As vaccination supply begins to outpace demand and much of the country removes restrictions on gatherings and travel, financial advisors may be tempted to toss aside the virtual and digital marketing activities that became their only options during the pandemic.

While everyone will welcome a return to normalcy, advisors need to realize that the digital marketing and communications approaches they embraced during the ‘virtual’ days are here to stay—and while some will continue to be ‘go-to’ strategies, others will see their roles adjusted for the post-pandemic world.

Winning Pandemic Tactics That Are Now Must Haves
Certain digital marketing tools have proven essential to success during the pandemic—and in the process have emerged as “must have” elements of growth-oriented advisors’ marketing toolkits going forward:

Modern Websites Updated Frequently with Interesting Content:  The temporary shift to an all-virtual work environment raised the stakes for advisor websites, pushing many advisors who had previously taken a minimalist approach to their online presence to significantly upgrade their sites. These smart investments will continue to drive positive long-term and near-term results—after all, when a client refers a friend to their advisor, the first thing the prospective client does is Google that person. If the advisor doesn’t have a digital presence anchored by an aesthetically pleasing design and a content-rich and modern website, the prospective client will likely look elsewhere.

Regular Cadence of Digital Touchpoints: One of the key drivers of successful marketing is a robust communication and customer engagement strategy that establishes a regular cadence of digital touchpoints. Whether leveraging one-to-many tactics such as email newsletters and social media or one-to-one personalized communications, a steady drumbeat of communication makes clients feel valued and secure while also creating deeper connections and establishing credibility in the minds of prospects.

And as we saw last year, it’s particularly important that advisors can quickly scale up the frequency of communication to give clients a sense of assurance during periods of crisis.

Strategic Approach To Social Media: In a recent advisor survey, nearly all respondents said that the pandemic-driven migration to digital communications prompted them to reconsider their social media strategy.

A well thought out Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn strategy helps current and prospective clients feel more connected to an advisor, builds brand awareness, promotes thought leadership platforms, supports niche strategies, and most importantly perhaps, enables clients and prospects to get to know the advisor and their firm in a more personal way—which ultimately is why clients choose an advisor and why they stay.

Although these may seem like daunting and time consuming tasks, there are technology solutions that can streamline these efforts, and some well-capitalized wealth management firms offer both marketing experts, automation, and approved content that makes it even easier to execute effective and high ROI marketing activities.

Valuable Tactics To Be Used Opportunistically
Some go-to tools that have become central to advisors’ marketing efforts during the pandemic will continue to provide value in the vaccinated future, but with slightly different roles:

Video Conferences: Even as we begin to return to the office, increased reliance on video meeting platforms is here to stay. With good reason—these technologies have enabled many advisors to expand beyond their local areas to serve clients across the country.

Many clients, meanwhile, have gotten accustomed to meeting online, and enjoy the convenience of connecting with advisors without leaving home. Emerging from the pandemic, advisors should re-evaluate which meeting formats—remote or in-person—work best for a given objective or specific client and adjust their practices accordingly.

Virtual Events: As states continue to re-open, advisors will be able to resume organizing in-person events. Clearly, though, there will still be room for virtual gatherings for non-local clients or for those who prefer the virtual format. It is undeniable that you can reach far more people, far more cost-effectively virtually than in-person—and people are open to creative options.

Building Relationships, Not Databases
Over time, in-person meetings and events will once again serve as a major element of marketing, brand-building, and business development for advisors. Ultimately, it is a relationship business and there is no substitute for meeting with clients and prospects face-to-face. But the opportunity to pair digital marketing activities with traditional tactics will lead to even greater growth.

The world has changed, and so has the way we communicate. What has not shifted over the past year is that creating lasting client relationships takes a significant amount of work, an authentic personal touch, and a strategic approach to blending digital and traditional marketing.

Based on our shared experiences during the pandemic, advisors now have a better understanding of the range of marketing tactics, particularly using digital channels, they can leverage to drive significant business growth.

Rita Robbins is Founder and President of Affiliated Advisors ( Susan Theder is Chief Marketing Officer of Advisor Group (, the nation’s largest network of independent wealth management firms.