BetaShares: a finance content case study that wins trust

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Breaking down barriers
By Jasmine Crittenden, contributor. 7 January, 2020
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Trailblazing in the financial market is tough. Most customers are slow to take risks with their hard-earned cash. And yet, fintech after fintech has managed to win love.

How? Well, let’s start with the problem.

What’s the biggest barrier to changing customer behaviour? A lack of trust.

And what’s the biggest barrier to trust? A lack of education.

Enter brilliant content marketing ideas. Think of your website as a blank slate — where you can teach anyone anything you like — through words, podcasts, videos, images and more.

Here, we take a look at an innovative Australian company that also provides one of the nation’s best finance content marketing case studies.

Since launching in 2009, BetaShares, an exchange-traded funds (ETF) business, has launched numerous financial firsts on the Australian market. But, rather than scaring customers away with these new products, it has attracted their money — big time.

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The Challenge

When you’re committed to a financial revolution, you face challenges galore. When BetaShares set up, ETFs were huge in the US, but virtually unheard of in Australia. Over the past ten years, the company has introduced:

— Australia’s first ETF to track the FTSE-100 Index
— the world’s lowest-cost Australian equities ETF
— Australia’s first hedged gold ETF
— Australia’s first ETF dedicated to the global cybersecurity sector
— Australia’s first commodity ETFs, including one dedicated to agriculture … among many other firsts.

From the get-go, BetaShares co-founder, Ilan Israelstam, who doubles as head of strategy and marketing, knew that educating customers was crucial — and that excellent content marketing ideas were key. (We’re sure of this because he told us back in May 2018, in this interview). “Content marketing gives [us] credibility,” he said.

The Strategy

When it comes to finance content marketing case studies, BetaShares approach is pretty simple: educate, educate, educate. Win trust and inspire excitement — by telling people about everything to do with ETFs, from how they work and why they’re so popular in the US to the latest news and cutting-edge research.

To ensure a steady stream of content marketing ideas, the company committed to two or three posts a week, every week — all published on its blog, Insights. While many are written by professionals, including an ex-journo from the Australian Financial Review, some are written by staff. In fact, Israelstam and his business partner, Alex Vynokur, insist that each employee produce two or three posts per year.

“That’s a way to get a whole lot of different voices into the business, which is really effective,” Israelstam told The Dubs.

It also means the content varies from easy-to-read features, like ‘8 reasons to consider investing in Asian technology companies’, to detailed analyses, like ‘Why the $A could be headed to US62c’.

“We tailor [the content] depending on the audience – we’ve got stuff that’s quite professional in nature, quite sophisticated, and we’ve got things that were written for the absolute newbies,” said Israelstam.

To make sure the right person gets the right stuff, BetaShares uses high-tech bots, which track everything. By measuring customers’ interaction with content, the company can serve up information that meets their interests — be it keeping up with the monthly performance of ETFs in Australia or exploring specific industries, like agriculture, or economies, like India.

By measuring customers’ interaction with content, the company can serve up information that meets their interests.

In addition to blog posts, BetaShares runs educational webinars on various topics, like 'Building a robust, diversified investment portfolio'. And the website hosts an educational hub, packed with explainers, how tos, white papers and videos.

Why is this one of the best finance content marketing case studies around?

Betashares content marketing ideas stand out for their focus, variety and reliability. On one hand, the strategy is single-minded in its dedication to ETFs. On the other, it’s delivered in a range of voices, so every reader finds something of value — be they a novice interested in investing in one industry only or an old hat wanting to dive deep into several sectors.

What’s more, by publishing two or three posts every week, and sending out a weekly newsletter, BetaShares has proven its credibility and authority. At the same time, the company has built up an immense body of knowledge and stacks of educational resources.

The results

Betashares exceptional growth speaks volumes. In just ten years, the company has attained 55 funds and more than $AU9.5 billion worth of assets. $4 billion of that has been added in the past 19 months — since May 2018.

According to Israelstam, content marketing ideas have been vital to success. “In terms of measuring ROI, we’ve got our own metrics that indicate to us that content marketing is among the best marketing we do.”

Striving to join the ranks of the best finance content marketing case studies in the world? Get in touch.

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Jasmine Crittenden has written extensively for major finance brands including Westpac, BT Financial Group, Suncorp and Aberdeen Standard Investments – across both digital and print. She’s an expert in content that puts the human element in finance marketing, be it connecting with local communities, inspiring millennials to care about super or clarifying the complexities of personal loans.