From Labor Day to National 529 Day: How calendar events can help financial firms enhance their marketing strategy
Americans will find a reason to celebrate almost anything these days, and those in the wealth management and personal finance industry are no exception. In addition to commemorating the more traditional holidays such as Labor Day, it’s rare for a month to go by without catching a Twitter post highlighting “National Financial Literacy Month” or an article addressing how to best prepare for “National 529 Day.”
While some of these calendar events may seem silly, or downright strange (I’m looking at you, National Bean Counters’ Day), they offer timely opportunities for wealth managers and financial advisers to leverage important client issues in their marketing initiatives. Not every holiday will be appropriate for your firm, but it’s important to consider the following ways that these evergreen events can augment your marketing strategy and content calendar for the year.
Create original thought-leadership content
As a trusted adviser to clients, you regularly offer advice on how to manage finances, from choosing the best vehicle to save for retirement to the appropriate time to start saving for your child’s education. Calendar events provide a platform for sharing this expertise beyond the individual client to a broader audience of existing and potential new clients.
For holidays commemorating an issue relevant to your clients, draft a blog post or other piece of thought-leadership content offering general best practices or key insight for your target audience. In honor of National Retirement Security Week (Oct. 20-26), for instance, write a post or create a short video discussing the pros and cons of a Roth IRA for saving for retirement. Don’t be afraid to get creative for holidays with less obvious ties to client matters — the 4th of July is a fun way to provide insight on how to achieve financial independence.
Conduct timely media outreach
When pitching a story to their editor, one of the most important questions reporters need to address is: Why now? Holidays or national days of observance often provide the time peg reporters need to cover a specific topic. Whether it be in our work with wealth management firms or ETF issuers, we’ve found that calendar events provide our clients with a surefire way to cut through the media marketplace and share their message in a way that resonates with reporters.
For instance, “National 529 Day” on May 29 is annually spotlighted by the financial press, and offers firms the opportunity to share their outlook on college savings plans with top-tier and trade publications like InvestmentNews. Days of recognition like “International Women’s Day” (screenshot below) also provide firms with the hook needed to leverage key messages or weigh in on industry trends. Leading up to these key dates, keep in touch with the media to gauge their coverage plans and look for opportunities to offer perspective on the personal finance topics most important to your clients.
Engage on social media
LinkedIn, Twitter and other social media platforms like YouTube offer more informal channels for capitalizing on calendar events to help foster relationships with existing clients and the media, while getting in front of new audiences. Holidays and commemorative weeks or months represent a great opportunity to create engaging social media content that incorporates key messaging, trending hashtags and visuals to increase engagement on your social platforms.
For example, Gregory FCA produced the following “man-on-the-street” video for client Penn Mutual in honor of Life Insurance Awareness Month (September):
When drafting original social media posts, research which hashtags are being used for a given calendar event and like or share holiday content from your peers. Posts that include images produce 650% higher engagement than text-only posts, so incorporate a festive stock image or a team photo showcasing how you are celebrating a given holiday.
Strengthen client relationships
Cultivating relationships with clients and industry peers is one of the most important priorities for a successful advisory business. While clients come to you for your professional expertise, finding a way to connect with them on a more personal level can help strengthen the relationship. Look for ways to share your professional experiences or an aspect of your personal life through original thought leadership.
John Ham, an adviser at Gregory FCA client New England Investment & Retirement Group, offered a perfect example of this in a blog post for National Financial Literacy Month. As the father of two young children, John was able to offer professional advice on saving and spending habits, while sharing his personal experiences related to teaching his children the value of a dollar.
As you watch fireworks on the 4th of July or appreciate time off on Labor Day to honor American workers, I challenge you to start thinking of these celebrations and other calendar events as a piece of the larger marketing puzzle. Incorporate these events into your content calendar and ensure that you aren’t missing out on any opportunities to create thought-leadership and social content. Connect with clients and reporters, or simply find another reason to celebrate as a firm!