September 21, 2022 (Updated: May 4, 2023)
As a worldwide industry with—unsurprisingly—a lot of money to throw around, marketing in the finance industry is a high-competitive arena. In the US alone, total expenditure on content marketing for financial services has steadily increased for years. In 2020 alone, this field spent over $19.6 billion on marketing. With all this competition, newly established companies often find it difficult to break into this industry.
That’s why we’ve built this article. We’ll cover everything you need to know about marketing in the finance industry. Strategies, tips, best practices, we’ve got it all. We’ll even cover what sets finance marketing apart from other industries. With this article, we’re discussing strategies to craft a successful campaign with topics like:
Image via InsiderIntelligence
Finance and offering financial advice is a high-stakes game. Not only do you have a duty to your customers, but you’re also going to be under a lot of scrutiny. With stricter marketing laws and difficult search ranking features, it’s by no means an easy industry to market in.
Marketing in the finance industry is all about trust. Building up an honest view of your company is vital, as people rarely trust financial services right away. With so much on the line, you’ll have to win people over to your side. With this comes a lot of PR-based marketing and campaigns to boost public perception of your company. There are three major areas where finance differs from other industries:
Guest posting and other external content marketing strategies are popular across most industries. Often, PR campaigns will write top 10 product lists, using their own product as number one. While this is a fairly common practice, doing this without clearly stating your affiliations is a huge red flag in finance. Marketing in the finance industry must closely follow the rules. And one of these rules is to indicate any affiliations a piece of content may have.
If you’re writing a listicle about top financial services, it’s best to include a disclaimer at the end. Transparency is vital in this industry. So always include disclaimers and signpost content for readers. If you’re working with an affiliate, let your audience know. This rule is why you’ll always find investment companies stating that they don’t own any shares in the company they’re talking about. A level of transparency keeps everything over the table.
No matter what industry you focus on, being truthful in your advertising is essential. The Federal Trade Commission created the Truth in Advertising Act to protect this practice. While most businesses readily follow these guidelines, bending the rules ever so slightly won’t cause you much trouble. At worst, you’ll get a slap on the wrist or a warning letter.
But financial services isn’t just any industry. With YMYL (Your Money, Your Life) and how serious giving financial advice can be, this field is held up to a new standard for honesty. In fact, there’s even a new act just for this type of content, the Truth in Savings Act. This additional decree ensures that any financial services must always provide all information possible. Withholding details around fees or costs is a serious infringement. Marketing in the finance industry is taken seriously; complete truth is a must at all times.
Content marketing for financial services undergoes a slightly different search algorithm on Google compared to other industries. While the majority of ranking criteria are the same, there are a couple of core differences to note. Financial services fall into the domain of YMYL, meaning that E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) comes into play.
While E-A-T is a ranking factor for all businesses, in the world of YMYL it is much more influential. Due to this, Google will favor companies that are well established and have been in the game for a long time. If you’re just starting out as a financial services company, you’re going to have to adapt your strategy to accommodate.
To improve your trustworthiness, you should focus on getting reputable publications to feature your brand. Building backlinks to your site is a great way of increasing exposure. For Google, a backlink is like a big green checkmark. Any site that links to yours is essentially saying that you’re reputable. To surpass needing to spend years building up yourself as a name in financial services, a heavy focus on backlinks is a great way to go.
Any marketing you run for a finance company will have some big competition. Paid advertising in this industry is almost non-existent because there is so much money thrown at it. Unless you’re working for a worldwide bank that rakes in billions each year, you’re unlikely to make a dent with paid marketing.
With that in mind, content marketing for financial services is vital. Instead of paying for traffic, you want to construct a web of educational content, generating natural views on your site. While you might not be able to out-bid top contenders in this industry, you can sure as heck out-market them. Focus on developing a long-term content marketing strategy and you’ll be flying.
Marketing in the finance industry is challenging, but it’s not impossible. At CopyPress, we help finance agencies and companies plan, create, and deliver high-quality content that supports business goals, all while adhering to the best practices for financial content. Here are some of the top marketing strategies to use when creating your content plan:
Before we jump right into content marketing for the finance industry, let’s cover good old outreach. On your site, listing a free consultation service that users can apply for is a great way of gaining leads. People love free stuff, especially when it could result in a positive financial outcome for them.
By offering some free financial advice, you’re able to build a reputation in the finance world. And since there’s no direct benefit to using this time, customers will see your company as generous. While creating positive PR for your business, you’ll also be helping your audience in meaningful ways. It’s a small step, but creating outreach opportunities like this can make or break audience reach.
While content marketing is a fantastic place to start, you should always try and incorporate as many channels as possible. While you can post content on your blog, you should also make posts about it on social media or include it in an email newsletter. Although this seems like more work, it’s fairly easy. All you need to do is understand your main idea and write one to two short sentences to sell it.
Let’s say you write an article on marketing in the finance industry. (See what we did there?) You could post a core quote from the article on Twitter with the caption, “Get the full story here.” Although it’s not the most inspiring post, it’ll create another funnel that points back to your content. Sometimes, short-and-sweet goes a long way.
Diversifying the content streams that you use can have a big impact on the amount of engagement your content gets. Omnichannel traced engagement back to 2020 and found the content published across multiple platforms saw 18.96% more engagement than those on a single channel. While 18.96% doesn’t seem too groundbreaking, when you realize it led to a 494% higher order rate, things suddenly look more impressive. Focusing on multiple streams can significantly boost the scope and result of your financial content marketing.
Read more: How To Scale Content for Financial Services
Apart from financial services, one of the industries that are booming at present is big data. Globally, this industry surpassed a market size of 78.4 billion in 2021 according to Research Markets and shows no signs of slowing down soon. Millions of businesses around the globe are investing in this industry, and financial services are one of them. Turning to a data-driven approach to your financial marketing allows you to personalize your content. As finance content can sometimes seem a little robotic, it’s always good to get on your customers’ good sides.
An example of this in action is to find out what other interests your customers have through data analysis. By using AI tools and big data, you’re able to find out what hobbies they may have. With this, you can create audience segments on these tertiary factors. Creating specific marketing campaigns and launching them to specific groups will result in much higher engagement. Instead of seemingly unrelated finance service emails, you’ll deliver a highly-personalized marketing element. From satisfying your audience to building trust, this is a great technique to go for.
If you were to think of positive or warm brands, we doubt that a financial services company would be first on the list. Or second, or maybe anywhere. Finance doesn’t exactly scream people-friendly, with most people actually having a negative relationship with this industry. In fact, 53% of Americans are too afraid to check their bank account, let alone seek out financial services.
With this in mind, marketing in the finance industry should be able to change this perception. Instead of coming off as a faceless corporation, push hard on people-centric content. Use storytelling in your case studies, and put the people on focus in the middle of the piece. Photos of real customers that have used your services can bring a human element to your content.
New customers are much more likely to enjoy your financial content if it seems written by a real person, about real customers. Whether you do so through case studies or simply by changing up your branding persona, bring a little life to your marketing campaign. While creating your content, always keep people at its center. If you’re not sure how to synergize your writing across different platforms, be sure to check out our eBook on constructing a content marketing pyramid.
Image via Twitter by @WellsFargo
As we stated earlier, data is a fantastic way of increasing the personalization of your finance content marketing. However, data is actually a rather broad term, especially for financial services. When collecting data about your target audience, consider the different types businesses often use:
While third-party and first-party data are by far the most common, they’re not actually the most valuable data source for financial companies. Due to how specific finance is, with everyone looking for a unique solution, zero-party data is actually the way to go. But, getting a customer to share information about themselves isn’t an easy process.
If you asked a customer to help you better your business, they would probably click off your page as quickly as possible. Customers typically don’t care too much for businesses and especially faceless financial services. To get zero-party data and improve your personalization technique, you should rely on a few marketing tricks, such as:
Related: 7 Steps To Scale Content Using Data
Over the past decade, more and more people have taken their finances into their own hands. With this increased interest in money, investing, and financial services, personal finance has become a top search term, according to Google. Due to this, many of the finance articles that rank well on Google follow one of the following structures:
By accommodating your finance content marketing strategy to these formats, you’ll be in a prime position to capture this search intrigue. What’s more, providing free educational content on your site is a great way to build up your reputation. When customers see that you’re offering well-written financial guides, they’re likely to appreciate your content more. Creating educational content is one of the best ways of breaking into this market. Remember, content marketing is a longer game but one you should definitely be a player in.
Offering financial services is a hard industry to break into. With strict search practices and a lot of competition, it can often feel like you’re hitting a brick wall. Marketing in the finance industry isn’t as simple as in other fields, meaning you have to double down on great marketing strategies. By incorporating these strategies, you’ll have a better basis for marketing your financial services with high-impact returns.
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