Content Marketing

The Ultimate Guide to Content Marketing for Financial Services

Kevin Kessler
August 7, 2020
16 minutes

In the simplest terms, content marketing can help your business grow.

This is as true for entertainment or consumer based businesses as it is for a financial service provider.

Of course, in your role as a financial professional and a marketer, it’s likely that someone at some point has said that you should be utilizing content in order to push your services.

That’s easier said than done.

Content can play a large role in the future success of financial institutions, but you have to approach content strategy in a calculated way.

In any content marketing strategy

  1. You want to generate a higher brand awareness for your organization
  2. You want to increase your conversion rate
  3. You want to develop a relationship with your audience based on trust and familiarity.

All of this boils down to identifying your target audience and creating content that directly appeals to them.

But how can you do that? Read on to find out.

What kind of content marketing can financial services utilize?

There are many different ways that a financial marketer can go about producing content. When your business is all about numbers, you may feel that your options for content marketing are limited. However, that’s not the case.

Financial organizations can have a well rounded digital marketing strategy the same as any other industry. The best financial digital marketing campaigns will make use of a number of verticals, provided they fit within your target market

Blogging

Financial services should be constantly blogging. There are so many questions that people have about finance that can be answered with a blog article.

Your blog should be published regularly so your prospects grow accustomed to a schedule. If they know that every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday you’re releasing a new article, they’ll check on those days. Reading your blogs will become a part of their weekly routine.

So, why write a blog? It helps demonstrate your expertise in the financial world. If a potential customer knows that you’re an unrivaled expert in the financial industry, they’re going to trust you more. Trust is incredibly important if someone is going to allow you anywhere near their financial data.

But do blogs actually work?

Absolutely.

More than 77% of internet users read blog posts regularly. And the average reader only spends 37 seconds reading a blog post, which isn’t a lot of time. That’s why you have to show the reader that your blog contains value early on so that they continue reading to the point of conversion.

Blogging is also great for SEO. It gives you opportunities to optimize for keywords and rank for new pages. It’s also providing you with fresh content regularly, which is something Google looks for when determining SEO scores.

It’s also relatively inexpensive from a production standpoint.

If you want people to find your financial services blog, it’s a good idea to write articles that answer specific questions that your target audience would be likely to ask.

Social media

It’s a total myth that a financial institution has no place on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

The reality of the situation is that financial service providers need social media just as much as any other industry.

Social media helps you effectively build an audience by engaging them in a place where they already are. It’s easier to put your messaging in a spot where customers are already looking than it is to draw them somewhere else, like a website.

Make sure that your business has a presence on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. Use these channels to plug your blog posts, podcasts, videos, and any other content you’re producing.

You can also take this as an opportunity to share images, communicate breaking industry news, and even share some relevant memes if that’s something that your target audience appreciates.

When producing social media content it’s important to have a clear view of who your audience is and what they’re looking for.

It’s critical when posting financial content on social media that you’re providing information that your audience will find value in and share. Make sure to provide financial tips that are actionable.

Podcasting

Audio podcasts are easily digested content. It’s something that is easy to make as well. The beauty of podcasting is that anyone can do it as long as they have a microphone and an internet connection.

Podcasts are even easier to produce when you’re using a third party hosting system like Podbean or Buzzsprout.

Podcasts aren’t all TV reviews and celebrity gossip. There are a number of huge financial podcasts out there, proving that there is a market for them in the podcasting industry.

Unlike video or blogging, podcasts can be digested on the go. People often listen to their podcasts on their commute, while working out, or engaging in some other activity.

Your podcast can even become a source of income if the show takes off.

Of course, when podcasting you’re going to want to adhere to a regular schedule as you attempt to build an audience.

Video

Video is a highly effective medium.

Viewers retain 95% of a message when watching a video and only 10% when reading text.

And videos are popular in the age of mobile internet use. It has been estimated that online videos will make up more than 82% of consumer internet traffic by 2022.

When producing video content, you’re helping to illustrate complex financial points to your viewers. You can even use visual aids to explain your point in a way that is sure to resonate with your audience.

Content that actually performs.

Transparent, BS-free pricing in under one minute. No meeting necessary.

Content Marketing for Financial Services Strategy #1: Building Personas

You have to understand who your audience is if you’re going to market to them.

To that point, you have to develop audience personas that you can design your marketing content around.

Personas are profiles that you create that describe your ideal customer. They should be developed using actual data on the people who you market to gathered through extensive demographic research.

There are a few questions you’ll want to ask. How old are they? Where do they live? What kind of income do they have?

Most importantly, what kind of issues do they face? And how can you help to alleviate those issues?

Illustrating how you can address the problems and pain points of your audience is the key to all marketing. The key to understanding those pain points lies in buyer personas.

Make sure to outline the objectives, challenges, frustrations, and solutions that you can provide for your audience.

Once you’re able to do that, you can start creating content.

This will also help you when it comes time to target that content through advertising. Platforms like Facebook and Google Ads allow you to drill down and specifically target certain customers based on their location, likes, dislikes, and search history.

Strong buyer personas will take the guesswork out of your targeting.

Content Marketing for Financial Services Strategy #2: Building a Brand Voice

When it comes time to determine the voice of your financial brand, you’re going to have to fall back on the brand personas you just made.

What kind of voice would directly appeal to your ideal customer as outlined in the previous section?

Financial service customers often want to know how knowledgeable you are. They’re entrusting you with their money, so they’re not going to want a lot of slang and casual wording.

Take a professional and informative tone. If your audience is younger, maybe consider some more relaxed verbiage, but don’t go overboard. If you’re marketing to CEOs, you want to be completely professional.

Choosing a voice is an important part of the content marketing process. That’s because all of your future content has to be delivered in this voice. This includes blogs, social media, website copy, podcasts, video, and anything else that comes out of your business.

If you’re very professional in your blog posts but then you produce a very laid back podcast, it’s going to confuse your customers. Find a voice that appeals to them specifically and stick with it. It’s ok for that voice to evolve and grow over time, but it should be natural and gradual.

Content Marketing for Financial Services Strategy #3: Creating Relevant Content

This might seem like a no brainer but the content that you produce has to be relevant to your financial audience.

That’s why it’s important that you not make that audience too broad. Remember, it’s impossible to create content that is relevant to everyone. Watered down content isn’t as impactful as hyper focused information designed to meet the profiles you’ve highlighted.

Make sure when you start creating your content that you (or whoever is doing the writing for you) avoid clickbait headlines. Be clear as to what you’re talking about in the content. If you’ve targeted it correctly, people will listen.

Relevant content keeps the audience engaged. Engaging content is revisited over time. That’s how subscriptions on sites like YouTube are created. Once you’ve proven yourself an engaging and informed source of knowledge, people are not only going to keep coming back for more, they’re going to tell others about it as well.

Relevancy means that your content is presented in the proper voice and directly addresses the pain points outlined in your customer profiles. (See? It all fits together!)

In order to provide relevant content, you first have to determine which keywords your audience is searching for.

You can use a tool like Market Muse (which is expensive) or even Google’s Keyword Planner (which is free) to conduct proper research. It’s also important to avoid keyword stuffing. You don’t want to overstuff your content with keywords to the point where it impacts readability.

Study the Search Engine Results Page (or SERP) for your keywords, paying careful attention to the “People Also Ask” section. Google is letting you know what people are searching for, so use that knowledge to your advantage.

Content Marketing for Financial Services Strategy #4: Repurposing Older Content

Just because a piece of content is older, doesn’t mean it has lost value or relevance. Old content can become new again with a few simple adjustments, allowing you to get more results with less work.

You can (and should) update older blogs to make them more relevant year over year. That means your Ultimate Guide to Retirement Planning for 2019 should be updated into the Ultimate Guide to Retirement Planning for 2020. This can be done with a few simple tweaks. Update any outdated information and statistics, find a few new images and you’ve got yourself a refurbished piece of content.

These blogs can then be shared again along social media channels and advertising networks.

Of course, it’s also possible to turn your old blog posts into other forms of media, such as video,

podcasts, and even visual content like infographics.

List based articles could be repurposed into a hub and spoke content series. That is where you have one central article that speaks about a number of topics. Those topics then each have their own separate article. You link to those articles from the original “hub” piece and then link back to it from the smaller “satellite” articles.

Content Marketing for Financial Services Strategy #5: Including a Strong Call to Action

Conversion rates live and die with your call to action.

After you’ve made your points and educated your audience, you have to let them know how you can help them.

End your content with some kind of actionable item.

Your call to action could be an offer to sign up for an ebook or webinar. It could also be making an appointment to speak with a financial professional.

Calls to action that lead to some form of sign up or subscription help you gather customer information, which only strengthens your customer personas and makes your overall marketing plan more effective.

Final Thoughts

Just because you work with numbers all day doesn’t mean that content marketing isn’t part of your business. As a financial advisor, you provide a vital service to people, and that is something that your customers are searching for because they want to be educated on their financial options.

By developing a strong financial marketing strategy that takes audience personas into account, you can bypass a lot of your chief competitors and appeal to your most valuable potential clients.

Financial content marketing gives companies like yours a chance to create trust with a prospect before any direct content is made. In the finance business, that trust is an invaluable asset.