How Investment Services are Leveraging Owned Media through Digital Advertising and Organic Social

Advertising
Content & Messaging
Organic Search & SEO
Instagram
Linkedin
October 3, 2022
Financial Services

Key Takeaways

Investment services spent $4.2M in ads, established 456K in social followings and 928K in organic traffic. Here’s how:

Digital Advertising (September 2021 - August 2022)

  • Companies in the competitive set spent a total of $4.2M and increased their digital advertising spend by +27%.
  • 98% of the ad spend was generated by Wealthsimple ($4.1M) 
  • Search and Facebook saw a decrease in spend while YouTube, Display Image & Video all saw increases in ad spend.
  • Paid Search and Facebook saw the highest spending of $2.1M and $1.1M respectively, followed by YouTube ($887K).

Organic Social Media (September 2021 - August 2022)

  • The competitive set has seen the highest followings on Instagram (118K), Linkedin (112K) and Facebook (107K).
  • Twitter (636) & Linkedin (614) saw the most posts in the competitive set. 
  • Instagram (34K) & Linkedin (28K) have garnered the highest engagements across the competitive set.
  • Stylized information and transparent content buckets performed well on Instagram and Linkedin respectively, offering education to viewers in an aesthetic manner and engaging viewers in company policies.

Organic Search & Content (August 2022)

  • The competitive set generated 928K total organic search traffic to their respective websites.
  • Informational and navigational intent keywords drive the most traffic at 931K and 946K respectively.
  • Out of the top 10 organic traffic generating keywords per brand, only 20% represent non-branded keywords that lead to informational and navigational intents.

The following companies were included in the competitive set for this analysis:

From September 2021 to August 2022, companies in the competitive set spent a total of $4.2M and increased their digital advertising spend by +27% in March to August 2022. In April 2022, Wealthsimple increased their ad spend to $1.2M, +233% more than average, to support a $404K ad spend on this crypto YouTube ad.

*Ad spend includes Facebook, Display Images, Display Video, YouTube, and Search.Spend is a directional approximation and does not include retargeting, or behavioural targeting.

All brands except Letko Brosseau and PH&N saw increases in advertising spends in the second half of the year (March to August 2022). Wealthsimple represents 98% of the ad spend with a budget of $4.1M for the year.

In the second half of the year, March to August 2022, only Search and Facebook saw a decrease in spend while YouTube, Display Image and Display Video all saw increases in ad spend across the competitive set.

From September 2021 to August 2022, the competitive set invested $4.2M into digital advertising. Paid Search and Facebook saw the highest spending of $2.1M and $1.1M respectively, followed by YouTube ($887K). PH&N had no ad spend in Canada.

Wealthsimple spent $4.1M on digital advertising with 50% of the budget going to Paid Search. Ad copy highlights the benefits of using Wealthsimple such as the large adoption rate by Canadians and no account minimums. Another ad promotes personal trading, the landing page is a referral page that offers a free surprise stock.

Ad Copy

Landing Page #1, Landing Page #2

Keywords

Mawer spent $66K on digital advertising, 84% of the budget went to Display Images and 16% went to Paid Search. Top ad spends on Display send a message about practical investing, featuring the tagline “Be Boring. Make Money”. Both ads direct to interactive tools such as a retirement calculator and portfolio builder. Mawer’s search ads focus on explaining the practicality behind their investment strategies.

Display: 1, 2 | Search

Letko Brosseau spent $12K on digital advertising, 100% of their spend went to Display Image ads. The main messaging in top ad spends prioritize investing in Canada along with a CTA to watch a video about adapting conventional asset allocation.

Landing Page #1, Landing Page #2, Landing Page #3

Nicola Wealth spent $9K on digital advertising, 50% of spend went to Facebook and 50% went to Display Images. The top Facebook ad features a long text post about an event to share strategic outlooks for 2022 based on the ongoing turmoil and changes in the world. The top Display spend featured a GIF that speaks about growing wealth in unpredictable times and has been distributed to sites such as theguardian.com and womenshealthmag.com.

Facebook

Spend: $3.3K | Impressions: 765K  CPM: $4.42

Display

Spend: $2.3K | Impressions: 1.3M  CPM: $1.78

As of September 2022, the competitive set has seen the highest followings on Instagram (118K), followed by Linkedin (112K) and Facebook (107K). Wealthsimple is the only brand with a TikTok account at 2K followers.

Wealthsimple has the highest accumulated followers at 417K, representing 91% of the competitive set. Instagram and Linkedin have the highest share of followers at 26% and 24%.

From September 2021 to August 2022, Twitter (636) & Linkedin (614) saw the most posts in the competitive set. While Instagram is the top platform with the highest amount of followers, it saw few posts at 201 for the year. No posts were made on TikTok in the allocated time.

Instagram (34K) & Linkedin (28K) have garnered the highest engagements across the competitive set from September 2021 to August 2022. 

On Instagram, competitors generated the highest average engagement from carousel posts (234), which make up 26% of the posts made. Competitors focused primarily on sharing image posts (38%) which generated the lowest average engagement (84). 

Stylized Information

Wealthsimple holds the top performing posts on Instagram. Both posts have two things in common:

1. Informative

Both posts aim to tell a story that will lead to informing the audience. These posts tend to give more than they take. Wealthsimple found a way to take their business category and break it down for their key audience, everyday people. In their top two examples they address making decisions for personal investments and a thought piece on the real estate boom in Toronto. 

2. Aesthetic

Both posts also aim to keep a very clean and consistent aesthetic that Wealthsimple followers have come to recognize. Key details are included in posts and then redirected to longer website pages in the description to keep it neat.

1.3K Engagements

1.1K Engagements

On Linkedin, competitors generated the highest average engagement from image posts (67), however they only represent 13% of the posts made. Competitors focused primarily on sharing link posts (64%) which generated an average of 47 engagements. 

Vulnerability & Transparency

While Financial Service companies do share content about financial markets for financial professionals, top performing posts tend to highlight company values, employees and work life.

Leaders of Change

Top performing posts tend to focus on who people are at a company and how they’re treated. Wealthsimple’s top post publicly reveals their paid family leave to show they are supporting their employees.

Another top post shares the welcome of a new COO to Wealthsimple with her work experience and a photo of her in a branded graphic. 

Nicola Wealth’s top performing post follows a similar path, honouring their CEO for winning the EY Entrepreneur of the Year award. 

2.2K Engagements

1.4K Engagements

In August 2022, the competitive set on average garnered 34% of their traffic from Organic Search, the highest channel outside of Direct.

This Traffic Organic Scan represents a micro-view of one month compared to the Advertising and Social Channel Scans representing a macro-view of one year. 

In August 2022, the competitive set generated 928K total organic search traffic to their respective websites. Wealthsimple generated 95% of the traffic (877K) followed by Mawer (20K) and Letko Brosseau (19K). 

In August 2022, 61% of organic search traffic was generated by branded keywords. This indicates a high level of brand awareness amongst the competitive set.

Search content strategy for the competitive set indicate a high effort around informational intent (77K) and transactional intent (18K) keywords. Brands are creating more content that aims to reach users trying to learn (i.e. “ontario tax calculator”) and convert (i.e. “wealthsimple fees” or “wealthsimple login”).

  • Informational Intent: Customers are interested in learning more about specific services or product lines from brands.
  • Transactional Intent: Customers are ready to participate in financial services and are starting to lookup search terms that will help them take the next step in activation.
  • Commercial Intent: Broader searches that indicate commercial interest in a specific product type but not necessarily a specific brand.
  • Navigational Intent: Broader searches within the lens of a specific brand. Customers search less for specific products and more for the brand itself.

While informational keywords are seen the most, both informational and navigational keywords drive the most traffic at 931K and 946K respectively.

Out of the top 10 organic traffic generating keywords for each brand, only 20% represent non-branded keywords that lead to informational and navigational intents. Non-branded keywords are generating traffic from two main sources, blog posts or tools.

Top Organic Pages:

Optimized Tools

Simple but Effective

Wealthsimple has an income tax calculator that is maximized by creating several different landing pages for different geographies across Canada. 

This optimizes searches by providing as many landing pages as possible depending on how specific a viewer gets in their query. 

For each province, there is a different landing page with small changes updated to match the geography, allowing the site to rank easily across searches.

Invested Growth

Engaging with Customers

Mawer’s top organic pages are still ranking from content dating back to 2019 and 2017. This content shows that Mawer is invested in helping their customers grow and learn in finance.

The first page addresses family RESPs that is listed under a subdirectory called “Investor Education”.

The second page is a 2017 recommended book list from the team at Mawer. It ranks under the keyword “reading list” and is broad enough to not alienate non-financial viewers but informative enough to keep all viewers on the page. 

Inform & Inspire

Leveraging Knowledge

Nicola Wealth’s top organic pages are both rich content from blogs. 

The first page links directly to a PDF connected to their main domain that offers robust information about the ‘Nicola Core Portfolio Fund’. This content enables readers to make informed decisions.

The second page is related to Nicola Wealth’s award for being recognized as one of Canada’s 10 most admired corporate cultures. They were able to leverage a press release as blog content that viewers could engage with. 

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