More and more financial firms are realising that content marketing needs to be a crucial pillar in their wider marketing strategy. Yet what is content marketing, exactly? How can a financial firm go about designing and implementing a plan which helps it achieve their overall marketing goals?
In this short guide, our team here at MarketingAdviser offers some answers to these important questions. We hope you find this content helpful. If you’d like to discuss your own content marketing strategy with us, please get in touch to arrange a free, no-commitment consultation with one of our specialists.
Identify your goals
The first key question to ask, of course, is what is content marketing and what purpose do you want it to achieve for your financial firm? On the first part, here is a simple working definition:
“Content marketing for financial services is the process of producing excellent, relevant and timely content (articles, videos and more) to attract, engage and convert your target audience”.
In other words, content marketing might involve producing a downloadable PDF guide on pension transfers. You can then offer this to your website visitors via your blog, a pilar page (e.g. a services page) or even on a social media profile/post. The aim is to offer great value to your audience rather than to make an immediate sale, which you might otherwise have done through a sales leaflet or promotional advert, for instance.
What’s the purpose of offering value like this to an audience of a financial firm? There are at least four reasons to engage in financial content marketing like this:
- It builds brand authority. When people read an amazing guide or watch an incredibly useful video produced by your financial firm, it reinforces their perception that you “know your stuff”. This makes them more likely to turn to you for information rather than a competitor.
- It builds trust. If you offer content to people which helps them to solve their problems on their own, it helps build trust that you might be able to assist them in fixing the problems which they cannot deal with themselves (e.g. a pension transfer).
- It helps with SEO. For those looking to improve the search engine rankings of their website, content marketing is the way to go. Ultimately, platforms like Google are designed to find the best, most useful content for users’ searches and offer these up in their search results.
- It increases brand reach. Imagine where your downloadable PDF on investments might end up, for example. Perhaps a prominent person reads it and forwards it on to family members, friends and colleagues. Maybe another prominent blog or media outlet comes across the material and offers you a guest blog or interview – getting your brand in front of more people.
The important thing to do, however, is to come up with some concrete goals (e.g. SMART goals) for your content marketing. Decide on how you will measure its success. Are you looking for increased search engine rankings, for instance? Perhaps you want more website visitors or an increase in qualified leads from organic search sources. It could be a mixture of these things.
Find out what your audience wants
It’s easy to project our own content preferences onto our target audience. Yet this can cause big problems. Be careful to research who your audiences are, what kind of content they like to consume and where they tend to go and find it.
As an example, it might be that you mostly get your news from the BBC website and from a daily newspaper delivered straight to your door. Yet different age groups are likely to engage in content marketing in very different ways. Those in their 40s, for instance, may still largely follow some of your own habits, yet it is likely that they’re also highly engaged on Facebook. Professionals, moreover, may also be very active on a platform like LinkedIn.
Younger demographics are also likely to have different content consumption habits. Those in their 20s, for example, may still use Facebook but are more plausibly going to be focused on other platforms such as TikTok and messenger apps. They’re probably also going to mainly get their news from a smartphone rather than a laptop.
This shows the importance of doing careful research into your audience. There’s little use focusing on Facebook content marketing, for example, if most of your target market is primarily active on LinkedIn or relies on a search engine. Likewise, it makes little sense to pioritise a printed client magazine if most people in your audience prefer to consume content online.
Review your current content
It is quite likely that your financial firm already has a good range of content which you can re-use or re-purpose for your new content strategy. Make sure that you do a careful audit of your existing content to help ensure nothing valuable goes to waste. There are often opportunities here which you may not currently realise.
For instance, perhaps you have an old blog post on inheritance tax. With a bit of work, a financial planner could review this piece and bring it up to date (e.g. for 2020-21). The blog can then be re-published on the website. Moreover, perhaps you could even use the information in there to produce a script for a short animated video on a similar topic.
Maybe you could also produce an IHT infographic, a downloadable PDF guide or white paper. There are lots of possibilities.