Volatility is not a word Financial Advisers or investors want to hear. It can cause investors to become nervous, which can lead to withdrawal, cash out or pure panic.
However, volatility doesn’t have to be bad. It can be a good thing – bringing new investors and a wealth of opportunity to the market.
Consider, for example, the financial volatility that the world has experienced since the pandemic, and even in the last week. While the forever changing market with all its highs and lows caused turbulence for many IFA’s, first-time investors saw an opportunity to start their investment journey.
First-time investors took advantage of market dips to purchase cheaper stocks. Many new investors also tried their hand at cryptocurrency, hoping to experience a tsunami of success.
The combination of turmoil and first-timers quickly made it clear that financial services marketers needed to adjust their strategy accordingly.
Although face-to-face has been pretty much non-existent for the past two years, audiences still demanded information and guidance to be readily available.
But how can financial firms reach them?
What should you say?
How should you say it?
All questions that Opulent Media Group can answer.
“Client Journey” may seem like another trendy term, although you will soon find it is an effective way to understand how to convert leads and boost financial adviser lead generation, if you spend some time studying it.
A Client Journey includes all touch points that a potential client will have with your firm. It is the journey potential clients take to decide if you are the right partner for them.
A client’s journey also allows you to focus your marketing efforts on what your potential clients are looking for. If you do it right, your firm will stand out, be seen, heard and most importantly, found, in a crowded financial market.
The Journey of a Financial Client
The client journey consists of five steps before they commit to partner with a firm (i.e. whether they want to invest with you or use your firm as a family office).
Step 1: Awareness
The potential client may not even know that your company exists at this point. Even if they do know who you are, they may not be aware of the financial services that you offer.
A typical prospect’s client journey can now be done online or via mobile. This makes it a great place to start when building your marketing strategy.
Your website should clearly communicate how you can help them. Share content that informs potential clients about investment options to make your company appear knowledgeable and helpful.
This is where Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising on Search Engines is also paramount. Ensuring your brand is found for your services. We’re experts in creating and managing high-performing Search and Display campaigns that increase visibility and profitability for financial firms. Want to get to the top of Google? Want to rank higher than your competitors? Let’s make it happen.
The awareness stage is about making your audience aware of you and directing them to your channels.
Step 2: Do some research
Once you have attracted attention to your audience, they will want to dig deeper into who you are and what you can offer them.
The prospective client may be looking to invest, increase their portfolio performance or learn more about a particular financial topic. Your marketing messages should communicate that you can meet all these needs.
Clients are all different, and so are their unique needs and interests. Therefore your content cannot be boring. You must offer knowledge on many topics, from current financial trends, such as inflation and ESG investment, to your detailed investment strategies. Being current and reactive will make you stand out to your target audience.
The topics you choose to share should be varied, as should the channels you use. Your audience’s preferred media outlets, publications, and social media platforms should be researched. They will strengthen their messaging and expertise as they do research on these channels.
Market research can transform financial professionals business strategies – as the digital world is moving so fast. Keeping up with the latest financial marketing trends allows you to better nurture your financial leads, which can lead to 50% more clients. You develop financial plans for your clients after identifying their challenges, problems, goals and aspirations. Why should it be any different for your marketing?
Being in business means knowing about your competitors, the financial market, and both current and potential clients. Your research should encapsulate what is happening in the financial market, and should help you evaluate the opportunities that can provide a long-term return on investment (ROI).
Step 3: Evaluation
This stage is when your target audience already knows your brand, and your thought leadership. You actively connect with them by frequent visits to your resources – maybe signing them up to your newsletter, sending them personalised communications or re-targeting them on social media to keep in the forefront of their minds.
Your content helps people compare your brand to the rest. It should be refreshed and communicated regularly to keep you at the forefront of industry experts and in your potential client’s mind.
Potential clients usually have six to eight touch points with you before they reach out. It is important to stay consistent and provide added value until your audience reaches out.
You want to be in the forefront of their minds without being spammy – it’s a fine balance.
Step 4: Becoming a client
It’s easy to believe that marketing ends at the paper signing stage. You’ve got a new client! Great news is, your client is working with you and trusts you with their wealth. Although it is at this point where marketing and sales must work closely together to ensure the purchase process runs smoothly.
Tracking your client’s journey with a CRM system, such as Active Campaign or Hubspot are a great way to ensure that sales have the information they need. Sales should have access to the content the buyer consumed, pages visited, and emails read.
This information will make your sales process more enjoyable for your buyer, and may even help you move faster. It also allows your sales team to build rapport.
Step 5: Retention
Although retention is technically the final stage in a client’s journey to success, the goal is to keep them at this level of commitment for the long-term. You want more than a client. You want a committed, happy client who will refer others to your financial firm.
You can foster loyalty by providing thought leadership, sound investment advice and personalised communication to your clients. Encourage your clients to communicate with you on the channels you use to share information, and ensure you are keeping in regular contact with value adding advice and content.
For feedback on how your organisation is performing, contact your clients. There are always opportunities to improve. Ask your clients to submit a testimonial. You can then use this feedback from clients to not only nurture the relationship, but also to enhance your marketing efforts later in the client journey.
The client journey is ever-evolving
By developing a client journey and tracking data and the clients actions throughout their voyage of your brand, your firm will be informed and aware of where prospective and current clients are in your sales process.
It is not easy to align your marketing efforts with your client journey. It’s impossible to “set it and forget”. You’ll need to track and analyse your results over time, to make adjustments that will lead to greater success and higher lead retention.
Just like how the COVID-19 pandemic changed the marketing strategy for most in 2020 and 2021, other events, such as recent market volatility and technology advances, will need to be considered, and your firm will need to be reactive and take action.
Remember, volatility is not always a bad thing. New audiences are waiting for you if you are open-minded and prepared to evolve.
Read our 30-page comprehensive guide to marketing for financial advisors here