RIAs: Automation doesn’t have a place in your marketing efforts

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Technological enhancements and a move toward automation have created a seismic shift in the financial services industry. Tasks that were once time consuming, tedious and costly have become seamless and efficient thanks to the array of technology and solutions available. Applying these automated factors to aspects like your CRM or back-office work makes sense, but there are some places where it won’t fit. Marketing is one of them.

Marketing is an easy task to put off, and finding a way to automate it could be tempting depending on your other priorities. However, it is also one of the most essential elements to the long-term success of a business. Your marketing focus should reflect your unique voice and value proposition, as it will help you stand out from competitors and communicate more effectively with your clients and prospects. Technology simply can’t capture these attributes. But you don’t need a marketing director or dedicated staff to elevate your marketing game and create content to reach your audiences. Here’s how to lay the groundwork for your marketing plan so you can put a short-term strategy into action.

  • Identify your audience. This is the first and most important rule of communications. Figure out who you’re speaking to so you can tailor your message and reach them most effectively. Who are you? Who do you serve? What makes you different? What unique value do you bring? Asking these questions will help you better identify your audience. If you’re speaking to multiple audiences (e.g., advisers and investors), make sure you are producing specific content for each segment and avoid taking a one-size-fits-all approach.
  • Meet them where they spend their time. Determine where your audience is consuming their content. You want to deliver information where they are already consuming it. Are they reading blogs or emails/newsletters? Do they utilize social media or watch videos? Get to know the channels your audience prefers so you can craft your content for the verticals they are on. Better yet, if you are able to, spend time determining how to optimize content on those channels. For example, utilize images, videos and appropriate hashtags on social media. Another strategy is to review data and analytics, including open rates on emails, views and shares on LinkedIn posts, and retweets and likes on Twitter, among others, to better tailor your content delivery in the future.
  • Communicate with them when they’re engaged. Now that you know who your audience is and where they are consuming their content, you can determine how often you should be sharing content. You want to get a sense of the cadence for putting out new information so you don’t overload your audience or go too long without sharing anything. A good starting point is evaluating the channel you’re using. For example, Hootsuite data shows the best times to post on LinkedIn are 7:45 a.m., 10:45 a.m., 12:45 p.m. and 5:45 p.m., Monday to Thursday. For Twitter, it’s 3 p.m. from Monday to Friday. Understanding when your core audience is engaging with your channels increases the likelihood that they will see your content.
  • Be authentic to your business and yourself. This is a major key to success in marketing. Skip the canned content; it’s easy to spot and your readers will know. Clients and prospects want to hear your voice, perspective and personality. A common marketing misconception is you have to be formal in your tone. But it’s OK to take a more casual or humorous tone, as long as that is authentic to you and your business. In other words, your content should mirror how you actually interact with your clients and prospects. As an added bonus, if you’re just being yourself, it will be a lot easier to generate content for your marketing efforts!

It can seem like a daunting task to create a formal marketing campaign, but knowing where to start makes a big difference. Utilize the talent you have on hand to help generate new ideas and share knowledge on emerging verticals and strategies. Don’t be afraid to get creative!