5 Digital Marketing Trends for Advisors in 2016: Deena Katz

The veteran wealth manager and academic argues for how advisors should use social media

Deena Katz began her session at Junxure’s third annual advisor conference on Thursday by mentioning she was starting her 40th year in the advisor business. Despite her longevity, the co-chair of Evensky & Katz/Foldes Financial, who has been teaching at Texas Tech University for 10 years, lives very much in the present, with her keen blue eyes focused on the future as well.

She shared with the 200 or so attendees her take on what will be the five top digital marketing trends of 2016, while suggesting how advisors could take advantage of those trends now.

Katz first presented what she called her “philosophy of social media” strategy.

First, advisors should ask themselves whether they should actively engage in social media versus whether they should engage at all. While clearly a fan of social media, she suggested that advisors should “walk before running” in developing the right social media strategy. “Many advisors get into social media without a clear strategy,” so when they discover social media entails “real work, they stop.” While most social media tools are free, “the effort is the expensive part.”

Many advisors figure they can use interns to “help get out their message,” but if they do so, advisors should realize that “you need to write the message.”

Second, she urged advisors to collaborate, since “social media has different aspects and uses within your company,” beyond just marketing purposes. Those uses could, and should, include how you communicate with your current clients.

Third, she said advisors should be flexible and nimble in their use of social media tools. “Some new trends” in social media tools “are right around the corner,” so advisors should stay aware of trends in social media usage.

Fourth, she said advisors should be “open to feedback” on their social media activity, including being “open and listening” to clients.

Having set the table on how advisors should approach social media, Katz presented her five trends for advisor digital marketing next year:

Go Mobile

1. Content Is King

Much research has concluded that clients and prospects are interested in written or video content of an educational nature. If an advisory firm can’t create that content itself, she suggested enlisting the help of a third party like Vestorly or Advisor Products.

2. Go Mobile
While younger clients or prospects are “attached to their phones,” older clients or prospects have also embraced mobile devices like iPhones or tablets. Make sure that your website is thus mobile optimized, she said.

3. A ‘Wow’ Website
Advisors should make sure that in addition to being mobile optimized that their websites are cleanly designed, frequently updated and include photos that “introduce your team” in a “fresh and friendly” way. Katz also suggested that when making any design changes to your site that you show it first to “three generations” of clients — retirees, middle-aged and younger people — to get their reactions.

Brands will get more personal

4. Brands Will Get More Personal

Katz pointed out that while social media and a good website can expose your marketing message to many people, “1:1 marketing is essential” now with all age groups. So she suggested that advisors become comfortable with revealing more about their personal interests or passions.

5. Even Old Folks Want More Online
Along the lines of trend number four, Katz suggested that advisors market to older adults by engaging themselves in “causes” those older adults “care about.”

Whatever you do in digital marketing, Katz advised, make sure your message consistently returns “to what you do and why you do it,” and “what makes you special.” That approach will keep your marketing message fresh and authentic, and more likely to succeed.

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