Changing Times: Finance Marketing Evolves With Content

Thursday, February 2, 2017, 6:00 AM | Leave Comment

Marketers in all industries are facing the same challenges. The marketplace has changed, and will change further, and the customer base is not responding to what could be considered a largely generic approach.

However, in the finance industry there are other unique challenges as well. Customers are no longer only business customers, or only personal customers, and there are a huge number of regulations that must be complied with.

The Content Marketing Institute examined how marketers in the finance industry uses content marketing, and how it can be successful. This data is available in their white paper The Evolution of Content Marketing in the Finance Industry, which was sponsored by Imagination.

The CMI surveys marketers annually, and in the fifth annual report found that 78% of marketers in the finance industry use content marketing, and 25% of that number find it to be an effective marketing tool.

They also found that brand awareness, engagement, and lead generation are the most important goals for content marketing.

However, marketers in the finance industry will prioritize customer retention over sales. They measure the success of the content marketing by the website traffic, and the amount of time spent on the website, rather than sales and conversion rates.

This survey also found that finance marketers are using 13 main content tactics and they are using five main social media platforms for content distribution. The findings from the survey are very interesting, and can help to assess the content marketing strategy in comparison to the strategies of others.

However looking at the examples in depth can give tips and ideas on possible strategies to adopt.

  • Follow Your Purpose

    SunTrust Banks,Inc. describes itself as being ‘a purpose driven bank’ who are focused on ‘lighting the way to financial well being.’ They have kept this the focus of their content marketing campaign.

    The ‘Live for a Sunny Day’ campaign suggests that customers should enjoy the sunny days, and not just save for rainy ones.

    The campaign has its own website, and users can choose their sunny day out of seven options such as planning a wedding, saving for a trip, buying a home, saving for college, having family time and saving for retirement.

    When the user chooses their sunny day, the content is tailored to that purpose with videos, savings calculators, quizzes and podcasts.

    They also ran a Facebook post that read: ‘For kids, a sunny day is an activity they love.

    For parents, it’s affording it.’ Clicking the link brought users to a microsite that showed ways to save, and cut back to afford all the after school activities that their children were interested in.

    Jonathan Ward from seo company Vancouver says that ‘this example shows that content should be based on the needs of the customer, and that a clear, well defined mission can help the team create content, while encouraging customers to consider the brand to have a positive effect on their lives.’

  • Don’t Fear Evolution

    Wells Fargo created a print magazine over 15 years ago that was aimed at small businesses. The content was relevant to the small business owner, and the approach was well received.

    However, 8 years ago, the printed version was losing traction, so it was digitized. 5 years later, this online portal was also losing traction, so the marketers considered their strategies.

    They considered what would attract small business owners, rather than what they thought should attract small business owners.

    They examined what their competitors were offering, and created the Wells Fargo Works for Small Business. This initiative offers content for all the stages of a small business on an easy to use platform.

    Content marketing should adapt and evolve as customers evolve, and content should be created for how, why, when and where they use that content.

  • Engage with the audience

    Family Investment Center is a small Missouri based firm that has looked for ways to engage with their customers in a more meaningful way.

    They decided to engage on a community level by creating Impact Award, which is awarded to individuals who have made a positive difference and had a positive impact on the community.

    The award is presented as part of their annual client recognition event. In addition to the Impact award, they also host a community book club.

    These activities may be unconventional, but they have created a casual, friendly atmosphere that enables them to be very different from their competitors and engage with their customers on a much more personal level.

    This is a way of providing outside the box content opportunities. Clients may want access to services that are unavailable, and engaging with them on a community level to provide these services can promote your content to a much wider audience.

These examples show that content marketing within the finance sector is definitely changing, and marketers who can adapt and alter their strategies for this evolving marketplace are having greater success.

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