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Last Updated on December 19, 2023 by admin
This post was last updated in April 2019 but we’re updating it again in December 2023 because content marketing for payments is still a critical component of a successful marketing strategy.
What Happened in Payments?
This year was a whirlwind year for payments. We’ve seen several trends take hold and others take off as the ecosystem morphs and adapts to the economy and changing consumer preferences:
- FedNow launched in the U.S. in July, offering instant payments to banks and credit unions to instantly transfer money for customers 24/7/365.
- The surge in cross-border payments continues\ with global payments expected to skyrocket from $190 trillion in 2023 to a staggering $290 trillion by the end of the decade.
- According to McKinsey, 2023 marked the second year in a row that global payments revenue grew by double digits.
- The growth of digital wallets continues with a projection that there will be more than 5.3 billion users (more than half the world’s population) by 2026.
- PaaS and data-based API business models continue to rise in the Payments 4.X era, pushing financial institutions toward the monetization of data and a strategy that leverages data-based APIs and open banking.
Really, this is just a snapshot of all the moving pieces. More will be revealed as we move into 2024 and bank-fintech partnerships continue to alter the landscape.
What’s New With Content Marketing for Payments?
Generative AI took off in 2023. While this doesn’t change the “why” behind content marketing for payments, it certainly changes the “how.” That said, AI is not a perfect “fix” for content creation — especially for complex industries like payments. However, it does make a good helper. Not too long ago, we published a piece on five ways to leverage AI for fintech marketing communications. Given generative AI’s nascent public availability, many dove into its application for content creation…and came face-to-face with the pitfalls of this strategy right away.
AI is not a perfect fix for the time-consuming nature of high-quality content. We do not recommend that you outsource content marketing for payments to AI entirely. But you can do a lot to streamline the process if you use AI correctly. Some places where AI can really do the heavy lifting include:
Content curation — Looking for relevant posts to link to in your content? Looking for solid content to share on social? Generative AI can be helpful in compiling content that you can use and reuse across your content strategy.
Generating outlines — While we advise against letting AI take the reigns on writing content, you can (and should) use it to brainstorm and organize your content. Whether you’re putting together longer thought leadership pieces or infographics, AI can help you get your content ducks in a row, making it faster and simpler to create content from start to finish.
Email campaigns — This one requires a fine balance between AI and human effort. Humans will shine in creating genuine messages that resonate with a human audience. But AI can be helpful when it comes to finding optimized subject lines, send times and frequency, and personalization. In other words, it can take on some of the more analytical components.
B2B Selling Requires Trust & Credibility
Companies in the B2B payments space know deeply the importance of building trust and credibility with an audience. It’s another reason why leaning too hard on AI can backfire. In fact, it can end up doing the opposite. Most people have experimented with generative AI for content creation, so they’re very familiar with what that content sounds like. If you’re using AI alone for your content campaigns, your audience will see right through that. It can come across as lazy or disinterested, breeding distrust among the people you’re trying to connect with.
However, B2B payments companies face the unique challenge of needing to educate, entertain, illuminate, and excite their audience via content — a tall order. So using AI in the ways we’ve outlined above can be the happy medium between effective use of resources and fostering genuine connection and being authentically helpful to your audience.
Content & Customer Acquisition for Payments
Customer acquisition boils down to how you get prospective customers to buy. In the B2B payments space, you need to buiuld a strategy that attracts leads, nurture leads, and converts. Given the state of payments in late 2023, this requires a fine-tuned customer acquisition strategy.
According to Boston Consulting Group, equity funding from private equity players and strategic investors in the payments sector (excluding Stripe) dropped significantly in Q1 2023. It went from $5-$8 billion in funding per quarter in 2021 through the first half of 2022 to just $1.5 billion in the first quarter of 2023.
A wonky economy paired with cold feet on the investment side means payments companies must do more with less. Content can be a saving grace. It can be a cost effective way for B2B payments companies to drive brand awareness, generate qualified leads, and nurture those leads. B2B buyers have less interest in talking to a salesperson and more interest in doing their own research. In fact, 94% of B2B buyers do their own research before making a purchase decision. These prospects have done their homework and know what they’re looking for. Payments companies should be focusing on delivering according to those needs.
Content is a agile customer acquisition tool and serves as an valuable touchpoint for buyers who are just starting their research or who are narrowing down their options. Successful content marketing for payments requires a data-driven strategy, the right set of goals (and metrics mapped to those goals), the right team, and the right technology. Whether you work with a robust in-house team, require substantial external resources, or take a hybrid approach, content can help you reach your customer acquisition goals more effectively and less expensively than many alternatives.
Cutting Through the Noise: Content Marketing for Payments Companies
Here’s the thing: blogs are a dime a dozen. Everybody has one and a lot of companies are focusing on the same type of industry-specific content. There’s nothing wrong with that – and your audience may even be looking for that. But there is more to the story. Having a topic to create content is about is just half the battle. Being seen (and being sought after) are the big hurdles.
Here are a few ways to help your content go the extra mile:
Guest Post – The reason they call it thought leadership is because you’re supposed to be leading the conversation. But a conversation is a two-way street. So step outside the comfort zone of your blog and seek out new opportunities to share your stories and ideas. Write guest posts for reputable industry blogs or create content that industry influencers are compelled to share.
Get SEO-Savvy – Yes, targeting core keywords is critical to your SEO strategy but you can make big impacts by targeting more specific, long-tail keywords that have lower search volume but may be more targeted.
Be a Publisher – Like we said before: conversation is a two-way street. Just as you might seek to get published on other sites, industry influencers might seek to be published on your site. Be open to the opportunity to have external experts create content for your site. Collaborate and co-create to build a bigger buzz.
Crowdsource – While people may value your opinion, they may also appreciate input from multiple sources on an industry topic. Create thought leadership pieces that pull in insights from multiple thought leaders. Not only does this offer valuable information to your audience, but it broadens your platform. Those thought leaders with share the content with their audience, creating a wider circle.
Why Content Marketing for Payments Matters
I published a post on LinkedIn that discussed the importance of content marketing for payments companies and outlined some content strategies and tactics for those looking to jump-start a content program. I’ve worked with a number of payments companies and consultants over the years and the number one complaint is that time and resources are limited when it comes to content marketing in the industry.
I get it. Innovation in the payments space is fierce and it’s a race to the top that requires all hands on deck and constant, agile development to stay ahead of the pack. Between the impacts of EMV, the steep increase in CNP fraud, the evolution of mobile P2P payments and simply maintaining PCI compliance, it’s enough to make anyone’s head spin.
Content marketing for payments is a must-have. While diverting time and resources away from the core business, product innovation and sales can be difficult, payments companies need to be able to market to their audience in an educational way. This is especially true as FinTech services become more complex; your audience needs to not only understand what you do, the problem you solve, and the benefits your provide, but also who you are as an organization. What qualifies you above the competition? What core business values make you better than the rest?
Thought leadership in the form of white papers, ebooks, blog posts or LinkedIn Pulse articles help you articulate those things to your core audience without being pushy. At the end of the day, it’s all about sales, BUT before the day begins, it’s all about making it easy for people to find you, providing helpful, educational content that demonstrates your expertise and involvement in the important industry trends and illustrating what makes you stand out from the herd in a nonintrusive way.
Content marketing for payments does that.
I’ve worked with payments companies that get it and have ramped up their content marketing efforts to generate demand. I’ve also worked with companies that would rather leave it all to sales and some minor marketing initiatives and trade shows. Guess which bunch comes out on top.
Happy to discuss what content marketing can do for your payments company. Jump over here and fill in your info to schedule a free consultation.
Want More Tools to Support Content Marketing for Payments?
Looking for more in-depth fintech email marketing, content marketing, and social media marketing tools and content? Check out one of our helpful guides: