Higher Profile: Argent Financial Group (Finance)
Increasing brand awareness for a leading independent financial services company through publicity, social media engagement and SEO strategies
Argent Financial Group is a multi-state wealth management firm that provides high net worth individuals, institutions and businesses with a broad range of services, ranging from trust administration and investment management to estate planning and retirement plan consulting, plus specialty services such as managing oil & gas and timberland holdings. Based in the small town of Ruston, Louisiana, the company has grown aggressively over the past decade through mergers and acquisitions and now manages more than $19 billion in client assets and operates from 31 cities in 12 states.
As it grew to become one of the largest independent financial services companies in the South, Argent’s leadership team realized they needed to enhance the company’s public profile since it had the resources to compete effectively with the nation’s largest wealth management companies. Argent reached out to the Bradford Group to build awareness, raise its online profile, establish its executives as subject matter experts and unify under the Argent brand the several companies it had purchased during its rapid growth.
The Bradford Group developed an integrated PR/marketing plan that incorporated media relations, thought leadership (through bylined articles and blogging), social media engagement, winning major industry awards, SEO and targeted digital advertising.
We launched the campaign by generating local, regional and national publicity whenever Argent opened a new office, hired a veteran executive or entered a new industry vertical. To elevate the profile of Argent leaders, we wrote and placed bylined columns in key trade publications so company executives could share their insights on important industry trends. We also wrote blogs on behalf of Argent executives that featured helpful “how to” tips designed to attract new corporate and retail customers. All blogs were also keyword-optimized so that they would contribute to our efforts to push Argent higher in organic searches for wealth management topics.
We implemented a social media strategy to increase traffic to the firm’s website and enhance Argent’s presence on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, and later Instagram. We promoted all media placements and blogs on social media and created new posts that were educational in nature (tips on financial planning; do’s and don’ts when managing your money) and celebrated charitable and community involvement.
The third component of the PR/marketing plan centered on identifying and nominating Argent for national and local awards we believed the company would win. The awards would later provide an invaluable source of news, blogs, newsletter content and lead generation sales emails.
Concurrently, the Bradford Group rolled out a digital advertising strategy focused on banner ads as a cost effective and targeted way to create top-of-mind awareness of the company’s brand and pay-per-click search terms to increase web traffic. We also layered in SEO best practices, including META tag and keyword optimization, keyword page assignment and internal/external links in all blog and social media posts.
Placements included major-market daily newspapers (The Dallas Morning News and The Oklahoman), prominent local business publications (Austin Business Journal and Birmingham Business Journal) and leading national trade media (Family Wealth Report and Wealth Management). We also regularly placed bylined columns in Kiplinger, the popular personal finance magazine, and Bond Buyer, the go-to website for municipal finance professionals.
Results after 1 year
- 141 media placements – reaching an audience of 115 million unique visitors and 1.4 million subscribers
- Company of the Year Award – 16th Annual American Business Awards
- 1,013% increase in Facebook engagements
- Best Trustee Service – 2019 Private Asset Management Awards
- Inc. 5000 List – Recognized for first time by the magazine as one of the country’s fastest-growing private companies
- 133% increase in unique visitors to website
- Special Wealth Management Finalist – Family Wealth Report Awards