by Tony Vidler
Even if Financial Advisers don’t feel the need to do marketing I would suggest that there are still some marketing places to be for advisers who feel they have enough clients.
Even when prospecting for new clients is not a particular issue, professional credibility is. Suppliers, potential referrers, Centres Of Influence…they all matter to the ongoing success of the firm….and they all research online. Just from a credibility perspective then there is a need for financial advisers to continue “marketing” their brand and professional expertise.
Oddly, the places that matter most for that are actually pretty much free. Cool, huh? Free marketing always appeals, and it is often said that “any publicity is good publicity”? That’s an exaggeration of course as not all publicity is actually good – some can cripple a business or brand. However, any publicity (or marketing) that is free AND where you can control the content has to be good.
Online is where the bulk of your future prospects and commercial relationships will first engage with you most of the time, and it is a fabulous opportunity to do so in a non-threatening and collaborative way. You control the content. You control the image. You control the positioning. It IS a great opportunity to grow your personal and professional network and reputation, even if you are not actively looking to gain more clients in the short term.
To be found by those future prospective clients you have to be on:
1. LinkedIn. For business to business connectivity this platform is without peer. It is your professional resume. If you want to be talking to business owners or executives/management then you need to be here. It is professional in its approach, there are interest groups for any market niche it seems, and there is a wealth of intelligence to gather. Linkedin appears to have the highest success rate of the social media platforms for B2B particularly.
2. Facebook. a market penetration of something like 50% of the population makes it without doubt one of the 2 largest and best known social media channels. Particularly useful for engaging at the retail level with consumers (as opposed to other businesses), and with an ability to provide quite a variety of content (images, links, video’s, blog’s). There is an abundance of evidence that consumers who engage with your business (or “like” you) on Facebook are far more likely to purchase from you. For nongoing engagement marketing it is almost without peer.
3. YouTube. This ones surprises business owners when you talk about it, but it is the second most popular search engine in the world (after Google). This is a place where consumers go looking for how to do stuff, or how to find out aboiut stuff. So if you are looking for consumers who are already somewhere along the buying path (they’ve already got a degree of awareness of issues, problems, topics and are actively searching for more information on them)…..well, here they are. Interestingly there is strong evidence indicating that businesses that use video in their marketing (via website, YouTube, etc) have far greater consumer engagement and dramatically increase the chances of obtaining new business. So video works for engagement as most consumers today prefer watching a video rather than reading a detailed article, and if you are going to do video then there is only one place to be. Here.
Whatever social media platform appeals to you in your marketing, it is important to look at it as an element of the overall marketing strategy for your business. The more marketing tactics that are interwoven, the more effective the overall marketing strategy will be. It is smart business to create content for your own website, and then share it via social media channels (plural!) and extend the reach of your message. The social media platforms can extend the reach and knowledge of your brand beyond the passive “billboard” that many business websites are.
Regardless of whether you use all of these or just one or two there are 3 big tips for being effective in your use of these digital channels: