How to Decide Where to Spend Your RIA Marketing Dollars
As a financial advisor, you already know the importance of a steady flow of leads. Leads can convert into clients, which means greater AUM. Some of these leads will come from referrals, but chances are many will also come from your marketing efforts.
You probably already have a marketing strategy in place. As you evaluate how well it worked in 2019, you may decide to make some changes. But, it’s not always easy to know where to spend and where to hold off.
While there is no shortage of places to allocate a marketing budget, there are some key aspects of marketing that can provide more value than others, especially for an RIA.
Read on for 9 tips to help you decide to where to spend your marketing dollars:
1) Budget Before You Spend
Before you can decide where to spend your money, it’s crucial to define a budget. Defining a budget not only helps you stay on track and not overspend, but it also shows you where your money is going, and if you’re seeing the expected return on that investment.
If not, you can allocate elsewhere. Additionally, having a budget will help you determine the overall approach to marketing your RIA, depending on what services you can afford.
If your budget doesn’t line up with the level of marketing you would like to do, you can re-allocate or keep a note to add more in the marketing column for the next quarter/year.
2) Your Website
In today’s digital world, it’s impossible to ignore the importance of a good website. Gone are the days when simply having a URL with a phone number and contact form was enough. Today’s investors expect to find just about everything they need to make a decision on their financial advisor from looking at their website.
If you don’t have an impressive website, that’s the first place you should be investing your marketing dollars.
Think about this: Every digital campaign leads to your website or one of its landing pages in some way or another. If you don’t have a website that will impress potential clients, all of your other efforts will be wasted.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) plays a critical role in how your website shows up in search engines. In short, the better your SEO the higher your firm will appear in search queries. That’s because search engines, such as Google, take many factors into consideration when displaying results from a search query.
Investing part of your marketing budget in beefing up your SEO practices can pay high dividends when it comes to website visibility. While SEO is made up of many components, some of the basic elements include keywords, meta descriptions, snippet text, dead or broken links (which can hurt your SEO) and internal linking, which can help your SEO.
4) Content Creation
While you may have heard the old adage, it takes money to make money, you may not have heard a newer popular saying when it comes to marketing: Content is king.
When it comes to your digital marketing, content is definitely a very big deal. Humans seem to have an insatiable desire for content – the more the better. And the speed at which we can devour it is lightning fast.
If you aren’t producing quality content on a regular basis, you’re not meeting the needs and expectations of your potential clients. You may want to consider the services of a digital marketing agency to help produce and get read-worthy content in front of your desired audience on a regular basis.
Your brand and image will rely heavily on design elements such as your logo. Your logo serves as an identifying and distinguishing symbol of your financial advisor brand.
It should be simple, yet memorable and also cohesive with all of your other branding. And contrary to some popular belief, logos can (and should change) over the years. Even the most established big investment firms who have been around for over a century have gone through logo refreshes.
6) Social Advertising
In its early days, social media was touted as the “free” way to get your business out there to consumers. And while there is still no fee for having a business page or profile on the major platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter, simply having a profile isn’t likely to generate leads.
However, because social media networks collect vast amounts of data on their users, advertisers can gain access to highly desirable audiences with a few clicks.
This can be done through paid, targeted advertising or promoting your organic posts from your page/profile.
7) Search/Display Advertising
In addition to organic search practices (SEO), you can also allocate money to show up in enhanced (or paid) search listings. This, combined with a good SEO structure, can get your RIA ahead of some of your competitors when certain search queries are performed.
Display advertising is when an ad for your firm appears on a website other than your own. This can be a banner ad, pop-up, or various other sizes. These ads can be done through Google or other programmatic services that serve up digital impressions.
8) Local Sponsorships/Advertising
Even though you may have clients all over the world, as an RIA it’s important to embrace your local community. By earmarking some of your marketing budget to local causes, sponsorships or advertising, you will be gaining visibility as a local business. The other plus side is that local advertising is usually far less expensive because of the smaller footprint.
9) Marketing Agency
While there are 8 helpful tips listed above, there are limitless ways you can appropriate your marketing budget. If you really want to get the most bang for your marketing dollars, consider using a digital marketing agency. These agencies have personnel that specialize in each of the areas listed above (and infinitely more).
The cost of hiring a marketing firm to work on the digital portion of your marketing can often cost less than hiring a part-time employee. And, instead of just one employee focused on your digital marketing, you would have access to an entire team.