In our previous blog, we talked about the need for wealth managers and advisers to invest in social media, in particular LinkedIn, as a way of engaging with high-net-worth (HNW) clients and prospects. Now that they’re engaged, let’s look at how you can use the channel to drive HNW investors down the all-important sales funnel.
The Dubs report on Content marketing for high-net-worth individuals shows 260 million LinkedIn users log in monthly including 4.2 million of Australian users, with 40% of those monthly active users visiting LinkedIn daily, all of it generating masses of useful data allowing for targeting across a wide range of demographics and behaviours.
As a social platform, LinkedIn is number one for generating leads which is not surprising, given the audience is already in a business-focused mindset. After all, the whole reason they’re on LinkedIn is to advance their careers and their networks, build and maintain their business reputations and sell (or be sold to).
So they’re receptive, but how do you push high-net-worth investors down the sales funnel? What are the types of information or interaction they’re looking for from wealth managers at each stage of the customer journey? And how does that vary between generations and personality types?
What LinkedIn says about the customer journey
In their 2016 US Wealth Management Research study, LinkedIn told us loud and clear that each generation of HNW individuals has unique needs, so each must be proactively targeted. Bearing in mind that millennials control an increasingly large portion of the world’s investable assets, marketers are advised to see the divergent preferences of millennials as a bellwether for behaviours and trends coming in other age groups.
Here are some content tips from LinkedIn to see you through the sales funnel’s five stages.
The point to note about this stage is it’s hard to shift people from their existing, trusted wealth managers. But according to the LinkedIn research, 38% of millennial HNW investors were planning to change wealth managers in the next 12 months, (compared to 28% of Gen X and just 8% of baby boomers).
Also, millennials were more likely to have two or three wealth managers and engage with them electronically. Millennials are interested in advisers who show a higher level of personal engagement and openness to trying new things according to the research, not just how you can improve investment performance. All of those factors should inform your LinkedIn awareness strategy.
2. Consideration and selection
When considering a new wealth manager, millennials rate their adoption and use of social media in investor relationships at 62% in terms of importance, compared to only 28% for Gen X and 20% for baby boomers.
“One-third of HNW millennials use the social media profiles of potential wealth advisers as part of their evaluation process, compared to only 10% of HNWIs of all other age groups,” the LinkedIn study says.
It also says that half of HNW millennials look at an adviser’s posts on social; and that social media and electronic information are important among those with total investable assets over $10 million. So checking out a potential advisor via social is not just for the Gen Ys, but also for those in the “ultra” or “uber” affluent categories identified in our previous blog.
A strong message here: embrace social media, refine your LinkedIn profile and make your posts work for you.
One-third of HNW millennials use the social media profiles of potential wealth advisers as part of their evaluation process.
3. Onboarding and action planning
The finding here is that many HNW investors are still looking for high-touch interactions with nearly two-thirds having investment planning discussions in person. Technology is less critical in this phase (becoming more important further down the funnel, i.e. the investing phase), though as HNW millennials become a bigger part of the prospective client base, more electronic touch-points will be crucial especially in the transaction phase.
4. Network development
During this phase, investors are comparing investment strategies with like-minded peers, often on social media which makes it easier to discuss ideas and strategies with a group. LinkedIn’s advice to wealth managers is to take on the role of expert and community builder, setting up and curating LinkedIn HNW groups and using social networks to amplify in-person events. In the longer term, it’s about fostering long-term trust and goodwill.
5. Keeping the relationship alive
With the initial investment decisions now made, HNW investors “look to their wealth advisers to keep them updated on what’s going on in the market and for recommendations on what they should do next”. Advisers should act like a “human filter” LinkedIn says, alerting clients when an economic event should matter to them.
For millennials, the content they most want to receive from wealth managers is investment recommendations (78%), market news (53%), industry updates (43 %) and thought leadership (32%). And if you’re doing that on social media, the updates need to be timely. Millennials continue to show their demand for newer methods of delivery, such as mobile apps and social media.
If you’re a late bloomer when it comes to technology, it’s time to take a crash course. And remember that if you’re doing content on social media, don’t just promote your product or service; the opportunity is to build relationships with your target audience through genuine advice and information that addresses real needs.
Drilling down to different high net worth personalities
Before we go, in another report by The Dubs we refer to 9 high-net-worth personalities drawn from an article published in LinkedIn Pulse by David Bleznak of Philadelphia-based firm Secure Planning Advisors LLC. These types range from the conservative Family Stewards to the power-seeking Moguls, excitable Gamblers and savvy Innovators.
This tells us that not only do you need to target your investors according to generation, when you drill down you also need to look at their beliefs and attitudes around money, and the reasons behind the decisions they make – and modify your content accordingly.
An Innovator might want to know what the latest trends are in investing; the Family Steward might need comfort-inducing, more generic family-oriented information. And the Gambler – he or she wants to know you’re there as a cheerleader on their dramatic investment journey.
To learn more about Content marketing for high net worth individuals and the significant role LinkedIn can play, check out our report.