Posts

Financial Advisors: Enhance Your Social Media Impact

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HNW Investors are Social

For financial advisors, social media represents a powerful addition to traditional marketing. Indeed high net worth investors are active on social media and expect their advisors to be also.  To wit,

  1. 87% use social media
  2. 52% of investors want to connect with advisors on LinkedIn
  3. 50% of high-net-worth investors want market, trend, and product information via social media

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Financial Advisors: Filter and Target 1:1 with Social Media

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Social Media Marketing

To be competitive today, financial advisors should be using social media to engage connections and capture qualified prospects.

Digital Foundation: This strategy is underpinned by your Digital Foundation, that is:

  • Client and 1st degree connections on social networks, the three most important (e.g., LinkedIn, Twitter, FaceBook)
  • Contact database
  • Contacts in a CRM system (e.g., SalesForce, RedTail)
  • LinkedIn Connections
  • Alerts and monitoring

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10 Lessons from Jet Blue Marketing

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At the FutureM/IMS Keynote – “Advice from a CMO: How to Avoid Digital Fads and Focus on Things That Work“, Marty St. George, SVP of Marketing and Commercial Strategy at JetBlue shared a top-10 list.  How does this apply to your business?

1.Know what you stand for and how the program fits in
2.It has to fit the logo (e.g. could not swap the logo with a competitor logo and have it work)
3.If it has been done before, it’s not that special
4. If it doesn’t shape culture and conversation, we are not interested
5. If it fits in a standard TV spot ad or banner ad, it doesn’t fit
6. Must work across all media
7.  We want ideas that leverage multiple channels simultaneously and sequentially
8. Ideas of the future don’t fit into containers of the past
9. Ideas must be customer centric
10. Fix your problem while also solving my problem (for the agency).
#futurem  #ims12

Top 3 Things to Get Started with Social Media Marketing

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At the Schwab Advisor Services meeting in New York yesterday, about 40 advisors joined to discuss a broad vision for achieving a digital presence with social media. In describing the “how to” I shared ways of thinking about digital presence and the role of social media. To help describe ways to get started, I outlined strategies that included actions for revenue strategy, revenue systems and revenue programs. But even this breakdown of strategy and planning recommendations are a lot to tackle for a busy advisor getting started with social media. I often get the question – “OK, but what are the top three things you suggest? Here are three things I would start with to get established online:

1) Solid Website – all roads lead back here, so make sure you have a foundation you are pleased with and relevant content as well as the ability to engage your audience to download items and register for interactions.

  • Clean professionally branded
  • Relevant content
  • Conversion capabilities

2) Professional LinkedIn Profiles – This is the easiest to manage from a compliance point of view and it is very well aligned with the advisor business of referrals and relationships.

  • Keyword aligned, current, descriptive profile and business page
  • Professional photo
  • Active network and # of connections

3) Active Content Sharing – With these two platforms in place, a steady stream of relevant publishing will help place you in the minds of your audience as knowledgeable and help reinforce your credibility when it is time to make a decision.

  • Sharing relevant material, text
  • Use video if you can to explain and introduce your firm (host on YouTube)
  • Publish regularly using a blog format with an RSS feed

Should You Mix Personal and Business on Twitter?

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I am writing this post from the Acela train heading back to Boston after an interactive session with about 40 clients of Schwab Advisor Services in New York. One discussion at the event was with Adam Sheer from the Roosevelt Investment Group which was particularly interesting and I think offers some guidance when thinking about strategies for using Twitter and what content to share across social nets.

The Roosevelt Investment Group prides itself on always adding value in their interactions with clients. These interactions, today, use email or other 1:1 communication. So, when considering using a platform like Twitter, what should their approach be? What content should they tweet and share? An example I shared in my presentation was about ReTweeting a “good news” post from a client relationship as a way to help build the relationship. However, since the Tweet may have no direct relevance to investment management, would it be of any interest to the followers of the firm? The answer depends on the strategy employed and the role of your Twitter ID. What do you want to be known for on Twitter? Are you building a network of people and tweeting on multiple topics or only on business topics? After all, we know that Twitter is not just a business network…and the choice is yours.

So what is the lesson?

Yes, you can mix personal and business tweets – but begin by thinking about the role of your Twitter channel. Do you want a range of personal communications or a feed of posts about specific content themes? Perhaps you should consider multiple Twitter IDs – personal and business. Is your Twitter feed going to be about multiple topics, or focused on a specific audience?

Social-infused Digital Marketing for Financial Advisers

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Among wealth managers/ financial advisers, there remains skepticism about using social media and a digital marketing with a stronger online presence. As I prepare for an updated “Day-in-the-life of an adviser” talk next week with Schwab RIAs (clients of Schwab Advisor Services), I created a summary slide to serve as an abstract for the talk. The slide sums up the key messages for me:

  • While digital marketing will not and should not replace personal 1:1 relationship strategies, it can help you grow your practice and deepen existing relationships – particularly among your increasingly connected client base.
  • A good online presence can help you shift your business mix from traditional “outbound” activity to “inbound” – lowering cost of client acquisition.
  • But, as content proliferates, clients will increasingly use “relevance filters” – using search, influencers and their human “social networks” for trusted answers. It is hard to “game the system”
  • And, for advisors, regulation and changing technology add risk and confusion.
  • So, what should you do?
  • Today more than ever, firms need an effective digital marketing strategy and plan that aligns with their target client strategy.

The follow-on question is what makes up that strategy?

We focus on the three elements of the Revenue Architecture – keeping it simple, breaking it down:

1 Revenue Strategy

  • Set your ambition
  • Segment your audience & define long-tail positions
  • Build value propositions
  • Measure capability and gaps
  • Envision creative strategies

2 Revenue Systems

  • Design a solid website for brand experience
  • Configure and deploy foundation technology / services for digital marketing
  • Establish digital/social outposts

3 Revenue Programs

  • Design creative multi-touch campaigns
  • Develop a month-to-month/ week to week calendar
  • Create multi-media content
  • Publish and engage

Content is Still King

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An old friend recently introduced a new service that allows the Twitterati to monetize their tweets “MyLinkMyAds”. It’s a brilliant and simple idea that allows people to get paid for the content and knowledge they are sharing.

Like most of what happens on the Internet today, the idea came to fruition quickly and since my friend is a talented developer with a strong social network already, he was able to get his idea online and introduced to the Twittersphere easily.

Then a funny thing happened. He saw a Tweet come through, that basically said, “Great tool for adding ads to your tweets; but I can’t find much detail on it.”

My friend had forgotten a critical element of doing business on-line. Even in a world of 141 characters, you can’t get very far without content and information to validate your brand. He quickly rectified the issue, and added an FAQ page to the site.

It’s a basic principle, but one that is often forgotten in the lightening fast business world today. You may get attention and eyeshare on Twitter, but in order to truly use social media effectively you need to deliver expertise, in-depth knowledge and valuable information as well. As you embrace social media remember you still need to provide access to videos, podcasts, blogs, even old-school data sheets and Web content to share details and legitimize your brand.

Why You Should (re)Tweet

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Successful tweeting is about focus. Numerous companies small and large have shown that diligently writing a few tweets with content their customers want to read can greatly increase connection that a person has to the company. Even more common are twitter feeds that are rarely read and pretty much irrelevant. The difference is focus. Treating a feed like it is business will go unnoticed. Treating a feed like a friendly conversation will get noticed. Think of it as telling a friend “I liked this article and you probably will to.”

By doing something as simple as tweeting news articles or retweeting other’s valuable tweets that your firm’s clients want to read makes your twitter feed worth reading. The simple truth is that most people don’t want to spend their time finding news that directly pertains to them in the vastness of digital information.

The number of news outlets has risen exponentially in the past decade. Just as books became significantly cheaper and more available after the Gutenberg press, the internet has again dropped the cost of publishing to a new level. One of the numerous side effects is that the amount being published has risen and, because content is king, newspapers have been publishing more because their main reason for not publishing has all but disappeared: Cost.

The cost of publishing, as Clay Shirky has told us, was the main deterrent for publishing articles that consumers wouldn’t read. Publishing too many unread articles would lead to decreases in readership then subscriptions and eventually profits. The cost lowering effect of internet media has removed that physical barrier on printed page real estate. It is this cost reduction that has lead to a decrease in the inherent filtering that newspapers perform and hence an increase in total articles published. This has lead to the popular notion of “Information Overload.”

This impression isn’t exactly accurate because since shortly after the Gutenberg press was invented there were more books than a human could physically read in a lifetime. The difference between printed and e-newspapers eras is a question of filtering. Trusted newspapers became trusted because filtered for to find the best of “all the news that’s fit to print” and printed quality, vetted news that their readership wanted to read. By becoming the filter for your audience you become the source. Using the retweet function can increase your Social Capitol because you are the filter. As any retailer will tell you, being the source is good for business.

Retweet – and be the filter – so that you are the source.

Use Digital PR to expand Public Relations Impact

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Digital PR takes advantage of the viral web to expand visibility and syndication across traditional media, new media and the end audience.

The traditional PR approach is focused on direct media relationships to drive exposure opportunities and influence brand/message awareness. Typically the approach targets known relationships within traditional media. An effective traditional media program remains a critical engagement strategy  – particularly in highly regulated industries where compliance and regulatory constraints limit the full adoption of social media and internet outreach.  However, the traditional approach is no longer adequate.  With the advent of digital, we see a fundamental shift in media and news consumption. We are moving from information push to information pull. Information consumers can now use search engines and RSS readers to filter, manage and control the content they see.  To succeed, today’s PR leaders must engage both traditional media influencers and the new influencers like bloggers, forums and communities across social networks.

An effective PR strategy must incorporate Digital PR. Digital PR takes advantage of the viral nature of the web to expand visibility and message syndication across traditional media, new media and the end customer audience.  Below is a quick checklist of what you might consider in your PR strategy and plans. The list is based on how we at Revenue Architects approach building a Digital PR capability with clients:

Digital PR Strategy

  • Clarify goals and metrics for digital PR
  • Align target audience, key words, channels and influencers
  • Set up, selecting and supporting listening services to gain insight into activity and sentiment across the web
  • Use PR and marketing to speaking directly to your customers and buyers with targeted messages
  • Architect and select digital technologies – blogs, RSS, rich media, web 2.0, listening tools enhance the viral impact of news and information distribution
  • Evaluate and recommending newswire services that deliver effectively digitally
  • Facilitate the operating model and governance across functions

Digital PR Delivery

  • Optimize press releases and distribution strategies for organic visibility, inbound links and visibility
  • Support campaigns for new influencer outreach in the blog, community, wikisphere and broader mediasphere
  • Produce creative content including innovative video – Documentary Branding, Explainer Videos, Impact Creative
  • Manage listening programs and campaign analytical services
  • Manage key word implementation, landing pages, and key word optimization
  • Use more native social media style and content to engage new audience and increase transparency
  • Improve tactics around press release key words and links to enhance SEO

 

 

 

Digital PR

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The traditional PR approach is focused on direct media relationships to drive exposure opportunities and influence brand/message awareness. Typically the approach targets known relationships within traditional media.  An effective traditional media program remains a critical engagement strategy  – particularly in highly regulated industries where compliance and regulatory constraints limit the full adoption of social media and internet outreach. However, the traditional approach is no longer fully adequate. 

With the advent of digital, we see a fundamental shift in media and news consumption. We are moving from information push to information pull. Information consumers use search engines and RSS readers to filter, manage and control the content they see.  To succeed, today’s PR leaders must engage both traditional media influencers and the new influencers across social networks. An effective PR strategy incorporates digital strategies and takes advantage of the viral nature of the web to expand visibility and message syndication. 

  • Clarify goals and metrics for digital PR
  • Align target audience, key words, channels and influencers
  • Set up, selecting and supporting listening services to gain insight into activity and sentiment across the web
  • Use PR and marketing to speaking directly to your customers and buyers with targeted messages
  • Architect and select digital technologies – blogs, RSS, rich media, web 2.0, listening tools enhance the viral impact of news and information distribution
  • Evaluate and recommending newswire services that deliver digitally
  • Facilitate the operating model and governance across functions 
  • Optimize press releases and distribution strategies for organic visibility, inbound links and visibility
  • Support campaigns for new influencer outreach in the blog, community, wikisphere and broader mediasphere
  • Produce creative content including Documentary Branding, Explainer Videos, Impact Creative
  • Manage listening programs and campaign analytical services,  key word implementation, landing pages, and optimization
  • Use native social media style and content to engage new audience and increase transparency
  • Improve tactics around press release key words and links to enhance SEO