May 14, 2012

Trends that will drive content marketing into your RIA's Marketing Plan

How visible is your advisory firm?  Do you routinely produce content that positions your firm as a trusted expert on certain topics?  Marketing and positioning your firm with proprietary "content" should be on the top of your new business efforts.

Content marketing is an umbrella term encompassing all marketing formats that involve the creation and sharing of content with the intent to engage current and potential consumer bases. (Source: Wikipedia)  Think of content marketing as a super-charged, next generation replacement for the quarterly newsletter.  As a marketing strategy, it's closely related to "inbound marketing", where your efforts are focused on enhancing your firm's visibility, earning the attention and trust of your target markets with the ultimate objective of motivating your audience to seek you out.

Three major industry trends will ultimately make content marketing the most important aspect of an RIA's marketing strategy.

  • Demographics.  Generation X and Y will not respond to solicitations the way their parents had.  In fact, they won't be as receptive to referrals either.  The purchasing process for members of Gen X and Gen Y begins with their own primary research.  This means that advisors will need sufficient viability to engender the trust and confidence of future wealth management decision makers.
  • Delocalization.  The "service area" of the typical private wealth manager or high net worth RIA is often still defined by a relatively small geographical area.  The trend towards "delocalization" of advisory services that we are starting to see today will continue thanks to affordable, secure technology mediums.  Moreover, Gen X/Gen Y won't really care where their financial advisor is located. This trend will have an incredibly powerful impact on how and where RIAs compete for business.
  • Specialization.  We believe that the wealth management industry will continue to trend towards specialization based on either a niche client need or service offering.  Comprehensive wealth management will be delivered with a team approach--a team made of all the required specialists.  This means that it will be increasingly more common for specialists to be plying their craft with clients anywhere in the world.  Technology, of course, is the key enabler to this trend.
Examples of content marketing include blogging, content curation and social media.

Blogs are a great way to warehouse and publicize your subject matter expertise.

Content curation is the process of collecting, modifying and publishing information that is relevant to your audience's interests or needs.  Good examples of web-based content curation tools include, and Amplify.

Social media outlets like Linkedin, Twitter and Facebook are becoming an increasingly important option for your firm to engage with client, prospects, industry experts and peers.

Each of these tools should plug in to your RIA's overall marketing strategy and compliance program.  Your marketing strategy will help focus your efforts in these new mediums and ultimately will produce a higher ROI on the time you commit to content marketing.  With proper guidance and tools in place, utilizing social media and other content marketing tools is very much achievable from a compliance perspective.)

Have you had any experiences (good or bad) with content marketing?  What are your thoughts on these tools becoming an alternative to quarterly newsletters?  We'd love to hear your thoughts.


I'm interested in this area and especially in curation and SEO optimization. The trends you spotted are correct, in our experience. Michael Kitces covered some of this territory in his recent program on the future of financial planning at NAPFA, and at FPA Retreat (at least I think so, since his session descriptions were identical).

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