Recently, we had the opportunity to take part in Silver Oak’s Top Advisor Conference, held in Nashville at the end of October.
The conference, which gives advisors the chance to experience Silver Oak’s culture, technology and infrastructure first hand, celebrates the spirit of the independent advisor and the passion for service Silver Oak seeks to cultivate.
The Intention.ly team had the privilege of speaking with Silver Oak’s top advisors about something we’re incredibly passionate about—that is, how to market your brand successfully.
Marketing and Branding in the “New Normal”
The pandemic, which accelerated a number of changes already in motion for the financial services industry, has made digital marketing a must have for today’s financial advisors, who are undergoing an evolution of their own:
- Shifting from the broker-dealer mindset to prioritize independence, transparency, and personal advisor-investor relationships
- Looking for ways to differentiate in a crowded, increasingly competitive market
- Thinking outside of the box to uncover new opportunities for growth
Advisors can no longer rely on the old way of doing things when it comes to both prospecting and client service. Investors expect more than ever from their advisors, and they also have unprecedented access to DIY investment options, advisory services, and information about which choice is right for them.
So how do you get your firm in front of prospective investors? Follow our five tips for successfully marketing your brand.
1. Get Your Story Straight.
Defining your brand value—that is, exactly why you are the best option for the specific clients you want to reach—should be the very first thing you do.
Your unique value proposition is the foundation for your entire marketing strategy, so it’s important to understand what it is and what it is not.
As an advisor, you might think your brand value is that you provide personalized financial advice, or that you’re an accessible, trustworthy financial expert.
But it’s not, because those qualifiers describe everyone else doing exactly what you do. To define your unique brand promise, you need to dig deeper.
What’s specific about the service you offer? What challenges does your audience face that only you can solve? What sets you and your firm apart?
As you think about your brand story, consider this framework as a guide:
- Brand Attributes: What qualities make your business unique?
- Brand Offering: What services demonstrate those qualities?
- Brand Fit: Who would benefit from that experience?
- Brand Value: What will they gain from working with you?
- Brand Why: What makes this matter?
Once you’ve established your story, treat it like Frank’s hot sauce and put it on everything. Weave your unique positioning and key messages through every brand touchpoint: your website, social media, brochures, client and prospect emails, ads, call scripts and presentations.
2. Shore Up Your Digital Presence
Digital is no longer a nice-to-have. Your clients and prospects now live in the digital world, and you need to be there too.
Mastering the digital landscape can feel overwhelming, but once you understand how each piece is related, it becomes easier to navigate.
Your website is the centerpiece of your digital presence. It’s how most prospects will learn more about you, so make sure:
- It clearly articulates your brand promise
- It’s intuitive and easy to navigate
- It works well on mobile
- It’s refreshed at least monthly, if not more often
- It offers several ways to get in touch with you
Layering on distribution channels, like email marketing and organic social media, helps drive prospects to your website and move them through the buyer’s journey. More advanced digital tactics, including search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) ads and paid social, maximize your brand reach to build awareness, increase the flow of prospects, and ultimately drive more conversions.
3. Know that the Devil is in the Data
“What gets measured gets improved” probably wasn’t written about marketing, but it could have been. Data should drive your marketing decision-making—full stop.
Marketing analytics help you better understand your prospects and clients, and also help you determine the effectiveness of your tactics. Using data, you can:
- Improve audience personalization
- Determine which channels make the most sense for your prospects
- Refine your messaging
- Gauge where prospects are in their buying journey
- Measure marketing ROI
Just like mastering the digital landscape can feel overwhelming, it’s easy to get lost in the sheer amount of marketing data you can access and measure. When you’re just starting out, concentrate on a few core analytics:
Reach/Engagement By Channel: The number of clients and/or prospects you touched, broken down by channel
Prospective Client Opportunities: The number of prospects that engage with your marketing and move on to sales conversations
Customer Acquisition Cost: Total sales and marketing investment divided by total number of clients acquired, within a set period of time
Net Promoter Score: A survey that indicates the likelihood your clients will recommend you, on a scale of 1-10
4. Become One with Your Marketing Tech
Marketing technology, or MarTech, enables you to unlock deeper insights and automate tasks that are time-consuming and tedious, but necessary for growth.
There are around 8,000 MarTech platforms available—so how do you decide which solutions make the most sense for your business?
First, determine your needs by channel. Do you need help with optimizing social media? Creating content? Distributing content? Funnel management?
Next, you can search peer review sites like G2, or leverage your network’s experience via LinkedIn, to find the platform best suited to help with your challenges.
Once you decide what to implement, make the most of the training process so you can maximize results from your MarTech solutions.
5. Get Help When You Need it
Lastly, know your strengths. You’re a financial advisor whose objective is to help people reach their financial goals—so it’s okay that you aren’t also a CMO. At the end of the day, your clients have to be your number one priority; otherwise, any growth-focused efforts will fall apart.
Working with professional marketers who understand both the financial services industry and the evolving state of digital marketing can help you drive growth while empowering you with the time you need to serve your clients.
If you’re looking to implement a greater marketing effort at your firm, but aren’t sure where to start, Intention.ly’s team of marketing leaders can:
- Identify gaps in your current marketing program and introduce broader industry opportunities
- Build a robust, comprehensive strategy around your goals and objectives
- Execute tactics to support your marketing strategy, including content creation, email workflow automation, MarTech implementation and more
If you’d like to learn more about how to modernize your marketing, get in touch with our team today.