Just how ubiquitous is content marketing in modern financial communications? New research from BackBay Communications reveals nearly nine out of every 10 (88 percent) of the world’s 200 largest asset management firms have implemented content strategies, leveraging multiple mediums and distribution channels—signaling the growing recognition among leading investment firms that thought leadership is an essential and core component of an integrated marketing program.
In addition to the widespread adoption of content marketing, the newly released BackBay study revealed that video (93 percent) and regular insights or market commentaries (90 percent) are the two most common mediums employed, and that over half (51 percent) are publishing new content on at least a weekly basis.
As it relates to distributing content, asset managers are embracing social media, with 95 percent active on at least one social media platform and nearly three-quarters (74 percent) active on four or more social media channels.
“The results of this study show a considerable shift in the attitudes of asset managers globally as it relates to marketing and how they engage with key constituencies,” said Bill Haynes, BackBay Communications president and CEO, in a news release. “The nearly universal embrace of content and social media not only demonstrates the evolving digital landscape and new willingness of asset managers to connect with audiences online, but also speaks to the role of thought leadership to connect with clients in an authentic way and develop trusted relationships and, ultimately, a strong brand.”
Among the highlights from the study:
- 57 percent of asset managers are utilizing five or more mediums/types of content in their integrated public relations strategy
- The cadence of content production is similar across both U.S. and global markets, with 62 percent of U.S. asset managers posting weekly versus 51 percent outside of the U.S.
- Firm size matters: The top half of asset managers (in terms of AUM) not only produce nearly double the amount of content, but they produce more types and distribute on more platforms than the bottom half of asset managers.
The whitepaper also shares best practices for creating and sharing content, as well as how to incorporate thought leadership into an integrated marketing strategy.
“The goal of this study was to both quantify the extent to which asset managers are using content marketing and highlight the best practices of those who are most effective. What became clear is that content, today, sits at the center of an integrated communications strategy,” said Ken MacFadyen, head of content development at BackBay, in the release.
“The very best use it to inform and teach, rather than promote. In these cases, thought leadership can serve as the basis for a meaningful dialogue with clients that both builds trust and underscores the firm’s value proposition,” he added.
To conduct the study, BackBay Communications used Pensions & Investments’ ranking of the largest Global Money Managers by assets under management. Through analyzing what is publicly available on firm websites and through social media, we were able to quantify how many of the largest asset managers produce content regularly, the types of content being created across various channels, and the frequency at which firms are publishing new content. We also tracked the social media adoption of the top 200 money managers, and then cut the data to identify best practices across the industry.