How UBS Engaged 5 Million through Content Marketing

Content Marketing - partnership

In July 2016, UBS launched UNLIMITED, an online portal with curated content that discusses life issues relevant to wealthy millennials and women.  The company has reported that its content marketing strategy is working.  Content is being consumed by 35 to 38 year olds and 60% of the readership is women.  The challenge all wealth management professionals face is well-documented.  According to a Fidelity Investments study, only 58% of younger millionaires are working with advisors, down from 72% five years ago.

Develop Relevant Content

UBS has enlisted photographer Annie Leibovitz, among others, to shed the “alpha male”-focused imagery that has persisted in financial industry advertising.  They have also partnered with Vice Media, Vanity Fair and Stephen Hawking to create content that speaks to the target audience in their language.  The company wanted to develop content that spoke to laypersons (read non-finance gurus) about relevant issues while omitting language that requires a finance degree to understand.

They also developed content that is evergreen so that it can be distributed repeatedly over time through social media.  With its partners, UBS created short-form videos which are used to lead readers to longer-form content (7-8 minute articles).  Leadership notes that the longer content is being consumed, despite the fact that 72% of engagement is initiated on mobile.

Engage Target Markets through Social Media

UBS Chief Marketing Officer Nicolas Wright told Marketing Week that the new program is working.  He says that UBS has attracted one million unique users to its online hub and engaged 5 million through social media.  After 15 months, UBS UNLIMITED has nearly 15,000 Facebook followers and 1,650 Twitter followers.  UBS has more than 115,000 followers on its primary Facebook page.  The company has reported more than 5,000 email subscribers in the first six months of UNLIMITED.  Given these figures, it is likely that the 5 million engaged through social media are on partner properties.

Measure Results

Despite the higher engagement, UBS reported a loss of $6.4 billion in customer assets in second quarter 2017.  Not surprising given the hard task of reconciling the social media following with the reported engagement numbers.  However, the company also notes that there is an 18-month sales cycle for its wealth management services.  It’s important that UBS—and you—have clearly defined metrics to help understand how a content marketing strategy will result into leads and sales.  What’s yours?