The Official Blog of Acuity Knowledge Partners

First impressions and the power of content

Published on March 17, 2020 by Shikha Singh

You have three seconds to engage your reader, and the only way to do that is with your headline – one that is compelling and relevant to what your reader is doing and experiencing. No wonder many believe it is reasonable to spend 50% of writing time on the headline – it’s what is most likely to get an interested reader to move on to the first paragraph and then the rest of the story, instead of walking away from your content. It’s an opportunity (probably your best one) to catch their attention and start a business conversation, leading to a meaningful, enduring relationship. First impressions DO count.

A website is a critical marketing tool; it reflects what a company stands for: The average consumer, whether in the market for apparel or investment options, is accustomed to choosing from a myriad alternatives. They are quick to form impressions and don’t necessarily go by the rules – hence the potential to create positive opinions and break stereotypes, indicating the need for new entrants to uninhibitedly express their opinions, and for established players to be constantly alert to prove the relevance of their offerings.

The investment management industry may have been a bit late to the party but is now firmly focusing on technology and enhancing its digital presence. Next-generation technologies are making inroads into wealth and investment management as fund managers explore potential AI solutions to improve their investment decisions and give them an edge in the market.

The other important change the industry is witnessing is the strong preference of clients for digital interaction, which has led fund houses to focus on their websites to attract clients and use it as a tool to inform and educate them. Markets move in cycles, but what managers have to say at a fund and strategy level can keep investors engaged and increase stickiness. Their views can be presented on their websites in the form of blogs, thought leadership notes, whitepapers and podcasts. In an industry where product differentiation is tough, content provides a medium for thought-provoking ideas that could help distinguish the firm. “Thought leadership that includes sharp, thought-provoking insights could serve to convey a company that is transparent, honest and does what it says.”

Compiling superior content requires resources and time. Outsourcing research content has, therefore, been gaining traction, enabling onshore analysts to focus on what they do best –generate alpha for clients. Outsourcing has also helped businesses maintain the quality of their website content while keeping in check the costs of doing so. Acuity Knowledge Partners employs a number of CFA-qualified analysts who can be commissioned to write research on client-specified topics within reasonable time frames. We combine in-depth capital-markets expertise with superior writing skills to produce well-thought-out, long-shelf-life content.

Another essential process attracting attention from an outsourcing perspective is editorial review and research production. Our clients have been using our research review and design services for the past 16 years; we review documents for ease of readability, language, logic, data consistency, style and structure. We also provide formatting and design services – all crucial to making that good first impression. Outsourcing the process saves both, time spent on managing the function – hiring, training and retaining resources, and ensuring quality, as also quick turnaround – and costs. We appreciate that your reports may contain industry research, ideas and information that you would like to keep classified. Work-related matters remain fully confidential at all times. Acuity sees information security as a key priority; our policies and practices are in compliance with all relevant legislations pertaining to the safe handling, use, storage, retention and disposal of client information.

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About the Author

Shikha heads Acuity Knowledge Partners’ (Acuity) editing, formatting & publishing and design services, managing all client accounts in this vertical. She has 16 years of experience in working with financial research content. Before joining Acuity, she worked with Goldman Sachs as a Series 16-qualified Supervisory Analyst and Editor. She also set up and managed its 10-member content management team in Bangalore. Her previous work at JPMorgan included reviewing equity research reports, and she focused on credit and industry and company research reports during her stint at Crisil Research (an S&P company). Shikha holds an MBA in Finance.

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