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Samantha Russell: 7 Marketing Trends for Financial Advisors in 2021

This article, written by Vasyl Soloshchuk, first appeared in WealthTech Club on February 16th, 2021, and can be found here

The way advisors communicate with their clients changes constantly. Which areas financial professionals and influencers will be seizing in 2021? Samantha Russell, the chief marketing and business development officer at Twenty Over Ten and Chief Evangelist at FMG Suite, answers.

Samantha graduated during the 2008 financial crisis and landed a job in alumni relations and development at Penn State University, where she met her future husband. Ryan Russell, a co-founder of Twenty Over Ten, had just become a tenured associate professor teaching graphic design. Ryan and co-founder Nick DiMatteo launched Twenty Over Ten with a beta version in 2015. Samantha was their first hire. She oversaw sales and marketing and played an integral part in communicating the company’s vision into its rapidly evolving product site.

Samantha and Ryan Russell Family Twenty over Ten FoundingSamantha Russell, Ryan Russell, and their kids

 Today Samantha’s educational how-to blogs, social media posts, email newsletters and YouTube videos have been empowering advisors to take digital marketing by the horns. That’s why we’ve reached her to ask about what trends in wealth management marketing she observes this year.

Subscription-based services

A large portion of the American population cannot be served by the traditional AUM model most advisory firms offer. So in order to cater to a larger portion of American households, I think we’ll start to see a shift in how RIAs build the pricing and structure for their services in the new year. For advisors interested in making this model switch in 2021, Michael Kitces offers some great tips on how to best use subscription-based services in a way to increase profits for your business.


I’ve been bullish on video for a long time and that sentiment isn’t going anywhere in 2021. Video is a great way for advisory businesses to connect with all their audiences – both current clients and prospects – in a quick, informative and more personal way. Video is here to stay and has become increasingly popular, especially as we have spent most of 2020 social distancing and will continue to do so in 2021. 

Targeting millennials

Millennials want to connect digitally and they want to receive answers quickly. That’s the world we’re living in right now – digital. And according to the Pew Research Center, millennials also make up 35% of the labor force. That’s over one-third of the working population, and that number is only growing, so I think this is a newer, untapped generation that we’ll start to see advisory businesses begin to target more in the new year.

Retargeting ads

A retargeting ad strategy is unlike any other ad strategy RIAs probably took advantage of in 2020. And especially with the new SEC Ad Rule on the horizon, implementing retargeting ads in 2021 will enable advisors to get in front of an audience who has already seen their work and more aggressively track prospects.

Inclusive marketing 

The lack of diversity in our space has gone on for far too long. I’d encourage businesses to take a good hard look at their blog sections, email marketing efforts, the images their using, social posts, their websites, etc. and make sure they are inclusive of all genders and races.

Alternative investments

Just one month into the new year and we’ve seen this trend already surface with the GameStop frenzy and others. 2021 may be the year to embrace discussing alternative investments in your content marketing. Topics like Bitcoin, peer-to-peer lending, gold, etc. are topping the charts in searches and they are the hot topics your audiences will be interested to learn more about from you in 2021.

Hyper-personalization + automation

People are inundated with all kinds of emails day in and day out, so if advisory businesses aren’t sending content that is personal to them, it’s likely going straight to their trash bins. Personalization in email marketing starts with segmenting your lists based on niche, age, the type of content they want to receive…the more personalized the better! Luckily, there’s plenty of tools designed to help make personalization and automation easier and some specifically for advisors like Twenty Over Ten’s Lead Pilot tool.