Financial firms should start with the fundamental question of why they’re investing in financial content, what’s the real business purpose? Producing content “just to have it” is not a strategy, especially when various parts of the organization are doing so in siloed, disconnected efforts. The key is deciding how great content can support each element of the customer journey. From brand awareness to product research to account signup (conversion), content can inform and educate the consumer in their decision making process. And the effort shouldn’t stop there – providing current customers with timely, relevant content can increase loyalty and retention much better than just a monthly statement or occasional up-sell pop-up ad when they log in.
Segmentation models have long been used for targeting advertising; they need to be adapted to support a successful content strategy. At a bare minimum, content creation should be distinct for cohorts by age (or generation) as their financial needs and media consumption behaviors can vary greatly. Whether selling insurance, credit cards, or retirement planning, knowing your audience segments in depth and the type of content they need for what’s going on in their particular life is critical.
The immediate temptation with many content approaches is to bury the content on a huge corporate site and also to blast it all over social media feeds. If it must live on the corporate site it still has to be discoverable or it simply won’t offer much value. Consider specialized landing pages or standalone sites supported by search targeting as budget permits. And on social, dropping “sponsored content” into feeds risks having it ignored due to ad blindness. Social content should be targeted and relevant and useful – if it doesn’t add value it will be skipped in the never ending scroll. In addition to sites and social, financial brands need to make better use of the opt-in basics: email and text messages, as these are the preferred channels of many consumers. Sharp graphics (email), quick to the point text (both), plus links to find out more can be highly efficient to drive users to meaningful content and interactions.
Format and Topics
Great financial content should service at least one of three core customer needs: Information, Utility, or Entertainment.
- Information: statement balances, asset prices, service options can all be delivered via engaging, interactive content rather than flat black and white paper or digital statements. And this information can be delivered in novel formats on mobile or ambient voice tools. USAA is doing just that with a new AI powered voice approach to customer service.
- Utility: retirement or insurance or mortgage calculators, and savings or budget trackers are all examples of content opportunities that are useful throughout the customer lifecycle. TIAA’s new personal portfolio offering does a great job of integrating these types of utilities into their account exploration / signup process, with lots of opportunities to step outside the enrollment process for additional educational content to support decision-making.
- Entertainment: shows like Shark Tank, Motley Fool’s discussion boards, and the myriad of financial literacy games and apps do a great job of educating consumers in an entertaining format. Gamification is a potentially huge opportunity for financial brands with younger Millennial customers – whether in banking, credit, insurance, or investment.
Our teams of creative technologists at Zemoga have been driving innovation and producing amazing content and experiences for financial services clients for over 15 years. We’ve helped firms large and small drive awareness and conversion, as well as support loyalty and retention across products. If you’d like to learn more about our proven approach, please reach out.