Marketing in financial services has typically centered on products: white papers, fact sheets, and brochures have formed the basis of marketing strategy. However, with the rise of content marketing in recent years, the trend is shifting.
The financial services industry has been slow to move toward content-driven marketing, mostly due to the perception of regulatory constraints. As we wrote about last year, finance is beginning to move towards social media in the wake of loosening regulations at the SEC. Content marketing has not been far behind.
Product to Content
What does content marketing comprise? Blogs, infographics, videos, and using social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and even Pinterest are some of the more popular vehicles. Instead of directly marketing a product to clients through straightforward sales collateral, the shift is toward softer and indirect marketing. The most important characteristic of any content marketing is that it is useful. So how can financial services produce useful content marketing to achieve results?
The philosophy behind content marketing comprises value-added services, such as information, relationship building, and engaging with clients, such as in social media. Useful content can include highlighting market trends, economic forecasts, or broad topics such as asset classes.
Financial services is data driven, making infographics a perfect content marketing option. In our increasingly visual world, and with an appetite for easily digestible chunks of information, infographics fit those parameters. Pinterest, with its emphasis on visual content, is the best avenue for infographics. For examples, see here.
Videos can be a great teaching tool and with the complexity of some financial products and services, a short video on a particular topic, such as rolling over retirement savings, or a new concept such as smart beta, can get the message across to a wider audience via YouTube. MassMutual is one financial services company leveraging YouTube to aid in marketing distribution. See their YouTube landing page here for a variety of videos on a wide range of topics.
Blogging can easily replace dry white papers or brochures. Timely and short, blog posts can achieve the same goals as a video but can also be produced more frequently, allowing for fresh content.
Some companies, such as American Express, are combining different types of content and presenting it in an organized, attractive way on one site. OPENforum provides a repository of information and business advice from people such as Barbara Corcoran and Guy Kawasaki, well-known figures among content marketers. It’s a good example of a company using their platform to inform current and potential clients on topics not directly related to their product offerings.
While the industry has been behind the curve in adopting content marketing, this type of marketing strategy is not one that needs significant resources to get started. In fact, building a presence on social media is much like building a reputation among clients: slow and steady wins the race.