Content marketing within the financial services industry has been lagging for years now. Because of this, financial service firms need to evolve in the ways they target customers and clients. This is where content marketing comes in — it can provide that edge a financial services company needs to beat out their competitors.
To help you be successful in your financial services marketing, we’ve put together six ways you can market your services and business with content strategy.
1. Embrace social media
Social media has become a powerhouse for financial services marketing and nearly all other industries. More than 90% of Gen Zers, over 80% of millennials and 70% of Gen Xers believe brands need a Facebook page. Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram … they each provide the chance for companies to target multiple demographics, and it’s critical for your team to know where your customers like to hang out on social media.
How to start
- Begin by learning what content plays well on which platform.
- Identify your target audience.
- Craft a specific message for each channel following best practices for that platform.
- Strive for a mix of content that includes educational material along with news or promotional content.
- Post on a clearly defined schedule.
- Remember to be consistent with your branding and messaging throughout each channel.
As you start to create content, aim for images and captions that humanize your business — these will pique your audience’s interest. Don’t forget, too, that social media can become a great place for getting feedback from clients and customers. When Barclaycard developed its Ring MasterCard, the company reached out to existing customers on social media and asked for ideas. The Ring MasterCard has been recognized as the first social credit card to be designed and built through the power of community crowdsourcing.
2. Create educational content
With so much information at our fingertips, we’re always learning. Content marketing financial services can be a great way to not just generate traffic to your website but also to create potential conversations and awareness. By providing educational content through a blog, you can make your brand name trustworthy and become a go-to for people who are looking for specific content on financial services.
How to start
- Consider starting a blog or having an “education” tab on your website that houses helpful articles.
- Do a little research to discover what kinds of topics people are interested in learning more about, even if it’s just simple jargon. Remember that your customers aren’t finance experts like yourself. Simple, straightforward content can be hugely beneficial to building trust with your audiences.
- Use a content calendar to help you produce timely, relevant content.
Creating educational content can be vastly beneficial for financial services marketing. Take it from Liberty Mutual, who created an Alexa skill for customers to “receive actionable advice on common home and auto worries.” American Express has also used educational content to its advantage with a blog dedicated to helping small business owners get more clients and engage with their customers more.
3. Incorporate content personalization
Following the themes from above, knowing your audience is a huge aspect of financial services marketing. People love personalization — it’s why the customer journey has become the main focus for just about every marketing campaign. In 2019 alone, 35% of marketers in financial services were focusing on personalization, and that wasn’t just for kicks. According to data from Boston Consulting Group, personalization can offer a revenue boost of 10 to 30%.
Ensuring your company knows who the customer is and what their needs are not only makes them feel valued but also gives you a way to offer more applicable services.
How to start
- To personalize your content in the financial services sector, you first need to understand your customer base. Create persona profiles for different types of customers and work to build accurate customer records.
- Invest in tools that give you a look into your customers’ behavior in relation to your platform. And then use this data to make not only your products more relevant but also your content more relevant.
- Get feedback. Conduct surveys to understand how your banking customer experience is fairing. Direct feedback from customers can help you see where you’re falling short on the customer journey and what needs to be fixed, enhanced or made more personal.
Matthews Asia, a financial services firm specializing in Asian investments, uses Episerver integrated with data sources like CRM to drive personalization within its organization. Technology like this can help financial orgs with personalization by doing things like customizing the user experience to match whatever search terms were used or whatever content was viewed. For example, if someone searches for “mortgage rates” on your website, you can then use that info to see that mortgage content shows up for them — similar to how cookies and targeted ads work, but more specific to your site.
At the end of the day, the best way to achieve content personalization is to simply put the customer first. You’ll learn their wants and needs, which will in turn influence the way you advertise and market to your audience.
4. Adopt video marketing
Would it surprise you to know that YouTube has become the second largest search engine? Around 86% of YouTube viewers say they use the platform regularly to learn something new, which is why financial services marketers have started to invest heavily in video marketing. In fact, nearly 97% of marketers say video has helped boost user understanding of their services, and 76% say it’s increased sales.
We are naturally more attracted to video content over large blocks of text. By incorporating video into your marketing campaigns, you can explain complex financial products simply while also building a more transparent relationship with customers.
Take Bank of America, for example, who’s created video testimonials and interviews for its audience. Its video series show real people with real jobs being asked how they handle financial responsibility, so viewers can find out how their peers navigate the world of work in their own words. Bank of America uses a video library to house all of the videos in the series in one location, making it easy for viewers to navigate while also increasing the amount of time spent on the website.
A good starting point is to begin with the following video topics: guarantees, competitor differentiators, testimonials, firm history, video guides and how-to videos.
Each one of the above video ideas has garnered success among other institutions. For instance, WealthSimple has used extraordinary brand storytelling to accumulate over 1 million views on average. The company highlights its brand messaging “Investing for Humans” by bringing real faces to the stories in the videos.
5. Employ digital storytelling
Storytelling became one of the most effective marketing mediums long ago, and it still holds that title today. Whether in video, ads, on social media or cross-channel platforms, digital storytelling allows your marketing to extend into the real world.
How to start
- Figure out what story you want to tell, and make sure it’s consistent across all departments.
- Don’t focus on just one marketing strategy or try to incorporate everything in all at once.
- Identify how to tell a story that captures interest and evokes emotion.
You want to excite and move your viewer through relatable and shareable content. This content can either educate, entertain or simply help the audience in some way.
Let’s look at Allstate’s “Worth Telling.” In this marketing campaign, Allstate focuses on telling the story of a handful of customers who are making a difference. Through this campaign, Allstate is not only promoting what its customers are doing but also building trust by sharing real people with real stories.
6. Ensure sales and marketing alignment
Breaking down walls between departments in your financial services is crucial for content marketing to be effective. Today, just about everyone is a content creator within your firm. It’s no longer solely up to the marketing team to share content or post on social media. As such, you need to ensure that your sales and marketing teams are aligned on all aspects surrounding financial services content marketing.
A great way to achieve alignment between departments is to use templatized content. Templates can give you the control you need to ensure brand consistency and compliance while also empowering anyone to customize and distribute content as needed. A content marketing platform with a library of pre-approved templates is a great way to start.
As you start your journey on this new content marketing road, you’ll come in contact with lots of information around the content experience and customer journey. To give you a leg up, we’ve created an ebook on how you can deliver the extra 1% to your customers by providing a memorable content experience. Download it for free below.