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SmartAsset: Financial Advisor Marketing Strategies - 2022 Study

Like most client-facing businesses, financial advisory firms tend to have a strong focus on marketing. Those promotional strategies often serve to both engage current clients and expand their business to bring on new clients. And with the end of the year around the corner, many advisors are assessing their businesses and marketing strategies in 2022, as well as starting to plan for 2023.  

To better understand industry trends in financial advisor marketing, SmartAsset surveyed roughly 270 financial advisors on our platform. We asked them 11 questions about how they are currently marketing to clients and their expectations for 2023. For more information on our survey data, read our Data and Methodology section at the end of our study.

Key Findings

  • More than nine in 10 advisors say marketing efforts are a top priority. The value of a strong marketing strategy is recognized among financial advisors. Almost 68% of advisors say that marketing is very important for their firm and growing their client base. Roughly another 23% of advisors say that it is fairly important.
  • The use of lead generation platforms is increasingly popular as a marketing strategy among advisors in 2022. More than 63% of advisors report that they are using lead generation platforms more this year when compared with previous years.
  • Advisors look toward increasing social media outreach in 2023. Following lead generation platforms, social media outreach is the marketing strategy with the second-highest expected increase in importance in 2023. Today, only about 12% of advisors say that social media outreach is their firm’s primary marketing strategy, but close to 19% of advisors think it will be the most important in 2023.

Marking Strategies Among Financial Advisors

The two most popular forms of marketing among financial advisors are lead generation platforms (such as the SmartAdvisor platform) and in-person events. Almost 32% of advisors report that lead generation platforms are their primary form of marketing, followed by roughly 16% of advisors reporting in-person events are where they focus.

Many advisors (30.49%) also referenced marketing strategies outside of our list. Most notably, several advisors point toward referrals as a popular way to engage new clients. These referrals come from both clients and centers of influence, who are well-connected professionals such as accountants and real estate agents.

In 2022, some financial advisors saw a shift in their marketing practices. As previously noted, advisors have increasingly leaned on lead generation platforms along with social media outreach. In contrast, cold-calling and traditional advertisements are becoming much less popular. More than 52% of advisors say they are cold-calling less in 2022 relative to previous years and about 37% of advisors report they are promoting fewer traditional advertisements.

Social Media Strategies

Though only about 12% of advisors say that social media outreach is their primary marketing strategy in 2022, many advisors are using social media as part of their general firm marketing plans.

Of the various social media outlets, the most used platforms are LinkedIn and Facebook. Almost 46% of advisors report that they use LinkedIn either often or extremely often as a marketing tactic. For Facebook, that figure stands at about 37%.

Instagram and TikTok are the least used social media platforms among advisors. About 82% and 97% of financial advisors say that they never use Instagram and TikTok, respectively. YouTube and Twitter follow closely behind. More than seven in 10 financial advisors say that they never use YouTube and Twitter.

Social media usage rates vary widely across advisors, however. Some advisors are leaning much more into social media video formats.

"We publish weekly videos that go out to clients, our website, and social media," says Cody Moore of Wealth Enhancement & Preservation. "These videos discuss the hot topics in the media, what is happening at a deeper level in markets, what we are seeing as indicators for the future, how to manage risk in these unprecedented times, etc.”

Reaching New Clients in the Current Economic Climate

Since early 2022, the stock market and economy have increasingly taken a turn for the worse, with the S&P 500 entering a bear market in June. Keeping these changes in mind, we asked advisors: How has the recent economic climate and fears of a recession impacted your client outreach?

About 59% of advisors report that they have been pushed to do more client outreach, with some citing the current economic climate as an opportunity for bringing on new clients.

“[I] believe there is opportunity to [engage] clients who are unhappy with their current advisor or no longer want to do investment management on their own,” states Steven Wachs, CFP from Legacy Consulting Group.

Meanwhile, roughly 33% of advisors say that they have not changed their outreach strategy and another 6% say that the main change has been reaching out to current and prospective clients more frequently.

“More and more people are looking for professional help," says Moore, who echoes this sentiment. "I think it's a great time to be looking to make sure you make the right decisions in years like this especially if you are nearing or in retirement.”

Looking Forward to 2023

Next year, many advisors expect lead generation platforms and social media outreach to see the largest increases in importance across all marketing strategies. Almost 39% of advisors say that lead generation platforms will be the most important marketing strategy in 2023 relative to less than 32% of advisors reporting that for 2022.

Some advisors also cite putting increased importance on in-person events. The chart below compares the most important marketing strategies for financial advisors in 2022 and 2023.

Data and Methodology

Survey data for this report was collected by SmartAsset between October 1, 2022 and October 17, 2022. A total of 272 financial advisors responded to our survey. Though the full survey was 11 questions, not all questions were applicable to all advisors and some advisors chose to skip certain questions. We used the largest sample possible when discussing results for any given question.

Tips for Growing Your Client Base

  • Pre-screen for prospects that meet your client profile. Consider using a service that can connect you directly with prospective clients. If you’re looking to grow your practice, our lead generation platform, SmartAdvisor, connects advisors directly with local prospects. You pay only for investors that fit your client profile.
  • Expand your radius. Clients are increasingly willing to work with financial advisors remotely. Consider broadening your search and working with investors who are more comfortable with less frequent in-person meetings.

Questions about our study? Contact us at press@smartasset.com

Photo credit: ©iStock.com/insta_photos

Stephanie Horan, CEPF® Stephanie Horan is a data journalist at SmartAsset. A Certified Educator of Personal Finance (CEPF®), she sources and analyzes data to write studies relating to a variety of topics including mortgage, retirement and budgeting. Before coming to SmartAsset, she worked as an analyst at an asset management firm. Stephanie graduated from Williams College with a degree in Mathematics. Originally from Philadelphia, she has always been a Yankees fan and currently lives in New York.
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