Diversifying your Content Marketing Strategy

As I was sitting in a round table of marketers, fund families from large firms to small had alarmingly similar value propositions. The extrinsic value that marketers are deploying to support financial advisors is mounting as fresh-faced advisors emerge, new industry regulations shift the playing field, and investors’ exposure to investment and economic information is at an overbearing degree.

With the competitiveness of “recommended lists”, the performance of a product has been abridged to proof points of providers’ overall marketing strategy. Marketing and distribution teams climb the access barrier to advisors, whether it be through multi-channel communications or in-person, attempting to bring value beyond the breadth and depth of their product offering.

But even more startling is the paralleled approach of content fund partners are creating in the attempt to support their advisors’ business. As much as we preach a diversification of assets, we aren’t necessarily following it our content marketing portfolios.

Stocks
It appears that marketers have a large risk tolerance, investing heavily into liquid content. From weekly reviews to quarterly outlooks, these assets have a short shelf life but there is no shortage content. Advisors’ inboxes are full with opinions of conditionally analysis; providers’ strategy to fulfill a top need of timely and relevant content. But it presents risk due to the crowding of this space. Not only are you fighting for an advisors’ attention from other providers, but you are also competing against media companies whose sole focus is to provide this content 24-hours, 7 days a week.

Recommendation: While a more desirable asset, don’t overweight resources with this type of content, given the risk. Regularly evaluate your content; ensure it delivers a differentiating experience to your advisor. Rebalance your content or your investment if returns lack.

Bonds
An enduring approach to content, creating fixed content for advisor and/or client education. What I appreciate about this library of resources, it presents marketers the opportunity to build out automation programs to address reoccurring events or a collection series. But in my humble opinion, this space lacks scope. Single format pieces to text thrown on a page; the lack of resources allocated to these experiences makes me plain sad and in my humble opinion, white space within the industry. We are all guilty of it, allocating a small fraction of resources to long-term content that can be used continually by advisors.

Recommendation: Take a hard look at your white papers, your client education, or even your tax resources. If the experience lacks interest, it may be the reason for low yield. Don’t forget the importance of evergreen content to preserve a relationship with your advisors.

Alts
Since it’s illegal to give cash to an advisor, lets review alternative content. A tool, an app, a study, to name a few; any complex vehicle used to gain loyalty outside common tactics. What I find challenging about this investment, is the comparison conundrum. As marketers, we want what our competitors have, especially if it’s fancy. We have all been in a meeting when this is said, “ABC has an XYZ app, we should too.” These investments typically have a high minimum cost and build timetables. That said, they may be useful, especially for serving independent advisors.

Recommendation: With this type of content, it boils down to first having the resources and then justifying the investment. Chasing the shadow of a competitor, will always have you behind. Build where you have the highest potential of return. It’s at an empty cross-section of an advisor need and your value proposition.

The investment management industry has been deep rooted in “content marketing” before it had a posh name. Our PM’s and CIO’s have been delivering commentary for many moons. As advisors seek more adjuvant assets, we our leveraging our opinionated nature to enrich this relationship. But having the “smartest content in the room”, attempting to retain an advisors’ attention with short-term, annotative assets, is highly competitive. To sustain a long-term relationship, we must be balanced in our investment of content, not forgetting to polish the typical dull, evergreen content and novel when building alternative content.

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