The 2020s is sure to be one of the most exciting yet thanks to the rapid developments in technology, automation, and Artificial Intelligence. Though we can’t yet see the full scope of what this next decade will bring in the world of finance marketing, we do know which marketing trends will be most significant for financial advisors in the coming year.
Regardless of the firm’s size, marketing experience, or target client persona, financial advisors need to implement modern marketing strategies in order to stay relevant in our ever-changing world.
The early adopters are the ones who will see the biggest benefit—especially with the newest generation of tech-savvy investors, who are now entering their peak earning years. As the conduit for quality service moves from face-to-face to digitized interactions, it’s vital that your firm keeps pace with the available technology.
Trend #1: It’s all about the experience
While the idea of creating a positive customer experience is anything but new, the way financial advisors accomplish that is changing. This is partially due to the fact that consumers are often being reached digitally. But another big factor is that customers are much more conscious of the experience than ever before. In fact, 79 percent of consumers say the experience a company provides is as important as its products and services.
To improve your customer experience, you need to create multiple digital touchpoints so that you’re digitally accessible to your customers and you need to supply customers with informative, interesting and relevant content. You also need to ensure your website and digital platforms are designed with the optimal user interface. This includes looking at your page load speed and making sure your site is optimized for mobile, as 94 percent of users judge sites based on responsive design.
Though many financial advisors rely on face time with clients in order to pitch their services, customers prefer to gather information from a company digitally before agreeing to a meeting. A Demand Gen study found that 47 percent of buyers viewed three to five pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep, so you’ll also need to consistently churn out engaging and educational content—but more on that later.
Finally, in order to truly deliver a great customer experience, you need to personalize it. This brings us to our second trend.
Related Read: 10 Best Apps for Financial Advisors in 2022
Trend #2: Personalization is in demand
Personalization will arguably be the biggest trend of 2020. Customers are demanding it and many businesses are delivering. According to Salesforce research, 84 percent of customers say treating them as a unique individual is key to winning their business and AdWeek notes that in a recent survey, 80 percent of respondents said they’d be more likely to give their business to a company that offered them a personalized experience.
Not only will more personalized communications and experiences draw in your customers, but it will draw in your most desirable customers. The 2019 World Wealth Report stated that 86 percent of high-net-worth individuals expressed a desire for their wealth manager to personally “understand my financial situations, needs and goals.” One way to prove that is through a personalized experience both in-person and online.
Of course, no trend is worth investing in unless it’s proven to work. Fortunately, personalization has already proven to be a successful tactic, even in its most basic state. Salesforce research indicates that highly personalized communication has a positive impact on customer retention (85 percent), customer advocacy (82 percent) and up-selling (79 percent).
As personalization beasts like Amazon continue to pave the way, there are more and more ways in which businesses can personalize communications, content and user platforms. From personally addressing your client or prospect in a newsletter to delivering content that is tailored to their specific needs, location, income bracket or stage in the buying process, there’s no end to the ways in which you can personalize your experience.
80 percent of respondents said they’d be more likely to give their business to a company that offered them a personalized experience.
Though it may seem like a daunting task, personalization is attainable with the help of automation. By using a CRM and marketing automation system, you can sort clients by any criteria and create email lists with content tailored specifically to those clients. You can even create automated emails that pull in a customer’s name, city or occupation with variable tags. One study even found that personalized email campaigns receive 29 percent higher email open rates and 41 percent higher click-through rates than traditional emails.
You can also use personalization in your digital advertising strategy. By creating Google retargeting ads, your ads will be presented to people who have visited your site recently, so your business stays top of mind. You can also create ads specific to relevant keywords like “financial advisor in Chicago” or “fee-only financial advisor,” so your firm will show up at the top of the page when a potential client is searching for a financial advisor like you.
Much like Google ads, your firm might benefit from running highly segmented social media ads. If you’re trying to reach a specific audience like Senior Managers in the tech industry in San Francisco who are interested in travel, you can create ads and accompanying content that is customized specifically to that group.
Trend #3: Content still reigns supreme
If you’ve had any exposure to marketing over the last few years, you’ve no doubt heard the phrase, “content is king.” Content marketing has been the centerpiece of marketing strategies for financial advisors and beyond for several years now, and 2022 will be no different. Financial advisors will still be expected to develop relevant and informative content on a consistent basis as customers are still looking for free information delivered without a catch.
The primary difference is that as more people compete for the coveted Page One spots on Google, the bar has been raised for quality content. It’s essential to develop target personas and fully understand their needs, wants, behaviors, challenges and decision-making processes before creating content that answers their most pressing questions. Know the keywords your customers or prospects are typing into Google and make sure your content addresses those keywords.
Customers are also demanding more stat- and data-heavy content with reliable, linked sources as well as deeper dives into specific topics. Financial advisors should use this opportunity to develop educational content about various financial topics that tend to trip up the average citizen such as investing, saving for retirement and tax planning. By explaining these topics in terms that the average person can understand, advisors will draw in prospects and earn their trust. The key is to add some personality to the writing, so it doesn’t come off sounding too dry or technical.
Trend #4: Get clued into Google’s new algorithm
Though it’s known that having consistent, fresh and informative content on you site will boost your search rankings, there is still a cloud of mystery surrounding Google’s sophisticated algorithms. However, in a blog on Webmaster Central, Google published some reminders about its core updates, mentioning the acronym EAT (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness), which clued marketers into how Google identifies good content. As a financial advisor, there are a number of things you can do to your website to prove your expertise and authority and gain client trust.
The first is to earn inbound links and mentions from other high-authority websites through a link-building campaign. You’ll also want to make sure to update and redesign your website every two to three years with regular monthly content updates in between full website redesigns. As you’re creating new content for your site in the form of blogs and articles, be sure each piece has current and accurate data to support your insights. Finally, be sure to include an address, bios, and any awards or credentials your firm has to build trust with your site visitors.
Trend #5: Bidding on keywords just got smarter
Running Google ads should be included in every financial advisor’s marketing strategy. It’s a great way to bring in local prospects who are actively searching for a new financial advisor. But Google recently announced Google Ads updates that will make automation and smart bidding the new norm. These updates will help advisors maximize their conversion rates by allowing them to:
• Choose conversion action at the campaign level
• Set bids to change automatically when sales start or stop
• Optimize bids over multiple campaigns with a chosen set of conversion actions
With these new changes, there’s no reason for financial advisors to skip Google ads, even if it means getting help from a search engine expert or marketing agency.
With all these new changes and standard marketing tactics to test, financial advisors may choose to outsource their marketing efforts to a marketing agency or Fractional CMO. This allows you to focus on running your firm and meeting with clients and prospects without having to worry about writing your weekly blog or checking on keyword conversions. If you need help running—or putting together—your marketing initiatives, the strategic and creative teams at Peregrine are ready to help.
Our marketing experts help fill in the gaps and empower business owners to scale with technology development, coaching and exceptional marketing. Reach out today to firstname.lastname@example.org or 312-505-9288 to take your marketing initiatives to the next level.