There can’t be many sectors with as much to gain from content marketing - or that have done so little about it - as the financial advice industry.
The value of quality content for use by advisers has been highlighted in two recent surveys. First, Russell Investments surveyed 150 advisers in the US, and found that 74% of them wanted more resources to help them communicate their value to clients.
Ever since the crash of 2007-08, the financial sector has had a major issue around trust. Consumers are rightly sceptical and more keen than ever before to ensure they’re receiving value for money. Providing them with relevant, high-quality content - whether video, audio or text - is an excellent way of reassuring them that they are.
But for most of those advisers who’ve already begun to harness the power of content, it’s about far more than simply justifying their fees. After all, advisers are fiduciaries. They have a professional and a moral obligation to ensure that their clients achieve their financial goals. A crucial part of their role is to keep their clients on track and to dissuade them from acting on their emotions, and again, content is the best way to do that.
65% of the advisers in the US survey wanted more resources to help educate clients about realistic expectations. And 63% said they needed to do more to help keep clients focused on their long-term goals during periods of volatility.
Unfortunately, though, acknowledging the benefits of content marketing and doing something about it are two very different things. A separate survey of UK advisers found that 81% of them agreed that content marketing would become more important over the next 12 months, but only 41% had a content marketing strategy.
So advisers have a decision to make. Either they can carry on relying on the same old tools - such as advertising, corporate hospitality or occasional media exposure - to win and retain clients. Or they can invest in content, in establishing thought leadership and in providing clients not just with advice and products but with on-going support and education to ensure they achieve the best possible outcomes.
Speaking as a financial services consumer rather than as a content marketer, I know which approach would appeal to me more.