How content marketing is changing the game for financial brands

content marketing

Hayley Dawson

Senior Account Manager

Posted on June 2, 2015

Content is the word on everyone’s lips. Up until now, it’s been easy to fall into the trap of seeing content marketing as the playground for popular, trendy consumer brands, but not the place for the rest of us. If your brand happened to have an appealing pool of fun topics and interests to tap into, that was great, but it just wasn’t seen as achievable for those of us working in traditional, regulated sectors.

This perception drastically underestimated what content marketing represents and how we can use it. Content marketing isn’t about memes and trends. Content marketing is about encouraging your customers to engage with you, trust you and rely on you by providing content that’s relevant, timely, and useful. It’s about making hard-to-engage-with topics more accessible, interesting and varied, and priming customers to make good consumer choices – choices that hopefully involve you. Explained in these terms, content marketing is more relevant to financial brands, not less so.

Somewhere within all the talk of the power of content, the financial industry have realised that content marketing is worth paying attention to. Not only does it have a marked effect on rates of customer engagement and retention, it also encapsulates how they will need to compete for their customers’ attention. 88% of financial service marketers think content marketing will be a significant issue for their organisation in the next year. 76% agree that this is a good move, believing that it’s the most effective way to build trust.

The message that financial brands are hearing is this: content marketing works, your competitors will be taking advantage of this fact, and so should you.

Here are four reasons why we think financial brands are embracing content marketing at last:

1. It’s worth playing the long game

Up until now, financial marketers have tended to focus on hard-sell advertising efforts, often through heavy direct mail tactics. But a hard-sell technique is only useful for people already in the buying cycle and poised to act – what about the rest of the time?

By creating an emotional connection with existing and potential clients through good content, we give room for relationships to grow. The payoff is that we’re not reliant on being in the right place at the right time, needing to pounce as soon as our customers are ready to purchase . We’ve created the conditions where they will naturally come to us out of a sense of loyalty when they’re ready.

2. Content marketing delivers higher-value return

By creating personalised, targeted content, we create exclusive relationships with our clients that make them feel singled-out, valued and understood. This is something we’ve done at Talisman for a while now and with good results. By sending A/B test email blasts to segmented lists of customers, we’ve made sure clients only receive the most relevant information and avoided irritating them with irrelevant content.

A personal, considerate touch like this is especially attractive to high net-worth individuals. Focusing our strategy and resources into our content means we can nurture our most important relationships, who are often more likely to reward us with a big return.

3. Rising to a creative challenge helps us stand out

There’s no denying that the financial industry has bigger challenges to face than other sectors. Its subject matter and issues are more complex, more changeable and more restricted. Finding ways to communicate what can be quite dry and continuously evolving financial terms, services and regulations isn’t easy, but by doing so well, creatively and experimentally, we help our voice to stand out against our competitors.

This is an approach we’ll be taking to a whole new level with our clients Investec Private Bank as we embark on a new content marketing project. Netflix-style personalised microsites to increase savings investments? You bet. It’s bold, imaginative financial content projects like this and others that are setting financial organisations apart.

4. It works

Talisman is a good example of how content marketing can pay off. As a direct result of our content marketing strategy, we’ve seen our average monthly traffic increase by 476% in the last six months, we’ve gained over 350 new leads, increased our social media following, and 13 new marketing-qualified leads have identified themselves as more deeply engaged with our services.

The biggest barrier to financial content marketing is patience. We’ve been spoiled by the ease of analytics’ monitoring in recent times – it’s all too easy to become addicted to the gratification of an instant return. By looking at the bigger picture, financial brands are learning to value the results that are harder to measure: increased engagement, improved trust, bolstered brand image.

Exciting metrics of growth for any financial organisation.