Brewin Dolphin has topped a list of the best financial adviser digital content and communications, in a study which was broadly critical of the digital engagement of most adviser firms.
Integrated brand and communications company Living Group looked at the web presence of FTAdviser’s Top 100 Financial Advisers last year, ranking firms on website functionality and content, as well as social media content and response.
Of the total marks available, Brewin Dolphin had the highest score of 76 per cent, followed by Towry Group with 66 per cent. They were followed by Equilibrium Asset Management (64 per cent), Rathbone Investment Management (60 per cent) and Hargreaves Lansdown and Vestra Wealth (57 per cent).
While the study praised those at the top of the list, it found general deficiencies such as that the majority of firms have no responsive features on their websites, nor do they provide a mobile version of their website.
Only 30 per cent utilised responsive web design to enable browsing on desktop, tablet and mobile devices, and of the remaining 70 per cent, only Rathbones provided a dedicated mobile website.
It also found that 68 per cent of websites offered no cross-device functionality - technology for effective display of web content on mobile devices - while 48 per cent had no search functionality.
The analysis also criticised the fact that half of those firm’s websites analysed were dominated by an “outdated and company-centric approach to copy, content and communication” which “invariably prioritises ‘About Us’ over client or prospect-centric content”.
The leading performers pushed thought-leadership, relevant news and client research higher up the communications agenda.
While LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and Google+ have all been adopted as channels to support marketing and business development activities, “a significant volume of advisers social media content is dedicated to self-promotion, industry accolades or employee communication”.
The research also suggested that too many advisers rely on recycled tweets that lead the user to a third-party website.
Last Friday the Financial Conduct Authority warned advisers they could get in trouble if they ‘retweet’ or otherwise republish their customer’s messages through Twitter or other social media, where the message relates to product recommendations.