This following article is the second part of a series addressing the needs and concerns of content marketing in a variety of industry verticals by Jessica Davis of Godot Media.
The financial sector has received plenty of criticism over the past few years for alleged unethical and wasteful practices. Its reputation has sustained a lot of damage. Financial companies, though late adopters of content marketing, have much to gain from it. Content marketing can prove to be a very effective channel to rebuild reputations and regain trust in the consumers' minds. With such a powerful proposition, it's a shame that most banking companies don't even have active blogs and social media accounts-forget about smart and direct content strategy.
According to a recent survey by IMN, financial and banking companies need to upgrade their content marketing strategies to start engaging their customers. The survey also showed that financial services and banking institutions are least likely to have proper content marketing editorial calendars set-up. Even more surprising is that, although customers appreciate interactions with companies on social media platforms, very few banking companies have a social media presence.
Content marketing is among the best ways to build relationships with customers, improve brand awareness, and market services and products. However, the survey results go to show that most banking sector companies are ignoring this and an absence of a social media and content marketing strategy is hurting the image of these companies.
Content Marketing Tips for the Financial Sector
Many people are clueless about banking terms and jargon, and turn to friends, family members, and colleagues for (sometimes wrong) information. Also, because of a lack of banking related content on the internet, most people are unaware of the latest and very important updates that can affect their savings and financial status. Filling this gap for your customers can make your company a market leader. Here are a few tips for banking and financial companies to develop effective content marketing strategies.
- Instead of increasingly ineffective traditional ad campaigns create banking blogs and post useful advice and information. Blog posts explaining everything from banking terms to latest rate changes should be posted instead of descriptions of the services and products of the company.
- Credibility is key when it comes to handling people's money, so the blog should look professional-more like an online magazine than a personal blog.
- The catalog of content needs to be well organized and the categories should be easily accessible and visible to visitors.
- Companies should not limit themselves to blogs. To increase the amount of traffic to blogs, the content should be shared on social media and guest-blogging platforms. It should go without saying that companies need to have attractive social media profiles before publishing content on these platforms.
- Create ebooks and guides to explain banking procedures in a detailed, step-by-step manner. Such guides can be offered for free. This is a great way of expanding email marketing lists as companies can have opt-in forms that people need to fill out to download such long-form content.
Companies to Learn From
Despite a general lack of acceptance within the financial sector, there are some companies that are running successful content marketing campaigns. These are the role-models for other banking institutions.
Credit Suisse has an online blog that looks more like a digital magazine called The Financialist, and the company uses it to publish articles about the latest news in the banking world and to provide in-depth analysis on banking trends, reforms, and issues. It has become one of the most respected sources of information on banking, finance, and the economy. The Credit Suisse also goes beyond text to post great images and videos, adding to its popularity.
Sun Life Financial is a company that has been able to create and publish a steady stream of content related to the company's area of expertise - health, family, and finances. The blog and website is full of tips and how-to articles on topics like personal finance, savings, and retirement planning. Such articles are extremely useful for almost anyone as most people would love to manage their finances better and save more for the future. The company has made a wise decision by targeting families and as a result it has been able to create a loyal base of readers.
Remember, the goal is not to sell your services, but to become the go-to source of information for your potential customers-and by doing so, you hope they will self-convert to actual customers.
(Image courtesy of Shutterstock.)