By Kara Parlin
Content marketing is rapidly changing, with new opportunities and challenges arising in the financial services sector.
But effective financial marketing requires careful planning and execution, particularly given the regulatory landscape that governs the industry.
To better understand how content marketing has evolved and the strategies that will be essential for success this year and beyond, Contently released the comprehensive State of Content Marketing: Financial Services 2023 eBook. It offers insights into key trends and tactics across various areas like trust building, customer engagement, personalization, workflows, secure tech stacks, and more.
Here, we’ll explore the main takeaways from the report to help you build successful content campaigns for financial services.
Trust Building Is a Requirement, Not an Option
Trust is a critical component of the financial services industry, and it’s equally important in financial services content marketing.
Organizations in this sector need to provide truthful and trustworthy content that appeals to customers wary of shady investments and deceptive practices.
Consumers want accurate information about their options, so companies need to focus on building trust through transparency, reputable practices, and support for social issues.
JPMorgan Chase & Co., for example, includes a section on its site to explore its general impact and commitment to racial equity.
Successful financial services content strategies should focus on these four steps to build a solid foundation:
- Create data-backed buyer personas.
- Perform a full content audit.
- Assess your organization’s content maturity model.
- Set and track content goals and KPIs.
These measures can help establish credibility among potential customers and give them confidence that they are dealing with a reputable company.
Take Financial SEO Challenges Into Consideration
Search engine optimization (SEO) plays a critical role in content marketing, particularly in industries such as finance. However, financial service organizations face two main challenges in optimizing their content for search:
Challenge 1: Large institutions often dominate high-volume search queries, making it challenging for smaller institutions to rank for them.
Solution: Focusing on long-tail keywords is often more effective, particularly as consumers become increasingly specific in their search queries. Local optimization can be effective for financial companies with brick-and-mortar offices, too.
Challenge 2: Google holds finance-related content to a higher standard to protect searchers from harm.
Solution: Ensure all content adheres to Google’s E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) and Y-M-Y-L (Your Money, Your Life) concepts.
You should strive to have subject-matter experts write financial content and ensure all content is well-researched to demonstrate authority and trustworthiness. Y-M-Y-L guidelines apply to content that can potentially impact a person’s health, happiness, or financial stability.
Financial organizations should ensure their content is accurate, trustworthy, and transparent to meet these guidelines and avoid any negative impact on their reputation or rankings.
Here are seven characteristics financial services content marketing should have, according to Google’s Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines:
- Reviewed and updated regularly (including links)
- Connected to social profiles that reflect financial expertise
- Fact checked
- Connected to sites that actively respond to reviews
- Connected to reputable websites (through backlinks)
- About page where contact details are easy to find
- Connected to author pages with bios
Opt for Interactive Mid-Funnel Content Over Generic Advice
According to a JD Power study, consumers are more likely to engage with brands that provide personalized advice specific to their needs. This means that traditional content marketing formats like webinars, eBooks, and whitepapers are less effective.
Instead, brands should focus on interactive elements such as quizzes and calculators to help customers make informed decisions and differentiate their financial services from their competitors’ offerings.
Like many insurers, Lemonade includes an online quote feature on its website that allows visitors to customize their quote requests according to their requirements. This gives people a self-serve option while also allowing the company to capture lead information like a person’s name, email address, phone number, and home address.
Incorporate Inbound Call Tracking Into Bottom-Funnel Content
When it comes to the bottom of the funnel, financial services content marketers need to think beyond traditional content strategies like case studies or email campaigns. The challenge is that finance consumers don’t typically convert online — they want to talk to someone on the phone or in person before making a purchase.
Solution? Your bottom-funnel content needs to focus on getting potential customers to pick up the phone.
According to Invoca, a significant percentage of banking and investment consumers prefer to call to make a purchase, and loan shoppers want to talk to someone on the phone at least twice. So content marketers need to focus on measuring their content’s impact on call success.
By including specific calls-to-action in your content that encourage potential customers to pick up the phone, you can partially attribute call-enabled revenue to the content that motivated the customer to take action.
Create Content Workflows That Capture Key Process Steps
Building custom workflows is critical for effective and efficient content marketing in the financial services industry and ensures that content meets regulatory requirements.
Workflows should also be specific to the type of content being created, such as SEO-driven articles or multimedia content.
By leveraging workflow automation solutions like Contently, marketers can streamline processes and reduce manual tasks such as creating content calendars, establishing review cycles, setting deadlines for deliverables, and even booking writing talent.
These solutions can also be used to automate content creation from existing templates as well as track progress across different teams and channels. This helps companies maintain consistency in their operations while freeing up staff to focus on more crucial tasks.
Find Success in Financial Services Content Marketing
By combining these tools, content marketers can gain a holistic view of their content’s impact and optimize their strategy accordingly. With a secure and comprehensive tech stack, financial services content marketers can confidently measure their content’s impact, optimize it based on their learnings and effectively target different buyer personas while keeping consumer data safe.
With these strategies and best practices, financial services organizations can stay ahead of the curve and remain competitive and compliant. Companies should use these insights to develop content marketing strategies that meet customer needs, build trust, and strengthen brand loyalty while protecting customer data.
Download our State of Content Marketing: Financial Services 2023 eBook to further explore these and other insights you can prioritize for content marketing success.
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