An SEC rule update may impact marketing and advertising for the financial services industry. As a wealth advisor, financial advisor, or retirement services provider, you may be able to advertise online. With careful compliance, advisors may be able to use testimonials, performance advertising, endorsements, and third-party ratings. Each must comply with anti-fraud specifications such as including information around compensation if an endorsement or testimonial is paid, and certain disclaimers may be required. 

This long-awaited update can help financial services stay up-to-date and relevant in our ever-changing digital world. And as more consumers spend more of their time online (and on social media channels), these updates could allow financial services providers to connect on consumers’ preferred channels. The change may also provide information that customers are already searching for via Google, Facebook, etc. 

The new SEC rule will go into effect 60 days after publication in the Federal Register. 

 

Why are testimonials so important to financial services consumers?

Testimonials are an important piece of the customer journey. Adding relevant, quality testimonials to top review sites is a critical practice to drive new leads and qualified prospects to your website or physical location. And for financial services, it’s even more important. As potential customers search for a financial institution, a broker, or an advisor to help them manage their most valuable assets, they need assurance that others are satisfied with your service. 

 

How can you collect more testimonials for your financial institution? 

There are several ways to collect reviews and testimonials, but one of the most effective strategies is to use a text request. Sending a text after an appointment or interaction (purchase, document signing, etc.) accomplishes two key tasks: 

  1. communicates with your consumer in their preferred platform (9 out of 10 customers prefer to interact with brands via text message), and 
  2. increases your chance of a response (text messages have a much higher open and response rate than any other form of communication, including email).  

 

Where should your testimonials live? 

While testimonials often have a place on your website, email campaigns, and advertising materials, don’t forget that most consumers (your potential customers) start their search for a new business online. Currently, online means a Google search. Claim your Google My Business (GMB) listing as a start and focus on organically increasing your quantity and quality of reviews to improve your star rating, ranking, and lead action on GMB. 

To learn more about testimonials and how you can make them work for your financial institution, check our eBook: Dominating the Local Search.

 

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended as a legal advice or a comprehensive summary of the law. You are encouraged to retain your own legal counsel or other professional advisors to review this article and assess your unique business scenario. In addition, a business can do many things, including use of the Podium system outside its intended use, which can give rise to liabilities beyond those addressed in this article.

 

 

Jeffrey Child
Jeffrey Child Director of Financial Services Named Accounts

Jeffrey Child is an insurance and tax professional at Podium, the leading messaging platform that connects financial service businesses with their members and prospects.

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