With market volatility predicted to last throughout 2016, it’s more important than ever for financial advisors to reinforce and build their clients’ trust. One way advisors and the corporate marketing teams that support them can deepen relationships is to become more technologically agile so they can reach consumers who are now more mobile and digital.
Digital marketing efforts were once largely confined to the home office, but now you, the advisor, have the opportunity to use digital channels to market yourself to existing clients. But where do you start?
Here is a checklist to ensure you are digitally prepared throughout what looks to be a rollercoaster year:
1. Optimize for mobile
Being able to access the Internet only via a desktop computer is quickly becoming a thing of the past. Prospects and clients of all ages are tied to their Web-accessible mobile devices and they turn first to them to research products and services. It’s commonly known that search engines such as Google prefer mobile-optimized sites when determining search result rankings. So, if you haven’t already done this, 2016 is the year to optimize your content and website for mobile, so you can both deliver a top-notch customer experience and drive traffic through search engine optimization (SEO) gains.
2. Create at least one social media account
It’s been said many times before: If you’re not on social, you don’t exist. Consumers often turn to social media before deciding whether or not to do business with a company or person. At a minimum, a social media profile serves as your digital business card. Many advisors have further leveraged social media as a lead generation tool; in fact, 67% of advisors have seen a link between social media activity and new client acquisition.
3. Move your expanded Rolodex to social media
Nearly three quarters of the U.S. population is on social, so chances are your clients are there, too. Connect with your offline contacts online on social media so that there’s another channel to stay in touch and strengthen your relationships. Also keep in mind that in the coming decades, women and millennials will find themselves recipients of the lion’s share of the nation’s wealth. As historically underserved demographics, this presents an immense opportunity to cast your net wide and start planting seeds for the future.
4. Develop a content strategy
Social media networks are saturated with content, so it’s no longer enough to post just any content. Consider this: The average attention span of a human is now less than that of a goldfish. You must be thoughtful about the type and frequency of the content you publish by keeping it simple and posting a diverse content mix that includes infographics, video and images.Also, consider experimenting with social media advertising to maximize your content across social networks.
5. Invest in virtual communications
In a world of 24/7 support, companies have raised the bar for customer service. Some clients will undoubtedly prefer in-person meetings, but there are many who want on-demand service any time of day. Leverage simple tools such as video chatting and texting to meet clients where they are.
6. Deliver hyper-targeted email campaigns
Personalized emails routinely perform better than generic, non-personalized emails on both click-through and conversion rates. Develop personalized email campaigns that deliver very specific content based on your client’s interests and online behavior, and it’ll be less likely that they’ll be disregarded or marked as spam.
7. Develop a comprehensive digital marketing strategy
None of your digital channels should be operating in a silo. Figure out which channels are most preferred by your clients and implement a multi-channel strategy that reflects this. Also, appearances do matter. Your digital presences should have a consistent look and feel, and clients should be able to quickly, seamlessly navigate from one channel to the next.
8. Review your firm’s digital policy
Regulatory bodies have the huge task of keeping up to date with rapidly evolving digital trends. As such, they must constantly review and revise requirements to account for industry changes. Check in with your home office to make sure your activities are in line with current policy.
9. Leverage data to provide top-tier customer service
There’s a lot to be gathered from client data. Tying together client data from digital channels back to other systems such as your customer relationship management (CRM) solution paints a 360-degree view of your clients. Get creative and use data to enhance the client experience.
Digital is here to stay. Financial advisors who fail to embrace new technological advances may simply get left behind. Laying a solid digital foundation in today’s environment will help you adjust to modern consumer behaviors and start reaping the benefits of a strong digital marketing strategy.