The 2020 coronavirus outbreak has had a big impact on marketing financial services. In light of the UK lockdown, financial planners are more restricted in meeting clients in person.
Investment/pension seminars have had to be cancelled to protect “at-risk” individuals, and business fairs (where printed marketing material such as company flyers and brochures would be distributed) have also be postponed or axed.
Financial planners who have taken time to plan adverts for a golf course, for instance, will also likely want to postpone such ideas for now. After all, few people will be outside to see them!
If ever it was important for financial services to grow their online/digital marketing strategy, it is now. From March 2020 until the next 3-6 months, most people will be working from home on their computers, tablets and smartphones.
What is your strategy to reach new prospects or engage clients, who might barely leave their homes during this time?
Getting in front of them on their screens, at the right moment and with the right message, could be a great opportunity for your marketing. This is especially the case in light of the fact that many people will be sitting at home, with more time on their hands. All of those important “tasks” they have delayed for a long time (e.g. thinking about their pension, will or life insurance) could now have space to come to the fore of their minds.
As much as COVID-19 is creating a tragic situation, how can financial planners and other firms adapt and even identify marketing opportunities? In this short post, our specialists here at MarketingAdviser offer some practical ideas which you could implement in fairly short order, to great effect.
Revive your newsletter
At the time of writing, our team at MarketingAdviser is busy with requests from financial planners to help them communicate with worried clients, via email.
After all, the recent stock market volatility has caused many investors to worry about their portfolios, and pensioners to panic about their life savings.
Some people have seen their investments fall by £70,000+, and wonder whether they should jump out of the market and convert everything into cash before it all gets worse.
Email is a great tool for financial planners to help alleviate these fears, through direct messages to worried clients and also through regular doses of thought leadership. For instance, here at MarketingAdviser we help many financial planners run a monthly newsletter, containing 4 articles on timely areas of financial planning as well as regular market updates.
Not running a newsletter right now or using an inadequate one? Now is a great time to develop it!
Ignite social media
One interesting result of the COVID-19 outbreak in the UK is that, despite the social isolation, it has also encouraged the breakdown of social barriers in many places.
Earlier in March, for instance, Londoners amassed on their balconies and rooftops to simultaneously applaud the NHS. In Cornwall, this writer’s in-laws have started a WhatsApp group with the neighbours on their streets. These people who barely communicated before are now, every day, checking that each other are well and that they have the supplies they need for self-isolation.
A similar dynamic is occurring on social media. On Facebook, for example, many people have been reaching out to old contacts and even strangers, extending well-wishes. This increased openness could be a great opportunity for financial planners to develop their social media strategy.
For instance, could you check in on some of your clients and post their stories on your business Facebook profile? You’d need informed consent to do this, but many people are hungry for heart-warming stories at the moment. This could be a great way to grow your brand awareness and following.
Leverage video conferencing
Financial planners are now struggling to meet clients in person for annual reports, reviews and advice. Here, of course, the problem can be largely addressed through video conferencing; allowing you to hold meetings whilst also potentially reducing time and money otherwise spent on travel etc.!
There are many great, free solutions on the market for these purposes, such as Google Hangouts and Zoom. If you’re looking to expand your lead generation efforts through video conference, moreover, then these tools can also be a great way to run online financial planning seminars, workshops and other events.
Explore digital advertising
One final area of financial services marketing to explore is the service offered by online advertising solutions such as Google Ads, Facebook Ads and LinkedIn Ads. These services allow you to display branded messages to your audience in locations such as Google Search, website sidebars and social media newsfeeds. You then pay for every click on your adverts, or for every 1,000 views.
These financial services marketing tools have been available for many years, but financial planners have not widely leveraged them in the UK to attract new clients. Now, however, many businesses are turning to them as their other, traditional marketing channels struggle to gain traction under present conditions. It’s a good idea to consider them for your own strategy, therefore, before this digital space becomes to “noisy” and your voice struggles to get heard over those who got there first.
Here at MarketingAdviser, for instance, we often recommend that financial planners start small with their budget, and gradually increase the marketing investment as data becomes available showing what is working.
Be careful with digital advertising, however. It is easy to spend and waste a lot of money if there is no clear marketing strategy in place, if the ads are poorly crafted or if the landing page is inappropriate.
At the very least, consider contacting a specialist financial marketing agency (such as ours) to conduct a digital marketing review for you. This is free and without obligation, allowing you to gain a clearer picture of the viability of pay-per-click (PPC) advertising for your particular firm’s marketing needs and goals.