Digital Marketing Trends 2015 for Financial Advisors
Did you know that according to recent Gartner research, digital marketing accounted for 25% of all the marketing dollars spent in 2014 and it is expected to reach 33% in 2015?
Though traditional marketing methods like seminars, telemarketing, trade shows, print media, exhibitions, and networking groups are still effective, let’s face it – Top Financial Advisors have stayed ahead of the game by adapting their marketing initiatives to the digital world we live in.
So don’t get left behind! Update your marketing strategy for the year ahead and build a competitive advantage by following the digital marketing trends of 2015. Start with these four areas of improvement:
In a recent survey, a staggering 58% of online consumers claimed to have tried a new brand in the last three months that they didn’t even know existed a year ago. This is a tremendous opportunity for Financial Service Providers who differentiate themselves from the competition via effective branding.
Here are some tips to help you build a strong branding strategy for your advisory business:
- Be consistent – whether it is designing a striking logo, re-designing a website or expanding your online presence, following a consistent style guide across all digital marketing channels is paramount to successfully develop a unique corporate identity.
- Humanize your brand – develop a clear understanding of your clients’ behavior. Find out what motivates or alienates them. Use this information to customize the digital touch points with images, client-centric messages, and personalized user experiences to make your message effective and trustworthy.
- Identify the right Digital Advocates / Influencers who can help you amplify your brand awareness. Build relationships with them – they will communicate your competitive advantages to prospective clients for you. You can prepare a list of influencers by following what your prospects and clients share on social media. For instance, a strong Digital Advocate for a Financial Advisor could be a Retirement Planning Blogger who is a “Go-To” source of retirement tips for the Baby Boomers.
- Track the performance of your digital branding campaigns in real time and leverage opportunities to connect with prospects and clients sooner than later. We live in a world where on one hand, it’s hard to capture the attention of prospects online, and on the other hand, a complaint from an annoyed client can go viral in less than 24 hours. So timing is key! Real time data helps businesses act fast, be proactive and fine tune marketing campaigns on the go. Setting up performance tracking begins with defining the purpose of your branding campaign. For instance, if your goal is to break throughthenoiseandmake an introduction to your Advisory Business, then some of the performance indicators you might want to track for this campaign could be:
- Leads / calls Received
- Increase in “relevant“ fans on social media – Facebook / Twitter / LinkedIn
- Brand mentions and social engagements
- Email Newsletter sign-ups
- Website visits, etc.
Creating a unique brand and raising awareness will help you cut through the digital noise and get noticed. However, it is “Personalization”, through which Financial Advisors and Financial Marketers shall be able to attract prospects in 2015.
Email marketing for instance has experienced a personalization boom. Statistics show that emails with personalized subject lines, have 26% higher unique open rates than non-personalized ones.
As a Financial Advisor you will have clients from various demographics – e.g. Gen X, Gen Y, Baby Boomers, Millennial Millionaires, Retired, and Single Parents. Segmenting, outreaching and engaging with them on the basis of their individual goals, issues, and intent would be extremely effective in opening new accounts as well as retaining existing clients.
Personalization is not only limited to email marketing. Giving customers more control through website personalization is another area Financial Advisors can focus on, for example:
- displaying content based on the user’s geographical location,
- optimizing user experience on the basis of site usage,
- providing segmented customers with real-time alerts and timely offers.
Consumers are looking for a customized experience. Be sure to factor in personalization in your marketing strategy for 2015.
3. Content Marketing
In 2015, financial institutions will strive to create and distribute personalized and well- researched content by implementing effective content marketing strategies.
Financial Advisory firms aiming to acquire pole positions should thus focus on:
- creating highly influential content baits with the help of visuals or storytelling skills,
- finding effective digital marketing channels for distribution
- tracking and measuring the performance of their content marketing efforts.
As a Financial Advisor you should strive to effectively communicate with your clients and push your brand forward through case studies, white papers and other content items which give useful information or share success stories. Customers relate more to visual content and thus creating testimonial videos and illustrative graphics can get the point across easily.
4. Real-Time Marketing Using Social Media
With so many distractions in the digital space, staying on top of mind with customers has become a necessity. Financial Advisors will be at a competitive disadvantage in 2015 if their marketing departments fail to make real-time decisions based on what content is performing well and where, who can help to amplify their message and what are customers really saying.
On the other hand, Financial Advisor firms using social media as part of their digital marketing mix to listen, connect, engage and leverage real-time data would be in a pole position to gain more clients and brand awareness.
So go on, interact and engage with your clients and prospects on popular social media channels to build relationships and brand loyalty. Here are 6 tactics for Financial Advisors who want to get started with Social Media Marketing.
In a nutshell, here’s what to do to leverage real-time social media marketing:
- Identify the social networks where your clients and prospects are active.
- Establish your branded presence and leverage each platform strategically to maximize effectiveness.
- Share tailored content to attract prospects and promote your services.
- Listen, Listen and Listen!
- Make sure you stay on top of the social media chatter about your brand. Respond as appropriate.
LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and even image- based networks like Instagram and Pinterest are all set to turn into vibrant online communities for a two-way communication between you and your clients.
To recap, here are the main 2015 digital marketing trends for Financial Advisors
They will help you differentiate yourself from the competition and build stronger relationships with prospective and current clients.
- Create unique and valuable content in any form (video, infographics, website content, email newsletters, blog posts, etc.) Present it on the right platform at the right time to attract prospects’ attention and eventually turn them into clients.
- Say Hello Personalization! Segmenting clients and prospects to provide personalized customer services and user experience is the way to keep and win new clients in 2015.
- Establish a distinct and consistent brand voice, value and presence across all marketing channels, digital and offline alike. Re-affirm who you are to encourage customers to trust you and your services.
- Listen and engage with clients and prospects in real time via social media. Only then you will learn more about your clients’ issues, preferred communication channels or content type, interests and user behavior in general. Use these invaluable insights to fine tune your digital marketing strategy and build stronger relationships with your online communities.
- Identify key performance indicators for all the digital marketing initiatives and tie them with appropriate business goals. Track campaign performance. Only then you’ll be able to grow your business the way you want.