As we continue striving to be of better service to financial advisers, how can we ensure that our efforts are really helping them - and not cluttering their inbox? Steph Bone, Head of Marketing at Square Mile, highlights five top tips on how you can enhance your marketing communications to this key market.

Help advisers add value to their clients

Advisers want marketing materials that enable them to improve their relationships with their clients. This means creating content to support them that is:

  • Simple and jargon-free: use language that they can lift and share with their clients without having to adapt the content in any way
  • Easily digestible: use snippets of text or visually engaging formats that highlight the point quickly. Advisers are overwhelmed with content from fund groups, so keeping it to the point and easy to absorb mean higher engagement
  • Relatable: provide anecdotes that tell a story and make it easy for the adviser and their clients to understand

Help advisers enhance their business

With so much content in our industry, it can be difficult to know what type of material will resonate with advisers. From our experience, we have found that content that directly helps adviser businesses and provides practical solutions tend to get a better response. This can include content that focuses on:

  • Regulation - an overview of recent regulation and - more importantly - how this is going to directly impact advisers, as well as solutions to support them
  • Financial planning - for instance, understanding the different risk tools, how to manage an effective investment committee and reviewing strategic asset allocation tools
  • ESG - more clarity on the terminology and help with the practical application for their business, particularly as this is a more recent focus in the industry

To view content that Square Mile has created for advisers to help with the above, register for free for our Adviser Insights.

Use digital communication to support advisers and their clients

It is no surprise that digital first is the way that most businesses are moving. However, it is only quite recently that we are seeing this transition with advisers in the way they communicate and attract clients. We have seen the following shifts:

  • Video content - as little as a year ago we were providing market-related content to our clients as a PDF document. Now, more than half of our clients prefer to receive this content in video format, which they can host on their websites
  • Client portals - although still in development, a number of advisers are creating portals for clients that enable them to easily access and view their portfolios online
  • Social media - advisers are increasingly using Twitter and LinkedIn as channels to complement their other marketing, in addition to using it as another way to keep up-to-date with company news and market developments

Help improve their knowledge on ESG / Responsible investment

In our view, ESG and responsible investment will become mainstream over the next few years. It will be increasingly important for fund groups to embed ESG and responsible investment at both a corporate and a fund level. While advisers may already have an abundance of information available to them, this is accompanied by much confusion and misinterpretation. As an industry, we need to work together to provide better consistency. In our experience advisers are looking for:

  • Clarification on what the terminology means and how it should be considered along the broader context of ESG and responsible investment. The Investment Association has created a framework which categorises and provides standard definitions to encourage consistency in the use of these terms across our industry
  • More education and information on the benefits of ESG for adviser businesses and their clients, ensuring this is easy to understand and relatable
  • Responsible funds and responsible portfolios that they can recommend to their clients

Use independent points of view and endorsement so it goes beyond a product push

Simply put: advisers want information that will help their business and their clients. They expect there to be product solutions when fund groups provide them with content, but they are also looking for help and validation that the content they are receiving is more than just a product push. This could be a video, comment or quote, for example, that can be included within fund marketing collateral to provide a positive view of the fund from an independent source.