We’re back with the next in our series of Q&As with top fintech marketers. This week features our conversation with Lucy Burgess of Shares. Lucy shares with us some of the unique ways Shares has leveraged social media, including TikTok and Reels, for storytelling. Don’t forget to let us know what you think in the comments.
Ashley Poynter: I’m really excited to speak with you about Shares and what you are doing with content marketing. So why don’t we start with a description of your role at Shares and a little bit of your background?
Lucy Burgess: Yeah, sure. So I’m Head of Content at Shares. I head up a small but mighty team of content creators. I have a brilliant content writer called James Ashoo, and I have an amazingly talented social media content creator called Alex Winfield, who does all of our filming and editing and looks after content strategy across all channels.
I have a particular focus on our website, our content hub, our social media channels, and our weekly newsletter. My background is in fintech. My first job was at a credit score startup called ClearScore as its 20th employee and I was fortunate enough to be part of its enormous growth. I really got the start-up bug there.
I then moved into investing. I worked at a financial coaching app called Claro, where I learned about the investing world, which is very different from the credit world – particularly when it comes to compliance. I learned a lot there from the financial coaches about how to build a solid financial plan.
Then Shares reached out with its mission to make investing accessible to everyone, and I couldn’t refuse! I’m fortunate that Shares is really focused on content as a company. The CEO of Shares is a real champion of content, which isn’t always the case. So as a team, we get to be creative.
AP: Great. It’s always nice to hear when leadership is a champion of content. Can you talk a little bit more about Shares’ perspective on content, what the strategy looks like, and how you keep the content machine moving?
LB: Sure. So content is a fundamental part of our entire marketing strategy. First and foremost, for building brand awareness, we’ve had some great success with our social media content. From the start, we were very focused on creating video content. We decided to take all of our content in-house to build an in-house studio where we could film and record all of our content whenever we wanted to and just go really big on TikTok and Instagram Reels. So that was a major part of our content strategy that’s driven a lot of brand awareness for us.
We’ve grown our following significantly, but what it comes down to is the reach that we have with those channels. We have a significant amount of views on some of our videos, particularly some of our educational videos about the businesses behind certain stocks. We’ve tried to make the stock market entertaining, and we’ve also had real success with our street interviews too. Some of them get over 2 million organic views, and this is just organic reach.
Part of our strategy is creating this great organic content. Not only can we use that content purely organically, just by putting it out there and having it reach millions of people, but we can also then repurpose that for our paid strategy. So we can repurpose them and make them into paid ads. We can use them as the top-of-the-funnel part of a retargeting campaign where we then retarget people later on with more conversion-driven social ads, which is the brand awareness piece.
There’s also the SEO piece, which is probably the website that you’ve seen and that was a really, really big priority for me – to build a robust content hub that was structured in the right way for SEO. We have over 200 evergreen articles about everything that you would need to know about investing. [Our goal was] to drive as much traffic to the website as possible and do it in the proper way and do it early on, which has been successful.
We just launched a new weekly financial newsletter, which aims to drive people back to the app. One content type I’m particularly proud of is our weekly newsletter. We take 3 big stock moves from the week and explain why they happened, and what you can learn from them. This is such a practical way to learn – it’s not theoretical, it’s learning by following what’s happening right now in the financial world.
AP: It sounds like you lean into storytelling quite a bit.
AP: Could you speak to that a little bit and why you think storytelling is beneficial and a good way to do content marketing, especially for regulated fintech brands?
LB: I think the risk with investing is that it can be dry and it can be boring. When people think about investing, they think about Bloomberg terminals and charts going up and down and red, green, buy, buy, buy, sell, sell, sell. And it just all sounds very boring. It can sound very masculine and it can alienate people.
I think the good thing about storytelling is that you really bring to life what happens in the stock market. Because behind every stock movement, behind every number on every chart, there is a business made up of people who make decisions just like all humans do. And it is ultimately a group of humans doing business, and there is a story behind every single stock movement and every single business. That’s the interesting bit.
And that’s how we can connect. Warren Buffett always said you should never invest in a business that you don’t understand. What we want to do is help people to understand the businesses behind the stocks and I think that helps people connect more.
It’s also lovely when financial stories just align well with popular culture. For example, we did a story on how the World Cup, and beer drinkers, essentially saved the UK from going into recession. Everybody can relate to that. This relatability is a major part of our editorial strategy.
AP: That’s amazing. Can you talk a little bit about trust? Trust is a big part of anything in the financial services or fintech space, and those companies need to establish trust and credibility with their audience. How does your team use content marketing to do that?
LB: Absolutely. A major part is working on every single place where we can include a trust signal. So our websites, for example, we recently had a look at it and we realized that we weren’t dialing up the trust signals enough. So we did a TrustPilot campaign, and we’ve now added our TrustPilot score to our website. Other things that are beneficial are including the press that you’ve been featured in, including how many people have downloaded the app, what people are saying about you – any trust signal that can show people that you’re legit.
AP: That covers the primary points I wanted to touch on, but I would like to open the floor to you to express anything else you think is important for other fintech marketers and content marketers to know or think about moving forward.
LB: What I love about working at Shares and, I think, the main thing that really drives our content is making sure that it aligns with our mission and making sure that every piece of content we do drives our mission forward. Shares’ mission is to make investing accessible to everybody, empower the 99% to invest smarter, and help them create better financial futures for themselves. And everything that we do drives that forward.
That’s how we came to the strategy of creating these educational but entertaining videos about the businesses behind stocks. That’s where the newsletter idea came from. That’s why we cover the topics that we do because we’re always trying to make investing accessible. And I think it’s really important that, whenever you’re creating a piece of content, you are driving forward your company’s mission.
Another major thing I would say about TikTok and reels is that it’s all about the hook. We did so much work creating so many videos where we thought the content was amazing. If you don’t get that first 0.1 seconds right, and if it’s not super engaging, then no one’s going to watch your content. So we spent so long perfecting the hook. What we found is that ‘more is more’ – the music, the action, the pattern breaks – grabbing people’s attention is a real art form. We’re still perfecting it, but we’ve come a long way.