Wealth management is about relationships. It’s about the trust and confidence clients look for in financial advisors – and that can be impacted by the firm’s communications.
Are your client communications an asset or a liability?
Consider how your team currently communicates with clients. Are investment managers making it easy to understand complex products and strategies? Do wealth planners engage frequently with valuable insights that support life transitions? Are written communications reassuring and relatable, with a consistent brand voice, look and feel?
If the answer is anything less than a resounding “Yes!”, take a closer look at the marketing messaging and collateral your firm is using. You may also need to update your website and mobile app content. Timing is critical; digital engagement increased 7-10 times for leading wealth management firms in 2020.
Effective communications can be a financial advisor’s most valuable offering. They make it easier to attract, retain, and grow relationships with high-net-worth individuals and families.
Simplifying the complex, using your expertise to help clients navigate life’s important moments, and providing reassurance — these are the communication factors that drive a wealth management brand.
If your wealth management communications and financial advisor marketing are not creating impact with clients, it’s time for a fresh approach. For over a decade, we’ve written a broad range of content for a Top 10 Wealth Management Firm, and we’ve seen what works. Here we’ll share some important principles to help focus your efforts.
How do you increase wealth client engagement?
The key to successful engagement is creating a holistic, client-focused communications strategy. All content should consistently communicate from the client perspective, and with the same engaging voice you would use in personal conversations.
This focus is essential for client emails and collateral, and increasingly important in financial advisor content for websites, mobile apps, blogs, and social media.
Overcoming challenges in wealth management communications
Financial advisors need simpler ways to explain sophisticated investment strategies to support client and prospect conversations. Wealth planners may have fact sheets heavy with industry jargon, but what they need are empathetic stories that reinforce how clients benefit with services like trusts and estate planning. And everyone in the firm may struggle with how to demonstrate thought leadership in digital marketing without sounding like a robot.
Advisors need a broad range of content, and many communications may have to be tailored for highly nuanced client situations.
How do you ensure the consistent client focus and brand voice that increases engagement?
Be purposeful about how your firm creates content. For starters, develop a client-focused content strategy that helps align the efforts of anyone in the firm who creates or uses communications for wealth clients.
“When wealth communications resonate with clients, they can make more confident, informed decisions, and typically place a higher value on their financial advisor.”
–Steven Ramirez, CEO Beyond the Arc
Typically, your content strategy will clarify the audiences you want to reach, key messages to emphasize, and the types of content and topics that may matter most to various segments. Client personas can be a big help, giving you better understanding of what and where to communicate in ways that resonate.
The content strategy helps get everyone on the same page, but you also need to ensure people know how to make the most of it.
Before anyone creates or revises content, provide guidelines on how to apply your firm’s brand voice. Include examples that demonstrate how to do it well. For instance, show snippets from multiple types of wealth communications that recommended client-focused language and tone.
With the right messaging tools, everyone can contribute to turning your wealth management communications into more valuable assets. It empowers your firm to:
- Improve the client experience with relatable language and visual appeal, so high net worth clients can easily understand their options and any actions they need to take.
- Reinforce brand value with a consistent client-friendly voice, look and feel and highly relevant content for communications across all channels.
- Increase adoption of wealth services with messaging focused on how clients benefit, and plain language explanations that make decision-making easier.
Improve marketing effectiveness with brand consistency
Creating consistent, client-focused messaging is key, but the visual experience has an impact as well. A common challenge we’ve seen in wealth management communications is a disparity across a broad array of marketing collateral and digital assets.
Inconsistency across wealth communications can make it harder to sign new clients, and put a brand at risk of appearing unfocused and potentially non-compliant.
When there isn’t a clearly defined approach for brand consistency, it creates a confusing and disjointed experience for prospects and existing clients.
As an example, banks and larger wealth firms often have dozens of brochures for various needs, all created at different times. Eventually, content overlaps and visual styles differ from one piece to the next.
Advisors tend to use what they have handy, which may not be the latest version, and soon everyone’s approach gets more random. Also many of these materials are not optimized to share on a tablet, so advisors may create their own versions on the fly.
Similarly, client sales presentations often become increasingly fragmented over time. Advisors may feel they have to create their own decks to be successful. But their language and visuals may veer off brand. If that’s happening in your firm, it’s time to assess their needs, and make sure you revamp your content accordingly.
To inspire client confidence and increase marketing ROI, consistency wins the day. Consider creative approaches that spark improvement such as:
- Increase effectiveness with purpose-based collateral. Start with a comprehensive collateral assessment to get a clear picture of everything you have, then look for strategic ways to bring more unity and value to the collection.
For example, for the wealth organization of a Top 5 bank, we designed a purpose-based hierarchy for their collateral library. Certain types of content would always have a certain format and be used at certain stages in the conversation. That way advisors would know exactly which collateral would be most relevant at a given time.
- Improve sales engagement with cohesive presentations. Develop a content strategy, brand design and client-focused messaging as a model for a core client presentation. Then apply that approach to any supplemental slides advisors may need for certain situations. Include tips on which slides to use at various stages of prospect engagement, and specify what they can (or cannot) customize to maintain consistency.
- Expand value by transitioning print materials to digital. Face-to-face meetings are now rare, so you need to be ready with compelling digital assets. It’s time to re-envision print collateral into online and mobile-friendly formats. Or repurpose that content to increase digital engagement on your website, secure client portal, mobile app, blog, or social media. And think beyond the written form – you could transform print materials into video clips or brief podcasts that add a personal touch.
Impact your bottom-line with optimal wealth management communications
How urgent is it to tackle improvements to your communications? Consider this:
Ultimately that’s what you’re after – attracting and retaining clients, and motivating referrals. That centers on your communications. A client-focused content strategy enables you to increase targeted relevance, and the right language and brand style help ensure your content drives engagement.
With higher value wealth communications, you can showcase your firm’s expertise and differentiation to build the trust that wins business and earns loyalty.
Hi Gavin James! I love this article and appreciate the valuable insights you have shared.
You are correct that building trust with clients is essential for driving business and loyalty, and content strategy plays a huge role.
Your point about optimizing communications to increase relevance and using the correct language and brand style to ensure engagement is brilliant – it resonates with me.
Creating customer-focused solutions to empower firms to do more than draw prospective customers is also excellent advice.
It also shows how important it is for companies to build a customer-centric culture to deliver on their promises and drive loyalty.
I agree that higher-value wealth communications can be used by firms to truly showcase their expertise, differentiate themselves from their competitors, and make it easier to win new business.
I love how you emphasize the importance of writing clear, compelling communications and visual design for ease of use and emotional appeal.
It’s great that you have 25+ years of customer experience and strategy expertise and know what it takes to provide engaging content that speaks to your audience.
Thank you for writing this, Gavin! It was informative and enjoyable to read -:)