The coronavirus pandemic has been a catalyst for social media activity across the European asset management industry and the focus on this form of marketing is set to intensify, according to research and consulting firm Cerulli Associates. “The importance of a strong online presence has been underlined by the Covid-19 lockdown measures,” says Fabrizio Zumbo, associate director of European asset and wealth management research at Cerulli.
Around 12% of the asset managers Cerulli surveyed in Europe last year did not have a dedicated digital and social media marketing team, but this figure dropped to only 2% in the 2020 survey, according to the latest issue of The Cerulli Edge - Global Edition. The firm’s research shows that managers plan to bolster their digital presence in the coming 12 to 24 months.
In addition, some 44% of the managers expect their social and digital media activities to consume a greater proportion of their marketing budgets over the next two years.
Despite the progress managers have made this year in terms of increasing their social media activities, fewer than half of the managers are satisfied with their level of activity. However, more respondents to this year’s survey believe they have a satisfactory social media presence across Europe.
Cerulli’s research shows that, overall, business-focused LinkedIn is still the social media channel most frequently used by asset managers in Europe, ahead of Twitter and Facebook. However, with appetite for engaging video content increasing, managers are likely to use YouTube more. Some 73% of managers expect to create and share more video content via social media channels over the next 12 to 24 months.
Video is a more versatile and engaging format than written content. It is easy to digest and could provide a better return on investment, according to social media specialists. Building a focused video production strategy could be a good opportunity for managers to expand their audience and build brand recognition and awareness.
Says Zumbo: “Managers are likely to continue hosting virtual conferences, given that large-scale, real-life events are still not possible and that it is unclear whether they will return in 2021. High-quality videos can fill some of the gaps left by not being able to meet in person. Good social media content is no longer just nice to have—it will play a major and credible role in investors' decision-making strategies.”
- Three pre-existing distribution trends will play out beyond the pandemic: modernization of operations, integration of technology, and redefinition of sales roles. Distribution teams devising longer-term strategic plans need to recognize that, given the surge in the use of online tools, the post-pandemic industry is likely to look markedly different.
- In Asia, institutions are becoming increasingly involved in the investment process, with technology playing a key role in the transition. Collaborative outsourcing presents opportunities, but asset managers must be agile in their approaches and continuously build and maintain rapport with their institutional clients.