We wrote about how Financial Advisors are missing the ESG Market and believe they are missing millennials for similar reasons. Financial advisors have an advantage because only half of the millennials say they would trust a robo-advisor and even less are interested in a DIY-approach. Yet, millennials are behind in retirement savings, for their age, but we’ll discuss that in another post. Perhaps the finance knowledge gap is so wide between advisors and millennial clients that hearing information from a person is still considered to be more reliable. Boomers will be viable clients for some time but Millenials are growing prospects who will inherit money from their parents in, perhaps, the largest intergenerational wealth transfer in U.S. history. So, it is vital to establish early relationships with millennials to assist them when that wealth transfer occurs.
Marketing to Millennials
The means of attracting millennial clients are not the same as other generations. Get rid of physical advertising like billboards, newspapers, and maybe even television. Those can still be useful for generation X and the baby boomers but miss the millennial mark entirely. Millennials prefer to be marketed and communicated through digital means rather than in-person or via paper. It is important to use millennial-friendly marketing techniques because the means to engage prospects are so different. Here are some ideas to get your marketing process moving in the right direction.
Optimize your company’s website for the 21st Century
Our attention spans are becoming shorter and more unwilling to deal with low-quality language and graphics. Most first-time visitors to a website will only visit it for 15 seconds and they expect the site to load in about 2 seconds. So, your website needs to be attractive, easy to understand, and engaging for the user.
Your website needs to support mobile and tablet users
Hopefully, this is obvious because we all spend more time on mobile devices than laptops or desktops. If I’m only spending a maximum of 2 seconds to take a glance at a business website, I will certainly leave rather than pinch my phone screen to read the tiny desktop-only text. In 2016, internet users spent more time on mobile browsers than desktop and the gap is only widening. Google and other search engines prioritize mobile-friendly websites, so you can reach users more quickly in these formats. Lastly, it is easy to make your business look modern because most website-builders (WordPress, Wix, etc.) will do this by default.
Tackle Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube
Websites, though, are not the place to keep the attention of millennial clients. They are more likely to visit your business’ social media page than a custom URL. Steer away from Facebook because it is hemorrhaging millennial users with everyone I know – except my grandparents.
Personalize your company’s brand
With a fondness for suits with ties, business acumen, and, well, graphs and numbers, the finance industry has a preconception of being, a bit, stiff. Millennials are already not fans of the financial system or capitalism, in general, so don’t let your social media presence reinforce this stereotype of Finance Professionals. Social media is an easy means to make your company feel real and authentic or disguise your firm’s lumbering Wall Street Aesthetic. Include pictures of your team in and out of the office. Let your stellar customer service show through a screen so people won’t hesitate to call or visit your business. Maybe make an Instagram for the office pet – let’s be honest, it will probably have more followers than your business.
Be charitable, socially, and environmentally conscious
40% of millennials will pay more for a product or service that aligns with their values. By engaging with your community, charitable initiatives, and cultural presence you will show that profit is not your only business motive. As I taught personal financial planning workshops for college students, I found that their interest peaked when they learned about the growth options in ESG and SRI investing. So, marketing your business as an ESG-minded financial advisory firm may attract alienated individuals who know they need to plan but don’t see the finance industry as representing their values.
Don’t try and do it all
If all you have is a desktop website, then don’t jump headfirst into the social media cesspool. Start small and post consistently to one platform instead of vaguely and unfocussed to all. With any endeavor, it is easier to build traction with a behavior if you see results, so make your early actions meaningful and significant. Experiment with content and methods, monitor success and find mentors with a millennial client base.
You can read more about market news and investment analysis alongside tutorials of our financial planning software platform at our blog. There you can also read about each product’s feature, especially Larkspur Executive’s new marketing feature, Customized Trackable Marketing Letters, which can be deployed to streamline your marketing efforts.