willingness to help create financially savvy consumers. This is one trend you don’t want to miss!
Consumers want to relate:
When consumers see a brand that looks like them, they are more likely to engage. Show how your company is unique in the types of clients you work with, how you’ve helped solve their problems, and the diverse backgrounds and experiences your team provides.
Authenticity and empathy: critical components of content marketing material
Ultimately, it’s about connecting to your consumer in an authentic and empathetic manner. As advisors, you meet many people with unique stories and outcomes, usually centralized around a problem they would like solved. That is why clients come to you—you are their financial guide. Their situations are the material for a good story and a way to demonstrate your authenticity and empathy toward them.
The reader should experience the main characters’ emotions and desire to solve their financial issues through your thoughtful storytelling. Once empathy is achieved, advisors can begin to close the marketing gap, brainstorm how to best tell their story, and effectively demonstrate how they enable their clients to make intelligent financial decisions. Remember, a good story always starts with empathy and a desire for sound financial advice.
Social media profiles for financial advisors
With 97% of digital consumers using social media, creating a profile that showcases you as a financial advisor is essential to your business. Everything in your profile should reflect that you are a professional in the financial services industry. Your profile should make viewers conclude that you are a trustworthy expert they want to help solve their financial problems. Remember these key things when creating or updating your profile:
A picture is worth a thousand words. Your image should be up to date, show you professionally dressed and groomed, and be on a solid background or at a significant location. Location shots should be in your office or somewhere specific to your industry or a friendly outdoor setting in your geographic area.
Your professional description should state what you do and what led you to provide financial advice. Keep your profile information professional, but offer insights into who you are as a person. Remember to keep personal information out of your professional profile.
Always have your compliance analyst review your professional profile for social media and include your signature line disclosures at the end of your profile if required at your firm.
Choose your connections carefully. Because your social media profile is about you as a financial advisor, your connections should reflect who you know in the industry. Connect to others in other industries if you know them or have worked with them.
Using social media analytics for insight:
The purpose of analytics from social media is to use data generated by your social channels to make decisions that can improve your business.
54% of those browsing social media use it to conduct research, so reviewing your analytics can help you monitor which content has more engagement. You will gather valuable insight into how your brand is perceived, which type of content resonates, and what you can do to help make consumers happy. Ideally, you may make discoveries that directly affect your bottom line, like there’s demand from your customers for a service you hadn’t thought of providing before.
There are three stages in the social media analytics process:
01—Data capture: Using automated tools and the social platforms themselves
02—Analysis: Looking through the data and making sense of the results
03—Insight: Learning from the data to make marketing decisions
To ensure you’re managing each stage correctly, it helps to have a thorough social media analytics strategy in place so you can plan your activity and get the most value from your results.
Personalizing your direct messaging
The capacity to direct message someone, or ‘DM’ for short, is present on almost every social media platform. Financial advisors can now use DM to communicate with their clients. Communicating marketing messages privately using this feature may strike you as a more genuine way to go. Still, if the message is generic and very ‘ad-like,’ it will hit the receiver as the complete opposite. Communicating with a prospect, client, or fellow financial industry contact via social media should be an essential part of your digital marketing plan.
Here are several tips on how to create a productive DM:
Study your target before making contact. Social listening is critical in creating a successful DM because a direct message is more likely to be positively received if the sender took the time to learn something about its target to make a genuine connection with them.
Provide value to the individual or their business! If you record a podcast weekly, offer your connection the permission to send your podcast to their audience.
If you are willing to feature their business/work on your site, hint toward the potential for that opportunity. Many people will be very interested in gaining additional exposure for their business.
Make sure the conversation is a two-way street. Since everyone likes to talk about themselves, lead with a question about what they are working on, or have been particularly interested in lately. Typically, this makes your receiver more willing to create a connection with you, but it provides insight into whether you are an excellent match business-wise.
Providing customers with a well-developed newsletter
Sending clients a newsletter each month is something to consider. Marketers can drive more revenue per email as compared to broadcasting. Here are three reasons why you should start your digital marketing strategy with a digital newsletter:
Regular communication shows you care. If you’re not in front of your clients each month, they perceive you’re not available for them. Social media advertising, telemarketing, and cold calling give someone else a chance to develop a relationship with your client if you fail to contact them regularly.
Provide value where you seek value. Educating with information relevant to clients and based on the services you’re providing is priceless. Giving clients accurate and unbiased information that is interesting will help them make sound financial decisions for themselves and keep them as loyal customers.
You’ll get brand recognition. Branded newsletters with your logo, photo, and contact information position you as a professional and an expert in your field and help them remember you.
Trust takes time and consistency. Build trust and reap the rewards of referrals. Over time you will build the receiver’s trust and set yourself up for word-of-mouth marketing when they forward the newsletter to others they know could benefit from it.
Employee advocacy has been a trending topic in digital marketing lately. What does it mean? Employee advocacy refers to employees supporting what their brand or company is saying by reposting company content to their personal social media pages. Each of your employees holds a vast external network of people that can help to promote your company’s product or message. One social media repost from an employee can help your message reach an entirely new demographic of people.
The potential reach of employee advocacy is calculated by multiplying the number of employees by the size of their respective networks. In the beginning stages of a company, a large majority of company outreach can be linked back to employee advocacy—and that’s okay!
According to Hootsuite, when an employee shares just six pieces of content on LinkedIn, the employer sees significant gains:
- 6 job views
- 3 company page views
- 1 company page follower
- 6 profile views
- 2 new connections
Spreading the word about your company and services through your employee’s networks is a sure way to gain the attention of your intended audience. Remember that when it comes to winning in digital marketing, you need to regularly distribute and post new financial content.
We can help with your content marketing strategy.
Fresh Finance is an industry publisher specializing in fresh financial content.
Each month, you will receive our financial content through a client-centered digital newsletter, a modular content library, and third-party social media content (via our integration partnership with Vestorly).
We take pride in arming financial advisors with marketing tools to grow their business and win clients.
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