Content Marketing

Achieving Operational Excellence: Content Marketing Tips for Financial Services

When it comes to content marketing for financial institutions, legal compliance presents a unique set of challenges and opportunities. The intricate financial services landscape is characterized by stringent regulations, constantly evolving market dynamics, and a discerning audience.

To produce and publish original content consistently, financial marketers must find a way to tackle these complexities effectively. But how?

Leveraging our extensive experience working with numerous financial institutions, we’ve honed our recommendations to address the distinct organization, regulatory, and compliance needs of finance content marketers. Here are some best practices for creating an efficient and impactful content creation process now.

1. Understand the Regulatory Landscape

Finance content marketers face a labyrinth of regulations, from GDPR and SEC guidelines to countless industry-specific rules. To operate successfully, it’s crucial to have a solid grasp of these regulations and how they can impact content creation and distribution.

Research and Compliance: The Foundation of Finance Content

Thorough research is paramount to ensure compliance with industry regulations. Two critical steps can set your content team up for success when it comes to expectations around compliance: 

  • Ask your legal team to sign off on a topic idea or story brief before assigning a writer to develop a full article. This preapproval can help ensure your content won’t run into any major roadblocks when it reaches the legal review step of the process. With Contently, this is where the off-platform feature can come in handy, especially if your legal or PR team is operating outside of the Contently platform. In the screenshot above, you’ll see a place to select the off-platform approver. You can even add this contingent review to a workflow template if it’s a repeatable task to save time on future deliverables.
  • Document standards and share requirements with all contributors when onboarding them to your content program so they understand your legal parameters upfront. Be sure to include guidelines for sourcing and citation, tone, linking best practices, imagery, use of quotations/testimonials, and required legal disclosures. Many financial services content teams templatize required elements like disclosures to save time in the content production process.

Collaboration with Legal Experts

While legal review is critical to keeping your content in compliance, it can seriously derail or slow down your content production process.

But the consequences of non-compliance can be severe — ranging from hefty fines to reputational damage. Legal professionals’ invaluable input not only safeguards the brand’s legal standing but also fosters a culture of accountability and trust, reassuring clients and stakeholders that the content they encounter is reliable and compliant.

A clear process and open lines of communication can make your content marketing and legal collaborations efficient and rewarding.

Here are some quick tips to get started:

  • Ensure your content team understands the tools and processes your legal review team requires. Be sure to plan steps in your workflow to optimize your content for legal, allow time for legal to provide feedback, and finally, additional time on the backend to revise your content based on legal review.
  • Assign someone from your content team to manage any legal review steps. Maintain close collaboration with your legal reviewer to ensure timelines are met. Also, ask for feedback on why certain changes are requested—this can help inform your content creation later on and cut down on potential edits.
  • Use the insight you gain as you navigate legal review to update your legal review guidelines and documentation on a quarterly basis. Be sure to review any changes with your content team in ongoing editorial meetings. Pro tip: Contently’s Style Guide and Blocklisted Words features make it easy to keep your creatives on the same page when it comes to evolving legal compliance feedback.

2. Tailoring Content to a Discerning Audience

The finance industry attracts a highly educated and discerning audience—so crafting content that resonates with them is essential for building trust and credibility.

Personalization in Finance Content

When the stakes are high, personalization goes beyond simply addressing clients by their name in an automated email—it involves tailoring content to individual financial needs, goals, and preferences.

By leveraging data-driven insights, financial institutions can provide targeted content and recommendations, such as investment strategies or banking solutions, which resonate with the unique circumstances of each client. This not only enhances client satisfaction but also builds trust and loyalty, as clients feel that their financial well-being is genuinely understood and prioritized.

By utilizing a variety of content formats, you can keep your content hub fresh while providing an engaging experience for your readers. Here are some examples:

  • Interactive content and quizzes are a great way to provide readers with a more personalized experience. This content can increase engagement by guiding visitors to related content that fits their specific circumstances. These tools can also be powerful lead-generation drivers and help your sales team follow up with qualified prospects.
  • Infographics create a more visual and user-friendly experience when sharing data or breaking down complex information.
  • Explainer videos are a great way to simplify larger amounts of information into a more digestible and shareable format. Be sure to create cutdowns to share this content across social channels to drive engagement.

Thought Leadership and Expertise

In an industry characterized by complexity and constant change, being recognized as a thought leader signals authority and innovation. When you consistently deliver insightful and forward-thinking content, your brand can establish itself as a trusted source of information in the financial world.

Moreover, being a thought leader can attract top talent to your organization, as professionals in the finance industry often seek opportunities to work for companies at the forefront of industry trends and innovation.

Integrating these key characteristics into your content strategy will set you apart and demonstrate your expertise in the financial industry:

  • Predict the future to show your firm is a thought leader. Help your readers look ahead and see around corners by leveraging the expertise of your subject matter experts.
  • Provide data-backed insights to add credibility to your content.
  • Appeal to your audience’s interests and needs to provide valuable education when they are in research mode.
  • Build trust by removing complexity from the ever-evolving financial sector and by simplifying what can be confusing financial products.

3. Defining and Sharing Your Financial Services Content Strategy

Efficiency is paramount in content marketing, particularly in the fast-paced finance industry. Staying organized and streamlining the content creation process can help finance content marketers stay ahead. By defining and implementing a clear content strategy, you can help align internal and external contributors to make a bigger impact on your business goals.

Building Blocks of Content Strategy: Goals, Audiences, and Pillars

Documenting the goals and KPIs of your content program gives your team a North Star to guide content creation. Start by:

  • Outlining your core audiences to ensure you’re sharing relevant and valuable insights.
  • Setting topical guardrails to help your team ideate topics that balance your audience’s interests and your organization’s central messaging.

Editorial Calendar and Planning

An editorial calendar acts as a strategic roadmap, ensuring content aligns with your content strategy and provides your audience with a consistent flow of content throughout the quarter. This meticulous planning minimizes compliance risks, enhances efficiency, and maintains consistency.

By mapping out content topics, formats, and distribution schedules in advance, financial services organizations can allow time for not only writing and editorial review but also mission-critical legal review.

By understanding the regulatory landscape, tailoring content to a discerning audience, and defining a clear content strategy, finance content marketers can create content that not only complies with industry regulations but also engages and resonates with their target audience.

We’re here to help you navigate the financial services content marketing landscape—to learn more, request a demo and chat with our sales team.

Image by Prasong Maulae
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