In the last post, I wrote about how social media leverages the network effect to multiply the number of touchpoints asset managers can maintain with clients and prospects.
Here, I think it’s important to look at the best way for an asset manager to increase the strength and usability of their social media marketing (SMM) strategy: content marketing (CM).
Recall that SMM is the use of social media networks (LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, etc.) to disseminate news and information relating to an asset manager’s message.
Content marketing is a related practice whose effective implementation requires an integrated SMM strategy.
Simply put, CM is using content that is generated on an ongoing basis to promote an asset management firm’s expertise and professionalism, providing an ongoing, affirmative argument about its value proposition.
That’s the nuts-and-bolts description, but to truly get the importance of CM for an asset manager, here are a few different ways to think about CM, courtesy of the Content Marketing Institute:
~ Traditional marketing and advertising is telling the world you’re a rock star. Content Marketing is showing the world that you are one.
~ Content marketing is the process of developing and sharing relevant, valuable, and engaging content to target audience with the goal of acquiring new customers or increasing business from existing customers. (To this I would add, “retaining business” as well).
~ Your customers don’t care about you, your products, your services…they care about themselves, their wants and their needs. Content marketing is about creating interesting information your customers are passionate about so they actually pay attention to you
In my view, this last point is especially germane to asset managers for a number of reasons:
First, fulfillment of the investment objective using agreed-upon strategies is your client’s number one concern. I would argue that how a given manager goes about doing so doesn’t matter all that much to your clients, so long as the means are both legal and ethical.
Secondly, because the specifics don’t matter, an asset manager needs to establish a long-term rationale for WHY their approach is a winner. This includes projecting a sense of dynamism; that the firm is constantly reevaluating, assessing, analyzing what they do and why – but done within the context of certain iron-clad pillars of belief.
In other words, ensure you are providing enough differentiation from other firms that target the same markets and employ an investment approach and philosophy that’s similar to yours.
The best way to do so is to communicate regularly, providing information that’s not just about your firm and portfolio performance (which you can’t do via SM networks, per the SEC anyway), but adds value to their understanding how your clients and prospects.
In other words, the point of CM isn’t solely to make your clients and prospects feel better about you, per se, but to reinforce the notion that hiring you was a great decision, because of all the different ways you add value to the relationship.