Three Marketing Trends for Advisors to Know in 2018


The end of one year and the start of a new one is the time for holiday cards, everyone in the office trying to take the same five days of vacation, and a great time to buy a gym membership and avoid the scale for the next few weeks.

Amidst all that pumpkin pie eating and caroling by candlelight, though, the turnover of the calendar is also a prime opportunity for reflection and taking stock of goals and aspirations—past, present, and future.

When you pause to evaluate what you want your advisory firm to look like in the year ahead, you are performing a practice that will help create a healthy plan for growth. But as you look inward, it’s also important to turn your attention outward and understand what other forces are at work that can affect how successfully you reach your goals over the next twelve months.

In this article, I’m going to examine three marketing trends advisors will want to take advantage of in 2018.

1. Digital Advertising

Digital advertising and paid media spending is on the rise among the largest brands in the world. When your advisory firm is looking for a new marketing trend to follow, following the world’s most successful companies isn’t a bad strategy. If you’re not on board with digital advertising already, there are a few reasons you may want to look at adding it to your tool belt.

We could talk about a lot of platforms when it comes to digital media, but today I’ll stay focused on one in particular. I’ll give you a hint: it’s the leading social media website in number of users worldwide, and it should also be the leading site in your digital advertising strategy—Facebook. [Update: After I wrote this post, Facebook made some adjustments to how it will treat content from publishers and advertisers. Check out a good summary of the changes here.]

The real “Facebook generation” is not full of people like me—millennials and Gen Xers—who remember a time when you still had to have a .edu email address to sign up. Instead, it’s retirees or those nearing that critical moment in their life.

Out of the 214 million Facebook users in the United States, 30 percent of them are 45 and older. That’s sixty-six million people right in your prime target audience.

US Facebook users aged 45-54 are spending more time on Facebook, and represent twenty-one percent of the total time spent on the platform, which is more than any other age group.

The opportunity to reach these potential clients is huge.

When you look at Facebook as a possible advertising channel for your marketing budget, it allows you to target its users with precision. You can target your ads so they are seen based on location, demographic information (including income and net worth), interests and hobbies, purchase behavior, and device usage.

You can get even more precise and tailor your advertising to an audience similar to an existing client list you already have. Custom audiences allow you to market to those who visit your website, and Lookalike targeting allows you to use Facebook’s algorithms to target people similar to your existing clientele.

If your firm has embraced the advent of the robo-advisor and added a digital advice offering to your services—like Betterment for Advisors or Jemstep Advisor Pro—your potential audience can get even bigger. Fifty-two million Facebook users are in the 25-34 age range. This age range, with younger investors focused on growing their wealth, makes up the prime target audience for a robo-offering that involves less time and interaction and can bring new long-term relationships into the fold for many advisor firms.

If you’re an advisor looking to create a cohesive, growth-oriented social media plan, there’s no one better than Tina Powell at C-Suite Social Media. Give her a call to get your social media strategy on track.

2. Content Marketing

The approach favored by inbound content marketing is a natural fit for advisors. This discipline of marketing focuses on authenticity and providing education, not a sales pitch. Advisors are fiduciaries who put their clients’ best interests first, and an inbound content strategy takes the same approach with marketing.

The goal of content marketing is to always place the focus of content on the client and serve their needs. Content marketing is not pushy or salesy, and it’s becoming the norm.

This type of marketing strategy is prevalent because it works. Small businesses that regularly publish on their blog get 126 percent more lead growth than companies that don’t blog.

Additionally, content marketing costs 62 percent less than outbound marketing, while generating over three times as many leads. 

If you’re not already doing so, 2018 is the year your firm needs to use your marketing strategy to create educational content that puts the focus on your client, not yourself.

3. Video

I’ve seen enough articles to last me a lifetime about how younger generations love video—but did you know executives do too? Close to 60 percent of executives said they would choose to watch a video on a topic over reading text when given the choice between the two.

Video gives your firm the chance to lean into authentic marketing, even if you aren’t that great on camera. Videos allow prospects the chance to see the real you and connect with a real person. It’s easier to build trust and familiarity when you see a face, and that connection is the first major benefit video can bring to your firm even before a prospective client ever reaches out.

Combined with an inbound content marketing strategy, video can be the integral piece to building a marketing approach that resonates with prospective clients. And if you aren’t sure about how to distribute a video once you’ve made it, some fintech companies are making it easy for advisors to create investor-centric, custom videos, like the Engage app from Orion.

The use of video for marketing advisory firms is still in its infancy, and advisors who jump on board now can quickly become leaders in using it to grow their firms.

Marketing is the Sum of Its Parts

Advisory firms have an incredible opportunity to increase engagement with prospects and transform how the typical investor views them and how they operate.

These three trends can help bring your advisory firm into the modern age in marketing, open up new prospecting opportunities, and set you up for scalable growth in the year ahead.


Photo by Leon Biss on Unsplash