The strategic use of content for marketing purposes is almost universally adopted as a practice among the world's leading asset managers.
That's the major finding of new research conducted by integrated marketing agency BackBay Communications.
Reviewing the world’s 200 largest asset management firms, BackBay concluded that 88% of asset managers are regularly producing published content for their clients and wider audience.
Video (93%) and market commentaries (90%) are the two most common content formats deployed, according to the study.
This finding comes as separate research from advisory firm Demand Metric and video solutions provider Vidyard points to four years of consecutive growth for video as a content type in marketing programs.
Of the 200 asset managers surveyed by Backbay, 95% actively communicate on at least one social media channel and approximately half are publishing new content on a weekly basis at minimum.
“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.
“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.”
The report warns that asset managers are now facing "the traditional writer’s dilemma of how to make their content stand out."
"The websites of many asset managers today often bear a striking resemblance to more traditional business publications, complete with videos, research, and market commentaries often featured above the scroll on homepages and throughout the rest of their sites," it explains.
SPEND ON THE RISE
BackBay's research comes after a report in October by digital platform provider Kurtosys found 64% of asset managers believe content marketing will be the most successful marketing strategy for their business over the next 12 months.
Of the 300 respondents to the global annual survey, 65% expected to spend more on content marketing in 2018, describing it as their primary channel for generating traffic and new business. Fewer than 10% of respondents planned to spend less.
Experts agree on the need for asset managers to create content that stands out.
“The trick is not to compete with news around the initial event but to create “second order” content that take a compelling perspective on the subject at hand and answers the question: “What does this mean for me?” said Richard Lander of Citywire, a company that provides custom content to asset management companies.
According to Lander, everyone is "in a battle for time and attention" when it comes to sharing information online.
He highlights the popularity of self-contained email as a means of distributing content within the asset management sector, and stresses the importance of compelling subject lines to encourage email opens.