5 Ways Financial Advisors Waste Money on Marketing
On average, small businesses like financial services firms allocate around 12% of their revenue for marketing. You may be spending more or less than this, but you’ll get the most bang for your buck if you aim for the 11-13% range. Regardless of how much you’re spending, you want to keep your marketing budget lean without any waste.
To maximize your marketing efforts, don’t fall into the trap of making these five common, money-wasting potholes:
1. Not Knowing Your Key Audience
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: you need a target clientele. There are too many advisors and too many online resources available for you to cast a wide net and expect to catch dozens of fish. Make the most of your marketing efforts by creating content and original materials for your ideal client. You may have a very particular niche, such as doctors, or you may have a broader target, such as high net worth families. Regardless of how specific or how general, knowing your target market helps you determine what types of content will make the biggest impact and garner the most attention. For example, if you’re targeting affluent professionals, you may not share content on how to adhere to a tight budget, but you may share tips on mitigating your tax liability.
2. Trying To Do Too Much
You’re an advisor, not a marketer. You can’t do everything a marketer would do (otherwise you’d never have time for your clients!). Sometimes, advisors try to do everything — social media, email marketing, print materials, seminars, webinars, events — and end up without any results because they couldn’t dedicate the time needed to each strategy. Instead, focus on a few strategies that will work for you and with which your target audience will identify. If you work with couples approaching retirement, you may see success with community seminars whereas with Millennials it may be social media. Once you’ve narrowed down what strategies to which you want to devote your energy, go a step further and use automation tools that can save you more time. This may be a social media scheduler or an online events manager on your website.
3. Going Too Big
In the same vein as doing too much, some advisors attempt to gamble it all on one big marketing campaign, whether it’s an expensive video commercial, online advertisements, or renting out a premium steakhouse for a “Dine and Define Your Retirement” event. The problem with this is that marketing is a game of trial and error. If you spend most (or all) of your budget on one big move and it doesn’t garner the results you were expecting, you’ll have to increase your marketing dollars or start a marketing fast — both of which you want to avoid. Until you’ve nailed down your target market and have consistently seen positive results with your marketing strategies, stick to smaller, consistent, and more affordable campaigns.
4. Giving Up When You Don’t See Immediate Results
Marketers can be so good at their job that they instill in advisors and business owners overblown expectations. Start posting on social media and within one month, you’ll have thousands of followers. Send out an email newsletter and your phone will be ringing off the hook. Marketing works, but rarely does it happen overnight. When it does, we hear about it a lot because it’s so rare. The worst thing you can do is start a campaign and abandon it when you don’t see immediate results. For example, if you start email marketing, you may not see much traction with your first newsletter, or even your third. It will take a few months for you to build up your list of valuable contacts and for recipients to take action. Give any marketing strategy at least six months to gain traction. Then, you can re-evaluate and either make adjustments or go an entirely different route.
5. Not Tracking Results
How are you tracking your website traffic, the success of your social media posts, or the results of your email campaigns? If you aren’t, you could be wasting time and money on strategies that aren’t working for you, or you could be missing an opportunity to dedicate more time to something that is working well. First, your website should be connected with Google Analytics so you can track where your visitors are coming from. Are they finding you through a Google search, social media, email, or another website? This will help you see what marketing outlets are working well. If you’re on social media, you can log into your individual accounts and review your analytics to see which posts received the most views, likes, and shares. With email, see which campaigns receive the most opens and click-throughs. Regularly review your analytics and make adjustments based on the trends you see.
By understanding your target market, monitoring your marketing strategies regularly, and striking a balance between too little and too much, you can start seeing more results and put your marketing dollars to better use.