PRIVATE CAPITAL MARKETS: OPEN FOR BUSINESS
Retail investors are coming. Is your communications plan ready?
With private capital markets increasingly accessible to retail investors,
this is the perfect time for providers to
be looking at all their options when
accessing this unparalleled opportunity.
;e challenge is, how does a ;rm engage an
audience that has, to date, been investing in
more retail-level products and services, and is
used to accessing more traditional channels for
the information they need? We asked Jillian
Bannister, Chief Executive O;cer of Toronto-based ;nancial services marketing ;rm Ext.
Marketing Inc. to provide some communications tips for ;nancial services providers in our
Why produce content? Because your
clients are looking for it!
AOL & Neilson captured how people spend
their time on the web and it breaks down like
• 53% reading published content
• 23% on social media
• 7% checking email
;e most important ;gure is 23% of all social
media messages included links to published
content. How much does that add-up to? Well,
people share 27 million pieces of content every
day on social media.
“We tend to speak with our clients about
developing a ‘content journey’ that takes your
audience through ;ve levels of engagement,”
says Bannister. “;ese include: (1) Awareness,
(2) Education, ( 3) Research and evaluation,
( 4) Decision-making, and ( 5) Advocacy.”
;ese ;ve steps will inform your content
initiatives and drive your readers toward
speci;c goals. Remember: your content
shouldn’t be primarily about your ;rm – it’s
more about your readers and what they want
Content starts with awareness. Your ;rm
generally starts as an unknown entity. Before
a prospect asks whether they can trust your
company, they need to know your company
exists. A warm introduction that’s engaging
and positive is essential and will set you apart
from the competition. A good place to start
when building awareness is your blog.
Now that your readers know who you are,
it’s time to prove your worth. Begin to show
your expertise by o;ering a solid educational
experience with, say, a one-page brochure.
At the education stage of content engagement, you’ll likely need to answer some
broad “What?” questions related to your
area of expertise (e.g., what are your
After you’ve told people who you are and
you’ve helped them improve their ;nancial
knowledge, you’ll want to give them content
that they can use to go deeper. ;is is where
things get really interesting. At the research
and evaluation stage, you’re answering
“How?” questions for your readers (e.g., how
do you manage portfolio risk?). ;ese are
more granular questions about a current or
future ;nancial situation, and can often be
answered with a case study that leverages
solid research and data.
As you’ve noticed, the type of content that
you produce gets more targeted and complex
as you progress through your readers’
experience. ;at’s because you’re getting more
involved in the realities of their ;nancial lives.
Become a part of your prospects’ and clients’
decision-making process by providing a tool
that is more personalized to their situation
(i.e., a worksheet or calculator).
Your readers have made it to this stage of
their content experience. ;ey know who
you are, you’ve helped them learn something
new, you’ve helped them dig a little deeper
into their own situation and you have them
on track to achieve a goal. Once investors see
how you’ve helped them, they’ll be more
likely to advocate on your behalf. ;is could
happen in a number of di;erent ways, from
forwarding your content to peers to providing you with referrals.
A WORD ON EXECUTION
Knowing about content is one thing,
producing it well is another. Here are six
ideas for launching a new content initiative
at your ;rm:
• Blogs – write a series of posts helping
investors understand absolute return
• Articles – create a lengthier piece highlighting the relevance of real estate for investors
• Videos – produce short videos that show
the bene;ts of income-generating investments
• Infographics – find an engaging way to
share stats about the resources and mining
• Whitepapers – write a whitepaper explaining the tax bene;ts of your solutions
• Newsletters – craft print and digital
newsletters focused on investor education
For more information and content ideas that
can help drive business growth, please
MARKET INSIGHTS JILLIAN BANNISTER, EXT. MARKETING INC.
Jillian Bannister, Ext. Marketing Inc.