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Life Health > Running Your Business > Prospecting

When Agents Should Advertise in Print

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What You Need to Know

  • About 70% of households with income over $100,000 read newspapers.
  • Niche print publications may reach readers with a higher net worth.
  • U.S. adults tend to trust print ads more than they trust social media posts or direct mail solicitations.

Building a successful business as a life, health and annuity advisor starts with a keen understanding of the markets. However, it takes more than that to truly build a successful advisor business.

One of the keys is also a keen understanding of business marketing. You need the right people in your community to recognize your name, expertise and reliability.

Print ads are one tool that can help with all of these things. But print ads aren’t a small investment, so you’ll want to carefully consider whether they might be right for you.

Here are three ways to consider whether you should advertise in print:

1. Your target audience is well educated and high earning.

Every financial advisor has their own niche in the community, but if you’re hoping to reach an audience that is primarily older, well educated and that has a higher net worth, print readers tend to fit that description.

Seventy percent of households with income above $100,000 are newspaper readers, according to a 2018 Nielsen Scarborough Report. Niche publications such as business journals and fine art programs (such as of the local symphony or theater) are excellent places to reach a higher-net-worth audience.

2. Credibility matters to you.

U.S. adults find print ads and TV ads to be the most trustworthy, much more so than social media ads or direct mail, according to eMarketer. Placing your ads in a trusted source of news and content associates your name with that credibility. As a financial advisor, your reputation is one of the most valuable things you have, and discernment with ad placement matters.

3. You’re in it for the long haul.

Print ads work to build your personal brand over time. With consistency, print ads will not only increase familiarity with your name, but they will also build a perception of you as a trusted expert in the community. They work best with a regular commitment over time, as consistency is what forms much of the positive name perception that you are looking for. Eventually, this familiarity and positive perception leads to substantial business growth.

Print ads can be an excellent place for sharing your thought leadership on industry topics such as the importance of income planning and the need to support caregivers.

Working with your local business journal or newspaper may also allow you to place ads alongside financial services articles or content, which helps establish you as a trusted expert when readers would like to act on those articles.

Overall, though, media audiences are more fragmented than ever, and making decisions about where to advertise is more challenging than ever. These are a few points to get started with your process, but ultimately, it is a personalized decision whether to advertise in print. An outside consultant who specializes in media and advertising can be an extremely useful resource as you work through these decisions. These experts will also be able to provide data on how publications compare, to help determine whether you should ultimately be advertising in those publications.

Fountain pen (Image: iStock)Ann Hansen is a media strategist at ddm marketing + communications. She helps clients with both digital and traditional media planning and buying.