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Hearsay Content Study: Delivering the Right Content at the Right Time for Maximum Effectiveness

June 10, 2020

Check out key highlights of this benchmark study based on 18 million+ published posts with 23 million engagements, from agents and advisors in Life Insurance, Wealth Management, P&C, and Mortgage. 

The 2020 Hearsay Financial Services Social Media Content Study is here, and we wanted to share a few key findings from the third annual edition. With each year’s study, we continue to fine-tune the data to share benchmark results that can really make a difference in your social media program. We have unearthed trends and best practices signaled by corporate social media program administrators, advisor and agent publishes, as well as consumer engagements.

Focusing on the same four lines of business from last year’s study—Life Insurance, Wealth Management, Property and Casualty, and Mortgage—we aggregated data from 54 leading U.S. financial services firms and their cumulative 173,000 advisors and agents who used the Hearsay Social platform during the calendar year of 2019. In all, this year’s study analyzed more than 18 million published social media posts and garnered in excess of 23 million engagements across Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. This year’s results show clear, actionable trends within the financial services industry as a whole that can positively impact any program. Here’s a preview of a few key findings:

  1. Authenticity Prevails: This year we dug a little deeper into the data to analyze trends beyond content categorization, including the impact of editable posts and custom content. The verdict is in: custom content is king when it comes to engagement. Of the published content we analyzed, unmodified suggested content had an average engagement rate of 47%. We’ve long known that modified content performs better, and this year’s study showed us that the numbers are even more telling than in the past. Compared to unmodified posts, we found more than twice the lift in engagement rate when the suggested content was modified by the advisor or agent. Even more significant is that original content created by advisors on average gets 10X the engagement rate of unmodified content!
  2. Hearsay Campaigns Strike a Balance: We also analyzed the use of Hearsay Campaigns against suggested and custom posts and found that Campaigns blend automation with efficacy. This approach strikes the perfect balance between consistency in message and cadence with minimal effort from the field. Out of nearly 18 million total social posts analyzed from the Hearsay platform in 2019, 51% of all suggested publishes were automated. This mirrors the growth we continue to see year over year when it comes to content publishing automation. Automation allows organizations to share high-quality, curated content to their entire field to amplify brand messaging, drive traffic to websites or communicate timely content, such as updates around the COVID-19 outbreak. Automated publishing is a great way to increase advisor adoption of digital channels and are particularly valuable for practices with little local marketing support, significantly lowering the compliance burden, even as centralized content creators tailored campaigns by region or provided multiple campaign options to ensure variety.
  3. Trend Towards Lifestyle Content Continues: Similar to the past two years of the study, lifestyle content such as health and holidays proved to be quite popular. For example, in wealth management, lifestyle content increased from 15% of total suggested content in 2018 to 25% of the total in 2019. At the same time, the average number of publishes per piece of content increased 16% year-over-year, demonstrating an increase in advisor activity across social and signaling more comfort and buy-in from the field. With lifestyle content generally showing the highest engagement rates, program administrators have a significant opportunity to tweak content strategies to drive even further engagement. It is important for Marketing admins to work to get the right balance of content type (financial education, lifestyle, corporate brand) media type (message, video, photo, link) and modification blend (automation, modified, original content) to maximize the efficacy of their organization’s content strategy.

Being able to share timely, relevant content is paramount to any social program, and implementing the right balance of automated publishing, modified, and original content helps put you ahead of the content curve and ensures you stay there. The Hearsay Social Media Content Study aims to deliver trends and insights to help social media program admins take a data-driven approach to their content strategies.

Erica Spelman

Erica is a copywriter for Hearsay's Customer Training and Education Team.

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