Icon Alternatives Case Study

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Objective

Icon Alternatives is an investment firm that seeks to diversify its clients’ portfolios with alternative options. With such a wide variety of commodities to choose from, the firm tapped Fetch to identify ways to get in front of general consumers and the farming industry.

Cryptocurrencies were a huge topic of conversation in 2017, leading to a frenzy of discussions around bitcoin futures contracts, as well as a potential bitcoin bubble. As a knowledgeable expert in trading bitcoin, Icon Alternatives was in a unique position to become an authority on the subject, educate the public on this foreign trend and grow their client base. The target audience for this campaign was made up of investors interested in diversifying their portfolios with cryptocurrency, as this group had the most potential to become Icon Alternatives clients. Fetch was tasked with reaching this audience through a variety of tactics to increase the firm’s visibility within the cryptocurrency world.

Agricultural professionals experience high stress every year, depending on how well their crops perform. One way in which farmers can protect themselves is through hedging. The Icon Alternatives client roster boasted several large agricultural accounts, offering an inside perspective at how farmers look to ensure they remain profitable. After speaking at length with Icon Alternatives brokers, Fetch identified an opportunity to educate this industry about how hedging strategies can be used to help offset any loss in profits due to factors outside of their control. (e.g. weather, insects, etc.) In positioning Icon Alternatives as the expert, it increased visibility in the farming space.

Approach

Media Relations
Fetch identified top media outlets that skilled investors would read to stay up to date on the latest cryptocurrency news. The Fetch team selected a spokesperson within Icon Alternatives: a Millennial with the expert knowledge of a seasoned financial professional. From there, Fetch assembled a series of media pitches that directly addressed myths and fears surrounding bitcoin, as well as presented expert commentary on timely news topics. (This tactic was used when CME Group and Cboe released a bitcoin contract.) This resulted in ongoing placements in top investment news, including regular commentary in Barron’s.

Agricultural publications are often region- and crop-specific, making it even more important to have a spokesperson who can speak across all commodities. Fetch worked with the Icon Alternatives president to create pitches about hedging strategies and how they benefit farmers, partnering closely with this seasoned veteran and setting up interviews when possible. This resulted in ongoing placements in top agricultural publications and podcasts.

Content Marketing
Fetch created a variety of articles to complement the ongoing media efforts, housing these pieces of original content on the Icon Alternatives. Links to these articles were shared through email marketing to specific email lists, and across the firm’s social media channels. Additionally, these articles were boosted on Facebook to increase overall readership among the target audience.

Social Media
Fetch created two Facebook advertising campaigns throughout the program, A/B testing each to make adjustments as needed. The first was targeted at potential cryptocurrency investors in anticipation of the release of the CME Group and Cboe bitcoin futures contracts. The call-to-action was a link back to the sign-up form on the Icon Alternatives website, encouraging this group to open an account. The agricultural program was an educational initiative, displaying content on how Icon Alternatives can help develop customized hedging strategies to protect profits from the ebb and flow of the crop season.

Results

  • Icon Alternatives saw unprecedented success from the public relations campaign, including several account sign-ups that were direct results of one of the media placements.
  • Web user traffic to the lead form on the Icon Alternatives website increased from 0.2 percent to nine percent by Dec. 2017.
  • Facebook advertising efforts drew in over 400 people to their leadform, and website traffic increased over 43 percent.
  • Media pitches garnered 32 placements in industry-specific publications, such as Barron’s, Forbes, ModernTrader and Cryptonews.
  • The Icon Alternatives president spoke on the Brownfield Ag News Radio Network, which is one of the largest and oldest agricultural news radio networks in the United States. It broadcasts to more than 450 affiliate radio stations throughout rural America.