I subscribe to Verizon FIOS TV and Internet service and have visited the Verizon FIOS website a couple times a month for the past six months. The screenshot below of Verizon FIOS’s consumer website illustrates how a giant company with the enormous resources markets to consumers, and it serves as a lesson about financial advisor Internet marketing.
The Verizon home page shows that just because an Internet marketing technique is successful with the masses does not mean it will be effective for financial advisors. You see, the rich really are different.
This Website Is For Financial Professionals Only
Many marketing techniques used by consumer websites can be employed successfully by financial advisors. Some Internet marketing techniques translate well from mass-marketing to marketing professional services to ultra-high-net-worth individuals (Ultra-HNWIs, a.k.a., UHNWIs).
For example, a financial advisor’s web presence—an RIA's social network as well as its website—should utilize content marketing and a lead-general funnel. Content marketing and lead funnels are concepts that translate well to advisor marketing.
However, banner ads on your home page hyping contests to win a free iPad daily do not translate very well. If you're providing financial advice to "the 1%," it would be unseemly, if not downright offensive, to try to engage them by offering a chance to win an iPad. Would you get involved with a medical doctor who marketed his services to you by offering you a chance to win a free iPad? Probably not.
Lead-generation, a practice as old as the field of marketing, has been reinvented on the Internet, and it can work well for advisors. The funnel filters a broad mass of hundreds or thousands of prospects connected to you on social networks or in email newsletters.
RIA lead generation using techniques Hubspot recommends are examples of how financial advisors can utilize Internet mass marketing techniques effectively. The trouble with Hubspot for financial advisors and other content management systems for Internet mass marketing is that, ultimately, content drives engagement.
Hubspot and other systems for mass-marketing can deliver technology but not content. Sames is true of compliance applications used by BDs. While Hubspot and compliance apps make internet marketing techniques for advisors possible,they do not produce the content ultra-high net-worth individuals (UHNWIs) might read. Ultimately, financial advisor content is about ideas that matter to the wealthiest 1%, which by definition is not a group that is widely understood.
Incidentally, the often-derided 1% are coming through. The rich are being required to pay higher taxes in 2013. The 3.8% surtax, phase-out of itemized deductions on high-income earners, and higher capital gain and dividend rates impose higher tax burdens on UHNWIs. While the additional taxes don’t have a meaningful impact on the long-term financial problem afflicting the U.S.—paying down the structural federal deficit by cutting down unsustainable entitlements to Social Security and Medicare—they’re a start at addressing the nation’s most serious financial woes. The next Congress will tackle those longer-term issues.