4 Types of Content for Financial Service Companies that Resonate with Prospects
Even highly regulated industries can use the power of storytelling
If you’re a financial services company, you might be wondering whether content creation for inbound marketing is too problematic to be worth the effort. Yes, you’re highly regulated – but prospects and customers are hungry for information that helps them put your products or services into their worldview.
Even when you do come up with content, you still have to run it all through compliance. Compliance departments exist to help you communicate and follow the law. You can satisfy both groups with relevant and engaging content. What kinds of content work best for your industry? Here are four recommendations.
1. Connect your world to everyday life
Every brand will struggle with the challenge of how to make itself relevant – how to insert itself into the worldview of a prospect. Part of the process is helping both prospects and customers understand why you do what you do. How can you communicate your “why” as a financial service company?
We turn to the internet and social media to satisfy our curiosity. We’re interested in the humans behind the brand, and how they approach the solution that will resolve our problem. Let’s face it: managing money – whether it’s a little or a lot – can be difficult and stressful. Surveys show that the top issue couples fight about is finances.
No, you’re not in the business of relationship counseling. But you are an expert on the topic that causes problems in relationships. How can your viewpoint as an expert in financial services help you craft educational information that provides insight on how to approach solving money problems experienced by different target audiences? You’re sitting on a wealth of data and statistics. The ability to connect with prospects by demonstrating how you’ve helped people just like them work through a problem, shows that you truly are connected.
We also appreciate being led to the edge of discovery. What’s tangentially connected to your core product or service that you can share with prospects or customers?
Long before we learned to consume large and complex ideas and infographics, the method of communication was known as data visualization. And by long before, we mean even prior to the internet.
Infographic platform Visually says that the first use of this way of communication dates back at least 30,000 years to cave paintings. If you don’t want to count these graphic representations of surrounding resources, you can move forward to around 3,000 BC and use Egyptian hieroglyphics as another example of images which represented complex ideas. University College in London observes that emojis might simply be the hieroglyphics of the 21st century.
Finding ways to turn a bunch of data into something we can visualize is nothing new. Florence Nightingale combined stacked bars and pie charts – a staple of today’s PowerPoints – to visually represent deaths by preventable diseases as opposed to those caused by wars. It was enough to persuade Queen Victoria to increase funding for military hospitals.
Web-enabled technology allows you to create interactive infographics which engage prospects and customers in ways that dense text or statistic-laden content cannot. Best yet, infographics support the concepts that work best with using content for inbound marketing. You can display the problem and then demonstrate the application of a solution.
You live in a world dictated by numbers. Your prospects and customers – for the most part – do not. Infographics are a powerful way to help them put the benefits of the world you inhabit, and how it can help, them into perspective. Does your compliance department need a bit more convincing that transforming data into images is a way to move forward with content? Share this infographic about the power of visual content, which is jam-packed with vetted statistics.
3. Be dense (in a good way)
You can’t be afraid to wade deep into the details if you want to be known as an authority or subject matter expert. Have you ever noticed that you only develop a thirst for details about a subject when it becomes a central point of attention?
You’re not particularly interested in the subject of ants until you actually have a bunch of them scurrying around on your kitchen counter. At that point, you want to know why, particularly, they’ve made an appearance in your house. Ultimately, you want a solution. But first, you’re going to look for someone who can shed some light on this unexpected event in your life. The more you can help someone become comfortable with a problem, the easier it is to engage them with your particular solution.
Many financial instruments are complex. The barrier to sales may actually be an unmet level of comfort. If a prospect comes the conclusion that you understand their problem, and they also decide they like your approach to the solution, do you have a deep and rich source of information they can access to quench their thirst to know more? The more you can educate and remove doubt, the deeper the level of trust you build.
You cannot bore a deeply interested prospect with too much information. Conversely, you can lose a prospect because you don’t offer enough deeply specific supplemental information to prove that you have the right solution.
According to a Nielsen study, 92 percent of all people trust a recommendation from a peer. The study also concluded that 70 percent would also trust a recommendation from someone they didn’t know.
This statistic is particularly good news for financial institutions because it might be likely that a prospect will know someone who will make a recommendation. The Nielsen report shows that cultivating and creating content featuring existing client recommendations helps prospects give themselves permission to engage and become customers.
This particular tactic tends to work best for prospects who are further along in the buyer’s journey. They’ve reached the point where they have high confidence that your product or service is the appropriate solution. At this point, they might not need any further prodding from you. What’s going to make the sale is hearing from others, and how it worked from them.
Not so different after all
Content marketing for financial institutions is just like what must be created for other industries. Yes, there are stringent regulations. Other industries have these obstacles, too. It doesn’t matter what you’re marketing. Your content marketing will fail if you aren’t sincere or you can’t find a way to show that you understand, and that you can solve a problem.
Regulatory compliance might actually be a blessing in disguise. It forces you to be even more transparent in the way you present yourself to prospects and customers. That’s paramount to your customers. According to a recent Inc. magazine article, if your brand’s not transparent, consumers will hunt for information else where.
We specialize in creating content for companies in the financial services industry. Learn more about our unique approach.
How's your current content plan?
We're offering a no strings attached content assessment. Have our experts provide you a free evaluation of your content plan and we'll provide you some free strategy on how to optimize. On the house (really).