Many marketing principles applied to financial services are fairly timeless. However, trends and technology change – as does customer (or client) behaviour. What form might these take in 2022, and how can financial firms adapt their marketing accordingly?
Below, our team at MarketingAdviser offers some insights into how digital marketing, in particular, might evolve in the months ahead for the financial sector. Our main client base is financial planners, investment firms and wealth managers, so we focus primarily on these segments in our article below.
We hope you find this content useful and invite you to contact us for a free digital consultation if you’d like to discuss your own financial marketing strategy with our team.
The rise of influencer marketing
We are often asked at MarketingAdviser where social media is an effective marketing channel for financial planners.
Typically, it is difficult for smaller, locally-based financial firms like these to make significant headway here. This is because social platforms like Facebook and Twitter require a lot of effort to build a large, engaged following and generate leads from ever-increasing economies of scale.
However, one little-exploited area of social media by financial planners is influencer marketing. Here, you approach a content creator on YouTube, Facebook or other social platform who has a large, relevant audience and engage in “product placement”.
You may have seen this in other industries. For instance, “fashion Instagrammers” with lots of followers are often approached by fashion brands to review their products – often in exchange for free clothes, shoes and beauty items.
In financial services, there are a surprising number of UK-based social media influencers in the financial sector. Here, financial planners may not have a physical “product” to offer, but there are other ways you could get your business featured in the influencer’s content – which then goes out to their large audience.
For instance, perhaps you could commission an original piece of research about how people in the UK regard or use pensions? You could then gather the findings and offer them to an influencers, who could comment on these in their latest video.
Concise video content
A lot of research has been published lately about how “short-form” video content is expected to be a rising marketing trend in 2022 – with financial services as no exception. Here, a financial video might be 1-2 minutes in length, covering a specific topic.
Whilst longer videos can have their place (e.g. investment lectures on YouTube), using shorter videos is often far more effective at getting to the point and driving “binge watching” from viewers.
Think about it, most people do not have time to watch three 1-hour YouTube videos in a row. However, they might have time to line up three or four during their daily commute. With this kind of engagement, video publishing platforms are more likely to prioritse your content to users in their feeds when logging in, and you are more likely to get a subscriber to your content
The most prominent example of short-form video content is TikTok. Here, each video is 15 seconds long and typically lends itself to funny content. Here, financial services may have their work cut out (the subject matter is often dense and hard to make humorous!). Yet there could be an opportunity here for some clever, creative people.
If you are interested in short, animated “explainer” videos for financial planners, then we offer a range of ready-made videos in our content library, called Clients Plus. These can also be branded with your logo and embedded on your website.
The prominence of mobile
Internet use now predominantly takes place on mobile devices – not desktops. Whilst financial services may be somewhat “behind” this trend compared to other industries, this is still the direction of travel in 2022.
How well does your website perform on smartphones and tablets? Here, you may want to check using a free tool like Google PageSpeed Insights to check. You can compare the speed on mobile and desktop, too.
If your website is slow on mobile devices or responds poorly to different screen sizes, then it may be worth seriously considering a redesign in 2022. Search engines like Google are likely to de-prioritise unresponsive sites in their listings, and users are likely to become less forgiving of old websites as they grow more accustomed to better user experiences across the web.
Rising CSR importance
With more people growing increasingly environmentally-conscious (especially in light of COP26), clients and prospects are expecting businesses to demonstrate that they care for the world around them and do not exist solely to make a profit.
Here, it will be worth considering your CSR profile in 2022 (corporate social responsibility). If you are a new financial firm, then you could have an opportunity to define your own brand identity as more clients and prospects get to know you.
However, more established financial brands may need to ask some honest questions about how people see them. Are you seen as “corporate” and “cold”? Are you known for putting “people and planet” first?
Have any incidents occurred lately that affected your reputation here?
This starts to get into the realm of financial PR – public relations – and ties into your website’s blog, social media activity and possibly how your brand is depicted outside of your own marketing channels (e.g. on influencer channels).
2022 could be the perfect opportunity to raise your CSR profile. It could be as simple as engaging in a local charity or fundraising event, and mentioning this in your blog and client newsletters. Another step could be to partner with a group like Ecologi to make your business “carbon positive”.