How can I get the best bang for my ETF marketing buck?
There are a number of must-haves when it comes to ETF marketing, including an attractive ETF website with a data feed that works on all devices (mobile-first is ideal) and ETF fact sheets, but when it comes to the best bang for your buck, PR (public relations) is far-and-away the best bang for your ETF marketing buck, once you’ve taken care of the regulatory essentials. Why? While there are other ways to get your name and ETF out there, including advertising, advertorials (native advertising), and conferences, a concerted PR campaign can offer a number of other ancillary benefits, while helping you control costs, get in front of investors, and ultimately raise assets under management.
By reaching out to financials journalists specializing in topics relevant to the ETF in question and positioning company spokespeople as subject matter experts, PR enables new and existing ETF issuers alike to build relationships with members of the media. While not all interviews lead to quotes in articles (or TV/podcast appearances), and not all quotes will necessarily mention an ETF issuer’s specific products or services; by remaining consistent and delivering valuable insights to reporters, ETF issuers stand to reap big dividends in terms of reach, reputation, investor mindshare and ultimately AUM.
While advertising can be a good option for those with the budgets to support it, the large minimums associated with advertising campaigns and ticker targeting can be prohibitively expensive for small issuers that are just launching their inaugural funds. Likewise, conferences can be a great way to network and connect one-on-one with prospective investors and members of the press, but springing for a conference booth, which can run into the tens of thousands of dollars in some cases, may not be the best spend for those with limited budgets.
See our related post: A Primer on Connecting with Retail Investors
Okay, we get it. PR is a good idea. How many media appearances can you guarantee per month?
We wish it was this simple. Unfortunately, PR is more art than science. It’s a matter of staying abreast of the evolving media landscape and inserting spokespeople into the conversation where they make sense and can add the most value for reporters as subject matter experts. This doesn’t mean we don’t work our butts off for our clients (we do), pursuing the reporters, publications, and storylines that fit their narrative and expertise, but at the end of the day if a reporter is not interested in speaking to a spokesperson, or if a developing news story drowns out our carefully crafted pitch, there’s little that PR professionals can do except move onto the next pitch. In other words, when it comes to PR, persistence and consistency are key. A steady drip of news stories month after month helps build momentum, and the more spokespeople are quoted in the media, the more likely they are to be sought out for comment by other news outlets.
PR: it’s a marathon, not a sprint.