Do Celebrity Endorsements for Financial Advisors Really Work?

Have you ever wondered if hiring a well-known name would be beneficial to your marketing? Hiring a celebrity for an endorsement is certainly effective, but how effective depends on your product.

This post will outline why celebrity endorsements are not the best choice for financial advisors. We’ll look at how advertisements work, what they accomplish, and where celebrity endorsements fit into advertising. Then we’ll follow up with what financial advisors should focus on instead. Let’s jump in.

How Do Ads Work?

It’s a broad question, but for the sake of this post, we’ll keep things simple. Advertisements sit at the top of the marketing funnel, in the attract traffic row. Here’s an example of a marketing funnel to see where ads would fit:

LP Funnel

Ads are informative, listing benefits and features to persuade the viewer into exploring the product or service further. They’re also memorable, using branding, imagery and story to create a unique tone. Of course, how this all is presented depends entirely on the product or service, but the core intent is often the same — to build awareness.

Where Do Celebrity Endorsement Ads Fit In?

Celebrity endorsements lean more on the memorable factor of ads. Check out Jennifer Garner’s celebrity endorsement ad for Capital One as an example.

The ad builds brand awareness and garners attention (pun intended) but also helps differentiate the product.

Differentiation here is key, so let’s dive into it a little further. Imagine you’re watching two different advertisements for two similar products, let’s say for a watch. Both advertisements focus on the watch’s materials and features. The first ad tells you the watch is stylish, with dynamic camera angles and on-screen text. But the second ad shows you it’s stylish, with a well-known celebrity wearing the watch.

Which ad would you say is more effective? In most cases, it’s the celebrity ad. This is because it tells a story and relates the wearer to the celebrity, making it not just memorable, but different from similar products.

In a world of options, differentiation is key.

So, How Do Advisors Differentiate?

Consider the watch example, advisors aren’t just selling a product or service, you’re building a relationship.

Advisors are already aware of this, just look at advisor sites like Pacific Asset Management, or any of the other advisor sites in our showcases. The language on-page discusses the product, but there’s a constant focus on the client-advisor relationship.

Celebrity endorsements aren’t the best option because they can detract from the client-advisor dynamic. Watchers know the celebrity was paid for their endorsement and know it’s not necessarily genuine.On the other hand, real clients providing real results can be far more effective (and less expensive)

So instead, focus your efforts on marketing that highlights the advisor-client relationship.  What’s unique about your firm and your team? What are your values? How have you helped your customers? What are your interests? Turn your firm and client into the celebrity, then use proven methods to spotlight your relationship. Here are a few proven ways to do just that:

1. Leverage the New SEC Ad Rule

With access to testimonials and endorsements, advisors have a huge opportunity to showcase client relationships with reviews. After all, any ad, celebrity endorsement included, only makes you aware of a product. But what are you going to do before you purchase that product? Keep in mind, many of these strategies will depend on your compliance team’s approach to the new SEC Ad rule. Be sure to acquire approval from compliance before implementing any new marketing strategy. Here’s how you can start acquiring and leveraging reviews:

Claim and optimize your Google My Business listing

We recommend focusing on Google My Business over other platforms. First, because it’s one of the first things to appear when searching your firm in Google Search, second because a listing with positive reviews can help improve local SEO. Haven’t claimed your Google My Business yet? Our post on optimizing your Google My Business can help you get started.

Include a testimonial page on your website

This will act as a display board and catch-all for client testimonials, allowing site visitors to see what clients have to say about your services. With our new template, Website Engine users can quickly edit their site and showcase customer testimonials. Check out this sample below. Not a Website Engine user? It’s free to get started. Check out our page to see what Website Engine can do for your firm and get started today!

Iris Testimonial Sample

Ask for reviews

Create an email or social media campaign to reach out to your current clients and ask them to take a few minutes to write you a review. To make things smoother, include a link to your Google My Business or a page on your website that shows how to write a review.

For additional resources and strategies on the new SEC Ad rule, check out our SEC category and resource round-up where you’ll find new ways to get reviews and methods for using testimonials on your site, amongst other topics.

2. Be Active on Social Media

Social media is one of the best ways to engage current and potential clients. Doing so helps fortify the connection you’ve built, while simultaneously displaying it to others. You can do this by creating helpful, informative content, sharing your opinions on industry trends and engaging other posts.

Engagement is one of the most important habits to develop, so make sure you’re using social media to interact with others. Comment, share and like other advisors and users’ content. Craft a  schedule to keep active, for example, here is a sample schedule you can use to keep active on social media:

Marketing Sample Schedule

You can adjust this schedule to fit the needs of your firm, but what’s most important is consistency and engagement, so keep those top of mind!

Want to make posting to social easier? Lead Pilot gives advisors the resources to schedule and post to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn in a matter of minutes. And with built-in analytics, you can track your social performance from a single dashboard. You can give Lead Pilot a try for free for 7 days, so if you’d like to learn more then head on over to and start your free trial or schedule a one-on-one demo to learn more.

Check out our Lead Pilot blog for additional social media resources and best practices.

3. Create Engaging Content

Content helps with SEO, social media and email marketing. Though, the biggest difference between content that falls flat and content that’s successful is its focus. It needs to answer your visitor’s needs, and it needs to do it well.

Our blog can help in this regard. But here are a few ideas to get things started:

  1. Create an editorial calendar: Planning out your content can give you a macro view of what to expect, providing plenty of opportunities to conduct research. A schedule can also help you determine the best time to post, or if a certain content type is more popular.
  2. Use Google Search Console: Google Search Console is one of the best options for finding exact terms for your firm. Using the queries that generate traffic, you can see what searchers are looking for when coming to your site. Check out our post Google Search Console basics to learn more.
  3. Answer client questions: You most likely receive common questions from your clients. Use these to create an FAQ page, or larger content that answers their questions, depending on how broad or complex the answer is.
  4. Research your competitors: Research your competitors to understand where their focus is, but don’t copy their content. Instead, use it for context on the type of content people might find interesting.
  5. Comment on trending topics: Clients often look to their advisor for answers on trending financial topics. Position yourself as an expert by creating content that provides your opinion.

Wrapping Things Up

A celebrity endorsement ad is certainly effective, but how effective depends on your product. For financial advisors, it’s often better to focus on what makes your firm unique. Draw attention to the advisor-client relationship and show how you provide personalized services to your niche. Focusing on these features will save you a lot of money in the long run and provide potential clients with a clearer picture of what it looks like to work with you.

Related: Do Lead Generation Services for Financial Advisors Work?