The economic fallout from COVID-19 is creating an uptick in prospective clients looking for financial advice — and a clutch of new digital marketing tools to help advisers reach them.
Financial services firms — from regional RIA platforms to technology providers — are launching new digital marketing initiatives to provide an avenue for advisers to get in front of clients who need financial help amid the pandemic. While advisers may not have resources to step up marketing campaigns, tech firms are stepping in to streamline the process.
HighTower Advisors is partnering with the marketing fintech company Snappy Kraken to help the advisers on its platform reach new leads. Called Engage, the tool provides custom content for client communication, digital marketing and lead generation. The monthly campaigns also target specific client demographics like business owner, high-net-worth and prospective clients.
“Marketing communications is one area that many advisers struggle with, as they often lack the time, staff and expertise to handle the heavy workload associated with deploying effective campaigns,” said Abby Salameh, chief marketing officer at HighTower.
While most advisers understand the importance of marketing, some don’t have the knowledge or desire to produce marketing content, said Marie Swift, chief executive of Impact Communications, a marketing firm for independent financial advisers.
“Advisers have always struggled with where to spend their time to do good marketing,” she said.
Turnkey asset management platform Orion Adviser Technology also launched a new digital marketing tool on its platform that advises on more than $1 trillion in client accounts in 3.8 million accounts. The new Marketr tool lets advisers update, schedule and distribute marketing assets automatically to prospective clients, and is available as an add on to the technology suite.
More than 40% of advisers use digital marketing products, according to the 2020 InvestmentNews Tech survey, up from just 32% last year.
“Not only does marketing play a critical role in igniting the workflow that can drive firmwide growth, it’s an especially critical conduit to clients and prospects through times of market volatility as we’re seeing now,” said Kelly Waltrich, chief marketing officer at Orion.
InvestmentNews Research found that 74% of new clients are self-directed investors accustomed to using online information to inform their decisions, which means automated marketing campaigns can help get advisers’ names in front of people looking for help.
As more and more turnkey marketing providers come online, what is often missing is customization, Swift said. “There’s a reason we call most turnkey content ‘canned content’ — which, to be fair, can be useful in filling the content marketing funnel.”
In fact, digital marketing may be becoming oversaturated, according to the 2020 edition of the T3 Financial Advisor Software Study, which tracked nine different digital marketing tools. FMG Suite came out as the leader in terms of market share, but marketing startups like Snappy Kraken are also getting attention, according to the survey.
In March, Fidelity-owned financial planning technology eMoney Advisor expanded further into marketing with a new tool that automates advisers’ efforts to attract, nurture and convert leads into clients.
Ideally, advisers should create a blend of carefully curated content supplemented by their own custom-created content, Swift said. Another important aspect is credibility-building media mentions and published articles.
“Advisors who want to create a steady stream of new business should be embracing and mixing in all of the 4 C’s: canned, curated, custom and credibility content,” Swift said.