The market meltdown of 2008-09, the Great Recession, extreme volatility and scandals are some of the reasons why people don’t have much trust in the financial services industry. This eroded reputation was confirmed in a study conducted recently by Edelman, the world’s largest PR firm, which ranked financial services among the least-trusted of all industries worldwide.
For wealth managers and financial advisors, the skepticism of prospective clients along with intense competition makes it critically important that they market themselves effectively. According to a recent survey conducted by the U.K.’s University of Birmingham Business School, advisors recognize this pressing need and many are addressing it with content marketing.
Job #1 – Build Client Trust by Delivering Quality Content
The study focused on how advisors in different countries are promoting their businesses and what their marketing plans involve for 2015. Researchers polled advisors and wealth managers from 110 companies across the U.K., U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Results showed that 90% of respondents cited building trust with clients and prospects as a top priority for 2015. In addition, over 50% of the participants said that delivering quality content is the single most effective way to build up that trust.
But Content Marketing Hurdles Remain
The survey clearly showed that advisors know that marketing is critical and that content marketing is their best bet. But the findings also revealed that many advisors need to overcome a variety of hurdles before they can become effective content marketers. Following are some of these hurdles.
- Many advisors have not yet embraced social media and remain skeptical about its usefulness.
- A majority of respondents said they have a content strategy for 2015, but many still don’t.
- 25% of respondents admitted not following through with their content plans last year.
New Tools for Better Marketing Outcomes
Financial advisors and wealth managers are “numbers people” first and foremost. That means many of the creative, right-brain aspects of marketing don’t come easy for them. Couple that with the fact that advisors are busy people with hectic schedules, and it’s easy to see why their well-intentioned content marketing plans often fall by the wayside.
For advisors to embrace content marketing and use it effectively to build clients’ trust, they need a simpler way to know what content is available, and which content items will be most relevant and valuable to individual clients and prospects. They also need an easy, automated way to access and gather the right materials, and share them with clients.
Even if they’re numbers people at heart, it’s time for advisors to recognize the important role content can play in building trust among existing clients and winning business from new clients.