Importance of a Content and Brand Image Refresh in the Financial Services and Investment Industries
Your brand isn’t just a collection of words and it isn’t just a series of images, but rather a synthesis of meaning and aesthetics that clearly establish the importance of the underlying brand to audiences.
When it comes to financial and investment branding and marketing, the visual language that your firm utilizes is a critical factor in helping improve your marketing presence, attract and retain clients, and build your brand into something bigger. It is essentially the context that helps to tell your brand story.
To make a lasting impact in the highly competitive financial services industry, your brand should be a platform to not only sustain and drive growth, but to create confidence and trust with clients and prospects. Regardless of your market segment, when investors and clients trust your brand, they are more willing to stick with you in down markets, and more likely to refer new business your way.
An image and content refresh also helps to reinforce a design strategy that both tells the story of your firm and conveys your primary value proposition in a concise, educational and authentic manner. This requires an examination of content strategy and site imagery to ensure they collectively and effectively mirror mirrors your firm’s current identity.
From a content perspective, this is a commitment to updating current materials and maintaining a flow of new content. When executed successfully, you reassure clients and prospects, that your brand is an expert and thought leader while cultivating an active online presence.
An example of this brand refresh is shown by Louisiana-based Callais Capital Management. Callais is a family office-turned-venture capital firm with a long history on the Gulf Coast. MBC Strategic was tasked with synthesizing their compelling track record into a messaging platform and website design that properly reflects their rich history and proven knowledge of investing in the in the Gulf Coast region. We created an updated core message, new imagery and produced monthly thought capital and content marketing pieces along with a quarterly newsletter highlighting portfolio updates, firm news and industry events.
THE POWER OF REFRESHING YOUR CONTENT MARKETING: QUALITY OVER QUANTITY
According to Tech Client, content creation is the most effective SEO technique. Businesses that post fresh content consistently have, on average, 434% more pages indexed by search engines as compared to those that don’t publish at all. In fact, content marketing provides conversion rates about 6 times higher than other digital marketing methods.
While more intricate and less focused on “conversions,” the same theories hold true in the investment world, as high-quality content and thought leadership can generate more viewers while also building trust and confidence in a portfolio manager and their investment style. Good content marketing can offer a compelling glimpse into the investment process if told in an engaging way.
For an effective content strategy, use relevant keywords and phrases that you would use in normal conversation, and ensure Google understands that your page is both educational and providing readers with exactly what they are searching for. Start with a clear and concise headline that explains the information to follow, but balance that with personality in tone, a strong brand appearance, and unique, thought-provoking content.
The topics that you create content around, and the value of the content you provide, can mean the difference between developing that lasting relationship with a reader or having them move on. Also, consider the critical role content plays in helping you develop a brand personality and voice. You can set yourself apart from the competition through your content’s language and the way that you present your information. It is critical to bring your investment content to life, and expertise in content marketing can help you tell the human and personal stories behind investment strategies and processes.
Lyfe Marketing found that 70% of consumers believe organizations that provide custom content are interested in building good relationships with them, and 78% of this same group also prefer getting to know a company through articles as opposed to traditional ads. By including exclusive insights such as whitepapers, topical articles and commentary that showcase your knowledge and approach, you are demonstrating to clients that you are an expert in your field, market segment or asset class.
A relevant example of this is Gurtin, an established municipal bond manager. Prior to being acquired by PIMCO, Gurtin approached MBC Strategic to perform a comprehensive rebrand encompassing new messaging, logo, identity, website, marketing materials, and even company swag. By homing in on the characteristics Gurtin’s clients held most valuable, comfort and trust, MBC’s brand strategists landed on the most impactful imagery, color scheme, logo and typeface possible based on those qualities.
Brand imagery is an opportunity to visually communicate with your existing clients and prospects. Whether your firm’s style is modern, active, passive, algorithmic or traditional, show them who you are and why they should trust you through aesthetics. Successful brand imagery will help them build a narrative on their own.
Think about what resonates with your target audience and how it relates to your firm’s unique story. Stock photos can get the job done, but be selective, and find something unique. Alternatively, candid lifestyle photos with real people showing authentic emotion will likely resonate with your audiences more, assisting in the development of your firm’s true brand identity.
Also, ensure that your images have a sufficiently high resolution, but avoid graphics that slow your site and create a negative user experience. Overloading a high traffic page with heavy imagery and other content can significantly increase loading time for users and have a large impact your search engine results.
Color is also one of the most powerful aspects of imagery in branding and is often the most memorable visual component of an image. In fact, certain hues will connect viewers with a particular feeling, increasing brand recognition by as much as 80%. This is just as true in the investment industry too, so don’t be afraid to deviate from tradition. Even as part of an image, a pop of color can go a long way to livening up the user experience.
The right visualization when describing investment products can dramatically improve a client’s understanding of long-term, complex financial topics. The firms that stand out are those with simple, elegant designs which are consistent, clear and concise across all of their marketing and branding collateral.
For an example of re-thinking imagery to match the current emotional and business characteristics of an evolving brand, look no further than Wasmer Schroeder. After 25+ years of successful fixed income management, Wasmer Schroeder & Company approached MBC Strategic for help with a comprehensive institutional asset management rebrand.
Our design strategy focused on the integrity of the firm and its ability to do fixed income right. This was meant to showcase their collaborative approach to building fixed income solutions with an unwavering dedication to research, technology, and service. The updated design scheme showcased the firm’s position within the institutional fixed income landscape, with a modern and elegant color palette and identity.
The new branding assets display Wasmer Schroeder’s insightful, human and collaborative approach—including warm and authentic photography of the teams and individuals across their headquarters and additional locations. With an authentic and collaborative brand promise of doing fixed income right, Wasmer Schroeder’s new brand story is meant to inspire and imbue confidence and trust—in the firm’s history and future.
Developing imagery and messaging that stands out from the sea of investment firms and managers, your brand will begin to evolve. The better your brand interacts and resonates with your target audience, the more trust you will cultivate and create value for them. We have helped firms build their identity, target the right audience, and effectively deliver their message.
Serving clients from alternative investments and mutual funds, to financial service providers and institutional investors, we deliver branding, marketing, and public relations solutions.
To learn more about how MBC Strategic can improve your financial and investment marketing and branding solutions, please, give us a call and contact us today.
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