FAQsalignmarketing2024-02-14T11:54:05-06:00

FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

We have a highly talented team of marketing specialists who serve as our clients’ outsourced marketing department. Our AMG team, led by a chief marketing officer/marketing strategist, develops and implements strategic marketing plans. Our experts excel in various marketing disciplines, including strategy, website development, design, content creation, social media management, and SEO.

By partnering with us, clients gain access to this high-level expertise at a fraction of the cost of hiring a full-time, in-house marketing professional. Our team delivers exceptional results while saving you time, effort, and resources. Trust us to handle your marketing needs efficiently and effectively.

The most common way we charge our clients is by a monthly retainer. The amount for each client’s monthly retainer varies based on the size of their firm, their firm’s specific growth goals and their budget. In general, our out-sourced marketing retainers can vary from $2,500 per month to $10,000 per month depending on their needs, goals, bandwidth and budget. We also do project work for our clients (i.e. website development, brand development and pitch book creation projects.) For project-based work, we provide our clients with an estimate prior to engagement.

Our founder, Kristy Gusick, began her career in the financial services industry in 1994. Initially, she worked for an independent broker/dealer, where she assisted in recruiting and launching new advisors, conducted compliance reviews, managed client accounts, and supported senior sales leaders. Later, she successfully established and sold her own financial advisory firm in 2005. It was during this time that Kristy discovered her passion for business growth and assisting others in achieving the same.

In 2007, Kristy transitioned to helping financial services firms with their marketing and business development. Along the way, her team expanded their expertise to include working with accounting firms. Since financial advisors and accountants often collaborate to provide comprehensive services to mutual clients, it was a natural progression for our team. With a wealth of experience and in-depth knowledge, our team is well-versed in the specific intricacies of both financial advisory firms and accounting firms.

Service-Related Questions

Yes. We are always building new websites or refreshing existing websites for our clients. Whether our clients are on a marketing retainer or simply hiring us for a single, one-off website project, we excel at creating “cutting edge conservative” (some are more conservative and some lean more cutting edge) websites which showcase our client’s value and expertise. We have a team of marketing strategists, project managers, website developers, ghostwriters, graphic designers and SEO specialists who we leverage all the time on behalf of our clients’ needs. In today’s digital marketplace, it’s essential to be findable online as well as provide your website visitors with a fabulous first impression on your site – that’s what we love doing for our clients!

Yes, we have several highly experienced copywriters who excel at translating our clients’ highly technical thought leadership expertise into down to earth, easy to read, digestible content. They write web copy, ghostwrite blog posts, craft bios, develop sales materials, write scripts for videos as well as various other copywriting projects as needed. They are also extremely talented at taking feedback from our clients and crafting it into language that reflects our client’s own “voice.” And they are used to working with very busy professionals, so our writers know how to be efficient with their time when interviewing clients during the ghostwriting process.

Yes, this typically happens during the audit and planning process. We will do a deep dive to assess what your past, current and potential future target market looks like. With that said, sometimes new potential target markets arise as we are working together. Target markets should become more refined as time goes on if your marketing is doing its job. We base our recommendations on the information you provide us around your current client base, your past client experience and your aspirational future clients. We also conduct our own research into your competitive landscape and your potential opportunities within a proposed niche.

Yes, if lead generation is determined to be a business goal of your firm. Marketing as a rule needs to support the firm’s overall strategic business goals, so if aggressive growth is one of your 1, 3, 5-year goals, then we will absolutely be working with you to build-out strategic lead generation marketing campaigns to support growth.

Yes we do – and we highly recommend it for all of our clients. We generally do not recommend paid per click ads for our clients, but rather we implement strategic organic, content-based SEO on behalf of our clients. Organic SEO requires more strategy up front to clearly understand your target A-level prospects, so our SEO and content development team can know what type of keywords / phrases your target prospects use in their searches. While organic SEO produces higher level, targeted and qualified website leads, organic SEO also requires more patience. A high-level SEO engagement generally takes anywhere from 8-16 months to produce high quality leads however, once the “faucet” is turned on, our clients generally experience a high number of incoming, quality prospects through their websites (feel free to ask us about our SEO success stories!).

SEO is not a “one and done” effort. It’s an ongoing strategy that is continuously evolving and growing. Paid SEO will typically have a more immediate result. Organic SEO is achieved over time. SEO success is based around specific keyword performance and the traffic they generate to a website. We set goals in ranking for a business’s 4-5 most important terms. Once we have reached these goals and the website is ranking well, we move onto another set of terms. It can take up to 6 -12 months to rank well depending on competition, local saturation of the market, and the value of the keyword itself.

Yes, and we really enjoy it! For our clients who desire to develop their confidence and knowledge with marketing and business development skills, we have a full line-up of marketing training programs. We also do individual coaching for professionals who are looking to accelerate their personal business development efforts. In addition, we work with clients to create individual marketing plans for their professionals who want to develop, implement, and have accountability around their marketing efforts.

A brilliant firm message is the basic core differentiator of your brand. It helps to build awareness and convey meaning. Every interaction you and/or your team has with a client, prospect or referral source is an important opportunity to solidify your firm’s brand. Because of this, it’s especially crucial to ensure your brand is strong, consistant and differentiated. Let our team help you define and communicate your firm’s brand message.

Yes, AMG has created pitchbooks for many of our financial services clients. Our design and content team will create these materials to be as unique as your firm. We will work with you to design everything you need – from a customized pitchbook to a branded marketing PDF referral piece. Once you have approved the content and designs, we will send you digital and print ready files.

A solid brand image can build your firm’s reputation, make you stand out from the competition and project your values to attract your ideal client. To help you create or refresh your firm’s brand image, we look at your firm’s current graphic personality and work with you to create a new, fresh brand identity that provides a visual reflection of the value your firm provides its clients. This branding initiative will set up your firm for years to come!

Yes, AMG has named countless firms and has a tried-and-true process that works. A brilliant firm name requires thought, time and research. We can help you and your team find a name that represents you and your firm.

Align Relationship Questions

The time our clients spend with us varies. We have several clients that have been with us for many years. These clients have found that using us as their outsourced marketing department really works for them. However, we also have clients who greatly appreciate having us create the strategic marketing plan and then assist in getting that plan off the ground at their firm. With these clients, we often work in partnership to either hire an internal marketing person to take over their marketing efforts – or have us train an existing staff member to take over. Lastly, we have some clients who look to us for project help creating a new brand, building a new website or designing sales materials for them.

Determining the return on investment of marketing initiatives is a constant challenge. Not every marketing initiative will directly result in a new client. However, each initiative should have a measurable result such as media impressions, click rates, increased referrals, or social media metrics. We have several ways of reviewing and measuring success, although we’ve found it may take a while to see real, measurable results from a solid marketing plan that is consistently providing long-term, sustainable results (i.e. 12-18 months).  However, we take baseline measurements right out of the gate to help us all track results. Here are some examples of the most commonly-tracked items that we review with our clients on a quarterly basis:

  • SEO reports and analytics
  • Social media analytics
  • Blogs created
  • Web content written
  • Marketing training and/or individual BD coaching meetings conducted
  • Digital communications produced and sent (opened, bounced, clicked and opted out)
  • Leads/prospects generated (and tracking where they came from)
  • New clients obtained
  • Website updates completed
  • Networking/COI meetings attended
  • Marketing pieces developed
  • Client, prospect and COI feedback (verbal, written, digital)
  • Compliance communication efficiency

Absolutely!  Part of our unique value is the creation of a strategic marketing plan for our clients AND overseeing the implementation of their plan as well. We have a very talented group of marketing strategists who lead the development of our clients’ marketing plan – and they also serve as the marketing leader to ensure our team of marketing professionals implements each part of the plan as it progresses. On-going implementation is definitely our sweet spot and something our team really excels in doing.

We are always in regular contact with our clients. Every month we facilitate a marketing meeting with our clients. During these meetings, we have an agenda created to guide updates on their on-going marketing initiatives. We also ask for our client’s input, feedback and comments on the work we are doing because we believe working in partnership and receiving client feedback is essential to our success. We provide ongoing telephone and email support for our clients throughout the month.

Absolutely! We truly enjoy partnering with our clients’ internal administrative and marketing staff members. In fact, we have formed some extremely rewarding relationships with some of our clients’ internal team members – even helping those individuals develop greater skills and confidence to take on even more marketing responsibilities over time. We find a lot of satisfaction in empowering others, so this type of partnership is a mutual fit for us and for our clients.

Yes, we have worked with several different types of compliance departments from LPL’s compliance to specific compliance specialists within one of our RIA firm clients. Sometime our clients ask us to communicate directly with their compliance department and other times, they just want us to provide the content or marketing piece to them so they can submit it for compliance review. Each client is a little different; therefore, our team has learned to be flexible and meet each client’s individual compliance needs.

Firm-Specific Service-Related Questions

Accounting firms should consider investing in paid advertising as it can help them reach a wider audience, target specific demographics, and generate leads. Paid advertising through platforms like Google Ads or social media ads allows firms to increase their visibility, drive website traffic, and effectively promote their services to potential clients.

Accounting firms can measure the effectiveness of their marketing efforts through various metrics such as website analytics (e.g., traffic, bounce rate), conversion rates (e.g., leads generated, client acquisitions), engagement metrics on social media (e.g., likes, comments, shares), and return on investment (ROI) analysis. By tracking these metrics, firms can assess the performance of their marketing campaigns, identify areas for improvement, and make data-driven decisions to optimize their marketing strategies.

Accounting firms can measure the effectiveness of their marketing efforts through various metrics such as website analytics (e.g., traffic, bounce rate), conversion rates (e.g., leads generated, client acquisitions), engagement metrics on social media (e.g., likes, comments, shares), and return on investment (ROI) analysis. By tracking these metrics, firms can assess the performance of their marketing campaigns, identify areas for improvement, and make data-driven decisions to optimize their marketing strategies.

Content marketing plays a crucial role in accounting firm marketing strategies by providing valuable and relevant information to potential clients. By creating educational blog posts, whitepapers, videos, and webinars, accounting firms can establish themselves as thought leaders, build trust, and attract qualified leads who are seeking expert advice and solutions for their financial needs.

Financial advisory firms can leverage search engine optimization (SEO) by optimizing their website with relevant keywords, creating high-quality and informative content, and improving the website’s user experience. By ranking higher in search engine results, firms can increase organic traffic, attract qualified leads, and establish their online presence as a trusted source of financial advice.

Some digital marketing strategies for financial advisory firms include leveraging content marketing to provide educational resources and insights, utilizing social media platforms for engagement and brand building, and implementing search engine optimization techniques to improve online visibility and attract relevant traffic to their website.

AI SMART AGENCY™ FAQs

An AI Smart agency, like Align Marketing Group (AMG), is a digital marketing agency that leverages advanced artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to enhance marketing strategies and campaigns. It’s a fusion of marketing expertise with AI capabilities, enabling data-driven decision-making, automation, and personalization to deliver more effective and efficient marketing solutions.
AI plays a pivotal role in digital marketing by providing creative ideas, identifying patterns, and optimizing marketing strategies in real-time. It enables tasks such as audience segmentation, content personalization, chatbots for customer service, predictive analytics, content ideas and more.
We deliver personalized campaigns, maintain authenticity, and adapt strategies to your unique needs. Our AI-powered approach ensures you stay competitive in a rapidly changing digital landscape. We don’t think using AI for everything always is a good idea; we think AI should support digital marketing, but never replace your authentic brand and voice.
Creating personalized, custom content for our clients is and always will be our highest priority. We believe that AI technologies can assist us in creating content for our clients – but it will never replace our client’s voice. At Align, our AI Smart Agency policy is to use only use AI for ideas and additional insights when creating content for our clients, not as a replace for personalized, custom created content.
At Align Marketing Group, we prioritize tailoring AI strategies to the unique needs of each client. We understand that no two businesses are exactly the same. Our approach is highly customized, taking into account your specific goals, target audience, and industry nuances to ensure that our AI strategies align with your individual requirements.
Working with an AI Smart Agency can provide several strategic advantages to help a financial services firm stay ahead of the competition in digital marketing when it comes to data driven insights, efficiency and automation, personalization and content creation.
Collaborating with an AI Smart Agency equips accounting firms with the tools to analyze data, personalize marketing, and make informed decisions. This not only enhances their competitiveness in the digital marketing landscape but also positions them as innovative, efficient, and client-centric industry leaders.

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