Written by: Emalie McPherson
People have to make financial decisions that affect their lives every day – we all need a bank, we all need a super fund, we all need a roof over our heads. So why isn’t the financial services industry talking to people in a way that’s interesting, understandable and on their level? In a world where consumers are highly informed, ad-blocking and don’t like being told what to do, it’s imperative to think outside the box in order to speak to them.
Howard Gossage, the advertising iconoclast known as the “Socrates of San Francisco”, once said “Nobody reads ads. People read what interests them. Sometimes, it’s an ad.” This is a good mantra for the financial services content marketer, so here are some practical ways to be interesting when distributing content for a B2C audience.
First, find your audience
Audience insights should be the cornerstone of your content plan. It’s one thing to amplify content across channels, but you need to consider which channels are appropriate for your audience.
Many financial services marketers tasked with consumer outreach will fall back on an approach that has been successful with B2B audiences. Consumers are the “forgotten child” expected to respond in the same way as those coming before them. The reality is, even though your message is the same, the way it’s presented should be very different.
Social media accounts for 25-30% of all web traffic, and Facebook delivers more traffic to news sites than Google. If you’re not capitalizing on this, you could be overlooking a significant portion of your market.
Now make it engaging
Now that you’ve identified your audience and the appropriate channels to reach them, it’s time to create or repurpose your content.
According to HubSpot, the most engaging Facebook posts are images and quizzes. Everyone wants to know if they’re a Carrie or a Samantha and they want to share the results, creating further engagement amongst their networks.
Here are some of our top tips for creating engaging content.
1) Show don’t tell
Finance can be perceived as boring, but your content doesn’t have to be. Many consumers don’t trust brands, least of all financial institutions. Great content is content that the audience can relate to: for instance by seeing how people in the real world have benefited from using your product or services.
Example: Bank of America
In this video series Bank of America has partnered with a selection of influencers from race car drivers to home improvement experts. By showing different ways people could save money, or work within a budget, the bank has been able to engage with an audience who wouldn’t necessarily choose to spend their time reading about these topics. It also helps build credibility and receptiveness with these audiences when it does come down to the “boring” stuff.
2) Don’t be afraid to think outside the box
Financial services content has traditionally been straightforward, informative and (let’s be honest) pretty dry.
Many marketers focus their attention on language and messaging that is consistent across channels. This hesitance to speak in the voice of your audience can create weariness amongst your intended market who just see clichéd sales and marketing speak.
There’s now a golden opportunity for financial services organisations to buck the trend have a bit of fun when repurposing content across channels.
Example: Monument Wealth Management
Monument does a great job making complex topics / issues fun and easy to understand, with great personality. In this article about China’s stock market, the company hasn’t been afraid to reference pop culture and jump on the meme bandwagon. This is an effective way to capture the attention of a consumer audience – especially millennials!
3) Your data is a goldmine
Financial services institutions sit on a wealth of statistics and data. This data contains incredible insights into consumer habits: how much they spend and what they buy. The proofpoint or expertise of your organisation can be a great tool for providing consumers with content that’s relevant and actionable. Your task is to shape this information into an engaging format.
HubSpot reports the top performing social channels for B2C content are Facebook and Pinterest (as opposed to LinkedIn and Twitter, which rate more effective for B2B content). While a lengthier opinion piece is great for the professional audience on LinkedIn, people scrolling through their feed on Facebook respond better to infographics, videos or easily digestible ‘listicles’.
Example: AmeriFirst Home Mortgage
In this Pinterest post, AmeriFirst Home Mortgage has adapted their expert knowledge of homeownership into an infographic. The visual schedule of home maintenance tasks received over 41,000 shares on Pinterest.
We hope we’ve laid the foundation for you to start getting creative with your B2C content distribution.
To learn more about how to get the most of our your content by atomising and amplifying it through owned, earned and paid channels download our free new playbook, A Complete Guide to Content Distribution for Financial Services.
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