This post is part of our ongoing, occasional series on content marketing for financial services.
The more I understand content marketing, the more I see it as a near-perfect strategy for financial services firms. For the past 19 years, I’ve worked in the financial services industry, most recently for a large regional bank holding company. Much of my time in banking has been spent conducting research with both consumers and businesses, analyzing customer and market data, and sharing my findings with senior management in order to understand the implications and impact on corporate goals.
Why Use Content Marketing for Financial Services
Based on my experiences, there are at least five very good reasons why financial services should embrace content marketing:
- Customers want you to know them and understand their business. One key requirement of financial services customers across all segments is that they want their banks to know them and recognize their unique needs. I have found that this is true for the consumer who visits your bank branch every week, the small business owner who just opened her first account with you and the CFO of the largest construction firm in town. Each has different needs, challenges and opportunities. Recognizing these needs and challenges in your content marketing, lets your customers know that you understand them.
For example: Wells Fargo offers information and advice for would-be small business owners in its Business Insight Resource Center.
- Customers want to know that you understand your business. Customers want to feel confident that their financial services provider is truly an expert and can be trusted to offer solid advice. Research has shown that recommending a product or service that is targeted to the customer’s specific situation can actually strengthen their relationship with the provider. Demonstrating your expertise through your content will build on your client’s confidence in you. For example: Capital One Bank’s Financial Education Center walks customers through various topics, such as credit for small businesses.
- You can differentiate yourself from the competition. Products, convenience and quality of service have been the most relied on points of differentiation in the financial services industry ever since location lost its stronghold. Those factors are important for sales and service, but engaging and connecting with customers through content marketing is important for relationship building and for positioning your company as a trusted advisor. For example: Not many financial services companies do a better job of differentiating themselves based on engaging, relevant content than American Express does with its Open Forum.
- You can target your marketing to specific target segments. Most financial services providers have identified target segments — mass affluent, minority-owned businesses, medical practices or startups, just to name a few. The customizable nature of content marketing allows you to tailor your message to a variety of target audiences, whether you’re defining them based on demographics, industry, delivery channel or other factors. For example: Regions Bank targets female business owners with topics such as “How Entrepreneurial Women Approach Relationships in Business.”
- You can build relationships and boost retention. A well-planned strategy for content marketing for financial services will be designed to target your audience, highlight your understanding and knowledge of their needs, engage them with information that demonstrates your expertise, and set you apart by establishing your position as a trusted advisor. As you inform and engage your audience, you are building a relationship. You are also demonstrating the value that you bring to the partnership. As the relationship strengthens, it becomes less likely that your customers will leave you for a free set of bake ware or 15 basis points. And the last time that I checked, financial institutions were all about customer retention.
To get more reasons to use content marketing for financial service, see how financial service organizations are using content marketing and learn how to make content marketing work for your company, download our white paper:
Reputation Capital Media Services is a Baton Rouge marketing agency that helps B2B companies and their marketing agencies produce high-quality digital content, including blog posts, e-mail newsletters, white papers and multimedia. Our editors and writers are experts in their fields, which include HR technology, employee benefits, and financial services and accounting. Contact us for a free 30-minute consultation to find out how great content can help you attract and retain your customers.