Last year, Brandpoint released its report The State of Content Marketing for Financial Services, which shed some light on the goals and challenges of financial marketers who do content marketing. Building an effective content marketing strategy and executing on that strategy is no easy feat. Content marketing can live or die depending on the size of your organization, your marketing budget, and the number of people who support content marketing in your organization.
We look at the results from the report to see where financial marketers stand to win when integrating content marketing efforts as part of overall marketing initiatives.
Financial Marketers’ Familiarity with Content Marketing
Brandpoint’s report notes that 95% of financial marketers say they are familiar with content to some degree and 46% say they are not an expert but they know a thing or two. Compared to the Content Marketing Institute’s (CMI) B2B Content Marketing 2019 report where 13% of respondents across industries said their organization’s content marketing is sophisticated/mature, it seems everyone is a little behind the curve.
As financial marketers just begin content marketing, they are sure to face growing pains associated with developing an effective strategy and measurement plan. As this plan gets executed and improves with time, financial organizations will be able to see some early successes and begin to develop a business case. Measurement will improve and a program can become more scalable. With maturity, financial marketers will see greater success as they struggle to integrate content marketing programs organization-wide. The final stage results in highly accurate measurement of ROI and scale.
The key is sticking with the program and pivoting as needed. Brandpoints report said that 72% of respondents said their marketing budget will increase in the next year. With additional budget to dedicate to content marketing programs, financial marketers can begin to make leaps and bounds and start to see success unfold.
Content Marketing Tactics Used by Financial Marketers
According to Brandpoint, the top three content marketing activities for financial marketers included social media marketing (77%), digital display advertising (62%), and video content (53%). This makes sense considering two out of three financial marketers placed a high priority on attracting new customers. Many of these tactics are popular as top-of-funnel tools to garner attention and broaden reach.
When it comes to financial services marketing, building trust and credibility are cornerstones for new customer acquisition. This is especially true for B2B financial brands which must go the extra mile to overcome risk hurdles (cost, future performance, jobs) through establishing brand recognition and buyer education. Storytelling—via content marketing—that taps into buyer emotion can play a key role in establishing that trust and credibility and informing prospects about new solutions.
Storytelling can be done via various tactics, including the three most popular listed above. It’s important to build out a content calendar that taps into various channels and media types to appeal to different audience preferences for content consumption. A solid blend of blogging, long-form content production, video content, social media, and paid advertising can yield the greatest marketing ROI.
Challenges in Content Marketing for Financial Marketers
Financial marketers reported challenges that stand in the way of achieving goals and effectively marketing financial products and services: reaching the right audience (52%), generating traffic and new customers (48%), and keeping up with the competition (44%).
Establishing a data-driven strategy can diminish some of these challenges. Audience personas can help financial marketers focus on the right audience in both content production and distribution. Completing a competitive analysis to look at what competing brands are doing with content can also create new opportunities that can be built into a strong strategy. Ensuring that content meets prospects’ needs at every stage in the buying process—from awareness to consideration to decision—not only helps generate traffic, but can ensure that new traffic makes its way down the funnel until a prospect is ready to purchase and convert.
The #1 marketing challenge reported varied among financial marketers. Just over 37% reported a lack of resources to generate quality content and just under 37% reported an inability to measure effectiveness. Finally, almost 36% reported that a lack of budget was their top marketing challenge. The latter two challenges can often be addressed when financial marketers build a solid strategy that accounts for specific measurement and that can be shared internally to get buy in from stakeholders.
As for the top challenge, it’s no surprise that creating quality content can be a pain point for financial marketers—or any marketers. Creating great content requires resources, and financial marketers often find that they are strapped thin when it comes to capable content teams. While some bigger companies may have access to in-house content teams, others are left to dole out writing assignment to executives and other people who simply don’t have the time to produce content for marketing.
For financial marketers that struggle with this particular problem, finding the most efficient way to execute a content marketing strategy is critical. As a way to abate some of these challenges, we recently released a resource that helps financial marketers streamline content marketing to do more with less.
Financial Marketer’s Guide to Content Marketing
You should download The Financial Marketer’s Guide to Content Marketing if you want to learn:
- Why content marketing should be on every financial marketer’s radar
- Why employing a cookie-cutter content marketing strategy doesn’t work in financial services (and how to create a data-driven strategy that does)
- How giving and adding value pays off in the long-run (and how to execute on this concept)
- How to use storytelling to foster an emotional connection with your prospects
- How to amplify your messaging in all the right ways
- How to measure ROI on your content marketing efforts at every stage in the funnel