With the rise of digital content marketing has come a consumer desire to feel a personal connection to chosen brands. Increasingly, this includes financial institutions, because at its root, the relationship between consumer and brand-that-houses-your-personal-finances is obviously a personal one.

Over the past few years, big financial service brands like Citi, Credit Suisse, American Express, Mint, and Barclays have been publishing great content for engaged audiences. Consumers are responding positively because they want and appreciate evidence that a company understands their needs and that the company is different from the competition in one way or another.

The customizable nature of content marketing allows these financial service brands to tailor their messages to a variety of target audiences, whether those are defined based on demographics, industry, delivery channel, or other factors. With this type of personalization, these brands can build relationships and boost retention.

What Content Marketing Challenges Are Unique to Financial Institutions?

  • The industry has strict compliance regulations to contend with, making it easy to get caught up in what you can’t say instead of focusing on what you can say and do. Sharing as much useful information as possible within these constraints will be rewarded by educated consumers who know they can turn to your company for guidance.

  • Purchase of a financial product or service is rarely an impulse buy. Most consumers do a lot of research before doing things like applying for a home loan, switching banks, signing up for a new credit card, or investing in a particular stock or mutual fund.

  • Industry-related content contains complex information that may not appeal many potential consumers.

So What Can You Do?

Keep in mind that, according to the Custom Content Council, 61% of consumers say they feel better about a company that delivers custom content, and they are also more likely to buy from that company.

  • Make the information simple. Use plain English and not industry jargon. Use video to explain complex financial procedures and services.

  • Focus on what the consumer needs and how you can help them. Content marketing is based on the unspoken contract of: “give me helpful information and I will listen to your message.” Consumers want answers to their questions, so create content that directly addresses those and serves as a customer service portal.

  • Create compelling content through video, print, and interactivity that uses analogies, stories, or other devices to make the topics come alive and feel tangible and relatable to the consumer.

  • Let it flow: new content should be created on a (at least nearly) daily basis. Create an editorial calendar to help keep you on track.

Types Of Content Marketing: Why Is Video Effective Specifically?

Online video is very effective overall. The average person can retain 95% of video content after 72 hours vs. retaining just 10% of text they’ve read. Videos are also very searchable (videos appear in almost 70% of the top 100 online search listings). In September 2012, more than 85% of the country’s Internet users viewed online video and about 46% of people say they’d be more likely to seek out information about a product or service after seeing it in an online video.

For financial service brands, because video is still underutilized in the industry, it provides a differentiator from the competition. Videos put a name and a face to your firm’s key personnel – a major advantage over print, which is less capable of doing so.

Video can help financial marketers who want to build brand awareness and create/maintain thought leadership within the industry. They’re often more effective than text when showcasing complex financial products and services.