Anticipating compliance needs and delivering on them in a timely manner can be a complicated process for ETF issuers, especially once you start factoring in your unique marketing goals for repurposing earned media coverage. Balancing all facets of compliance approval isn’t a one-man show. Instead, a proactive marketing strategy and dedicated content team is required to manage the process successfully.
Here are five tactics to consider when developing and implementing a content marketing plan that will allow you to get more mileage out of your media exposure with less hassle.
1) Plan ahead.
Create a content calendar of upcoming ideas that have the potential to result in media coverage. This is a good way to stay organized, and having those topics determined in advance provides extra time to draft relevant social media posts, press releases and other marketing materials. The sooner you draft these items, the sooner you can submit for compliance review. This increases your chances of receiving approval in a timely fashion to push out content overlapping with the news peg you are targeting.
Having marketing materials approved in advance opens the door to promoting articles or TV appearances before they run. This builds anticipation leading up to publication and can significantly boost total audience reach.
— Reality Shares ETFs (@RealityShares) December 21, 2016
2) Use templates.
Once you get a sense of what compliance is looking for in media coverage submissions, turn the most successful posts into templates for future use. Keep specific language on file for upcoming TV appearances, article publications or the promotion of speaking engagements and other industry events. Using language previously approved by compliance vastly increases the chances of an expedited approval.
3) Give the funds a break.
The most rigorous compliance review comes down on promotional materials that specifically mention an ETF issuer’s funds and investment products. For that reason, key media spokespeople should be open to discussing tangential topics that overlap with the core principles of the firm, but do not make the connection directly to the ETFs. This is a good way to fill in the gaps of social media and blog content with thought leadership pieces that enable you to bypass review of fund-related materials. Having a robust media campaign in place that encompasses the firm’s overall messaging, not just its products, is paramount to building this content base.
— ACSI Funds (@ACSIFunds) March 14, 2017
4) Bundle submissions.
Besides the obvious time considerations involved in submitting materials to compliance, there are also cost considerations. To optimize your resources, try submitting materials in groups, rather than on a one-off basis. That way, you assume the cost for one overall submission as opposed to multiple projects. Not to mention, it’s a lot easier to stay organized when all upcoming social suggestions, press queries, media abstracts, etc., are conveniently in one place.
Once a social media post, abstract of coverage or any other material on an evergreen media topic is approved by compliance, keep it in your back pocket to reuse or repurpose down the line. If you are reusing it verbatim, you could potentially bypass the compliance process all together if you wish to repost in the future. If you are tweaking the content into a similar format, the subsequent review process should still be significantly simpler.
Even if you do not receive final compliance approval as soon as you initially hoped on a post related to earned media coverage, there are various other ways to “recycle” that coverage. Try turning it into a Throwback Thursday (#TBT) post or sending it out as an “In Case You Missed It” (ICYMI). This is a great way to draw extra eyes to the content and keep the momentum of the conversation going well beyond publication.
#ICYMI, our CEO Eric Ervin discussed the #Trump rally yesterday with @connellmcshane on @FoxBusiness: https://t.co/YwRYYLdVkS. #Dow20K pic.twitter.com/YiZ7dqTnTG — Reality Shares ETFs (@RealityShares) December 22, 2016
At the end of the day, marketing is supposed to aid the growth of your business. Adhering to compliance standards will allow your communications strategy to play an effective role in building awareness for your firm and investment products.
It is in everyone’s best interest to work with the compliance process instead of against it. Having an iron clad marketing plan and experienced team in place can be the difference between smooth sailing and seeing your hard-earned media coverage sink.