A significant number of asset management firms use content marketing as part of an integrated marketing strategy, but face challenges in developing a content strategy and producing enough content on a consistent and regular basis, according to a new report from financial services PR specialist BackBay Communications and the Mutual Fund Education Alliance.

The report reveals that asset managers view content marketing as an opportunity to engage with new customers (82 percent), raise brand awareness (50 percent) and ultimately grow their business (46 percent). Those responsible for product management were more likely to see content marketing as an opportunity to raise awareness of products than their counterparts in the marketing team (50 percent 
compared to 21 percent).

To achieve those goals they are adopting a broad range of content marketing tactics, both at a brand and product level. White papers and videos (82 percent) are the most utilized tactics, with white papers cited as the most effective medium for content marketing (59 percent).

“Content marketing among asset managers is still largely nascent with no one path to success,” said MFEA marketing council chair Bill Finnegan, chief marketing officer for AMG Funds. “This research points to a huge opportunity for firms who can define and execute a content strategy to increase brand perception, lead generation, loyalty and measurable ROI.”

Survey respondents say the primary challenge when it comes to content marketing is developing a strategy (64 percent). Producing content frequently enough (41 percent) and leveraging it to maximum effect (36 percent) are also identified as commonly encountered challenges. Evaluation is a sticking point, with campaign measurement cited as an issue by 36 percent of respondents.

“The study shows growing adoption of content marketing strategies, but also reveals that marketing and product teams are still trying to determine best practices in how they allocate resources to develop content efficiently and effectively,” says Bill Haynes, president and CEO of BackBay. “In working closely with asset managers, we have found that content that speaks to timely economic or market themes, while still aligned with the firm’s brand and product sales goals, will generate the most interest and resonate best with a specified target audience.”

Less than a quarter (23 percent) of survey respondents have built dedicated content creation teams in house, and less than one in five (18 percent) use external agencies or freelancers.