Updated: February 24, 2023
Content marketing is an ideal way for financial services and fintech businesses to build awareness, trust and loyalty with their target audiences. According to the 2021 Edelman Trust Barometer, business is rated the most trusted source of information across the globe, coming higher than NGOs, government and the media. In fact, 71% of B2B marketers believe that content marketing will be even more important in 2023 than it was in 2022.
But content marketing is a challenge for financial services businesses. Search engines prioritize established, big-brand financial organizations in search engine results. Nonetheless, even big FSI brands must overcome public mistrust and make complex information easy to understand. And at the same time, the financial sector is working hard to accommodate high customer standards of honesty and transparency and adhere to data privacy regulations.
Financial services brands that are customer trust leaders in Forrester’s 2022 Financial Services Customer Trust Index also rank the highest in their 2022 US Customer Experience Index. And it’s no wonder. With millennials now comprising 73% of the B2B buyer demographic, today’s buyers have high expectations for smooth online customer experiences. Unfortunately, many businesses are struggling to maintain the quality customer experience they achieved during the pandemic. Much of the decline can be attributed to rising costs, supply chain disruptions, workplace shortages and a waning customer focus.
With so many obstacles, it may seem impossible for a business in the financial services sector to get its content in front of its target audience. But it is possible. In this article, we explain how to improve the customer experience by raising your fintech content game.
1 – Make complex content easy to understand
Financial topics are notoriously difficult for many people to understand – even your buyers – especially if it includes math. When Fintech businesses add technology to the equation, they also add a layer of complexity. To smooth the customer experience, financial services firms must simplify content – not an easy task when regulatory agencies and lawyers are involved.
When developing content, it’s helpful to remember that we’re hindered by the curse of knowledge. Once we know something, it’s difficult to imagine not knowing it. This makes it difficult to communicate our knowledge to others because we can’t know what they know – or more accurately, what they don’t know.
To clarify content, financial services can:
While clarifying content is important, it’s equally vital to create content for multi-level roles, in terms of the gatekeepers, influencers, decision-makers and users who may read it. For example, your agency may write an in-depth technical guide for developers. You might discuss the same product in a high-level solutions brief for executive decision-makers.
2 – Back up your content with data and expert insights
To combat fake news, Google’s algorithm weighs important content – such as medical or financial advice – according to the impact it can have on the readers’ future happiness, health, financial stability or safety. Otherwise known as “your money, your life” (YMYL), the algorithm rates the credibility of a page based on expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness (EAT) of the author, content and website.
Because of this, the algorithm gives priority of financial content to established, trusted brands. This can make it difficult for B2B financial organizations to build awareness, trust and loyalty with their target audience.
To build trust with your target audience and with search engines, you can backward engineer the EAT rating. This means supporting your content with data from trusted sources, such as industry studies and research. You can take this tactic a step further by gathering and analyzing industry data and statistics to create charts and infographics. Conduct a survey and share the results. Then, create a downloadable report.
You can also back up your content with expert insights from industry thought leaders—including those within your own organization. Don’t be afraid to discuss industry trends, events and issues that impact your sector, clients or buyers. Invite industry experts to guest blog on your website. Contribute guest blogs to trusted industry websites.
These tactics not only build your expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness in the industry; they also increase the number of links back to your website, which will build your EAT rating with search engines.
3 – Align content to the buyer journey
One of the best ways for B2B financial services organizations to improve the customer experience and shorten the long sales cycle is to develop content that is aligned with the buyer journey.
For your content marketing efforts to be effective, use market research to uncover the types of content your audience prefers, on which channels and during what points of the sales process. Then develop a content plan to deliver the right content across key touchpoints of the buying journey.
- For top-of-funnel activities, use infographics, blog posts and eBooks to educate prospects who are researching their challenges and opportunities.
- For mid-funnel activities, use webinars, solutions briefs and podcasts to inform prospects who are weighing their options.
- For bottom-of-funnel activities, use whitepapers and case studies to convert prospects who are ready to make a purchase.
- For post-purchase activities, use eNewsletters and how-to guides to delight, engage and retain new and existing clients.
4 – Segment, personalize and automate your email content
With an ROI of $36 return on every $1 spent, it’s no wonder that email marketing is one of the most effective ways to reach buyers. To get the best results from your email strategy, use segmentation, personalization and automation. These tactics use data from your CRM platform, marketing tools and email software (more about this later) to develop tailored content.
Tailored content will be segmented into specific customer groups by industry, geography, and job level. Personalized content takes segmentation to a whole new level. You can tailor offers, recommendations and informational content to individual prospects and existing clients based on their position in the customer journey and behaviors that show intent. Then you can use automation to set up an email campaign workflow and trigger time-sensitive emails based on certain interactions with your business.
5 – Create interactive content
The best way to drive web visitors to your site and keep them engaged is through interactive content – such as 3D maps, animated charts and infographics – to generate leads.
Digital calculators are the ideal interactive tool for financial services organizations. Not only can they increase traffic to your website, but they increase customer engagement. They can also shoulder much of the customer service burden for financial services organizations that cater to a remote audience.
Third-party tools and apps make it easy to embed any type of financial services calculator onto your webpage. If you’re a financial services firm catering to other businesses, some B2B options include those that tally:
- Invoicing and financing
Regarding the latter, the website of UK firm Touch Financial is a perfect example of effective use of a B2B invoicing and financing calculator while simultaneously touting their free comparison services.
Also, because your calculator page will likely include commonly searched for terms and phrases, having such a dedicated page will boost your SEO and drive more organic content to your website, thus improving your EAT rating (which we discussed earlier).
6 – Align your sales and marketing software
Many of the above content tactics aren’t possible if you don’t first align your martech stack – your marketing technology, which includes your CRM and your marketing automation tools. When you do so, you can use the data to better understand who your buyers are, their challenges and opportunities, what type of content they consume, and where they spend their time. With an aligned martech stack, the data you collect and analyze is more accurate, more complete and cleaner.
This information enables you to develop content that is targeted to your ideal client and that addresses their questions at different stages of the buying process. It makes it possible for you to then feed that content to your audience in the formats they prefer at key touchpoints of the buying journey. You can segment your audience and deliver personalized content. And you can automate your marketing process, delivering the right ads, emails and even web content to the right individuals at the right time.
7 – Optimize your content for search engines
Statistics show that there are more than three billion blog posts published worldwide every year. With so much competition to get your content seen by your target audience, it’s critical to make sure it’s search engine optimized (SEO). While SEO isn’t a new strategy, it’s often overlooked and underperformed.
An effective SEO strategy means keeping abreast of algorithm updates and continually evaluating your website statistics for declines in traffic. To gain or maintain a ranking position on search engine results pages (SERPs), financial businesses must perform thorough keyword research to understand what their audience is searching for, the keywords their content ranks for, and those their competitors rank for. Content should be updated accordingly.
Also know that keyword research isn’t a one-and-done task. To keep your top-performing posts at the top of SERPs, not only should you regularly update outdated content, but you should also update your keywords and search terms as necessary.
Partner with a B2B marketing agency with financial services and fintech experience
In the end, content marketing has incredible potential to improve the customer experience. To ensure your content complies with regulations while increasing your expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness with search engines, it’s crucial to work with writers experienced in fintech and financial services content.
With over 20 years of financial marketing experience, Elevation uses market research and data from your martech stack to gain a full view of your customer and enhance the customer experience. We can help you develop content that drives the right audience to your website. Our approach can increase trust with your audience and improve brand awareness and market share. Contact us to learn more about how our financial marketing services can benefit your company.