Written by: Marissa Foy
Has your RIA firm made marketing a C-level function?
If not, you are already on the way to being an also-ran in the ever-changing, hyper-competitive landscape of personal financial and investment advice. Today, the differentiation of your brand combined with the quality of your client-experience offering are what stand between your firm and the wave of commoditization afflicting the industry.
A comprehensive and strategic marketing plan can ensure your firm stands out among the competition and your voice is heard in a crowded marketplace. It’s more than just advertising the products and services you offer investors; it includes thought leadership, customer engagement and brand building to position your firm as a leader in the RIA space.
If you feel like your marketing team is facing an uphill battle, you’re not alone. There are a few common challenges we see financial services firms face, but there are also easily implemented solutions that can make a significant difference in your marketing strategy.
Challenge: You’re not seeing leads come in. The sign of a successful marketing campaign is sales, and if you’re investing in any kind of coordinated effort, you want to see new clients coming in the door. Data from inbound marketing software provider HubSpot found 63 percent of companies cite generating traffic as their biggest marketing challenge.
Solution: Review and redefine your messaging. Quality leads come from targeted messaging, wherein individuals feel as though you’re speaking directly to them and understanding their needs. Message refinement is an active business exercise that should be revisited frequently to reflect your firm’s evolving long-term objectives. Consider your ideal client profile and speak directly to that individual by addressing their specific anxieties, defining their needs and articulating your value-add. For example, if your expertise lies in college funding strategies, consider the various pain points affecting parents with college-bound students. Your message should be clear in how you can help clients in similar positions balance the rising cost of college tuition with saving for their own retirement and meeting other day-to-day cash-flow needs.
Challenge: You’re not sure what social channels to use, or whether they’re worth the time. Social media is constantly evolving. Couple that with tight compliance considerations, and it can leave you unsure where – or if – you should spend your time.
Solution: Determine where your clients are and meet them there. Failing to leverage your company’s presence on social media is missing a significant business opportunity for direct consumer engagement and community building. Social media is one of the most useful tools to keep your content fresh and organically engage with clients and prospects. Determine where your target audience spends its time and meet them there. For example, studies have found that baby boomers favor LinkedIn and Facebook, while millennials are increasingly using YouTube, Twitter and Instagram. Major social media networks include useable analytics and insights for business owners – data you can use to cater your messaging and find your audience.
Challenge: Creating visual content is time consuming. There’s no doubt about it: Visual content is king right now. In fact, it’s 40 times more likely to be shared on social media than any other type of content. But creating visual content requires a lot of time and a solid chunk of the marketing budget for high-quality output.
Solution: Be strategic in your content development. It is smart to invest in high-quality visual pieces, both video and graphics. However, make sure these pieces tie into your larger narrative by investing in content that will remain usable for a longer period of time. Consider the topics that are central to your business and build your video assets from there. Concepts like retirement planning tips for millennials, managing your investments in a volatile market and estate planning myths you need to stop believing will be relevant for years to come. By creating such evergreen content, you’re establishing a library of assets that can be repurposed multiple times on your website, social media pages, email marketing and more.
Building your brand and increasing awareness of your firm’s value proposition is essential to your long-term growth. Being strategic about your marketing approach and the content you create will yield stronger results that drive sales, boost customer retention and allow prospects to interact with your brand.
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