Like economics in general, content marketing in the financial sector is all about supply and demand. There’s great demand, in fact, because the public craves up-to-the-minute, real-time information regarding fluctuating interest rates, market trends, and financial advice. And one of the most effective delivery devices for this information is online content. The stats back this up, too. As it stands now, a whopping 77% of internet users read content like blogs, and 70% of these people would prefer to learn about a company through content as opposed to an ad.
Just know that, like most things in life, content-marketing success doesn’t come easily. The financial sector is a notoriously regulated industry, which means there are limits to the kind of information financial-services providers can and can’t publish. The key lies not only in overcoming these regulatory challenges but in the process of publishing the great content your audience craves. Below we look at tactics and strategies to achieve just that.
Blog often, and make it engaging
No matter your financial company, be it a bank, credit union, finance advisor, brokerage, or even a digital startup, you need to have a blog. On the surface, this may seem like an antiquated digital marketing tactic, but nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, B2B marketers that use blogs get 67% more leads than those who do not. Plus, websites with blogs on average have 434% more Google-indexed pages than those who do not. Just think about what a boost like that does for your search engine optimization.
There are some simple but crucial rules to maintaining a good blog. Of course, you’ll want to create engaging content that is helpful and informative to your target audience. But you’ll also need to be creative, which is no easy feat considering this is a niche topic and communicating complex and esoteric financial notions is easier said than done.
Still, there are engaging finance blogs out there. Simply take a look at a list of popular finance blogs and you’ll get a sense of what they’re doing to draw big audiences. Interesting themes that will get the attention of your customer base include:
- Disruptive finance
- Innovations in banking
- Macroeconomic trends
- Market insight and psychology
- Financial services technology trends
- Affordable financial planning
And the list goes on and on. The last and most crucial tip is to update your blog on a regular basis. That means you should be posting two or three times a week. Also, try to include images in your blog, as this simple act can boost your views by as much as 94%.
How do you grab your audience’s attention in a day and age when the typical media viewer has an attention span shorter than a goldfish? The answer is by offering them more dynamic content than what they’re used to. The best way to keep your audience on your website after they’ve landed there is through interactive content.
As a business owner, this is one of the best methods to differentiating yourself from the stiff competition in the financial services sector. After three days, people will retain up to 65% of the visual content they’ve seen as opposed to just 10% for written content. More specifically, visuals like infographics are particularly popular, as people share these 3x more than any other type of content.
What interactive content does is take these visual cues and engage the viewer in an active way. There are many forms of interactive content, too, including 3D maps, animated charts, interactive infographics, and more. One creative visual element is a hover effect on an information blurb or FAQ that enlarges when the reader scrolls over it with a cursor.
JP Morgan Chase, in fact, has an entire section of their website devoted to data visualization and interactive content. Here you’ll find plenty of infographics and interactive graphs and maps. These are all designed to boost the level of engagement and maximize the time the viewer spends on the website.
Digital calculators are another interactive tool that will engage your audience and help differentiate your business from the competition. They deserve their own section because calculators are not only interactive, they can also shoulder much of the customer service burden for those financial institutions that don’t have brick and mortar locations. Plus, there’s no learning curve with a calculator—most of us have been using them in one form or another since grade school.
You can easily embed any type of financial-services calculator onto your webpage that you’d like. In the consumer-facing world, these include car and student-loan calculators, those that tally home mortgage payments, IRA contribution limits, etc. However, if you’re a financial-services firm catering to other businesses, some B2B options include ROI calculators, sales calculators, and invoice and financing calculators. Regarding the latter, the website of UK firm Touch Financial is a perfect example of effective use of a B2B cost calculator while simultaneously touting their free comparison services.
Also, because your calculator page will likely include commonly searched for terms and phrases (“car loans”, “home loans,” “student loans,” etc.) having such a dedicated page will boost your search engine optimization and drive more organic content to your website. It’s a win-win.
Ultimately all of your financial services digital content should be helpful to your audience while also being creative and engaging. It’s a tricky balancing act because while exercising that creativity you’ll also need to be in compliance with federal regulations. Even so, the sky’s the limit. So, have the above tools, tactics, and strategies fueled the flames of inspiration and given you new ideas to raise your content game and differentiate your brand from the competition?