Everyone is overworked.
That’s just a truism in the investment management industry. Nobody is sitting back and thinking, “If only I could find some way to fill the hours in my day..."
Unfortunately, that’s the drawback to content marketing for investment managers – it requires a long-term, open-ended commitment to the strategy.
Luckily, a professional, dedicated effort doesn’t have to be as daunting and time-consuming as it may appear from the outside.Here are a few ideas to take some of the sting out of content marketing for investment managers:
- Apply a Screen
All professional investors have some sort of quantitative screening process that enables the creation of a pool of securities that meets a firm’s initial investment criteria. It is the repeatable first step in a firm’s investment process; one that takes an unwieldy universe of securities and narrows them to a manageable size.
An effective content strategy for investment managers can apply the same logic by establishing a repeatable template the entire firm follows in its content creation efforts. Each firm’s template should work within the context of their own unique culture and history.
In practice, this means some trial and error may be required to get it right. The best way to approach template-building is to pay attention to your early content creation efforts. When your firm creates a truly great piece of content (and you know it when you see it), take the time to understand the process that led to its creation.
Then write it down and use it again.
- Have an editorial calendar
Editorial calendars are an absolutely vital best practice for developing an effective content strategy for investment managers.
Assemble the staff to whom content creation will be assigned, then brainstorm ideas to ensure you have at least 3 months’ worth of content ideas. Having a long, detailed library of ideas relieves a significant amount of the pressure applied on a firm’s principals by content creation.
You need to be sure these ideas are those which will appeal to the firm’s core buyer personae & clients.
Next, identify the themes that have emerged from the brainstorming session and rearrange the content ideas into chapters, for lack of a better word. It is important for the content to follow a logical progression, as scattered content implies scattered thinking – not a trait one looks for in a money manager.
- Write about what’s on your mind
That said, sometimes it is important for investment managers to avoid getting locked into the Editorial Calendar. It should be a road map, not an itinerary.
Read an interesting book? Seen a compelling interview? Is there some piece of conventional wisdom that you’ve seen bandied about that’s just plain wrong? Write about it. Offering a thoughtful take on timely subjects can reinforce the notion that your blog is an important go-to resource for your audience. Conviction is an underrated component to effective writing for investment managers.
- Allow your mind to wander
Follow your stream of consciousness. I often start a new blog post with my topic in hand, but then as I write, my thought process veers off into many different directions, connected only tangentially.
Luckily, these diversions often generate several new ideas for posts, all of which have sufficiently strong connections to tie back into my long-term content strategy.
- Jot down ideas when they come
Inspiration can’t be scheduled. When it comes, do yourself a favor & take a minute or two to type them up or dictate the thoughts into your smartphone.
- Spread the joy
Whenever I meet with prospective clients, I make a point to talk about collaboration; its importance to my creative process and how it always leads to a better, more polished finished product.
I always say, “Nobody has a monopoly on good ideas.”
With that in mind, what makes for a fertile content marketing strategy for investment managers is a diversity of inputs. Certainly, the PMs and business development folks must have lead responsibility in the content creation process, but encouraging a diversity of ideas and allowing employees from across the firm to participate can lead to a more vibrant, thoughtful result.
The junior research staff, administrative personnel, the compliance team – these groups all have a take on the investment management business derived from a perspective distinct from that of the portfolio management team or senior research staff.
Allowing these employees to contribute to the content creation effort makes for a more diverse and interesting body of work.
Any thoughts? Let me know.