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In the fast-paced world that we live in, it’s becoming more and more difficult for businesses to reach their intended audiences. We can skip commercials with DVR. We don’t read the paper anymore. Brands realize this, which is why they are turning to content marketing. However, things can get a bit trickier when financial companies are involved. It’s a competitive industry that isn’t always the most exciting.

On top of that, the financial industry is bogged down with numerous challenges. For example, here are some of the industry’s concerns:

  • It’s a very regulated industry
  • The recession has cut funding
  • Sales are complex
  • Consumers don’t trust financial institutions
  • Consumers are very educated in the finance industry
  • It’s difficult to differentiate brands and their features
  • There are onerous legal and compliance components
  • Siloed organizations
  • Difficult to get people excited
  • Content doesn’t have a human voice

Despite these challenges, the finance industry has completely embraced content marketing. In fact, a 2012 study from IMN found that “75 percent of financial services marketers had separate content strategies in place for each marketing channel, the highest percentage of all industries polled.”

But, just because content marketing is being utilized by those in the financial industry, doesn’t mean that it’s effective. Absolutely. And here are the reasons why.

Learn About Customers and Understand their Business

As Geoffrey Byruch states, “Customers want to feel that they are important to your business.” And one of the best ways that this is achieved is by understanding what their wants and needs are. When a bank is able to identify the needs of specific customers, it can reach them more effectively. For example, Putnam Investments has an in-depth blog that tackles retirement concerns. Sun Life Financial’s Brighter Life page focuses on health and savings. Wells Fargo provides information for small business owners on its Business Insight Resource Center.

Addressing the needs of your customers, as well as knowing who they actually are, can go a long way. It can help narrow down the decision-making process, assist in search ranking with keywords, and build a sense of trust between the customer and financial company.

Customers Want to Know About Your Business

Proving that you’re an industry leader or expert in your field is another tactic that finance companies should use in marketing campaigns. After all, customers need to feel confident that the people handling their finances can be trusted when they need advice or guidance. In addition, you want to appear as an industry leader when people search for financial inquires. That simple search could result in a new customer because you were able to successfully demonstrate that you are a trusted authority; check out the Financial Education Center from Capital One as an example.

To illustrate that you are an expert in finance, make sure that you keep up with the latest news, events, and trends in case there have been any important changes that viewers should be aware of. Also, you need to do a lot of research that you can use to create detailed information that you share on blogs and social media. And, it wouldn’t hurt to write an eBook or speak at a relevant event. “Anything you can do to prove to your clients that you know what you’re talking about will increase their trust and make them feel more comfortable,” Geoffrey Byruch says.

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Differentiate Yourself from the Competition

As previously mentioned, many people believe that all financial institutions are the same, which is why it’s of the utmost importance that you stand out from the competition. But, how exactly can you accomplish that?

A great place to start is by defining the purpose of the financial company. Why does it exist? What purpose does it serve? How will it help people? How will it make the world better? Once those questions have been answered, the company can create a business plan and marketing campaign based on its values and purpose.

Another tactic would be to make sure that your customer service is outstanding. A better experience for customers will make them more likely to refer the company to friends and family. This could be everything from having pleasant and helpful customer representatives to sharing engaging content with customers. TD Bank is a great example of standing out from the competition because it has stellar customer service and makes it known that branches are open 7 days a week. Another example would be the Open Form from American Express, which shares a wide range of informative articles.

Target your Marketing to Specific Audience

If you’re using content marketing, here’s another useful technique: customizable content. Since finance companies specialize in different areas, you could tailor your message to better reach your audience based on the industry or demographics. Furthermore, when you target marketing to a specific audience, you can share your message on the right channel so that the message has a better opportunity to reach the right audience.

As Geroffrey Byruch states, “precision can be essential. A wide net can be useful, but specific, monitored appeals to distinct customer groups can yield some real benefits.”

If you want to target your audience, you have to remember the business plan, which will guide you in decision-making. After that, you have to do some research so that you can identify the demographics and profiles of your audience. During your research, you should also be able to understand their wants and needs. Finally, monitor how your campaign is going by tracking interactions, requests for information, etc. And, make adjustments as needed.

For inspiration, you may want to check out what Regions Bank has done. The bank aimed at working with female business owners, and achieved this by creating content like“How Entrepreneurial Women Approach Relationships in Business.”

Establish a Relationship and Build Trust

Sharing content that is educational and addresses the needs of a specific audience is a great way to build trust with potential customers. And when you are able to promptly and accurately answer questions or resolve problems, that trust will continue to increase. In other words, it’s important to illustrate that you are actually listening to them and see them as more than just a client.

Also keep in mind that you should communicate as much as possible. Replying to tweets, being consistent and honest, and rewarding loyal customers are all important tasks that will help establish a relationship with customers and build their trust.

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Peter Daisyme

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