Money, money, money.
If you work in the financial services industry, whether in accountancy, banking, insurance, consumer finance, investments, stocks or a credit union, then you’ll know just how competitive the market can be.
Financial services account for 7% of the UK’s workforce and contribute £66bn in taxes every year, so it’s a lucrative industry to be a part of if you get it right.
Finding new customers who are willing to part with their cash or trust you with their savings can be hard work, so it’s essential that you stand out and make the very best first impression as part of your digital marketing strategy.
Content marketing is one of the very best ways to promote your business online, grow an audience and convert visitors into customers, but knowing what to write about can be hard work.
Below, we’ve put together ten content marketing ideas for your financial services business – read on to see what sort of content you should be focusing on.
We all like to save money and get more bang for our buck, so creating high-quality money saving guides on your particular niche could be a sensible move.
If you run a small bank, then your article could be on how to save money on banking; if you run an online accounting software package, you could offer tips on saving money during accounting and cutting down tax returns.
Sites like MoneySavingExpert and This is Money drive millions of visitors every month because they’ve invested in a strong content marketing strategy that offers free money-saving advice.
While you should always remember to include a mention of your product or service when writing content, you should also try to keep your content as impartial as possible.
This will allow you to build trust and demonstrate your authority within your niche.
Too much self-promotion and your content will appear more as an advertisement rather than a genuine, helpful piece of content that consumers would want to share with their friends on social media and via email. Be smart.
The chances are that, if you’ve ever written a piece of content for your website, you’ve searched for statistics to back up your points.
Citing relevant, up-to-date statistics and quotes can make your content more authoritative and balanced, and it demonstrates knowledge of your niche.
One content marketing idea is to find – or create – your own statistics that you can share in a bumper article.
Of course, the chances are that your customers won’t be searching for “financial services statistics” every day, but having a pool of topical and reliable statistics can encourage other bloggers to reference your website and link back to your article.
Not only will this give your brand more authority, as you’ll be mentioned on other blogs and in newspapers and magazines, but you’ll get backlinks that will boost your domain authority and help you rank on Google.
There are a few ways that you can find relevant statistics for your blog.
First, you can collate the best and most up-to-date statistics from other news sources in one handy article, or you could conduct your own primary research study with relevant figures from your niche.
The latter option may be time-consuming and expensive, but creating your own valuable data will demonstrate your authority and guarantee press and media coverage if you actively promote your findings.
If you have access to a talented programmer or web developer, you could create your own interactive content to make your blogs more engaging.
Calculators and quizzes are a great way to provide users with personalised data and information while keeping them on your blog for longer and encouraging them to share their findings with their friends and family.
Such content can also be licensed to other bloggers, boosting brand awareness and generating backlinks.
If you don’t have access to a web developer, you can still create your own interactive content on a limited budget.
Free quiz tools like Playbuzz can be used to create your own ‘personality quizzes’, so you could create a ‘what sort of spender are you?’ piece of content, for example.
If you really want to create unique interactive content, outsource its development to an agency – and remember to make it easy for other bloggers to embed your content by adding a HTML tag.
Debunk common myths
Finance is always going to be a hot topic, and because of that, rumours, myths and misinformation can easily be spread.
For example, a friend might recommend a savings account because it offers free high street vouchers when in actual fact, it offers lower interest rates. As an expert in the financial industry, consider creating a blog post debunking common myths.
There are so many angles for a piece on misinformation.
You could create your own infographic, like the one from Experian we’ve featured below, or even create a piece-to-camera video counting down the biggest myths and financial lies.
Review comparable products
If you offer a piece of software or a financial product, and you know that there are bigger competitors out there, create content that reviews comparable products and demonstrates why your product or service is better than the competition.
Creating ‘review content’ is one of the oldest tricks in digital marketing, as it allows you to position your service as the very best.
If you are going to review your competitors’ products or services, try to remain objective and give each offering a fair mark.
Writing an article that slates your competition but praises your product is transparent – consumers are switched on and want to know the benefits and drawbacks of each tool or service, so give them the information they need to make the right decision.
From an SEO perspective, such content can rank well.
AgoraPulse, for example, a social media management tool, as several pages on its website dedicated to its more popular competitors.
So whenever a digital marketer searches for ‘Buffer alternative’, for example, they’ll be taken to a page on AgoraPulse’s website, giving users a breakdown of the comparable features and pushing them through a sales funnel to get them to sign up for a free trial.
And it works well!
Case studies of satisfied customers
Another way to demonstrate the value of your financial products or services is to write case studies, featuring success stories from your satisfied customers.
A banker could write an article that explains why local small businesses have enjoyed their personal service, and an accountant could write a piece on how its speedy service has saved one company hundreds of man-hours.
There are so many angles that you can take when writing a case study, so it’s important that you ask the right questions to get the most out of your customers.
A strong case study should be meaty, with lots of images of the client, graphs and statistics about the time, money or results gained from working together, and a conclusion that features a strong call to action to encourage readers to get in touch and ask about your services.
Here’s a breakdown of how you should set out your case study for maximum impact.
- Talk about the problem your client was facing. Address their specific pain points and struggles, and explain why they choose you to find a solution to their problems.
- Address their search for the right solution. A local business might have tried their own accountancy before stumbling upon your software, for example, and wasted time.
- Outline the exact solution you provided to help address your clients’ problem. Explain what the problem was, what you offered, and why it works. You could also use this as an opportunity to show why your solution was better than that offered by a competitor.
- Delve deep into the results and the benefits. Explain what happened when the client chose to work with you or implement your solution, rather than another technique.
And there you have it – before long, you’ll have an excellent case study that you can feature on your website to generate leads and build trust.
Always remember to ask for the permission of your client before featuring them, and try to meet face-to-face to ask the right questions.
Analysis of industry news
Especially in the United Kingdom, the financial services market is unlike any other.
With Brexit fast approaching, virtually every industry is affected, so piggy-backing on recent news events and writing topical content for your website is a sensible move.
Many accountants, bankers and stockbrokers have made a living off of writing their own analytical content, sharing their expert opinions on the economy and offering their impartial advice to businesses and investors.
Make sure you watch the news and follow updates from your niche on a regular basis, and write content that you think your customers would be interested in reading.
You could even pitch some of your work to magazines and newspapers to boost your brand awareness and gain more backlinks – guest blogging is a great way for businesses to expand their digital presence.
A quick word of warning, however. If you’re going to write topical content on the economy, you need to act fast.
Your reaction to a new Brexit bill will be ‘old news’ in a couple of days, so you must push out content as quickly as possible and send it to the right people for maximum exposure.
Unfortunately, topical content has a short sell-by date, so if you’re limited on time and don’t want to create content that will go out of date quickly, consider evergreen content instead.
Glossary of terms
Depending on which area of finance your business operates in, you may want to consider writing a glossary of terms that consumers can refer to when speaking with you.
The world of finance is tough and complicated, and not everyone is familiar with an asset turnover ratio or a customer lifetime value.
Creating a resource, where you outline key terms within your niche in simple terms for beginners, could be an excellent piece of content that drives traffic to your site.
If you’re comfortable speaking in front of a camera, then creating your own explainer videos could be a great way to find new customers and expand your audience.
Video content has exploded in popularity in recent years – 85% of internet users watch video, and by 2019, video content will make up 80% of all consumer internet traffic. The numbers speak for themselves.
Pushing out high-quality video content now could help you get ahead of your competition and establish your brand as a friendly, consumer-focused financial services company.
If users can’t find the information you’re providing anywhere else, they’ll likely choose to purchase products and services from you rather than look elsewhere. Hard work always pays off in the long-run.
There are hundreds of thousands of ideas for video content for small financial services brands, but one way to decide where to start is to look at your written content.
If one of your blog posts is performing particularly well on search engine results pages (SERPs) and is driving traffic to your website, you could consider ‘converting’ content into videos to piggyback on your success.
Barclays, one of the UK’s biggest banks, uses video marketing to answer questions from their customers.
Catherine McGrath regularly sits down in front of a camera to announce changes to their services, explain their banking procedures and help customers understand their banking.
Customer service content
A couple of months ago, we explained why content marketing should be part of your customer service strategy.
In the world of financial services, particularly banking and accountancy, your customers want to be able to find answers to their questions in seconds – not wait hours or even days for a response from a customer service operator.
That’s where great content comes in.
If you write tutorials, guides and FAQs, answering as many of your customers’ comments and concerns as possible, they’ll find answers to their own questions without having to speak to you.
Not only will this keep them satisfied and reduce frustration, but it will reduce the strain on your team and cut response times for those who need to speak to someone to resolve their problem.
The key here is to start with your most frequently asked questions, and then write more content as customers ask more specific questions.
In a few months, you’ll build up a powerful bank of quality material that customers can use to resolve issues. SEO benefits will also follow.
There’s no denying the fact that the financial services industry is a competitive market.
If you want to stand out from the competition, offer the very best service and find new customers, you may find that content marketing is a sensible decision.
Get started on writing high-quality content for your blog today, or outsource to a company that offers content marketing for small businesses, and you’ll be ranking ahead of your competition and driving hundreds of new leads to your website every month.
Best of luck with your strategy.