Banking on Thought Leadership

RBC Capital Markets’ Content: COVID Insights that Cut Through the Noise

Sep 8, 2020

Each week we examine a different investment bank’s content and highlight three things we like about their approach to thought leadership. Our goal is to help investment banking marketers learn about the best practices in thought leadership and elevate their content.

Overview of RBC Capital Markets’ Thought Leadership: RBC Capital Markets has more than 7,900 employees across its 70 global offices, placing the firm at the top end of the middle market. RBC Capital Markets had a big year in 2019, including advising Raytheon Co. on its $90 billion merger with United Technologies Corp. and serving as the sole adviser and provider of debt financing to Permira Holdings LLP for its $2.5 billion takeover of life-sciences company Cambrex. RBC Capital Markets publishes thought leadership through its Insights page, covering a range of capital markets and M&A-related topics and currently emphasizing categories such as energy, healthcare, and artificial intelligence.

Highlights of our analysis of RBC Capital Markets’ thought leadership:

  • COVID insights that cut through the noise
  • Maximizes impact by being easy to access and navigate
  • Enjoyable user experience—multiple forms of content, varying levels of depth
  • One piece of unsolicited advice: Greater promotion of M&A insights on LinkedIn

Three Things We Like

1. COVID insights that cut through the noise.

It can be very difficult to create effective thought leadership when everyone is talking about the same thing, as has been the case throughout much of the COVID-19 pandemic. We recently wrote a blog post on this very subject, and RBC Capital Markets helps to highlight many of the key takeaways we shared in that post—in a positive way.

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One way that RBC Capital Markets cuts through the noise with its COVID-19 insights is by narrowing its focus to specific areas where the firm can provide truly differentiated insights. For example, instead of trying to boil the ocean, RBC Capital Markets published insights on narrow topics such as How COVID-19 brought Australian online retail up to date and its COVID Consumer Spending Tracker—a user-friendly series of charts and commentary that updates readers on key indicators of consumer spending across a variety of categories. This highlights one of the tenets we shared in our blog post—be mindful of your audience in a pandemic. Readers have greater restrictions on their time, so help them out by keeping things simple, concise, and easy to follow.

Another thing we like about RBC Capital Markets’ insights related to COVID-19: they are measured and balanced. It’s clear that RBC Capital Markets hasn’t lost site of the long term during this crisis. Instead of shutting down every other insight topic outside of the pandemic, RBC Capital Markets has continued to publish insights across a variety of important categories, including ESG, M&A, and technology. Our personal view is that the firms that have continued to focus on the long term during COVID-19 come across as steadier and more confident investors and advisors relative to those who have taken an “all COVID-19, all the time” approach to thought leadership.

 
2. Maximizes impact by being easy to navigate.

For many investment banks, the reader must dig through a website to find relevant insights. In many cases, insights are spread out among multiple sections of a bank’s website, and it sometimes feels like the only way to read about the firm’s perspectives in a given area is by stumbling upon them. This isn’t the case with RBC Capital Markets, who shouts their insights from the mountaintop—or the top of the homepage, in this case.

RBC Capital Markets’ Insights page is listed in the top navigation bar, third on the list behind “About Us” and “Expertise.” By making it easy for readers to find its insights, RBC Capital Markets is maximizing the value of such insights and increasing the likelihood that the right people will find the right information.

 

3. Enjoyable user experiencemultiple forms of content, varying levels of depth.

RBC Capital Markets clearly had their audience top of mind when designing its Insights page. The Insights page is easy to navigate, well-organized, and includes several features that are helpful to the reader. For example, Insights are bucketed into a handful of helpful categories, and each piece includes its own icon, introductory blurb, and an estimate of how long each piece takes to read (or watch, in the case of videos). These small touches can add up to a much better experience for the end user and help create an ecosystem that they keep coming back to.

RBC Capital Markets also does a good job of providing a variety of content types and lengths for its audience to choose from. Most of the firm’s insights are on the shorter side, requiring just a few minutes of the reader’s time, but longer pieces are spread throughout the site to allow for a deeper dive when required. Examples of deeper, more engaging content available on the site include a recent video on developments in transition finance (32 minutes) and the firm’s The 10-Minute Take podcast series, covering important equity market news and trends.

 


 

One Piece of Unsolicited Advice:

Greater Promotion of M&A Insights on LinkedIn

As noted above, RBC Capital Markets is doing many things well when it comes to thought leadership. The firm also does a nice job of sharing its insights via LinkedIn. LinkedIn posts are varied in terms of topic, format, and level of detail provided. They often highlight individual team members and focus on real insights instead of pure self-promotion. We like all of these qualities.

But we would love to see more M&A-related insights on RBC Capital Markets’ LinkedIn page. The firm does a good job of sharing insights on capital markets topics and ESG in particular, and there are several healthcare-related insights from its investment bankers. But this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the firm’s investment banking expertise. Adding insights on other areas of investment banking can help to fuel deal pipelines and further establish RBC Capital Markets as an investment banking thought leader.

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Keep Exploring

See our thoughts on several companies we have recently analyzed or view the full archive.