How engaging is your digital communication?
The global pandemic has placed all sorts of new demands on financial advisers and advice firms. It has required a whole new approach to communicating with clients.
Lockdowns and social distancing restrictions have also created all kinds of new opportunities for engaging online. The internet has become an even more important, and powerful, tool for creating and establishing a presence.
In a recent panel discussion hosted by the Insider’s Forum, experts and advisers noted how digital communications have become central to advisers’ marketing efforts. And those that are able to use the internet in innovative ways, are achieving new levels of engagement with clients and potential clients.
“You are all communicators, whether you know it or not,” Marie Swift, the president and CEO of Impact Communications told the advisers in attendance. “Your clients really need that strong leadership and communication from you so that they can find their way through the myriad opportunities and decisions they have.”
The internet offers the perfect platform for this.
“People are zig-zagging across the internet, looking for people that they can trust and information that will help them along the path,’ said Swift. “And yet they also want that human connection.”
A successful approach is therefore not just about providing relevant information, but doing so in a way that resonates with people, and shows the character, values and expertise of the adviser.
“When it comes to content, it’s very important for us to add value right at the beginning of any relationship,’ said Victor Gaxiola, the co-founder and head of marketing at Tech Girl Financial. “With the pandemic and the fact that people were homebound, they were in a situation where they had a lot of time and were looking for content. And in a time of uncertainty, they were looking for quality content, voices, opinions – things that are going to help them navigate the choppy water of this uncertainty.”
The power of video
It is difficult for advisers to provide all of this themselves. This is why Swift recommends not just relying on their own original content. She encourages advisers to be willing to purchase relevant licenced content and curate content from elsewhere that highlights the values and character of the firm.
The use of video is particularly powerful in that it lends itself to showcasing an adviser’s personality. There are also many options for creating and sharing it, such as through video conferences and Facebook Live.
“Video is shared more often, and it’s great for social media,” said Swift. “There is all kinds of video you can be doing, and it’s cheaper and easier than ever before.
“It also helps to show people who you are for them – the value you bring, but also your personality.”
An example is a series of weekly video chats started by wealth management firm Stearns Financial. Each week they offered clients the opportunity to engage with them online about investment topics.
A receptive audience
In addition, the firm hosted an additional series of chats about what was happening in the world around them.
“We found that this really resonated with clients,” said Haleh Moddasser, a wealth management advisor at Stearns Financial. “The morning session was a bit more technical, where we would talk about investment markets, the economy, and maybe some financial planning topics. In the afternoons we would invite someone of interest.
“For example, during the George Floyd incident and its aftermath we had several people on to talk about systemic racism. We also talked about healthcare and the changing healthcare environment.
“We can have anywhere from 80 to 150 people sign up for this live,” Moddasser added. “Then we post it afterwards, and we get a lot of clicks. It is being sent around and talked about. It is a neat way to touch clients that is a little unusual.”
This kind of engagement has become both more compelling and more appropriate this year, when there has been so much uncertainty. Advisers and firms that have been able to show that they share their clients’ apprehensions, and are actively trying to find ways to navigate through them, are inevitably going to find an engaged, and receptive audience.
Picture: John Schnobrich via Unsplash
© Adviser 2.0 MMXX