Content marketing is the act of creating and distributing digital media with the intention of attracting and retaining the attention of a defined target audience. This digital media can be produced in various forms, including articles, emails, social media posts, videos, podcasts, and more.
How Content Marketing Differs Than Traditional Marketing
Content marketing differs from traditional marketing in that it is used to pull people in and retain their attention over time, whereas traditional marketing, such as running ads, is pushed upon people and has a more short-term approach.
It also differs in that the intended audience has more control over which messages they receive. Traditional marketing is forced upon the viewer, such as when a company runs ads during a commercial break on TV. With content marketing, users opt in (or out) and choose whether or not to click on an article, open an email, read a social media post, watch a video, or listen to a podcast.
It is this control by the user that makes content marketing more challenging for businesses. You may be able to guide a person to see your content—at the top of a search result or in a targeted social media feed, for example—but you cannot force them to opt into your newsletter or click and consume on your blog post unless it is relevant.
On the flip side of this challenge, however, lies a goldmine. If a person willingly chooses to read, view, or listen to your content, then you have already taken a huge step toward turning them into a lead because you have demonstrated your firm’s value and made a connection with them.
Challenges of Content Marketing for Asset Managers
For any business, content marketing means figuring out what prospective clients want in regard to content and making sure they find it. Asset managers, however, have the added challenge of compliance, which narrows the parameters of what can and cannot be stated in published content.
In addition to compliance, asset managers can fail at content marketing for other reasons, such as publishing content that doesn’t resonate with the intended audience, failing to distribute the content through the right channels, and not measuring the results of the content.
Even if your content resonates with its intended audience, without proper distribution, no one will see it. Unfortunately, most smaller and mid-sized asset managers lack the resources to study the mechanics and intricacies of various distribution channels, as well as how to measure their efforts through these channels.
Digital Marketing Solutions for Asset Managers
An individual choosing to participate in your digital marketing efforts is enormously valuable to you and your firm. It’s a signal that they like and trust you—two major hurdles in turning anyone into a customer.
It’s also valuable in other ways. Studies have also shown that it takes 7-13 touch points before a business can turn a prospect into a customer. Being able to consistently reach out to potential customers, and with their consent, allows you to reach enough touchpoints to potentially turn them into a customer.
While compliance can restrict the language used in marketing campaigns, that doesn’t have to translate to dry, run-of-the-mill content that lacks a connection with its intended audience. Market outlooks, for example, are pervasive in the financial world but their esoteric language can leave the average retail investor bored and confused.
Asset managers can take a cue from other financial companies, like Transamerica, Barclays, and J.P. Morgan, who have launched effective digital marketing strategies. Through interesting and on-point content, they have cultivated dedicated followers and grown their customer base.
Transamerica, for example, has over 550,000 followers on its Facebook page, thanks to its unique content that ties financial health to physical well-being. These are followers who choose to receive Transamerica’s content in their Facebook feed. Rather than hunting down new customers, Transamerica has over half a million loyal fans.
Their social media success demonstrates that if you produce fresh and compelling content, you can expand your reach exponentially. Growing your customer base this way is a long game, but it pays dividends in myriad ways: It’s a great tool to demonstrate the value of your services and also builds trust. Establishing trust is essential for any business, but is especially important for asset managers since your services are tied to people’s financial futures.
Additionally, when an advisor who is a follower or subscriber is looking at investment options for their clients, they’re much more likely to consider you. In the Hubspot article “The Content Marketer's Guide to Thought Leadership,” author Rebecca Riserbato puts it this way: “A person or company might use thought leadership as a content marketing strategy because providing value to your audience demonstrates your brand helpfulness. Then, down the road when someone is seeking a product or service like the ones you provide, they'll consider you an expert and turn to you first.”
How Asset Managers Can Use Next Generation Tech to Distribute Content
Delivering your content to the right audience is like taking a package to the right home. If the intended recipient doesn’t receive it, then the effort to create the product was in vain.
Luckily, there are options in technology that help ensure that your content goes to those who would most likely benefit from both your content and services. Technology has become more accurate and intelligent, giving marketers improved distribution via “next generation” tools.
Some of these are:
AI and machine learning: AI and machine learning can help improve customer experiences, automate work processes, and provide predictive analytics. When it comes to content, AI can be used to improve the quality of content, recommend topics based on consumption trends, and deliver it on a grander scale. This augments the capability of your organization by multiplying output even with limited resources.
Big data: Big data allows businesses to create detailed consumer profiles, which can be used to create targeted marketing campaigns. This process saves businesses a lot of time and money since they can know in advance what their target audience is looking for and craft specific content to meet the needs of specific segments.
Digital platforms: Digital platforms allow people to share ideas and information on a large scale. Asset managers can use digital platforms to distribute content and connect with more prospects and strengthen their brand. Social media platforms are perhaps the most obvious, but knowledge-based platforms like Reddit and video media platforms like YouTube can also be used to syndicate content to a new and wider audience.
Internet of Things: The Internet of Things (IoT) includes “smart” devices—such as smart TVs—and other objects connected to the internet. While this may not seem to have a direct correlation to content marketing, being aware that users may find your content using IoT objects like voice-control devices (such as Amazon’s Alexa or Apple’s Siri) or through smart devices (like Apple watches) demonstrate the value of producing content that is user-friendly and digestible through various delivery methods.
Looking to jump-start your content marketing efforts to support your retail fund distribution? Working with Clout gives asset managers a full-funnel marketing platform to help create content, expand the reach of their thought leadership, and advance the firm into a true “Distribution 2.0” organization.
Clout uses proprietary AI, big data, and other next-generation technology to help connect with more quality wealth managers. Schedule a demo with our team to showcase how we can help your firm build consistent visibility and build your brand.