9 Advertising Must-Haves for Financial Professionals
On the heels of the Super Bowl, it is an annual tradition to discuss and analyze the ads that played during the big game. While there may not be multi-million dollar national TV ads in your future, as a financial professional there are advertising fundamentals that are important to communicate effectively and leave a lasting impact. Whether a workshop mailer, a print ad in a local or trade publication or an email to your database—use the following guidelines as an essential checklist before you approve your next proof for production to help maximize your advertising dollars:
- A Clear, Singular Objective: Do not try and communicate everything anyone could possibly want to know about your company, but rather decide on one message you’d like to establish clearly. Are you hoping to build brand recognition? Drive attendance to an event? Build your prospect database? This goal should be the unifying element for all other components of your ad. (For more tips on defining your objective, check out my past blog on this topic.)
- A Compelling Headline: You only have a split second to catch your audience’s attention, and the headline may be the only thing they read. Use this opportunity to identify your audiences biggest pain point, create urgency or highlight a truly unique benefit only you can provide. Consider some of the formulas in this infographic from Hubspot to help brainstorm new ideas.
- Relevant Imagery: Readers are overwhelmingly drawn to imagery more than text. Whether you are using stock photos, illustrations or charts, it is essential that the image instantly communicates the core message of the ad and is consistent with the story you are trying to tell.
- Less is More: The more concisely you can communicate your message effectively, the more memorable and actionable it will become. If your headline presents the problem, your copy should succinctly explain how you provide the solution. Consider bullets, short paragraphs and sub-headlines to make this content easy to scan.
- A Call to Action: What do you want the reader to do after reading your ad? Call us for a complimentary consultation is not a unique or urgent offering likely to stir up a whirlwind of activity. Be specific; provide content of value and a reason to take action. This may be a timely report, a trademarked planning process only you can provide, or a workshop detailing how the new tax reform will directly impact retirees this tax season.
- A Tracking Component: Advertising is often a significant expense within a financial practice, and without the ability to track results for an ad spend, it is impossible to evaluate the effectiveness. This ties back into the objectives set at the beginning of this process. If you offer a report, send your audience to a unique landing page to both make it easy for them to access the information, and for you to track the results. For event marketing, use a promotional code for each advertising outlet or tracking phone numbers to measure call-ins. While you may provide your phone number, company website and alternative methods to contact your company, there should only be one clear, trackable call to action that instantly catches the reader’s attention.
- Your Logo: Whether or not brand recognition and awareness is your singular objective, it is a residual effect of consistent ad While colors and design may vary between campaigns from your overall corporate brand, they should be intentional and consistent with each other to create a uniform look between mediums. They should all include your high-resolution logo following your brand standards (not stretched, distorted or discolored.)
- Disclosure(s): As you are well aware, in the financial industry you will be required to include various disclosures for your advertising efforts. These can range from a single sentence to multiple lines depending on the claims and content of the ad and will play a factor in the design and overall amount of content you can fit in your space.
- White Space: Even including all of the items above, it is important to maintain an ability to reduce and edit. Impactful graphic design requires white space, or room for your graphics and copy to breathe, be identifiable and guide your reader’s eye through the desired sequence. Do not try to fill every inch of your ad space with something because you feel like it can fit.
For more information about how to maximize your financial marketing efforts, call AdvisorPR at (866) 888-5333 or contact us today!
Courtney Browning, vice president of marketing for AdvisorPR, is an experienced financial marketing professional having established integrated marketing communication plans and provided consulting on coordinated marketing and branding initiatives for hundreds of financial advisors over the past decade, as well as firsthand experience as an insurance and securities licensed advisor. Established in 2005, AdvisorPR is a branding, marketing and public relations firm dedicated to providing custom and turnkey marketing communications solutions exclusively to financial professionals and the corporate companies that serve them.