Many financial planners and similar firms are aware that they should be considering digital marketing – especially during the 2020 lockdown where face-to-face marketing wasn’t possible. Social media is one of those aspects of marketing which many financial firms feel like they should be engaging in, but are not quite sure how to do it.
At MarketingAdviser, our team certainly seemed to be picking up more enquiries on this subject during the lockdown. We wanted to offer this short guide on financial social marketing in 2020, and how small financial firms (e.g. local financial planners) might develop this area of their marketing further.
So, what are some of the options for financial social media marketing in 2020?
#1 Setting up a Page, Posting and Praying
The simplest, most intuitive option, of course, is simply to set up a business profile on Facebook, LinkedIn and/or Twitter and share your first post. From there, perhaps you post once per day or once per week with high expectations that things will soon take off.
Surely, soon loads of prospects will start following you and it’ll only be a matter of weeks before you have enquiries flooding into your business from these social channels?
It would be wonderful if this scenario was common. The reality, however, is that this approach will be a very “slow burn” indeed if this is what your hopes are set on. In recent years, platforms such as Facebook have nerfed the organic reach of business profiles so that they barely show up even in followers’ news feeds anymore.
To get your posts noticed, in short, you will need to pay to “boost” them or run social media ads.
This isn’t to say that setting up a Facebook or LinkedIn page and posting once per week is a waste of time. It is arguably important, since it shows people that your business is active and putting out regular thought leadership (e.g. links to blog posts on your website).
However, if you want to use social media as a brand awareness/lead generation tool, you’re going to need a different approach.
One interesting YouTube channel which you may want to check out is PensionCraft. This is a fascinating case study of how a financial professional could use video on social media to extend their brand reach, bring in new leads and grow their business by offering great, video-based value.
The channel has over 49.7K subscribers at the time of writing and is run by Ramin Nakisa, a former investment banking strategist who set up the YouTube channel in 2016. He produces videos about how to create a solid investment strategy, how to manage a pension and market updates.
What’s interesting is that the video content is not “flashy”, energetic or particularly cleverly-filmed. In fact, it looks like the videos are put together fairly quickly and easily (in the grand scheme of YouTube). Yet the content is easy to follow, highly educational and useful. Ramin comes across as genuine, friendly and knowledgeable – leaving the user hungry for more content each time.
He’s also used his channel to gradually build up a following, a network of Patreon contributors and a private Slack Channel group – where exclusive members can pose their questions to him on a Sunday evening.
Does this mean that you and all financial planners should do this? No. Ramin has clearly carved out a space for himself on YouTube and built the channel carefully over many years. Yet it does show that it is possible for a financial adviser to generate a large brand and leads through video on social media.
#3 Social Media ads
As we mentioned earlier, most social media platforms are now a “pay to play” game for getting your profile and content noticed (with the possible exception of YouTube). Yet this doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated for a financial planner to use.
On Facebook, for instance, it is possible to show adverts to particular users (e.g. those 55+) within a specific region without breaking the bank. Cost-per-click (CPC) could be 20p or lower, for instance.
The real challenge will not be showing your ads – it will be getting users to engage with them meaningfully. Again, social media platforms are generally not helpful here. Most want to keep their users on their platforms as much as possible, so businesses often have a hard time getting users to click on a link which takes them to an external landing page.
This isn’t to say this approach cannot work, but you will need a larger campaign and budget to pull it off. For most locally-based financial planners, this may be difficult to achieve.
Instead, you might consider using Facebook and other social media ads to drive users to your business profile page. Here, you could invite people to watch your latest video on the markets or invite them to join you on your next webinar.
This approach is more likely to generate a social media following, and increases the chances of also getting these users onto your email list (over which you have much more control).
Conclusion – Don’t Neglect or Bank on Social Media
Social media marketing is quite a difficult game for financial planners to get into. To make it work, you need a clear strategy which accounts for the etiquette and algorithm of the platform in question, and you then need to commit time, energy and resources over long periods of time before results start to come.
For these reasons, here at MarketingAdviser our team usually incorporates social media into our digital marketing campaigns for clients – but in a supplementary function. Rather than making these channels the focus, most of the time we recommend integrating them into a wider digital strategy.
If you’re interested in finding out more or would like to discuss your own case with us, please get in touch today to arrange a free consultation with our marketing team.