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Bill Gates said “content is king.” While we at Hub, as a content agency in London agree, content about your financial services alone isn’t enough. Without immersing yourself in investor pen portraits and understanding how they will engage with your campaigns, you’ll find yourself publishing content for content’s sake. 


Throughout this article, we’ll guide you through how we carefully identify your audience, then double click into who they really are (within GDPR standards, of course), in order to create quality content.


Let’s talk about pen portraits… 

To create successful financial services marketing campaigns, you always start with identifying your audience. Attempting to reach everyone with your content can often result in capturing no one – and can result in wasted spend and negative effects on return on investment. 


So firstly: what is a pen portrait, exactly? It’s the hyper-focus research needed to identify target investors, then put yourself in their shoes – find out the characteristics that make your target audience who they are – their investment DNA. 


By creating a pen portrait, we can find out their (likely) age, investment value, demographic, psychographics, their digital habits, their values and interests, and even what type of investor they are. Next up, how can creating pen portraits of our audience improve the type of content we create? Keep reading. 


Transforming pen portraits into investors profiles

For example, Hub helped Janus Henderson target two types of audience; confident and learner retail investors. Immersing ourselves in their audiences’ needs and habits, Hub were able to identify a) the right channels for delivering content, and b) what content formats and topics would resonate with potential and existing investors.


Some content tips to get you started once you have developed your pen portraits: 


Beginner  investors: make the content brief, simple to understand, and clear – without assuming all of your audience will be seasoned investors. Do not overestimate the time they will spend taking in your content, they are likely to be a younger demographic and be time poor. A lot of new investors on the scene will likely absorb your content on the go. Make it easy for them with formats like podcasts for commuters, YouTube short videos, shorter digest articles or animations. 

Confident investors: focus specifically on your audience’s age bracket. More traditional investors may be retired, investing as a hobby. Longer, more technical videos, whitepapers, and articles work better for those with more time, looking to be forensic in their research. You may also want to focus on SEO and invest your time in keyword research – investors will be searching for specific topics to learn something new.


The right place, at the right time: understanding your sales funnel

Once you’ve completed the above steps, turn your attention to your sales funnel. Visualise the journey your investors go through before converting. This way, you can identify where your target audience is in the funnel, and how to push them to the next stage. Below are the key phases that Hub focus on:


Awareness: content that captures interest and makes your financial services firm a brand that is recognised. 


Information and discovery: ensuring your audience knows about who you are, what you do, and how you’re the solution to their investing needs. Become thought leaders in your sector by creating educational content, articles, and more detailed content.


Preference: this is where your content gets competitive. The more investors can relate to the format and topicality of your campaign, the more likely you are to reach the purchase stage. A great way to do this is using case studies, testimonials, commentaries on podcasts, and specific articles.


Purchase: think about the type of content needed to teach investors something new. We’re talking educational guides, how-to’s, all that interesting stuff. This type of content provides value, shows you’re the experts, and helps convert customers.


Post purchase: This stage in the sales funnel keeps your investors loyal. It’s about content that retains your investors and provides value – whether that be regular updates from fund managers, ongoing content around investment product, and keeping your audience in the loop with relevant events and announcements. Usually, we’d recommend  distributing these materials through direct marketing channels, e.g. email newsletters. 


To conclude: your audience is the throne your content sits on (remember, that Bill Gates quote). When it comes to crafting content that gets results, knowing who your audience are isn’t enough – you have to understand them, their needs, and what makes them tick. At Hub, our tried and true strategy proves that in-depth audience research makes for extraordinary content and high quality investors.