Whether you’re an established financial advice business or just beginning a new startup, every IFA needs a fundamental set of marketing materials to communicate with clients and prospects. This is commonly referred to collectively as “marketing collateral”, and below we’ll be outlining how this is defined as well as five of the key types that a financial adviser should consider including in their arsenal.
We hope you find this content useful and invite you to get in touch to discuss your own branding, website and marketing if you are interested in starting your own project.
What is marketing collateral for financial advisers?
It’s possible to have lots of different ideas in one’s mind when hearing the phrase “marketing collateral.” So it’s important to define its meaning and establish exactly what we’re talking about. In short, it is not another way of simply talking about impressive adverts (e.g. a billboard ad). Rather, it refers to the distinct pieces of communication used by your business to capture, retain and enhance the attention of your target audience.
Marketing collateral typically includes an educational purpose. In other words, it seeks not only to introduce your financial advice business to a prospect but also inform them about the solutions that are available to to his/her financial problems. This helps to position you as an authority and thought leader in their eyes, allowing you to build trust and credibility so that you encourage them towards conversion actions (e.g. filling out a contact form on your website).
Therefore, marketing collateral isn’t simply sales material (e.g. a product leaflet or a Google Ad). It’s a form of communication that helps a customer decide whether to buy from you. It also helps current clients to decide whether or not to stay loyal to you, or forsake your value proposition for that of a competitor.
So, what are some of the key pieces of marketing collateral needed by most (even all) financial planners and IFAs in 2020?
#1 A financial website
Some financial advisers are under the impression that they do not really need a website for their business. After all, most of their new clients come through referrals – not online enquiries. In our experience, however, this approach only gets you so far before your sales pipeline is put under strain.
For new IFAs with little/no client base, moreover, this approach will not suffice anymore. These days, most modern consumers want to educate themselves about a product, service or company online before reaching out to the latter. This requires a compelling financial website with a great brand, engaging content and a compelling user experience to generate awareness, interest and engagement.
#2 Company brochure
At some point, most financial advisers hope to get a potential client sitting down in front of them for a consultation. This is the opportunity for each party to determine mutual suitability, and for the adviser to pitch themselves to the prospect.
To give them that added confidence that you are credible, have the means to help them and that you “know your stuff”, it helps to have a beautiful and engaging brochure to give them. Not only does this act as a useful reference point in the meeting itself, but having something physical for the prospect to hold in their hands creates a stronger feeling that “this is real/trustworthy”.
The important thing here is to not skip any steps with quality of design. Be careful also to ensure that the language of the brochure is accessible to the prospect (i.e. limit the use of jargon!).
#3 Client newsletter
Email is still one of the best marketing tools available to financial advisers in 2020. People across age groups and other demographics rely on it for daily communication, and so presenting clients and prospects with a great newsletter is the perfect way to build trust and engage them. Take care to include great content on the newsletter and to design it well – it needs to exude quality.
#4 Social profiles
We would hesitate to claim that social media is a crucial marketing tool for every financial firm. Yet most consumers in 2020 expect businesses to have at least some kind of social media presence. This helps to show the prospect that there are multiple ways of communicating with the business, and reassures them that they are “keeping up with the modern world”.
A good starting point for financial advisers is to consider setting up a business page on Facebook and LinkedIn – ensuring the information and branding is included correctly. From there, consider posting once a week and monitoring the engagement in case anyone comments/messages you with an enquiry.
#5 Content resources
The above 4 types of marketing collateral are pretty foundational to the marketing of any financial advice firm. Yet it’s also important to consider the place of articles, blogs, downloadable guides, factsheets and other such marketing materials on your website and other digital channels.
These help to provide the thought leadership that your prospects are looking for. In the case of a guide which the user can download and read later, this is a great way to encourage social sharing and enable your brand to be “carried around” with the user on their smartphone device (e.g. as a PDF download on their iPhone).
Be aware that many of your competitors are likely using content resources like these to position themselves as industry authorities to your target audience. If you lack them, therefore, then it puts you at a disadvantage when seeking to capture these individuals’ attention and convince them that your business holds out more value than your rivals.