How the fastest growing RIAs are marketing themselves

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At Gregory FCA, we work with RIAs of varying sizes across the country to tell their story through traditional media and their own channels. It’s an exciting time given how rapidly marketing infrastructure continues to evolve. The constant introduction of new communication platforms has invited a world of opportunity for RIAs to distribute their message and unique value proposition to a wider audience.

With the proliferation of new tools that help fully leverage available platforms, the marketing conversation at RIA shops has shifted toward a comprehensive approach that seeks to utilize all the options available – and that means not totally dismissing direct mail and phone call outreach approaches espoused in the past. In today’s age of RIA marketing, every function has its role. The influx of opportunity helps RIAs enhance their overall strategy and engage with prospective clients, while also offering a real-time read of their return on investment.

So what are some of the “new age” approaches the fastest growing RIAs are using?

Writing thoughtful and engaging content
Creating your own blog has become the norm for RIAs serious about establishing their voice in the marketplace. The owned platform enables you to share timely insight and commentary on issues important to clients, prospects and referral sources. Through a blog you control everything including the visuals, content, point of view and overall message. This allows RIAs to establish a unique style and thought leadership on issues most relevant to potential clients and partners. Blogging is also a timely way to keep current clients up to date with relevant company and industry news.

Fort Pitt Capital, a client of Gregory FCA, does a great job demonstrating thought leadership on retirement planning, market navigation and other subjects relevant to their targeted audience. Their page also allows visitors to easily access a bevy of content on different topics by clicking on the wealth management, investments, asset allocation and community involvement tabs clearly displayed at the top of the screen.

More importantly, a blog serves as the core for all marketing and communications efforts. It can be syndicated in email campaigns, on social media feeds and in newsletters, which expands its reach and makes it a worthwhile long-term investment.

Leveraging today’s social platforms
New social media platforms seem to crop up almost overnight, but the ‘originals’ – LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook – continue to hold their ground as the leaders, and each can play a role in your marketing plan. They all offer the opportunity to increase visibility with clients, prospects and key referral sources, as well as bolster your presence in the industry. Each platform offers access to a different audience. Facebook and Twitter tend to play especially well with individuals. If targeting businesses is your goal, LinkedIn might be the choice for you. But as we’ve discussed in the past, all these channels should work together to build your brand and differentiate your practice.

Coordinating efforts on a variety of platforms can easily become overwhelming from an execution standpoint, not to mention compliance. Thankfully, there are a number of resources and tools available to streamline the process of managing multiple social media feeds, such as Hearsay Social (which is designed specifically for financial services), Hootsuite and Sprout Social.

Building an email marketing campaign
Snail mail has fallen out of vogue given the quick, easy and affordable nature of email as a way to connect and monitor outreach. But merely using email isn’t enough. RIAs must make sure their content is packaged in a visually appealing way to avoid getting lost in already overflowing inboxes. With email marketing, less is more. Create a plan and be strategic about what message you are communicating and how often. Be both reactive and proactive with the content you share, and see what garners the best results. Tracking results and implementing the findings is also key to future success. While data monitoring may sound like a daunting task, there are affordable and easy-to-use options out there to help, such as MailChimp and Constant Contact.

Now more than ever, opportunities exist to bring your firm’s brand awareness to the next level by taking advantage of blogging, social media and email marketing. Chances are tomorrow will bring another marketing platform to consider, so keep your eyes open and stay curious about what new services you can add to your arsenal.

This post is a collaboration between Kerry and another member of the Gregory FCA team, Jess Emery.