Revealed – The Top Channels Influencing High-Net-Worth Individuals’ Research

Revealed – The Top Channels Influencing High-Net-Worth Individuals’ Research

by Grace Ambrose
Content Specialist

30 October 2023

Understanding your clients or prospects is the first step to creating a successful marketing strategy.

This is why we surveyed over 500 high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs), to understand the main influences of their investment research.

From this, we identified the channels they are most influenced by, revealing how you can tailor your marketing to prospects based on their preferences.

    Portfolio size matters


    First, we asked about emotional responses when making investment decisions.

    This way, we know when and how to cater our marketing to ease the pain points and concerns prospects and clients may be facing when looking for a brand.

    When asked how they typically feel when making investment decisions, 51% of all respondents said they felt excited about potential opportunities.

    However, we found that those with smaller portfolios (<£250,000) had a higher fear of losing money and moderate anxiety about making wrong decisions. Whereas those with larger portfolios (>£10 million) had higher levels of excitement, confidence, and pride.

    They did have a fear of losing money, but their biggest concerns were about market volatility.


    The highest-influencing channels


    1. Online advice

    Online sources are the most common way HNWIs conduct their research. Despite this, those with lower-value portfolios relied more on a face-to-face consultation or recommendation from a friend or colleague for investment advice.

    This suggests that online marketers should aim to include options for face-to-face consultations within their marketing activity. By promoting this as an option, prospects could easily book a face-to-face appointment with your firm online. And, in the ever-moving digital age, you could also provide Zoom calls or telephone appointments to build greater brand trust amongst those with smaller portfolios.

    However, 70% of all HNWIs surveyed have made an investment decision based solely on online advice.

    This percentage increases based on portfolio size, with 100% of those with a portfolio size of over £10 million having made an investment decision based on online advice alone.

    In fact, when looking at those with an investment portfolio of over £10 million, the same percentage (24%) said they would be most influenced in their choice of investment or asset management firm by written content on the firm’s website, as they would with a face-to-face consultation.

    Offline sources of research prove less popular.

    The number of people stating they use newspapers and magazines (32%) or live radio (15%) to conduct their research has reduced from two years ago.

    Only 32% of the 516 people we surveyed read newspapers and magazines in print, whereas 49% read blogs, newspapers, and magazines online.

    Online publications or blog posts can be a great tool to aid in research. It was the second-most-cited source amongst respondents.

    This shows the importance of a PR campaign or content-led strategy. By providing content matched to the stage in each prospect’s investment journey, you could further answer their questions and concerns.

    Using a different tone of voice for those who are confident and have an understanding of investment, in comparison to those who do not, will help your firm produce a better user experience, with content that matches user intent.


    2. Search engines

    The first choice for HNWIs researching investments is Google (or other search engines). The number of HNWIs mentioning it has increased from 67% to 72% over the past two years.

    Typically, those researching online will click the top-ranking results on the search engine results pages (SERPs), proving how important it is for brands to be ranking in the first and second organic positions, now more than ever.

    This means an organic SEO approach may be the way forward to ensure your brand is ranking for the keywords prospects are searching for.

    Optimising your on-page content will enable Google to read how your copy is answering the questions prospects are asking, and building backlinks will help boost the authority of your page – leading to a higher position on the SERPs and a more trusted brand.

    Alongside this, Search Ads can provide the right message to prospects just as they’re about to convert – potentially being the final piece of the jigsaw that pushes them out of the consideration stage.


    3. Social media

    Social media also plays a huge part in how HNWIs research online.

    The proportion of people saying they use TikTok for investment advice is up to 19% from 15% two years ago. This highlights the importance of video for online marketers in the modern day.

    However, one social media channel markedly down is X (formerly known as Twitter) which was mentioned by 20% of respondents, down from 26% two years ago.

    YouTube is the social media channel with the most influence, with a total of 41% of participants mentioning this. Breaking this down further to take into consideration the size of their investment portfolio, we can see that those with the highest wealth are turning to YouTube for guidance above all social channels.

    YouTube, Instagram and Facebook are all video-based platforms, each popular with those with a portfolio of less than £5 million.

    From this, we can conclude that video content stands out most amongst the huge amount of content being produced online.

    Therefore, incorporating video content into your campaigns could help you connect with more future prospects, by answering their questions and presenting them with the information they’re looking for in the way they respond best.


    Tailoring your marketing


    • A content-led strategy

    We know portfolio size matters. That’s why, when targeting those with smaller portfolios, you should focus on building confidence and offering reassurance. Use nurturing campaigns to guide them through the investment process.

    For those with a higher portfolio, discuss market trends and volatility – possibly offering hedging options or diversified investment opportunities. Highlight opportunities to showcase financial acumen and achieve significant returns. Use a more direct call to action and offer exclusive opportunities.

    By providing content matched to the stage in each prospect’s investment journey, you could further answer their questions and concerns.

    Using a different tone of voice for those who are confident and have an understanding of investment, in comparison to those who do not, will help your firm produce a better user experience, with content that matches user intent.

    This, paired with a PR campaign, can get your brand in the online publications we know HNWIs trust and rely on, like


    • An SEO approach

    By combining a content strategy and organic SEO approach, you could ensure the right message is being put in front of the right prospects, at the right stage in the marketing funnel.

    You can utilise your knowledge of prospects’ preferred channels, and cater your messaging to answer the questions and ease the concerns they might be facing.

    On-page optimisation could get your page ranking higher in the SERPs, with off-page content such as link building being a great way to continue to build brand authority through backlinks.


    • Paid Media

    Paid Media is another great way to ensure your brand is visible on each of your prospect’s preferred channels.

    Search Ads can provide the right message to prospects just as they’re about to convert. By using ‘Custom Intent’ on Google Ads, you can customise your audience and produce content that is shown to prospects with similar interests.

    Overall, it’s clear that a combined approach can best help you target HNWIs, no matter their portfolio size.

    Messaging matters and video content is key.

    Therefore, to reach your prospective clients, you need to create an authoritative and trustworthy online presence to stand out from the crowd.


    Want to find out more? Download our free eBook – Decoding the Digital Habits of High-Net-Worth-Individuals.

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