Find out more about the report here.
Click here for a discussion of the results.
And for the visual thinkers among you, here's the infographic.
There are few relationships that have had bigger trust issues than that between the public and the financial services.
Next to journalists and bankers, the financial services industry continues to be among the least trusted sectors in the world.
It’s easy to understand why. When you see headlines every day about the latest financial scandal ripping off the consumer, like the PPI mis-selling scandal, the reason for this widespread disillusionment becomes clear.
And financial advisers are no exception. Although this particular group enjoys more trust than fund managers and investment bankers, they’re still low down in the trust pecking order.
So what’s to be done? How are financial advisers responding to this relationship problem?
A study by a graduate researcher from the University of Birmingham Business School sheds some light on the situation.
The research was conducted over three months and surveyed senior decision-makers in the financial advisory sector from the UK, North America and Australasia. The study was a response to the lack of independent market research into the state of play between content marketing and financial advisers.
Here are the headlines.
First, the majority of respondents said that establishing trust with leads and clients was their top marketing priority in 2015, and advisers see online content as the most effective way of doing this.
However, they’re still unconvinced by social media, which came last behind printed materials and positive press coverage.
As my colleague Robin Powell has pointed out, this is surely a mistake.
Effective content and social media need each other. This is how you direct content to the people who you want to see and engage with it.
Studies have shown that mass affluents, those who are most likely to want financial advice, are now using social media as a way of helping to make decisions about their personal finance.
So without a social media plan, you could be missing out on another way of reaching your clients.
The research also found that the sector is recognising the importance of video, with 80% planning to include some sort of video in their content marketing strategy for 2015.
But, before everyone rushes out to buy video cameras, the data also showed that one in four advisers did not stick to their content plans, so the actual uptake of video in 2015 remains to be seen.
So will 2015 be the year that financial advisers regain the trust of the public? There's certainly a lot of work to do, but it also seems that financial advisers are willing to do what they can to fix the relationship.