How to Attract New Clients with a Diverse Financial Marketing Portfolio
As a financial services provider, you and your firm face vast challenges. Your daily operations handle shifting ideologies in fiduciary policy, market trends, changes in regulations and even public moods or fads. Despite these problems, the US financial markets still manage to represent an enormous part of the United States economy.
Last year, financial markets represented 7.3% of US GDP. What does this statistic tell you? That the financial industry equates to $1.4 trillion in economic activity, and more importantly, it is a part of everyone’s life in one way or another. In layman’s terms, the finance industry is both extensive and volatile. So how do you navigate the temperamental and fluctuating landscapes while establishing your brand as a trusted, consistent and steadfast voice amid the chaos? The answer: a diverse portfolio of financial marketing strategies.
As you set out to develop a digital and non-digital marketing strategy for your agency or firm, you’ll need to understand your audience and lay out a practical, effective and measurable method for communicating your message. The first step to any advertising campaign is understanding your audience. Who is your target audience, and why do they need your services? After that, you must establish the best avenues and channels with which to connect with your target market. Where do you find new clients, and how do you communicate your value? In answering these questions, you will be well on your way to a successful and profitable marketing investment.
The right message
Once you have established your target market, it is time to determine the most effective ways to communicate your advertising message. It will be essential to illustrate your specific services and the benefits you can provide to any potential client. Finance is a part of life and the services you provide help to create the overall economic picture, both on a micro and macro level.
Financial services represent a number of sub-sectors that touch nearly everyone’s life. Whether it is Banking, Asset Management, Insurance, Venture Capital, or Private Equity, the services you provide play a key role in the financial health of individuals, private businesses, and public services.
On an individual level, everyone needs to save for retirement. Many Americans have children that they want to send to college one day. Maybe they are looking to buy a home or invest in some long-term growth strategies. At the heart of it, they want to ensure that they and their loved ones are better off in the future than they are right now. Private business and institutional sectors are very similar in that way. They are looking to balance the risk of investment with their ROI to ultimately increase the earnings of their portfolio.
You play an essential role in their ability to meet their investment targets – you just have to put yourself in the position to reach, educate and provide your services. And that’s where a great multi-channel financial marketing strategy comes in.
The right channel
Finding the right marketing channels to connect with your audience is just as important as the message. This will likely include a combination of digital and non-digital marketing assets, collateral and content. Even the best marketing message will be lost if you do not have a receptive audience. Below, you’ll find five potential channels for your message as well as some unique characteristics of each avenue.
Email Marketing is still one of the most effective ways to connect with your target audience. Not only can you take the time to layout the specific advantages and benefits of your services, a regular delivery strategy ensures that you can continue to connect with your audience again and again to tell your story. The costs of running email campaigns are relatively small so you can see great returns on money spent in this category. Building your list and adhering to best practices will be a critical element of successful email marketing as bad lists and bad strategies can greatly affect your inbox deliverability rates.
2. Social media
Establishing a brand voice is just one way that social media can far outperform many other marketing channels. Using branded accounts and utilizing the right combination of organic reach and paid advertising, your firm will reach your audience in a way that is consistent with your brand. Moreover, the ability to scale your efforts is a real benefit of social media. Whether you want to reach 10 or 10,000 there are multiple options for successful strategy execution via social media channels. Perhaps most importantly, your message will likely be directly in the hands of your audience with the ability for them to directly engage with your brand through likes, shares and comments. The two-way street of interactivity can be a bit of a double-edged sword at times, however, so you will want to monitor your accounts regularly to maintain positive interactions.
3. Trade shows
As digital trends in marketing continue to gain greater influence and importance, certain time-tested marketing methods are still as viable today as they were before the advent of the internet. Trade shows are one of those avenues. There is no better way to connect with an audience that is present specifically to hear your message and engage with your brand. As a sponsor, presenter, or even as an attendee, you’re granted access to a huge crowd of individuals with which to connect on a personal level with your brand message. This pre-segmentation of your audience into individuals that are directly interested in financial services can provide great opportunities for lead cultivation. As these interactions are on a one-to-one or one-to-many level, your personal presentation will need to be primed and ready to present your best face.
4. Print and promotional products
Again, despite the trends in digital marketing, there are still great advantages to print marketing that simply cannot be replicated in digital channels. Take for example the humble postcard. Not only can you deliver your message straight into the home of your potential clients, you have given them a piece of collateral that can be hung on a refrigerator, passed to friends, family, and neighbors, or placed on their desk for further consideration. The tangible nature of print channels makes them an irreplaceable element in holistic marketing strategies. Moreover, ad campaigns that incorporate print can increase your reach to an audience segment that you might otherwise miss.
5. Sponsored storytelling
Sponsored storytelling, also referred to as native advertising, is a form of sponsored media that mixes together advertising with informational or editorial content written in the voice of the publisher. In the financial services, sponsored storytelling can come in the form of telling non-branded stories such as “how to pay off debt” (sponsored by Chase) or “when do you know you’re ready to retire?” (sponsored by the ABC Retirement Advisors). Even better, in addition to the name recognition in the sponsorship listing area of the article, the editorial piece can include sponsor-branded banner advertisements on the top, side and bottom of the page. And to give you a better idea of what that looks like, H&R Block partnered with the Onion using sponsored storytelling and perfectly positioned advertising in their recent article gearing up toward tax season. By adding sponsored storytelling to your marketing mix, you can reach audiences who may have been turned away by other marketing tactics and maximize your efforts.
A Well-Rounded Portfolio
Nearly everyone needs financial services of some kind and they rely on you as an authority to provide trusted and proven methods to reach their goals. Despite the essential need for financial services, the World Bank estimates that, globally, around 2 billion people are not using financial services. This represents an enormous opportunity for market growth.
Like any wise investment portfolio, the most effective marketing campaigns for financial firms and agencies include a combination of both digital and non-digital assets. By taking advantage of the benefits of each delivery method, your brand and message can reach your target market in ways that are unique to each channel. Delivering your message is no easy task for the financial planner, but with a combination of mindful market segmentation and consistent brand messaging you will increase your lead generation and, ultimately, convert them into clients.