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What Makes a Great Content Strategy for a Fund Manager?

Ross Hunter 7 March 2024

Marketing departments often complain they are treated as sales support for the business development team (“Can you take this sales email I wrote and make it look better?”).

And in the case of investment management industry, they’re often at the beck and call of the product specialists and fund managers (“Can you check over this paper I wrote and put it out?”).

The best marketing leaders and departments have control of their content strategy. And while it’s important to engage with your sales team and your fund management teams, the most successful marketing groups are those that co-ordinate the best ideas from all areas (including their content teams) and develop a coherent content strategy that meets the needs of the business (not just the whims of individuals that have a new good idea every other day), and delivers measurable results.

So how do marketing leaders do this? What are the components of a great content strategy that you get buy-in from your sales colleagues and the product teams?

1. Define your target audience:

This is maybe obvious but it’s often overlooked or taken for granted. First define the characteristics of your ideal clients. Who are you trying to reach with your content? There will likely be multiple targets: investment consultants, plan sponsors, trustees, wealth managers, RIAs and consumers. And all of them have varying levels of financial sophistication (not all consumers are the same).

2. Define your sales process:

A common sales process is often defined as: Awareness; Interest; Desire; Action. But for the investment management industry, there are multiple processes and intermediaries involved. So it may look something more like: Awareness; Interest; Influence (intermediaries); Desire; Action.

3. Choose content types that work:

What type of content will resonate with your target audience? Blog posts, articles, infographics, videos, and webinars are all popular options but which are right for you and for your different segments? And don’t forget about pitchdecks and RFP answer banks; these are critical elements of the process, particularly in institutional investment management. And they’re often overlooked in a content strategy because this content sits in another department. Bring these teams into the process too and join up your strategy and messaging.

4. Set clear goals:

What do you want to achieve with your content for each target audience at each stage in the sales process? Do you want to raise brand awareness, generate leads, or educate clients about specific financial products or services? What are your goals and calls to action for pitches, for RFPs, for video, fund commentary, social media and white papers. They all have a role to play – and it needs to be coherent.

5. Develop key messages:

A messaging strategy will help writers and content marketers to produce consistent content that’s aiming in the same direction. Identify the key selling points of your portfolios (as the clients will see them) and develop talking points around them. And create model calls to action to ensure every piece of collateral has a purpose.

6. Develop a content calendar:

Plan and schedule your content creation and distribution – for those items that can be pre-planned. A good tip here is to leave some gaps – especially if you know your colleagues in sales and the product teams will be looking for resource during the year. And don’t try and plan too far ahead – a quarter ahead is plenty – as markets and priorities can change very quickly in the investment markets.

7. Prioritise your distribution channels:

Identify the channels you will use to distribute your content, such as social media, email marketing and the website. Prioritise those channels and media types that allow you to measure the performance of the content. Brand development is important of course, but in today’s markets, the Board is going to be looking at hard outcomes.

8. Measure, analyse, learn and refine:

Track the performance of your content using the metrics that are most meaningful to you at each stage in the buyer journey. Build a dashboard for your 2-3 key metrics for each stage of the buyer journey. This data will help you understand what’s working and what’s not, which allows you to refine your strategy and prove the value of your marketing content when it comes back round to budget planning season.

Follow this process and take control of your marketing and content publication program. Key to the success of this approach, though, is not to do this work in isolation but to involve your key stakeholders along the way. Make them feel involved, consulted and bought into your approach. You’ll have better relationships with your sales team, your product teams and your Board as they will see a logical and measurable approach that yields results.

Message me or my team to ask how we can help with your content strategy holistically, or indeed any element of it.