Top 5 Marketing Trends In 2023

This article was first featured in Financial Advisor Magazine on Sep 1st, 2023.

Trends in marketing are always evolving, and there’s been no exception to that in 2023. From the effects of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s marketing rule to advancements in AI, there are new ways for advisors to think about their marketing and find opportunities in it.

To help you stay up-to-date, I’ve put together a list of the top five advisor marketing trends I think are worth keeping your eye on.

1. The Growth Of AI In 2023 And Beyond

Artificial intelligence is, without a doubt, the hottest trend of 2023. Many companies are integrating AI into their processes, while tech firms quickly move it into their products. People are using ChatGPT to write emails and social posts (or even code). Advisors are also using AI to facilitate tax or estate recommendations. And as the tech continues to “learn” and hone its capabilities, most modern businesses will have to use it.

Advisors need to understand what AI can do if they want to keep a competitive edge. While the technology will never replace human emotional intelligence, AI can dramatically improve advisors’ productivity. AI is of use to me personally in the marketing realm—it helps me brainstorm email subject lines and blog titles, recommends topic ideas, summarizes research or articles of interest, critiques my work, or makes recommendations to improve it by suggesting or creating images.

My firm, FMG Suite, offers a “one-click” AI-powered social media tool that helps advisors create personalized captions when sharing content on social media. This feature uses FMG’s proprietary version of ChatGPT to create social posts, which follow the marketing best practices we have trained it to understand while complying with industry regulations, all in a second. We encourage advisors using the tool to edit the material it produces as they wish, or else keep trying with new iterations. ChatGPT is best used as a starting tool, not a finishing one.

ChatGPT can also help advisors eliminate many of the time-consuming pain points they may associate with their current marketing strategy—without sacrificing the personalization required to elevate their brand. When the bot is integrated into any of their existing technology, it’s even better. For this reason, AI takes my top spot on trends to keep an eye on.

2. Prioritizing Social Responsibility

Many companies are starting to be held accountable by their customers for the impact they have on the world. Environmental, social and governance investing (ESG) is not a new trend, but firms that adhere to its principles can differentiate themselves, especially in the ultra-high-net-worth and family office spaces.

That’s reason enough for advisors to consider their business policies, their involvement within their communities, the charities they’ve chosen to support and what organizations they partner with. By emphasizing these activities and passions in your marketing, you can differentiate yourself while demonstrating your core values and principles. All these things will appeal to prospective clients.

3. Short-Form Video Marketing

As I’ve written before, video is a popular marketing method, and over the last few years, more internet users have flocked toward shorter clips like the ones on TikTok. According to HubSpot, 73% of consumers prefer to watch short-form videos when learning about products or services.

Most of us want to get our facts as quickly as possible. If we have a choice between a video that’s 10 minutes long or two, we’ll likely try the latter first—and are much more likely to watch the whole thing.

TikTok has become a social media powerhouse by allowing users to share only these shorter clips. YouTube responded by rolling out a “Shorts” feature with video submissions of similar length.

Financial advisors can use this trend to boost their own marketing. We recommend that they create both long- and short-form video content to ensure they’re reaching a new audience without isolating the old one.

One easy way to do this is by creating a longer video and then carving out the most popular portions from it to create shorter videos that promote the original. Consider creating a series of “What Makes Us Different” videos. Here, you can communicate your core value propositions and areas of expertise, creating a video to align with each. I recommend filming your principals outside or in a place special to them to create a more relaxed feel to the video, which will make them more relatable and likable. Try to speak from the heart, as if a prospect just asked you a question, and you’re answering it rather than reciting a script word for word. When you are more authentically you, you’ll do better.

4. Mobile Messaging

Most advisors know that they’ll do better turning prospects into clients (and getting current clients better engaged) by improving the quality and quantity of their communications.

And though email is still most preferred by clients and prospects, texting (or SMS) has quickly become commonplace as a business communication channel. Advisors have to follow their firms’ policies and procedures when it comes to texting, of course, but when they find a compliant solution, they’ll want to use this channel to confirm meetings, to set reminders about upcoming webinars, to send clients personal messages on their birthdays, anniversaries and other holidays; and share links to new blogs or articles of interest.

Because of the advantages offered by this channel, I believe you’ll see more advisors using texting as a marketing tool.

5. Emphasizing Emotion In Your Marketing

It’s important when building your brand to demonstrate to potential clients your passions, personality and interests. Whether you’re doing so on a website, in social media posts, via email, or in client or prospect meetings, when you show your authentic self and focus on the emotional connection between money and people, you’re going to get the best results. As we’ve all heard, emotions are what steer our decisions. That’s a core element of behavioral finance.

Financial services is a serious industry, and at times it can seem like you need to impress more than connect. But the reality is that unless you connect first, you cannot truly impress. I like to suggest that you focus your marketing on the most common questions or challenges your clients and prospects raise. Keep your messaging honed on the emotional aspects of their goals (the “why” behind them) and show how your expertise and firm can help them attain both financial and emotional well-being.

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