Talking to investors about COVID-19

March 31st, 2020 | Lierin Melvin

With COVID-19 ushering talks of a global recession, investment brands address the anxiety head-on with information and support. How are brands fighting back?

COVID-19 influenced ad strategies 

The global pandemic caused brands to turn to the inbox: as digital spend and social posts decreased period-over-period, email increased to preempt customer concerns. And while COVID-19 had a small presence in advertising overall, it’s becoming more important: for Vanguard, COVID-19 is more than 50% of campaign volume for email and Facebook.

In the wake of a global pandemic, wealth management brands turn to the inbox. According to data from Comperemedia Omni, there’s been a more than 60% increase in digital spend, a nearly 40% increase in email volume and a 35% decrease in social posts. 

Fidelity Facebook ad

Brands wanted to be supportive and informative 

FSIs turned to Facebook and email, two channels able to communicate a lot of information at one time. As recession anxieties grew, email evolved into a comforting tool to support brands’ customer base. SoFi stood out by launching a timely Facebook campaign to provide quick-hit education to viewers worried about the markets and investing.


Charles Schwab February email

Owned social revealed the investing age gap

While Ellevest and SoFi were most active on social channels, legacy brands did not shy away from Facebook. However, strategic differences between legacy brands and fintechs highlighted the generational gap in target audiences: While legacy brands touted own in-house expertise, fintechs gave a crash course to their customers.


SoFi Facebook post

Ellevest and SoFi took to Instagram to provide basic knowledge to keep customers informed. As Ellevest and SoFi have younger customer bases, their strategies help customers feel confident in the markets through education.

Ellevest Instagram post

What we think

There is ample opportunity for brands to stand out by helping the many customers who will be navigating their first recession.

The effects of COVID-19 are far from over, and the global pandemic will likely result in a recession. For many younger Millennials and Gen Z, that’s a terrifying thought. But these young investors are ripe to learn from investment brands about how to handle a recession and continue to invest during these times. In order to stand out during this influx of messaging, brands should consider:

  • Get marketing in front of investors ASAP, as many will be getting tax refund or stimulus checks.
  • Develop a succinct messaging strategy, similar to SoFi’s Facebook campaign, which will stand out in an information-heavy ecosystem.
  • Look at own advertising resources, as Vanguard did, to see what could be used to communicate support in more brand-awareness focused channels while saving on production costs.
  • Go where consumers are learning, such as podcasts, and address COVID-19 anxieties in these channels.
  • Invest in video advertising to communicate a lot of information in a digestible manner.
Lierin Melvin

Lierin Melvin

Lierin Melvin is the Director of Insights at Comperemedia, overseeing content, client engagements, and insights for Financial Services, Telecom, and Insurance. Lierin uses her nine years of experience in omnichannel marketing to provide recommendations and industry insights for how to effectively manage full-funnel marketing campaigns.