Many financial service companies are now trying to add content marketing to their plates. This is great, but there are a few more things involved with content marketing for financial service companies than there are with creating content for, say, an apps company. Before publishing that first blog post advising potential financial services customers on their next loan, here’s what you need to know.
Familiarize Yourself with the Rules
There are a lot of rules about what you can and can’t say when it comes to content creation for financial services companies. Compliance is vital for those wanting to use content marketing for their finance companies. Thus, your legal team will need to be involved in the content creation process. It’s vital to the reputation of your company that you don’t publish content that could cause your financial services firm some serious problems – either in terms of legal ramifications or in terms of damaging your reputation.
Build a Trustworthy Brand
Before you can ever expect to be able to convert readers into customers, you’re going to need to be very careful about building trust in your brand. That’s why the foundation of creating good content for your company will be in maintaining compliance. You also don’t want to recommend financial strategies that will make your company a lot of money while leaving your customers in the lurch. All that will do is give you a bad reputation and cost your company long-term success.
Use Plain Language
Your audience may not be familiar or comfortable with industry jargon. This is a case where it’s vital that you know your intended audience and what they know and don’t know about the services you provide. By using language your audience can understand and relate to, you can minimize the likelihood that readers will ignore you, thinking that they won’t be able to relate to your company when it’s time to tend to their finances.
Just because you need to be compliant, it doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your personality. Avoid raising red flags, yes, but also speak in a tone that compels your readers to continue to come back to your content for advice – and even sometimes a good laugh. It is possible to be both informative and entertaining. Just be sure that you’re providing accurate information.
Avoid Endorsements and Recommendations
Because each person’s financial situation is unique, it’s important to avoid appearing like you’re endorsing a particular viewpoint or service or giving specific recommendations to your audience. While this also falls under compliance, it merits being pointed out specifically – be very careful about “liking” and sharing content on social media.
Prove Your Point with Data
If you’re posting content with no data, then you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to show your readership the facts behind your statements and claims. Anything you can do to share the data that’s available to you will help your company to gain a competitive edge. After all, if you’re reluctant to share data, but do it anyway, you’ve got a huge advantage over those who share content without data.
Create a Content Marketing Plan
Too often, companies throw up a blog post here and a blog post there whenever they feel the need to – usually with a new product or service offering. This is a mistake. If you want to make the most out of marketing your content, you’ll want to put together a content marketing plan – what will you post? How often will you post? Where will you share your content? Who is your target audience?
Write Content That Is of Value to the Readers, Not the Creators
If you’re creating stuff that only your staff enjoys reading, you’re losing out. This is why knowing your audience is so important. You need to know what your potential readers find valuable. Only writing to an audience of your peers isn’t going to give you the results you want. That means, if your clients are those needing wealth management services, you’ll need to write to those who are looking to understand what these services are, how to choose a service, and how to interact with a company providing those services. News about industry best practices would be lost on your target audience.
Quality is More Important Than Quantity
Both in terms of length of content and in terms of how much content you create on a regular basis, it’s better to create high-quality content that delves deeply into topics than it is to create a lot of shallow or thin content just to keep putting content up on your page. If your content is too thin, it can even land you on the bottom of Google’s search list.
It’s vital that if you’re promoting content to provide the appropriate disclaimers, designations, and risk warnings. Every promotion needs the same treatment as a print promotion would receive. Also: If it’s something that you’d never say to a client, it’s something you should never publish online. Remember, content marketing and social media are primarily about building relationships with your potential customers, so anything you post there has the same effect as anything you would say in person to someone in your office or on the phone.
Ensure Customer Service & Availability
If someone posts a comment on your post, asks a question on Twitter, or sends you a direct message on Facebook, you’re going to need to respond. It’s not enough to just throw your content out into the Internet. You have to be ready to engage with those who are coming across your various channels.
Prioritize Data Security
Perhaps in the financial services and healthcare fields, data security is even more vital to the long-term success of companies than any others. That is because these fields wind up with a lot more private information than, say, Joe Electrician does. Thus, it is especially vital that you maintain high levels of security for any data your company collects and that you maintain transparency regarding the collection and storage of that data.
Highlight successes, share challenges that you overcame, give your audience a sense of where you and the company came from. By employing storytelling techniques in your financial services company’s content marketing efforts, you can increase your reach and help your potential audience relate to you better and engage more with your company. This also helps you to build trust in your potential customers and it helps you to create a level of confidence in your ability to advise customers on the services they are seeking you out for.
Location-based marketing is growing in popularity. While you may want to cast your net as wide as possible, it’s better to focus on the community you serve first – especially when you’re trying to get started with your marketing efforts. Besides, what’s applicable in the United States may not be applicable in Australia. Focus on building a local audience first.
All of the above practices and focus areas all aim at one primary objective: creating trust in your audience. This should be the main goal for content marketing for financial service companies. Only by creating trust with your target audience can you convert them into customers and keep them as loyal customers. Once broken, it’s very hard to regain that trust. So do everything you can to get it and keep it.