The market for financial advisory services is ever-changing. The changes have come even faster this year as we’ve lived through a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic. Similar to the changes this year has brought, innovation has also occurred at rapid pace. For example, it used to take years to produce vaccines but our best minds have whittled that down to months. Financial advisory services are operating at a similar velocity! The pace of change is quick, and adaptation is key. With respect to marketing services and new client acquisition, there are already several trends emerging due to innovation, technology and need.
By working with thousands of advisors and being at the epicenter of marketing technology and services, we have identified six major trends for advisors to consider in 2021 for marketing to new clients:
1. Captive Marketing
Captive Marketing is the next evolution of inbound marketing. Instead of driving attention to prospects at “top of funnel” and cultivating, captive marketing focuses on creating aided awareness “in funnel” to facilitate conversion. Advisors tend to concentrate on hyper-local geographical areas for marketing, so as they generate leads, it’s important to manage a warmer conversation and develop more “aided” credibility to leads. Using marketing such as podcasting, social media local targeting or local streaming radio, advisors can create more “in-market” captive awareness to prospects as leads develop.
2. Marketing Digital and Selling Live
Let’s face it—networking events are not in-person right now, but life goes on. The most effective means to communicate or prospect is via virtual or digital avenues. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t sell or convert a prospect live. Advisors need to utilize and perfect playbooks to generate leads, but also book live, in-person appointments. This tactic is not natural for most advisors and requires testing and experienced advice to perfect.
3. Social Impression Management
Social media is a beast that isn’t always easy to tackle. Not every social media “catch-all” is relevant to advisors. Financial advisors and other micro-business professionals should focus on social impression management (SIM) as a component of social media. SIM is about influencing the right prospects, at the right time within relevant social spheres. Many spend a lot of time focusing on social media and creating/amplifying great content but are not aware of influencing their audience. SIM is about optimizing what they see and treating impressions as content distributions. Views are those who view content in their feed, while engagement is those who click on content and mentions are those who generate a response to content. Maximizing quality prospects out of this funnel is SIM. White Glove has a SIM platform called Social Connect which allows advisors to passively build meaningful relationships with prospects and improve client retention.
4. Pursue Introductions, Not Leads
Historically, advisors have focused heavily on the number and quality of leads, but leads are only as good as how well they can be converted. The odds of converting a lead increase based on how warm of an introduction the prospect is given. A very warm introduction would be a personal referral, but there are other ways to warm a lead. One way is hosting educational workshops, whether that’s through webinars and/or seminars. This allows advisors to develop thought leadership and credibility on a topic before soliciting a prospect. Another way is to leverage a third party and develop a virtual greeting program. Both are great tools and of course, both offered by White Glove.
5. Reputation Management
It’s no secret that consumers trust reviews. In fact, this past year, over 80% of online buying decisions were assisted by reviews. Section 204(4) of the Investment Act prohibits reviews, putting financial advisors at a disadvantage. However, there are trends that may impact 2021 reviews for advisors. First, The Investment Act is being considered for modification. Second, advisors are not prohibited from using Google Reviews as long as they don’t solicit positive reviews from clients or respond to reviews online. If users find Google Reviews, they can independently leave a review. With Google being a way to actively find an advisor online, reviews need to be considered as they drastically impact how reputation comes across online when searched.
6. Google Local
In 2020, Google launched Local Service Ads (LSAs) for many local service categories. This is a change in how local ads are purchased from Google, moving from a pay per click to a pay per lead model. This model is coming in 2021 and financial advisors need to be ready. It’s important that financial advisors don’t get lost when prospects search online for “financial advisors near me.” It’s crucial to do research, get ahead of the curve and take advantage of this opportunity in 2021.
Not sure how to leverage some or all of the trends mentioned above? White Glove is a one stop shop for done-for-you marketing designed to help financial professionals gain and retain clients.