In part 1 of this article, we took a closer look at how ETF issuers can take their marketing to the next level by re-examining and retrofitting (or re-doing) key marketing materials, including websites and fact sheets. In this follow-up, we’ll tackle other, equally-important ETF marketing materials:
If you’re like most ETF issuers, your video content is minimal at best or even nonexistent; this is a missed opportunity. Short animated videos are a fantastic way to communicate the key value propositions of an ETF without diving into the minutiae that might overwhelm first time website visitors. As with web copy more generally, the key when it comes to animated videos is focus and brevity; if your video content consists of lengthy 20-minute interviews or commentary, this is probably too long. It may be worth re-examining if this content is actually serving its intended purpose, and if so, whether it can be condensed. It can be difficult to hold anyone’s attention for 20 minutes.
Does your video content really shine? Make sure your videos show no signs of haste or cut corners. Awkward phrasings, cheap or cheesy animations, poor audio or bad lighting may not have anything to do with your investment products but will still not reflect well on your company as a whole. If your existing content needs some work, be sure to hire an experienced firm with access to quality equipment and talented writers and animators—it may be more expensive, but you’ll wind up with a much higher quality piece of content.
Do your investment cases “sing?” Would you feel comfortable handing it over to your grandmother to read? If not, you might want to take a second look.
Investment cases are your opportunity to answer any questions an investor might have about an investment product in plain, unintimidating language that gets to the point. They’re a deeper dive than a fact sheet and delve into some of the details that make an ETF tick. Although by their very nature investment cases will tend to be somewhat more text-heavy than fact sheets or website copy, this isn’t an excuse to present readers with a “wall of text.” We find investment case tend to be most effective with readers when they are presented in a friendly “question-and-answer” format and broken up with bold sub-headings that allow readers to skim to the parts that are relevant to them.
It can also be useful to have an outside firm look at your investment cases, or start over from scratch, as many developers of investment products have a difficult time putting themselves in the shoes of a novice.
Whitepapers / in-depth reports
Whitepapers and in-depth reports are likely the driest, most detailed marketing materials that prospective investors will encounter when evaluating an ETF. Ranging from 4 to 20 pages or more in length, these reports are almost always technical in nature, diving into some of the investment theory or academic literature behind what makes an ETF tick. Because of their academic nature and their length, it’s recommendable to re-examine the document from a top-down perspective: what is the main idea of the piece, and what is its goal? Do the sections flow logically from one part to the next? Does the piece build from simple concepts to more complex ones? Another important facet to consider is who the target audience is. Seen through this lens, you may want to re-write the piece from scratch, or even consider breaking it up into smaller, digestible pieces that may prove less intimidating to prospective investors, requiring less of a time investment.
Like it or not, your marketing materials are the public face of your company and its products. By upgrading and re-examining your ETF marketing materials, your firm will be well-positioned for success.