Brands

3 Content Marketing Tips From Top Finance Brands

By Dorian Benkoil May 14th, 2015

Everyone needs helps with their money. And in the digital age, finance companies want to be the ones to provide that help, using the latest technologies to let people know they’re available and keep them satisfied once on board.

At LinkedIn’s fourth annual FinanceConnect conference last week in New York, finance, marketing and media professionals from around the world avidly discussed ways to turn prospects into customers and keep current customers happy amid technological transformation, media fragmentation, and generational shifts.

From global players like Citi and Starcom MediaVest to more niche institutions such as ABN AMRO and, well, Contently, they revealed consistent themes on guiding people across multiple screens about sensitive money matters. Here are some of the key pointers.

1. Follow the “customer journey”

One presenter after another this year opined on the “customer journey.”

The head of digital marketing for a major European wealth management firm helped me understand why. The average cost to acquire one customer, he said, can be thousands of dollars, but it’s worth it because that person’s lifetime value for the company typically goes well into six figures and beyond.

Financial institutions are trying to glean what questions people have as they consider what to do with their money. Current customers, too, need answers and explanations that guide them to the right resource or person.

“Marketing is not just about the message and the communication and the brand. It’s now about the journey you can provide somebody,” said David Edelman, Partner and Global Co-Leader of McKinsey Digital, Marketing & Sales. “That journey is a representation of your brand.”

2. Be fast, and train well

Heavily regulated financial institutions have understandably been skittish about moving fast in digital media.

A few years ago “one bank was proud of being able to send out a Tweet in four hours,” quipped LinkedIn executive editor Dan Roth in a conversation with top banking executives. “Not anymore.”

Allan Gungormez, AVP, Enterprise Digital Strategy for Transamerica, told me they train their teams to be able to immediately answer questions in social media, referring people the right customer service areas while avoiding explicit financial advice that could get the bank in trouble.

His and other institutions’ content teams also have dedicated compliance experts, so they can move fast.

For instance, Voya Financial can go live with a new article within 4-5 hours to, say, explain the implications of a newly announced government regulation, executive Jim Cowsert proudly said when I asked how fast they can move.

“We try to be relevant and assign something that is useful for our clients,” he said.

3. Be surprising—and human

Financial companies are among the most concerned about creating content that’s safe for their brand. But that doesn’t mean they can’t be surprising and have fun.

ABN AMRO created a roller coaster that potential buyers rode to tour a home the bank was helping sell. The YouTube video went viral and got worldwide news coverage, bringing new attention to ABN’s home sales products.

TD Bank had their ATMs talk to customers and give them gifts. Their “#TDThanksYou” video showing delighted people receiving extra cash, presents and flowers has more than 20 million views. The hashtag spread through social media.

Transamerica has won awards for their efforts in newer social platforms. Gungormez said they’re active in Vine, Reddit, Snapchat and Tumblr because reaching younger people now will help the bank talk to them throughout their customer journeys.

“Snapchat is a very long-term play,” Gungormez said.

Moving to these social platforms has also meant that financial institutions have had to change their tone into something a bit more relatable to the average user.

Whether in person or on screen, banks can seem stodgy and impersonal, but by talking to people with a human face and even a little whimsy they can humanize their brands while responsibly managing their customers’ most important assets.

That human touch, along with proper care to make content, technology and teams work together to help individuals, can breed success for those people—and the financial firms trying to help them.

Image by Asylsun
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