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Wealth Management for Millennials – Communication strategies to attract & retain digital natives

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Hot competition in wealth management for millennials and Gen-Z is putting the pressure on wealth firms and financial advisors. Younger generations may inherit more than $65 trillion over the next two decades,1 and up to 80% of them may switch from their parents’ advisor.2 Is your firm prepared to attract their attention, build their trust, and win their business?

Millennials are also building investable wealth of their own as they hit their stride in their careers. These potential high net worth individuals (PHNW) are “mostly overlooked” by wealth management firms. 67% of PHNW millennials have no financial advisor, representing an untapped market now considered the most “promising target group.”3

With all the marketing noise out there, attracting digital natives can be especially challenging. How, what, and where should wealth firms and financial advisors engage millennials to reap more marketing ROI?

Anchor your efforts in communication strategies that show this audience you know them. Here are three effective approaches to increase engagement with millennial wealth clients…

1 – Focus communications on millennial expectations

9 in 10 Millennials use social media for advice on financial markets.6

Affluent millennials use financial advisors more than any other generation (nearly 20% more than boomers and Gen-X), so the interest is there.4 But they are also notoriously fickle. You need to be where they are, with consistent, compelling communications.

For starters, that means social media. 54% of HNW millennial wealth clients expect financial advisors to be accessible on Linkedin and Twitter.5 Digital natives prefer immediate, convenient ways to interact – making social media an ideal place to nurture engagement with younger wealth clients.

“Next-Gens have grown up with social media – it’s part of their DNA,” notes Julia C. Carreon, a digital client experience leader in wealth management and subject matter expert on serving next generations. “They want to do business with advisors who are relevant on social media because it’s familiar and adds credibility.”

Think video and podcasts, which typically get the most attention. In social media, blogs, and websites, short media clips are an engaging way to share educational tips for young investors — and position advisors as trusted financial mentors.

“Video is compelling,” adds Beyond the Arc CEO Steven Ramirez. “When communicating with millennial prospects and clients, think about how to tell your story in a 20 second video clip instead of a 10-page white paper.”

And remember, getting a lead isn’t getting a client. You have to work at it, and millennials look for high-touch service more than other generations. To build stronger connections, reach out in their preferred digital channels like email and text messaging (vs. phone calls). Advisors should also invite potential (and current) millennial wealth clients for a quick video chat — and keep the conversation focused on them.

2 – Communicate on topics relevant to millennial needs

Will your online content attract millennials? It’s not enough to just show up on digital channels. Millennials expect personalized experiences, so your communications need to be highly relevant before they’ll take interest.

When you think about wealth management for millennials, focus on topics that are top of mind for these younger investors. For example, share thought leadership content that reflects their concern for social and environmental responsibility, such as insights on sustainable investing.

Your firm’s content strategy might also focus on how to build and preserve wealth for important life milestones. Successful millennials may be focusing on buying another home, launching a startup, or how to retire early. Life transitions are also typically the most likely time people switch financial advisors7, so it’s critical to communicate that you understand how to support them over time.

“These young professionals are seeking greater peace of mind,” says a New York-based advisor whose niche is high-earning millennials.

Clients with high investment knowledge are over 2x more likely to realize the high value wealth managers provide.9

Also consider that this generation likes control. As investors, high net worth millennials are “validators” who want advice but expect to play a significant role in decisions. But many have fairly low knowledge about investments. In fact, 84% of millennial investors seek a financial advisor for education.8 Providing informative content can help them feel empowered, while building trust in your expertise that earns their business.

Sustaining the relationship also relies on effective communications – particularly for ultra-high net worth clients who are increasingly risk averse. 38% see clear and helpful investment insights as “the most reassuring signal of advisor credibility.”10

3 – Create an action plan for ongoing digital engagement

Once your firm decides how and where to engage millennials, you face the biggest hurdle: how are you going to create all this content?  And do it on a regular basis with consistent high quality?

Your first priority may be lead generation, and that can take multiple types of content on multiple channels. It’s tough, but you’re not alone. 61% of companies consider lead-gen their biggest marketing challenge.11 Applying the earlier communication strategies can help you create wealth management content that resonates with millennials to more easily attract leads.

Even so, you’ll need an action plan for how to quickly and effectively create the digital communications you need. Your plan should consider the frequency of content like social media posts, thought leadership articles or e-books, and newsletters. Also map out a calendar of high-impact topics for the next few quarters.

Then take a realistic look at your options for getting the job done. If you’re a small firm or an independent financial advisor, you may have to find time for you or an in-house marketing resource to write and design the digital content. Even at large firms, this is where best intentions often stall out. Marketing teams are usually too busy creating collateral or sales tools for wealth planners and investment managers, so ongoing content marketing gets put on hold.

But wealth management for millennials is a market opportunity that can’t wait. An alternative strategy that works well for many firms (and banks) is to partner with a marketing agency that has deep industry expertise. The right partner can bring an outside perspective for creating millennial-focused content, and generate it quickly. They can also help your firm sustain engagement with ongoing digital communications for multiple channels at once.


Whether you need to attract millennial wealth clients or strengthen existing relationships, now is the time to get creative. Fresh communication strategies can enable your firm to meet evolving expectations and build loyalty with affluent young investors.

Putting ideas into action with Beyond the Arc

For 12+ years, Beyond the Arc has been writing and designing multi-channel communications for a Top 10 Wealth Management Firm. We’re idea people with a passion for telling compelling stories that showcase our clients’ expertise and brand value. We also know high quality, compliance, and fast turnaround are essential, and we help make it happen.

Interested to explore how we can help your wealth management firm?  Let’s connect for a quick chat.


Sources:

1,2          What the coming $68 trillion Great Wealth Transfer means for financial advisors, CNBC, Oct. 2019

3,4,5       Gen Y Investor Insights: Millennial Millionaires in the Making, Ameritrade, Jan 2015

7              Five ways to poach other advisors’ unsatisfied clients, The Globe and Mail, Aug 2019

6,8          The Massive Millennial Shake Up in Traditional Wealth Management, Financial Brand, March 2018

10           What Ultra High Net Worth Clients Want From Wealth Managers, FactSet, Nov 2019

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