It’s easy to drive your message to your audience through sheer force and big budgets, but how do smaller investment firms – with little to no marketing budget – compete with that, in a very noisy market?

We recently helped a small- and midcap investment boutique refresh their website. It was evident that a clear message presented in plain English still goes a long way in a crowded market.

A few key lessons we learnt from this project include:

Convey your ESG philosophy in a genuine way

So many investment firms fall into the trap of saying something about environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors or sustainability just for the sake of it. An audience can very easily see through this, rendering your effort pointless. Authenticity of message – especially when it comes to responsible investing – is crucial if you want to remain relevant with your clients.

In this case, the firm in question has strong ESG foundations in their investment process and was in a position to evidence this. They are also one of the few investment managers who have been certified as a B Corporation, indicating that they pursue purpose alongside profit. From a content point of view, we focused on ensuring the way we convey their message is authentic and is a fair representation of their established track record in this field.

Be clear about what you do

The easiest way to help your audience get to know, understand and select you as an investment manager is to be crisp and clear about what you do, and what sets you apart. Understandably, this is easier said than done for many businesses.

In this case, we helped the team define their brand purpose through interviews with the business’ founders and management. This is a strong foundation for ensuring a consistent, simple message that highlights your differentiating factors.

Remember your target audience, your core business and what sets you apart – and communicate in a way that easily answers your audience’s questions. This is no excuse to use reams of jargon – plain English is still crucial for clarity.

A question of culture

So many investment firms are very proud of their culture and want to convey this to their clients, and rightly so. This is often a key decision-making element when choosing a long-term investment manager to entrust your capital to. However, culture is best conveyed when the audience can get an impression of you through all your content, rather than explicitly stating certain things.

Your website is important, but it is one avenue to learning more about your firm. Ensure you have the most important information about your culture and business approach on it, but other elements of your team, firm traditions, etc. are better conveyed in different mediums.

In this case, we focused on sharing the key culture elements through client-focused content, making it clear to the audience why this firm’s way of working would benefit them.