By Tamara Bohlig
Many financial advisors work with third-party service providers whose primary role is to help them run their businesses more efficiently in order to better serve clients. These providers must think critically about how they deploy marketing efforts to convey their maximum benefit to advisors. While there are well-established best practices for marketers in any industry, what may be popular or trending may not always be applicable to financial advisors. Successfully reaching advisors and reminding them of the benefits that a third-party provider can offer requires several key considerations.
Spotlight Simple, Straightforward Messaging
Creating attractive, eye-catching marketing materials is certainly helpful for drumming up interest in the services marketers offer, but it’s even more critical to leverage simple, yet impactful messaging when working with financial advisors. Unlike everyday consumer products, services marketed to advisors are quite complex, so making sure all messages are simple and straightforward is paramount. Marketers must take a step back and analyze why they chose certain media or designs to convey their point—overall, marketing content should feature fewer words that make a bigger impact so advisors can fully comprehend at a glance how third-party services would strengthen their practice.
Leverage Advisors’ Preferred Channels
It’s important for marketers to pay close attention to financial advisors’ particular preferences when it comes to selecting which channels will be used to distribute content. With familiar names like Facebook and Instagram dominating the social media landscape with the highest number of users, marketers may assume they need to direct more attention to those platforms. However, just because these networks reach a large overall audience doesn’t mean they reach a large audience of advisors. It’s critical to reach advisors through the channels where they already are—and research suggests that they prefer platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn. Developing campaigns tailored to these networks ensures that marketers’ messages are reaching a relevant audience, and simultaneously makes the provider more accessible to advisors who want to connect directly.
Ensure Content Always Adds Value
With recent increases in the amount of time the American public spends on their phones, there’s been much conversation about how marketers disseminate content to their targets—but serving an audience of financial advisors requires spending more time assuring the content truly adds value to their practices. Advisors are working in an increasingly competitive environment, so content should provide actionable advice to help them retain talent, attract clients and grow their businesses. Marketers should ensure that their content demonstrates that value before exploring new ways to get it in front of advisors.
Balance Current and Future Client Opportunities
While marketers should think creatively about pursuing new client demographics, they should also take care to balance current and future client opportunities when working with advisors. For example, many marketers are increasingly looking for ways to target millennials, who make up the largest generation in U.S. history. However, when engaging with financial advisors, the key is to guarantee that any preparation for serving millennial investors doesn’t happen at the expense of advisors’ current clients—the majority of whom are baby boomers. Marketers may be tempted to double-down on reaching millennial investors in order to stand out from other service providers, but they then run the risk of alienating advisors focused on the demands of their current client base. Therefore, marketers should target their main messages to show how they can help solve advisors’ most immediate needs before promoting solutions for the future.
Now more than ever, advisors are focused on maintaining client relationships and growing their practices as they face a myriad of industry challenges. They simply don’t have time to sift through layers of marketing-speak and flashy content to understand how third-party providers can help them stay on course and drive their businesses to success. Above all, marketers should carefully examine the needs and preferences particular to financial advisors, and constantly consider how they can provide solutions that free up advisors for their true purpose: helping clients achieve their financial goals.
Tamara Bohlig is Chief Marketing Officer at AssetMark, Inc. AssetMark is an investment adviser registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission.