How can wealth managers transform their content to suit a modern audience?

Read on as Dominic Gamble, Co-Founder and CEO of GoUpscale, reflects on why wealth managers need to change the way they communicate with clients and how rethinking content can bring them closer to their audience.

There’s an interesting and fairly absurd dynamic in wealth management. Well, there are many, but let’s focus here on the current process of wealth managers creating content.

You see, content creators in wealth management are generally remunerated based on content production rather than content engagement. The people writing content are typically the research teams, perhaps a role fulfilled by investment advisory teams too.

Let’s be clear: in the vast majority of cases the writers are investment professionals, not authors, marketeers or wizards in the art of prose.

Every day whirling around inboxes in wealth management organisations, there are emails with market updates, specific thematic or security based content. There are also emails with investment content - from product launches to trade ideas. The common denominator is that there are many team members who have to write a lot!

The absurdity is that, unlike just about any other industry where content is generated, there is no content performance analysis.

In the case of investment related content it is assumed that revenue performance from trades that it inspires is the key success factor.

Client expectations around content have changed

But in today’s world, the way that content is packaged and distributed is more likely to impact performance than the integrity of the idea itself. Perhaps sad but true. And this is the key point. In a world where content is king, audience engagement is driven by engaging content.

20 years ago we would have been laughed out of the room - it was all about the content, it didn’t matter how it was packaged. 20 years on and we’re saturated with content, we’re time poor, we’re checking communications on a mobile more often than not - content design is key to hooking the user into the real story. Wealth managers badly need to take heed. It’s time to evolve.

We’re all familiar with Instagram which has been a major driver of this content design phenomenon over the last 10 years. LinkedIn has followed as have content generators from other industries. Luxury lifestyle and travel are just some examples where we are lured in on a daily basis to email newsletters, adverts, sponsored posts that turn heads and hold the viewer’s attention.

This is the new world of sales - content driven.

The challenge in wealth management

So back to wealth management. Content generators are not measured, let alone remunerated, based on the success of their content. As a result of this, content typically adopts a style which lacks in flair and creativity, with little thought into how it will be consumed either by clients or internally within the organisation…

The result is disengagement. Teams don’t open the content let alone pass it on to clients. They are not proud of it.

Clients see the long email and PDF attachments hit their inbox and switch off… they don’t engage. In fact it might even be doing their brand harm. In fact, Publicis Sapient research found investors are changing rapidly with a staggering 89% forecast to favour mobile apps as their preferred way to interact over traditional channels and long form content.

This is not sustainable. Here we are in an industry where for 20 years the same style of content has been written and broadcasted out. Virtually no change.

It is questionable whether the audience ever liked this content as there is insufficient analytics to truly measure this. What we do know is that this is an industry for which the audience has evolved tremendously from being a very exclusive private banking service to today, where online wealth management starts from $10 and many adults are the targets of wealth management content.

Time for change

But we’re not capturing their attention. The content isn’t written by people who are writing for the audience and, just as importantly, it isn’t being delivered in ways the audience now expects to receive it.

In a world where content is being consumed left, right and centre every minute of every day it is high time we write things that the audience actually want to consume, and that we make it accessible. No one wants to try and read a long pdf while they are on the move - short form content with key messages pulled out that can be easily digested on phones is now an expectation.

Isn’t that good for business? Isn’t that good for relationships?

We need to start measuring content and improving based on that engagement data. Perhaps I’m wrong with all the above. Show me the data.

We need to start using the data to make content more accessible and informative. More engaging, more consumed. We also need to reinvent training not just for regulatory reasons as is the typical driver today but to help content generators bring their voice into the new era, using tech-enabled solutions to facilitate that just like generators are doing on all other platforms, so we need to as well.

More engaging content is mutually beneficial for all stakeholders involved. The organisations who seize this opportunity quickly, will seize the competitive advantage.

GoUpscale specialises in smart solutions that help wealth managers generate compelling content, bring it to life through engaging design and distribution tools to help activate it at scale across front office staff. Talk to us to learn more.