When it comes to innovative content marketing, financial services companies sometimes fall short. Whether it’s heavy compliance or legacy workflows, many financial sector brands are years, if not decades, behind the curve.
While it seems like a tall order to effectively attract, hook, and engage customers through financial content, it can be done. The key to this is creating value. While the end game of content marketing is driving results, overly salesy content will not get you there. Financial brands need to be clear about delivering customer value through content and earn trust before you can expect customer engagement and conversion.
Here are five ways to create remarkable brand value with financial content marketing:
1. Seek to Educate, Not Persuade
Today’s consumers see 3,000 to 20,000 brand messages per day – and thus tune out a lot of that content… They do, however, respond to the adage “teach not sell”.
Forbes contributor Brian Sutter said it best:
“Even when you’re creating educational content, you are still marketing. You’re just marketing the content, not your products and services. You’re still selling those products and services, but the selling is just way in the background. Way, way in the background.”
Customer loyalty is awarded to brands that teach customers something says Content Marketing Institute. Create easy-to-understand content that goes in depth on particular financial topics. For inspiration, check out some of these financial content marketing examples:
2. Get Visual
Financial content is notorious for being boring, vexing, and long because of its inherent subject-matter complexity.
Financial service brands can take cues from other industries by producing scannable “eye candy” for readers, so in-depth and advanced financial topics are better understood.
Our brains value visual content, too. They are a giant image processor hard wired to remember life experiences through pictures. Visual cues also help people retrieve and recall information, so it makes sense to create content in visual formats.
How can you apply the use of visuals creating content for the financial services sector? Take some of these ideas, for example:
- J.P. Morgan Chase with interactive maps and data visualization
- Financial Engines with bite-sized webinars on a variety of financial planning topics — all in 10 minutes or less.
- NerdWallet’s abundance of interactive tools like the Tax Calculator
If you don’t have the capacity to create visual content, break up the copy of a content asset with an image or chart every 300 or so words. Here’s a good example from NerdWallet:
3. Put Your Audience First
Audience focus is a testament of advanced content marketing, yet most of us still fall into a trap of not creating content our readers actually need.
- Understand pain points: Decode your audience’s challenges from their own perspectives by gathering feedback directly from the sales team, which 74% report doing, and engaging in conversations with actual customers, which only 42% report doing.
- Audience personas: The same benchmarking report shows 77% of the most successful B2B marketers use them, compared to 36% of the least successful. Personas help personify your reader and customer archetype. Use them to guide your content creation efforts!
In this example, E*Trade organizes its content by investment goals, making it easy for readers to scan and select an investment path that aligns with their personal desires and motivations:
4. Test Different Content Formats
Some content formats are inherently readable, interesting, and absorbing. While specific content formats apply to any industry, they may be especially useful to financial services. Some of the showstopping content formats according to Content Marketing Institute are:
- Image-dense, long-form blogs: Long-form content is robust in word count, but easy to read. They can be gated or non gated, depending on the conversion goal. In addition, it usually hits on central topic in great depth.
- Listicles: Countdown, count-up, curated “best of” or “worst of” content… Just check out Buzzfeed and you will get the gist of listicles. Why are they popular, you’re wondering? Humans appreciate the organized and easy-to-digest nature of listicles because our brains bank numbers easier than words.
- Step-by-step guides: Nothing shows expertise and value like putting out a long-form post on how to do something in depth. Just make sure this “heady” content is broken up with frequent visuals like screenshots or charts.
- Call-to-action-centered content: Financial content marketing professionals can work to create content that supports a pillar content piece like an e-book or whitepaper. Go in depth on a specific topic so readers can make informed decisions before they act.
5. Exhibit Authority In Financial Content Marketing
When uncertain about making a decision, people look for external sources to guide their choice. Any person or brand with specialized knowledge, credentials, or even an air of confidence is viewed as an authority on a given subject matter, and ears perk.
So, incorporate authority with your content to persuade readers. Use reviews and testimonials from legitimate and recognized people of power in the financial world, encourage your company’s leadership team to pen content, create a co-branded content asset with another prolific financial company, or create a rock-solid About Us page!
Pro tip: Make sure to stay compliant to SEC’s rules.
Developing meaningful relationships with your audiences is key in this highly competitive day and age. Forge this bond with consistent, informative, and relevant content that your customers can relate to, engage with, and find value from.
Luckily DivvyHQ can help with the process… DivvyHQ is the wrecking ball that’s ready to knock down barriers to create remarkable content for your financial brand. Take us for a spin with a 14-day Free Trial to experience all the features that will improve your content workflow.
Thanks for tuning in! Have any more ideas to develop remarkable content in the financial services vertical? Let us know!