In late 2019, we were approached by our associates at Silver Marketing to develop a content marketing and PR strategy for Bristol-based Anderson Financial Management. The objective was to extend the reach of the business to specific audiences across their target market of Bristol and the surrounding areas.
We were pretty excited about the brief – to market financial products, services and advice, well… a bit differently, using our creativity. We followed these three steps, working with the team at Andersons to devise a plan:
Initial online research revealed that there was plentiful guidance available for entrepreneurs starting a business, but very little to support them afterwards. During the research phase, the Andersons team shared that they love working with clients who ask questions and really engage with their finances. So the Curious Investor’s Guide to… Scaling-up a business was born.
Andersons already had a wealth of knowledge on this subject matter, having advised multiple entrepreneurs and business owners. We conducted interviews with the team, as well as with successful Bristol entrepreneurs. These conversations included the founder of a fruitful food business, a tech entrepreneur and a partner in an award-winning baby product manufacturer.
By this time the country was in lockdown due to COVID-19, so we expanded the focus to include much needed advice and experience of business survival through a crisis.
Written financial advice can often be dry and unengaging. With a focus on numbers and returns rather than what the resulting money means to the individual. We wanted to produce collateral with a difference.
The tone of voice of the Guide was informal and chatty, with lots of outboxes, pull-quotes, checklists and top tips. This approach also reflects the Anderson brand values, as a client consultation is more like a counselling session, and overall life objectives come purely before financial outcomes. Financial counselling if you like.
We briefed Bristol-based designers Marles+Barclays to reflect this tone of voice, and the strong visual identity of the business, in the design of the Guide. The striking front cover and double page spreads feature case study images, rather than generic stock images. The bullet points and lists are illustrated with specially commissioned illustrations. And the final Guide looks and reads more like a magazine than a piece of financial advice.
As well as creativity with content and design, we needed to innovate on campaign delivery. Before the pandemic, the original plan had been to distribute hard copies at the Bristol Life Awards ceremony, and to the many business incubators, co-working spaces, and coffee shops in business districts of the City. However, COVID-19 meant that we needed to pivot…
We moved to an online campaign, focused on social media and using blogs and social posts to drive downloads by a business audience. Along with native LinkedIn articles and posts acting as teasers to download the full Guide, we maximised opportunities with the now virtual Bristol Life Awards. This included posts promoting nominations, tagging past winners / high profile individuals in the business community, and short videos to capture attention.
Additional LinkedIn posts maximised opportunities to share visually engaging content already created for the Guide, such as infographics and checklists. As well as tips drawn from the case studies, tagging the businesses and individual contributors to amplify content. A small number of printed copies were shared in a targeted distribution to relevant Andersons clients and prospects.
With communication limited to online, we also reviewed opportunities to build on the messaging with regional and local media. This was achieved through submitting commentary and ideas to online publications for articles on topics relevant to business owners. This included aligning personal and business goals, divorce and separation, and wills and inheritance planning. This approach secured quotes from Tony Anderson in feature articles in South West Business Insider, as well as coverage in Bristol Life magazine.
We are extracting maximum value from this content through ongoing promotion on LinkedIn, including LinkedIn advertising. As well as distributing hard copies at the in-person Bristol Life Awards 2021.
The Curious Investor’s Guide to… Scale-ups has proved so successful that we have also launched a Curious Investor’s Guide to… Partnerships, another target audience for Andersons identified in the original strategy workshop. And a Curious Investor’s Guide to… Coping with change is in the pipeline. Watch this space!
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