Article featured on Investor's Business Daily on August 28, 2020 & written by Morey Stettner
Developing a digital marketing strategy? Look beyond your firm's website to deliver compelling content through multiple channels.
Cautious advisors may minimize their use of social media for fear of running afoul of compliance regulations. But as more consumers rely on online searches to shop for financial planners, it's almost impossible to build a thriving practice without establishing a strong digital presence.
"There's a need for advisors of any size to be in the digital space," said Maggie Hudspeth, director of marketing services at TruClarity Management Solutions in Tampa, Fla. "And the digital impression you make is important."
She urges advisors to ensure that their firm name, contact information and other facts are accurate in online listings such as Google My Business. Check your online profile periodically, especially if you've moved offices or made other changes. If your firm's website address has a typo in an online directory, the error can carry over into third-party apps that extract your information.
"Having inconsistent data online about you and your firm can lower your SEO (search engine optimization) ranking," Hudspeth said.
Track All Your Social Media: Personal And Business
Before participating in social media, know the rules. Do not post testimonials or endorsements. While it's fine to compose content that offers general educational value, beware of the risks.
Part of the allure of social media is the free exchange of opinions and recommendations. But advisors need to avoid mentioning any financial product or hyping any type of investment. Adopting a neutral tone — without citing specifics — works best.
Advisors at large firms can tap their in-house compliance officer for guidance. Smaller firms may contract with a compliance consultant that provides training and support.
"They can educate you as you plan online content," Hudspeth said. She adds that advisors who work with a broker/dealer need to follow its rules to determine which platforms they can use.