8 marketing tips and best practices for financial advisors
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on people’s finances, thanks to furlough, unemployment, and increased medical bills, but that impact hasn’t been felt equally across generations. Forty-four percent of Gen Z and 35% of millennials have experienced a negative impact on their financial security due to the pandemic, compared with just 20% of the Silent Generation.
With increasing financial instability, it’s no surprise that people are increasingly looking for financial advice. Since the start of the pandemic, 16% of US adults who didn’t have a financial advisor before have decided to start working with one, 22% of which are Gen Z and millennials.
To attract new clients and keep existing ones, financial advisors need to show their credibility and stand out from local competitors by building a strong online presence and engaging marketing campaigns.
The biggest marketing challenges for financial advisors
Financial advisors face challenges common to marketers everywhere: generating new leads, finding new clients, and measuring and attributing results. But these challenges are further complicated by the unique regulatory environment surrounding financial advice.
Changing regulations for financial marketing
Financial marketing is heavily regulated. One recent example is the 2020 reforms to the Investment Advisers Act to modernize rules around advertising investment advice. The reforms are intended to make it easier for customers to evaluate investors’ performance and choose the right financial investor for their needs. Specific changes financial investment companies need to make include:
- Standardizing parts of performance presentations so customers can evaluate and compare investment opportunities
- Disclosing and attributing ads that include third-party ratings to avoid providing misleading information
- Permitting the use of testimonials and endorsements
These changes make it easier for customers to evaluate the quality of financial and investment advice they’re getting, giving them more control over choosing a financial advisor.
Showing up in online search results
COVID-19 has changed consumer behavior. Think With Google analyzed analyzed consumer behaviors that are likely to stick in the future (post-pandemic), and found that our use of search engines to look for financial information and advice is most likely to be a permanent change.This makes online search the most-used touchpoint during their financial research process.
Because people are increasingly looking online for financial advice, financial advisors need to build up their digital marketing presence to show up in search results and stand out from competitors. If no one can find you online, you won’t generate any new leads from your digital marketing efforts.
Measuring return on investment from all marketing channels
As a financial advisor, you keep a close eye on your client’s investments to make sure they’re getting a good return — and should take the same approach with your marketing investment. But some channels can be difficult to track and measure results from, such as offline campaigns like direct mail, print advertisements, or word-of-mouth recommendations.
With so many different online and offline channels to keep track of and measure, if you try and manage all the leads from different marketing channels individually, some will fall through the cracks. To more effectively manage leads , look for a platform to bring all your marketing activities together in one place.
8 financial advisor marketing best practices
These best practices will help financial advisors overcome marketing challenges to generate more leads, find more clients, and improve the return on investment from your marketing efforts.
1. Ditch the financial jargon
There’s so much specialist terminology — also known as jargon — in the financial industry that Investopedia has more than 14,000 definitions of financial terms on their site:
Investopedia’s extensive dictionary of financial terms
Using jargon makes it harder for a general audience to understand your services by raising the reading level of your content. For this reason, the Center for Plain Language advises businesses to “reduce jargon and other poor readability elements” in all communications.
Your potential clients aren’t financial experts — that’s why they’re coming to you for advice. Keep that in mind when writing ads and marketing materials. While you may not be able to avoid jargon altogether, try to use plain language where possible so it’s easier for potential clients to understand your services. You should also evaluate your copy for readability to make sure it’s accessible for as many potential clients as possible.
One way to make sure messaging resonates is with conversation intelligence tools, which transcribe and analyze calls with current and potential clients. You can identify key words and phrases your customers use and incorporate their language into your marketing materials. Plain language will make you seem relatable rather than intimidating and will build trust with potential clients.
2. Help local clients find you online
Your local community is likely to be your best source of new leads: Google estimates there is 350x more interest for searches containing the keywords “local” and “near me” compared to 10 years ago.
When someone searches “financial advisor near me,” you want your company to show up in the search results. For local searches, Google shows a Local Pack which includes a map and the top three companies in the area:
Google’s Local Pack search results for “financial advisor near me”
For your company to show up in Google’s Local Pack, you need to have a Google My Business (GMB) account. Customers can call you directly from your GMB account, making it a great way to generate new leads. Even better, you can set up a CallRail tracking number in your GMB listing, so you can easily track the new leads that come in from a Google search.
Setting up and optimizing your GMB account is the most important step for showing up in local searches, but there are various ways to improve your local SEO. We’ve put together an extensive guide to local SEO to learn more about showing up in local search results.
3. Use content marketing to share your expertise
When choosing a financial advisor, potential clients seek someone with experience to give them useful, relevant financial advice. Share your expertise in blog posts, guides, or even video marketing to build trust with potential clients.
For example, Snowcap Financial has blog posts offering tips to help potential clients prepare financially for momentous life milestones, such as getting married or having a baby.
Snowcap Financial uses content marketing to offer financial tips and advice focused on life milestones.
Content marketing is an important lead generation channel. You can use content marketing to provide helpful information and advice to generate new leads for your business, and reach out to new leads to help them transition from lead to new customer.
For example, if you produce an in-depth guide like this one, you can set up a form that asks readers to share their email addresses to read the guide in full. A reader that shares their contact information in exchange for your content tells you they are potentially a good fit for your services, so it may be worth a further conversation to understand their needs and financial situation.
You can then use tools like form tracking tools to track how many leads come from your content marketing — and then get further insights about what other pages they visit on your website before they pick up the phone to book an initial appointment.
4. Use social media marketing to build your online presenceSocial media is an important channel to include in your marketing plan. You can use social media to connect with current and potential clients, share your content marketing to reach a wider audience, and provide another way for customers to find and contact you online.
The content you share on social media helps build your reputation so that potential customers trust you as a helpful, knowledgeable financial advisor. For example, you could share:
- Testimonials from current clients
- Content you’ve published on your website
- Video tips
- New certifications you’ve received
- Financial news that’s relevant to your current and potential clients
New York-based financial planner Bone Fide Wealth does this well. They use their Facebook page to share content from their website, promote their podcast, provide short video tips, and comment on current events (like the uncertainty at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic).
Bone Fide Wealth uses their Facebook page to promote their podcast and share links to content published on their website.
If you run ads on Facebook, CallRail’s Facebook integration makes it easy to track the calls and form submissions from people who view and click on your ads. This helps you see which of your customers came from Facebook, so you can determine which ads effectively bring in new leads.
5. Ask existing clients to leave you reviews
Reviews are an increasingly important part of consumers’ decision-making process: In 2020, 87% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses. The same survey found that 79% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends and family. One great review can be just as useful for generating new leads as a strong word-of-mouth recommendation.
When you ask your clients to leave you a review, take time to analyze where your new leads come from so you can focus on getting reviews published in places that drive visitors to your website. If you get lots of website visits from Google My Business but only a handful of leads, you might be better off requesting GMB reviews rather than Facebook or Yelp ratings.
Customer reviews are great for building trust with potential clients, and they’re a useful marketing asset. You can use quotes from reviews in ads or share them on social media to provide valuable social proof about the quality of your financial services.
6. Don’t forget about traditional marketing channels.
Digital marketing gets you in front of a large potential audience, but traditional marketing channels are perfect for building an audience in your local community. For example, direct mail campaigns can get your flyers directly into the hands of hundreds of potential customers, and advertisements in local community newsletters or magazines can help to build recognition for your company name.
Many marketers think it’s difficult to track the performance of offline marketing channels, but CallRail makes it easy. By adding a unique phone number onto your direct mail or offline ads and forwarding that to your main office number, you can use Call Tracking to see how many calls come from these offline channels and use that to measure return on investment.
You might be surprised by how effective traditional marketing channels are for generating new leads: Lob’s State of Direct Mail report found that 60% of companies sending direct mail said that it delivers the highest return on investment of all their marketing channels.
7. Connect your online and offline marketing activities.
While you may plan different activities and campaigns across different online and offline marketing channels, it’s important to remember they’re all part of your overall marketing strategy. Consistent messaging and design are important for building brand recall and company recognition.
Use similar messaging and branding across your marketing channels. For example, if you get a new review from a customer, share that on social media, and use short quotes from the review as social proof on your next batch of direct mail. Or, if you run an offer for a discounted introductory appointment on social media, set up a dedicated landing page on your website so that when customers click through, they see a page that’s relevant to that offer.
For example, financial planner Brooklyn Plans used their Facebook account to encourage followers to apply for a free financial consultation.
Brooklyn Plans promotes their free financial consultation service via social media.
The post takes users to a landing page to learn more about their service, which links to a Typeform survey with a few introductory questions to help pre-select the best-fit customers.
8. Track which marketing channels bring in the best leads.
Track and measure your marketing performance to understand where your best leads come from, so you can focus more on the channels that deliver the best return on investment.
CallRail offers source-level tracking to make it easy for you to see which of your financial marketing campaigns drive the most calls. For example, you can use unique phone numbers on your Google My Business account, Facebook page, and direct mail flyers to see how many calls you get from each channel. Combine this with Form Tracking, and you’ll see how new leads connect with you via online forms, such as on the “Contact Us” page on your website or on downloadable content.
This will show you which marketing channels deliver the best-quality leads and make it easy for you to understand the different touchpoints where potential customers engage with your company.
Add CallRail to your financial marketing toolkit
People are increasingly looking online for financial advice. Still, if they find your company and book an initial appointment, that conversation will soon move offline and become more challenging to track.
To get the best return from your financial marketing efforts, you need to connect your online marketing with offline touchpoints with your clients. CallRail gives your team access to a platform that summarizes each interaction with every lead, from clicking through to your website from a Google Local Pack result to calling to book an appointment.