Building a Financial Advisor Marketing Plan that Works
A defined advisor marketing plan can help you communicate your brand and your value to prospective clients to grow your business. LPL Financial can help by providing consulting, automation, content, and other services and tools that save you time while maximizing your visibility.
A financial marketing plan that doesn’t reflect the future you want as a business owner, won’t work well for your business.
The financial industry has changed quite a bit in the last decade, so has the financial investor. Technology has created more opportunities for new and experienced investors to find and choose their financial advisors. Which means it’s more important than ever for businesses to stay competitive within the market.
A well-developed financial advisor marketing plan can help you keep your businesses’ competitive edge by increasing brand visibility and effectively communicating your value proposition to potential clients. Regardless of whether you’re building your plan from scratch, or using advisor marketing templates as a starting point, it’s important to define a few key elements along the way.
Here are a few action items for building or optimizing a marketing plan that helps your team of financial professionals stay aligned and helps your business stand out with potential clients:
1. Make sure your marketing plan supports your future goals.
Your business is unique to you, and so is your idea of growth and success. A financial advisor marketing plan that doesn’t reflect the future you want as a business owner, won’t work well for your business. It’s important that your market strategy is in alignment and in support of your business strategy.
For example, targeting brand new clients may not be the right direction for your book of business, perhaps you want to connect with your current clients’ heirs and develop specific communication for that purpose. Or, perhaps you’re keen on targeting millennial investors and looking to offer a more personalized digital experience for your clients. Maybe you’re planning to add new financial services to your business offerings, or sell your practice in the near future.
Your strategic business priorities should affect your strategic marketing plan. You want to ensure that you’re consistently working toward the future that you want and your offline and online marketing strategies align with that future.
2. Identify your target market.
Establishing your future goals will have already given you a head start on this one. You may already have your ideal client(s) in mind. However, clearly defining those ideal clients will help you define your marketing plan. Begin by listing out the characteristics, attributes and financial goals that describe your ideal clients. Start by answering questions such as:
- Where are they at in their investment journey?
- What do they value in their financial lives?
- What are the key demographics they fall into?
These are all questions that can help you determine your target audience and segment them into various investor profile groups to reference when building or improving your marketing plan. Next, think about what these segmented clients may be looking for in a financial advisor. Start by answering questions such as:
- Are they most likely planning to buy their first home? A vacation home?
- Are they planning for or nearing retirement?
- Are they digitally savvy and actively use email, social media and search engines?
- Are they opening a business and/or planning to send their children to college?
These answers can help you create more tailored messaging through your brand positioning and marketing communications. The more tailored your brand messaging is to your specific targets, the more effective you’ll be in reaching them. It’s good to keep in mind that brand messaging doesn’t end with advertising—it echoes throughout your various customer touchpoints.
Research shows the modern investor values both technology and human guidance when investing. How you communicate with prospects prior to earning their business is their initial glimpse into how you will relate to them as a financial advisor. For more on building better connections with both clients and prospects, download our white paper, From Prospect to Pipeline: Building Strong Relationships.
3. Identify your differentiator.
What makes you unique as a financial advisor in the market? What makes your brand and business unique? These are questions most business owners forget to answer as they build their marketing plan, but it’s essential in identifying opportunities to resonate with potential clients.
More and more investors are eager to find financial professionals that can offer more than just advice. Investors want financial advisors with similar experiences and perspective as theirs, so they feel more confident in financial decisions. Identifying your differentiator is simply identifying what makes you uniquely ideal to potential clients.
Stay consistent in your brand to be seen.
Whether you have a financial specialty, cross-industry experience, or demographic differentiator, there are investors who desire your unique expertise. Help them find you by being you through your brand messaging and marketing communications.
If you’re struggling to identify your differentiator, try conducting some competitor research and internal analysis.
- Observe how others in the industry align their brand message to best communicate their business’ value.
- Evaluate your website and marketing materials to highlight your business’ unique attributes and value in alignment with your client’s needs.
A few messaging changes can greatly increase your ability to resonate, and connect, with those who would benefit from your financial advisory services. When prospects are ready to make a decision, be sure you’ve made it easier for them to think of you.
4. Choose your content channels wisely.
Digital marketing channels have drastically changed how and when financial advisors can reach their clients and client prospects. The number of platforms for content publishing can be overwhelming. It’s important to take the time to decide which channels or platforms are most utilized and preferred by your current clients, and which ones can help you continue reaching new clients. Ask yourself some key questions, such as:
- Should you invest more heavily into social media communications?
- Should you develop website content and use search engine optimization (SEO) to reach more viewers on major search engines?
- Do clients prefer to be included in a monthly email newsletter?
Understanding how your ideal clients consume content is a key part of your marketing plan and future activities.
Tailor content to your target client.
Clients in a younger demographic may prefer intuitive apps and push notifications, while those in an older demographic may prefer more personalized communication and continuity. Knowing your target client (see #3) will help you develop financial content ideas that best fit the investor audience you’re hoping to attract.
As digital platforms have evolved, they remain an excellent way to help you get across important information and brand messaging. Utilize content channels to:
- Keep clients informed. Set up a company blog on your website and/or create an email newsletter to share updates, important tax deadlines, industry insights, and more.
- Share knowledge. Conduct webinars or host virtual events to share your industry knowledge with prospective clients.
- Increase visibility. Connect with local news sources to offer your expertise and industry perspective on applicable new stories and events. Check out LPL Research to get a well-rounded idea of market conditions, headlines, and what investors may be curious about.
It’s also important to take your own bandwidth into account. Unless you have an experienced team helping you with content curation and scheduling, you’ll soon learn an unfortunate truth: your time is valuable and your clients require much of it. When putting media and content objectives into your marketing plan, take time to make sure you’re optimizing your digital efforts when and where you can.
5. Set the time-frame. Measure the results.
As a business owner, your time is valuable—so is your marketing dollar. That’s why it’s essential to ensure your marketing strategies are well-organized and well-timed so they produce the most effective and measurable outcomes. A financial advisor marketing plan template or guide will offer you little benefit if there aren’t clear parameters to operate against or measuring the impact of your efforts.
Ready. Set. Goal.
With the data and insights you gain from your marketing efforts, you’ll have a better understanding of how to streamline your efforts to save time and expenses in the future. Always set a specific time-frame for when and how often each strategy (whether it’s a campaign, on-going series, or single event) will be implemented--and make a habit of setting a goal for each event. For example, you could set a tangible goal of achieving three quality prospects per virtual event.
You can also consider sending a follow-up survey to attendees asking them to share their comments on the attended event. Or, you might consider updating your website to better capture ideal prospects and measure those results after a few months to see what is, and isn’t working. Use this information to continue refining and building quality experiences within time-parameters that give you the best reflection of your marketing efforts.
6. Determine your ROI.
Use both quantitative and qualitative data when measuring the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. Fortunately, many results of social media campaigns are available right at your fingertips through popular social media platforms. You can measure the effectiveness of your organic and paid social media marketing efforts and view traffic, demographics, comments, and questions. You can also communicate and interact directly with your audience and viewers.
Regardless of the platform you utilize, decide what matters to your business as far as objectives go (ex: you may value exposure over leads for one campaign). Determine your ROI for each strategy and correlate the available data as accurately as possible. Then, refine your plan based on what the data is telling you.
Like what you see? Connect in confidence with one our experienced consultants to learn how LPL can support your move to independence.
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