While most financial services utilize some form of content marketing, many fail to do so in a way that drives value for them or for their organization. Content is often created, posted on the web, and often receives little to no traction, which many marketers relegate to the simple facts that the industry is often highly competitive, and the topics are often boring.
At the same time, the demand for financial content is increasing. Millennials and Generation Z are much more likely to utilize self-service and research before looking for a product or service, customers use a range of search options to answer questions online before going to a bank, and many research and compare several banks before making a decision. Pushing content to your audience is important if you want to be seen, if you want to offer the information your consumers are looking for, and if you want to draw in new leads and customers.
These 6 ways will help you improve your financial content marketing in 2019:
1. Integrate Big Data
Most banks have more data than they know what to do with. While this data is not always available to marketers for obvious reasons, you can utilize a great deal of it. For example, pairing automation and AI with big data allows you to create finer customer segments (Down to 1 person) to track individuals across websites and platforms, offer information based on their search terms and displayed interest, and update modular content accordingly. This type of content marketing requires already having the customer on your websites, but it is highly effective because customers receive a personalized experience, relevant information, and will likely be less frustrated with the site or app.
Here, your big goal should be to utilize existing data to create well-defined user profiles and utilize those to tailor information based on customer behavior. Automation and AI can then further define what the customer wants and needs based on on-site behavior. Similarly, you can use these well-defined customer profiles to tailor content to individual customer segments, even at a granular level. While you still want to have a traceable and visible ROI for any content you put out, hyper-targeting low-cost information can be extremely helpful.
Most customers experience banks and financial organizations across multiple channels. They will be on your website, social media, and likely your app. Tailoring content marketing across each of those channels is important. You need to ensure that customers can find the information they need on one channel or be moved seamlessly to the next if they can’t. Here, your goal should be to integrate tools such as link-sharing on social media and chat to push consumers to relevant articles and guides, to create short-form versions of information for apps and mobile, and to push video and images to social media.
Here, you can also create campaigns that tie into each other. For example, pushing webinars and video content to Facebook and Instagram adds value to those sites, but those same videos can be tied into articles on the same subjects in mobile apps and on your website. This will help you to gain more value from the content while increasing its lifespan.
3. Financial Literacy
Financial literacy is widely used by many banks as a marketing tactic, but it is an easy way to offer value to customers through searchable content. Here, you can create a digital learning platform or lease one to offer eLearning videos and articles, that can then be pushed across your networks, built into apps and websites, and pushed to consumers as part of your product or service. While not often as effective for marketing to new customers, financial literacy content is very engaging and helpful for existing customers and may help you to increase customer lifespans.
Financial literacy should be kept separate from content regarding how-to-use your products or services so that it doesn’t get in the way when consumers are attempting to solve problems.
4. Customer Stories
Using customer success stories as part of marketing is a highly successful tactic for adding interest, emotion, and engagement to bank marketing content. Here, your goal should be to share authentic stories, centered around either specific products or specific people, with no real goal other than to promote that story. Most individuals won’t immediately run out and purchase your product or start a savings account with your bank because of a success story, but it will drive engagement and raise interest in your bank, increasing brand familiarity and creating a positive consumer impression. This impression may remain until consumers choose to look for a new bank.
5. Digital Storytelling
Digital storytelling is an important but often overlooked aspect of marketing for banks, simply because many people don’t consider financial information to be storytelling material. Financial information can be incredibly boring and difficult to understand. You’re also likely facing a great deal of competition and any generic content you do push out has likely been done and done again. Utilizing storytelling as part of your content marketing strategy will pay off in that it allows you to connect using an emotional angle rather than simply talking about your service, product, or a financial service.
How does that work? Tying in case studies makes information more relevant. Asking for quotes and input from real people in your community makes it personal. Adding user stories makes it real. While you do have to stick to the point, taking some time to tell stories and create an overall message of “We want to help” will help you to drive engagement.
6. Content Marketing Strategy
Any content you produce as part of your marketing strategy should have a defined budget, goal, ROI, audience, and value. Here, you can create a strategy defining standards for content based on factors such as user demographics, channels, intended ROI, budget, season, and so on.
- Which customer demographic is it for?
- Which channels will it be shared on?
- Where do you see value?
- Where does the customer receive value?
If you can’t answer these questions up front, you probably cannot create valuable content. For example, if you know that you’re working to build engagement with Generation Z students just moving into college who are interested in renting and budgeting for the first time, you could create information that is helpful, offers solutions, and offers emotional guidance, which can then be shared on your app, website, and social media. If you didn’t have that information, making those judgment calls would be significantly harder.
Content marketing is extremely important for search, customer engagement, and for driving continued value to your customers. Taking steps to make yours more interesting, taking it to the next level, and differentiating yourself from competitors will make it that much more effective.