10 Marketing Trends Advisors Should Plan to Incorporate in 2017
Written by: Kelly Holcombe
A new year means it’s time to try new things!
As the marketing landscape continues its swift evolution, it’s important for financial advisors to evolve with it, and that means adapting to modern marketing mediums.
For New Year’s resolutions, advisors should plan to incorporate these 10 marketing trends into their plans for 2017:
1. Animated Videos
Goodbye white papers, hello whiteboards! When it comes to animated videos and marketing, the two go hand-in-hand. With colorful graphics and a clever script, advisors can use animated videos as a way to engage with audiences and enhance their branding. The brevity of an animated video allows advisors to communicate key messaging and ideas without losing the attention span of potential clients. Additionally, by hosting a video on one of the most popular platforms, YouTube, advisors position themselves on a Google-owned property and the second largest search engine, leaving the possibility for a huge boost in SEO.
Not only is YouTube a platform for advisors to host their animated videos, but it’s the perfect place for advisors to start vlogging. YouTube now has over a billion users (that’s one-third of all people on the Internet!) and with millions of hours of videos consumed every day, the site gives advisors the means to communicate “face to face” with audiences. Vlogging allows advisors to openly discuss the topics of their choice, and with the proper tools and equipment, presents a high quality product that enhances SEO and client communication.
3. Live Streaming
With the rise in Periscope and Facebook Live, live streaming is a natural extension of video marketing. It’s cost effective in implementation and is an ideal tool for naturally building relationships with audiences. Advisors can use live streaming to give viewers an authentic behind-the-scenes look at the everyday going-ons of their practice. The medium also allows for direct engagement, creating a space for conversation between advisors and audiences.
Podcasts are an extremely popular and creative way to increase visibility and provide information to your audience. Advisors can craft content with listeners in mind and provide information sessions, panel discussions, tips, trick and more. It’s important not to lose sight of entertainment value, though – as a solely audio platform, the need for engaging material is critical, as to not lose the attention of listeners.
5. Social Media Advertising
In a cluttered sea of online content, social media advertising can be used to directly drive target traffic. Placed on user-friendly platforms, social media ads allow for customization to an advisors’ target demographic, increases visibility, provides an easy to measure ROI with conversion tracking – a record of when a social media ad leads to a consumer taking action – and improves SEO through consumer engagement.
With infographics, advisors can easily catch their target audience’s attention and create brand awareness. Just like an animated video, advisors can use and customize the graphics to engage with clients and potential clients in an easy to understand manner. The simplicity of the visual aid draws the attention of an advisor’s audience and results in social sharing for increased visibility and SEO.
7. Local SEO
With 64 percent of consumers looking to the internet to find local businesses, implementing local SEO is an important tool for advisors. With an update in 2014, Google’s search engine began giving greater weight to local businesses that have location-focused keywords. By checking off action items, like having consistent contact information available online, positive feedback on business review platforms and optimizing keywords with an advisor’s city/state and offered services, advisors can boost local SEO for a highly targeted and timely return.
8. Content Contributions
For an advisor to truly stand out, it’s vital to establish third-party credibility that verifies their expertise within the industry. Contributing content to print and digital publications is one of the best ways for an advisor to distinguish themselves from others. By utilizing niche, targeted publications, advisors can speak directly to their target demographic and position themselves as thought-leaders who are in the know of current events, issues and client concerns.
Webcasts bring live streaming and video production together for an entirely unique marketing tool. Advisors can record and distribute live webcasts to promote services, conduct Q&A sessions, make formal announcements and more. The tool is cost effective and allows advisors to reach larger audiences – in a TalkPoint survey, more than 90 percent of businesses reported an increase in their ability to reach out to larger audiences when using webcasts.
10. e-Learning Programs
In the evolving use of technology, incorporating e-Learning programs into an advisor’s practice is the next step in marketing. The programs provide clients and potential clients with the tools to learn more about the world of finance, what exactly is involved with the services they receive from advisors and other factors that impact their solicitation of business. Financial advisors can implement e-Learning programs to help shape clients’ knowledge, perception and decisions by offering targeted programs, ultimately adding value to clients’ experience.
China's Push Toward Excellence Delivers a Global Robotics Investment Opportunity
Written by: Jeremie Capron
China is on a mission to change its reputation from a manufacturer of cheap, mass-produced goods to a world leader in high quality manufacturing. If that surprises you, you’re not the only one.
For decades, China has been synonymous with the word cheap. But times are changing, and much of that change is reliant on the adoption of robotics, automation, and artificial intelligence, or RAAI (pronounced “ray”). For investors, this shift is driving a major opportunity to capture growth and returns rooted in China’s rapidly increasing demand for RAAI technologies.
You may have heard of ‘Made in China 2025,’ the strategy announced in 2015 by the central government aimed at remaking its industrial sector into a global leader in high-technology products and advanced manufacturing techniques. Unlike some public relations announcements, this one is much more than just a marketing tagline. Heavily subsidized by the Chinese government, the program is focused on generating major investments in automated manufacturing processes, also referred to as Industry 4.0 technologies, in an effort to drive a massive transformation across every sector of manufacturing. The program aims to overhaul the infrastructure of China’s manufacturing industry by not only driving down costs, but also—and perhaps most importantly—by improving the quality of everything it manufactures, from textiles to automobiles to electronic components.
Already, China has become what is arguably the most exciting robotics market in the world. The numbers speak for themselves. In 2016 alone, more than 87,000 robots were sold in the country, representing a year-over-year increase of 27%, according to the International Federation of Robotics. Last month’s World Robot Conference 2017 in Beijing brought together nearly 300 artificial intelligence (AI) specialists and representatives of over 150 robotics enterprises, making it one of the world’s largest robotics-focused conference in the world to date. That’s quite a transition for a country that wasn’t even on the map in the area of robotics only a decade ago.
As impressive as that may be, what’s even more exciting for anyone with an eye on the robotics industry is the fact that this growth represents only a tiny fraction of the potential for robotics penetration across China’s manufacturing facilities—and for investors in the companies that are delivering or are poised to deliver on the promise of RAAI-driven manufacturing advancements.
Despite its commitment to leverage the power of robotics, automation and AI to meet its aggressive ‘Made in China 2025’ goals, at the moment China has only 1 robot in place for every 250 manufacturing workers. Compare that to countries like Germany and Japan, where manufacturers utilize an average of one robot for every 30 human workers. Even if China were simply trying to catch up to other countries’ use of robotics, those numbers would signal immense near-term growth. But China is on a mission to do much more than achieve the status quo. The result? According to a recent report by the International Federation of Robotics (IFR), in 2019 as much as 40% of the worldwide market volume of industrial robots could be sold in China alone.
To understand how the country can support such grand growth, just take a look at where and why robotics is being applied today. While the automotive sector has historically been the largest buyer of robots, China’s strategy reaches far and wide to include a wide variety of future-oriented manufacturing processes and industries.
Electronics is a key example. In fact, the electrical and electronics industry surpassed the automotive industry as the top buyer of robotics in 2016, with sales up 75% to almost 30,000 units. Assemblers such as Foxconn rely on thousands of workers to assemble today’s new iPhones. Until recently, the assembly of these highly delicate components required a level of human dexterity that robots simply could not match, as well as human vision to help ensure accuracy and quality. But recent advancements in robotics are changing all that. Industrial robots already have the ability to handle many of the miniature components in today’s smart phones. Very soon, these robots are expected to have the skills to bolster the human workforce, significantly increasing manufacturing capacity. Newer, more dexterous industrial robots are expected to significantly reduce human error during the assembly process of even the most fragile components, including the recently announced OLED (organic light-emitting diode) screens that Samsung and Apple introduced on their latest mobile devices including the iPhone X. Advancements in computer vision are transforming how critical quality checks are performed on these and many other electronic devices. All of these innovations are coming together at just the right time for a country that is striving to create the world’s most advanced manufacturing climate.
Clearly, China’s trajectory in the area of RAAI is in hyper drive. For investors who are seeking a tool to leverage this opportunity in an intelligent and perhaps unexpected way, the ROBO Global Robotics & Automation Index may help. The ROBO Index already offers a vast exposure to China’s potential growth due to the depth and breadth of the robotics and automation supply chain. As China continues to improve its manufacturing processes to meet its 2025 initiative, every supplier across China’s far-reaching supply chains will benefit. Wherever they are located, suppliers of RAAI-related components—reduction gears, sensors, linear motion systems, controllers, and so much more—are bracing for spikes in demand as China pushes to turn its dream into a reality.
Today, around 13% of the revenues generated by the ROBO Global Index members are driven by China’s investments in robotics and automation. Tomorrow? It’s hard to say. But one thing is for certain: China’s commitment to improving the quality and cost-efficiency of its manufacturing facilities is showing no signs of slowing down—and its reliance on robotics, automation, and artificial intelligence is vital to its success.
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