Covid may be around in one form or another until 2022. This means that financial advisor marketing strategies have to adapt to current conditions and they should also include post-Covid plans.
Before we describe 5 post-Covid best marketing practices for financial advisors, let’s discuss the current marketing conditions.
First, there should be a general agreement that Covid has had a major impact on the way financial advisors interact with their clients and prospects (future clients). To be clear, Covid did not impact the financial professionals advice and services. It impacted the way advisors communicate with investors.
Second, can we agree there are two primary methods of communication? One we will call traditional is based on face-to-face interactions that occur in the advisors’ offices or locations that are selected by investors. The other is virtual marketing. There are no face-to-face interactions. All of the communication is conducted online or over the telephone.
Third, most financial advisors already have virtual relationships with some of their clients. However, there is an important distinction. The advisors did not use virtual marketing to win the relationship. They used traditional marketing to win the engagement and the client moved to another state at a later date and retained the financial advisor. Let’s call this virtual servicing versus virtual marketing.
Fourth, we agree that Covid will have a long-lasting impact on the marketing strategies of financial advisors. They will need to be well versed in traditional and digital marketing techniques. They will have to start asking local prospects if they prefer traditional or virtual interactions with their financial advisors. Advisors can no longer assume everyone is comfortable with face-to-face interactions even if all parties have been vaccinated.
You might be asking why prospects and clients may prefer virtual relationships after Covid is no longer a serious health risk? The answers will vary, but it is reasonable to say a significant percentage will opt to stay virtual for the increased safety and/or convenience.
So what are the five best marketing practices that financial advisors should be familiar with in the post-Covid era?
1. Offer Investors a Choice
Every financial advisor has prospects and leads. Their method of interaction will be determined by locations and preferences. For example, local prospects and clients have a choice between traditional and virtual communications. Remote prospects and clients may be virtual only combined with infrequent visits.
Financial advisors will have to get comfortable offering their prospects and clients a distinct choice for communicating once Covid is no longer a physical threat. Some advisors already offer their clients a choice - meet in your office or mine. In the future this choice will be expanded to include in-person communications or virtual.
2. Update Your Website
Your financial advisor website should have an updated page that describes how you interact with current clients and prospective clients. You should also cover how you interact with local and remote clients and prospects. Remote clients should not feel disadvantaged based on their locations.
The page may list some frequently asked questions or just provide general descriptions of the ways you interact with prospects and clients who are local and remote.
This type of content is very important because it helps website visitors if they want to give-up their anonymity and submit their contact information.
It pays to remember investors use a process of exclusion when they select financial advisors. That’s because they have trouble selecting the best financial advisor. Your communication policy falls into the critical category for its importance on your website.
3. Use More Video
Zoom is one way to interact with your clients, but before they are clients, they are prospects, and before they are prospects, they are leads, contacts, and website visitors.
One way to illustrate how you interact with your prospects and clients is to add a certain amount of video to your website. This way investors can get to know your firm and get comfortable with digital communications at the same time.
The more comfortable they are the higher the probability they will interview and select your firm.
Video could be a welcome video on the home-page of your website, an On-Demand webinar, or a library of short videos that cover a variety of financial topics. The key to this strategy is prospects and future clients getting used to seeing you without being face-to-face.
If the prospect is remote then your primary competition may be a local financial advisor in that city. Your marketing strategy has to compete with that financial advisor.
As a general rule of thumb the more you rely on digital marketing and servicing the more you should use video as a way to win new clients and inform current clients. Why video? It is much more personal than something in a written format. The personal touch is extremely important when you are marketing to prospective clients and servicing current clients in a virtual world.
4. The Digital Marketing Solution
The Internet is a friend when financial advisors know how to use it to produce a steady flow of qualified prospects during and after the Covid epidemic. The key to making the Internet a primary source of new clients is a digital marketing digital marketing strategy that increases your online visibility, produces traffic for your website, and a custom financial advisor website that converts more visitors into qualified leads.
How does Covid impact digital marketing business practices? For some financial advisors there is no impact. They were already using virtual marketing business practices. For other financial advisors it will take some creative thinking, a website that converts visitors into leads, and online visibility so it is easy for investors to find your firm.
Online visibility is page one on Google for keywords that drive the right types of visitors to your website.
5. Financial Advisor Marketing
When this article refers to financial advisors it is referring to firms and not professionals. When we describe digital marketing solutions we are referring to firms that own their brands and websites. We are not talking about professionals who work for the firms or are registered with the firms.
When we talk about producing leads for firms, the professionals at the firms will follow-up with the leads and convert them into revenue-producing clients.
In the post-Covid years, professionals who are responsible for producing their own leads will try to revert to the business practices that made them successful in the past. This could also be based on virtual and traditional marketing when they have active prospects to talk to.
The question each firm must answer is who is responsible for creating the leads? The firm, the advisors who work for the firm, or both? At smaller firms, most of the financial advisor marketing is conducted by the professionals. Bigger firms spend more money on marketing to supplement the leads that are produced by the professionals.