In fund marketing, “content” covers a wide range of activities – from podcasts to white papers to pitch decks to quarterly newsletters. The nature of this communication will be quite different when you’re communicating with an existing investor, who knows you and has already trusted you with their money, versus a brand new prospect who is on the path to potentially – hopefully – making that decision.
It is easy to approach this early prospect marketing with the same information as your investor communications. After all, past performance is all that matters, right? Wrong.
Let’s start by considering what hedge fund marketing content is not.
It is not asking for money
All too often, “fund marketing” equates to a sales function; the team reaches out to investors seeking investment. This approach is highly transactional and outcome focused, and overlooks any concept of brand or relationship – both of which are core facets of trust. Firms communicating on a purely transactional level should not be surprised if they are only judged in this dimension – that is to say on their performance. This may sometimes be enough, but what about when it’s not?
It is not due diligence
At some point in the sales process, you will (hopefully) need to proceed to due diligence activity. Whilst due diligence matters greatly and must be passed, presenting this type and level of information up front is not the right approach. This information won’t be what leads an investor to allocate money to your fund; it will be what doesn’t stop them from investing. It is not what captivates, delights – or even just interests – your potential audience. Save it for later.
It is not your performance record
Fund management is a numbers game to some extent; you have a performance record and your pedigree. It can be tempting to think that if you present good numbers to potential investors, they will invest. If that were true, the highest returning funds would secure the investment every time – and in turn, those with lower numbers would not. This is often not the case. Your performance figures only tell a potential investor that things went your way before. But can you achieve that again? Was it luck or skill? Do you really understand your methodology, and the market? Your content should communicate this clearly – in good times, and in bad.
It is not the answer to every question that hasn’t yet been asked
Producing a compelling content strategy is not an attempt to communicate everything in a single hit. People simply will not engage with a pitch deck which is 10 pages long, covering every aspect of the firm to date. If the depth of the content overwhelms the recipient, they may not read it at all. In order to build a meaningful relationship, you need to create an emotional connection, and then pass over the right information at exactly the right moment. It is very powerful if your marketing technology allows you to monitor access to your content, to be able to really nurture a lead and take them on a truly personalised journey.
So we have covered what content is not…..but what should it be? What should a hedge fund be trying to achieve or convey with its content?
Edgefolio recently hosted Jon Greene, fund marketing expert and consultant, on a webinar: “Why hedge funds must produce marketing content”. He discussed the value hedge funds can derive from producing high-quality marketing content, how to achieve this with limited bandwidth, and where firms should focus their attention. Watch it now, available on demand!