Lessons learned from working with Investment Managers
EverydayTenacity.com recently had the chance to sit down with the Founder and CEO of Blue Fountain Media, Gabiel Shaoolian. Blue Fountain Media is a result-driven website development and online marketing company, located in Union Square, NYC.
In our Q&A, we talked with Gabriel in order to garner insights into design, social media and best practices from the perspective of a website development and online marketing company who has an impressive client list and direct experience working with Investment Management and Financial Services firms.
What are some of the key considerations an investment manager should take into consideration on their website?
Gabriel outlined a number of best practices:
- First and foremost, the company needs to approach the website from the perspective of the consumer
Financial Services companies need to ensure that they keep their websites with a clean, simple design, avoiding the overuse of Flash and clear calls to action for clients and prospects alike.
- For each page on the website, the investment manager should ask what is the question the page is meant to answer. Then make sure the content supports that message.
Investment manager websites must clearly outline the distinguishing services and features they can provide over their competitors and only after which point is it important to stress “who” the firm is via an “about” area of the website.
- Investment managers should consider building in landing pages for each of their Chief Investment Officers or Portfolio Managers and then optimize the pages for SEO. Consumers need to feel a sense of personal connection and will increasingly search for the names of managers who are managing their investments and mutual funds.
- If video is going to be part of an investment manager’s website, it needs to be personal, although the company’s brand is important. A good example of a company that achieves such a balance is Ogilvy & Mather.
Describe some of the steps that an investment manager should take when trying to perform Search Engine Optimization ("SEO")
Gabriel provided 4 of insightful activities:
- All investment managers must have some sort of website analytics package actively running and monitored on their websites, whether it is a free option such as Google Analytics or a paid service like Omniture SiteCatalyst.
- Via the analytics package, track inbound keywords, traffic sources, and traffic paths through the website.
Understand where there are exit pages and then optimize the calls to action on those pages to keep website visitors engaged.
- Utilize blog type functionality to provide updated content with is highly valued by both search engine bots as well as visitors to the website.
What are some steps investment managers can take in regards to social media?
Gabriel described steps that investment managers can take in social media while still figuring out the guidance from FINRA’s 10-06 regulatory notice on social media:
- Investment Managers and Financial Advisors need to search for and actively listen to their social profiles and mentions.
- Since social media platforms are evolving so quickly, after employing a listening strategy, pick a limited number of social media sites to be active on.
- Investment Managers need to know their target market on social media, segment the audience by site and be sure to keep the content and tone consistent and appropriate.
Why should an investment management firm care about social media and what role does it play in a sales and conversion process that is almost entirely offline?
Gabriel described the financial service social media efforts he has seen as very preliminary but did identify two credible points of view:
- Establishing personal and the company’s credibility is why interactive marketing and social media matters.
- While the case cannot be made yet that the current generation of wealthy individuals will decide to invest with a manager based even marginally on social media, investment managers need to be conscious of the next generation of consumers, Generation X and Y. These upcoming prospects will increasingly be able to invest and investment managers can use social media to reach that next generation now and begin to establish their brand’s reputation.