How to Choose the Right Personal Finance Topics for Your Audience

Why relevant personal finance content matters — and how to select topics that increase customer engagement with your brand and products.

Woman sitting at table with computer

Article Highlights

  • Consumers engage with content to learn more about topics that address a particular interest or need or that help them solve a problem
  • Value-added content helps customers make decisions and increases engagement with brands
  • Consumers are 40% more likely to open an email from their financial institution if it contains their preferred content1

Many financial institutions today include value-added personal finance content as part of their overall customer marketing strategy. After all, numerous statistics show that content marketing increases engagement by helping consumers make important decisions, building trust and keeping brands top of mind — without directly selling. In fact, content marketing costs 62% less than outbound marketing even though it generates three times as many leads.2

To get the most bang for your marketing budget and efforts, though, it’s crucial to choose the right personal finance content topics — that is, the topics your customers actually care about. Below, we explain why relevant content matters, along with steps your organization can take to deliver the content your audiences will want to engage with.

Research Reinforces the Importance of Relevant Personal Finance Content

CCG’s new and exclusive custom research examined consumer thoughts on personal finance topics via a nationwide survey. We wanted to learn about the impact of personal finance topics on a customer’s willingness to open, read and respond to communications — as well as how receiving the content might impact their relationship with their bank.

Here is what we found:1

  • 72% of respondents said they would be more likely to increase their relationship with their financial institution if it sent them useful content on topics of interest to them
  • Nearly 40% of respondents would likely open an email from their financial institution if it contained their preferred content
  • Topic preferences aren’t universal across financial institutions or audience segments
  • Still, certain topics consistently ranked high among most banks and audiences
  • 75% of respondents would have a negative opinion of their financial institution if it didn’t send them content on topics of interest to them, or sent them content that didn’t answer their questions or offer useful tips

Six Benefits of Delivering the Right Personal Finance Topics

In general, consumers seek out personal finance content to learn more about topics that address a particular interest or need, or to help solve a problem. Here are six reasons why choosing the right personal finance content themes are so important to your financial institution’s bottom line.

1: Increases the odds of a customer reading and responding to your content.

If the content you provide isn’t relevant to your customers, they’ll move on and find the content they’re looking for somewhere else. Personal finance content that’s relevant also helps educate your customers, answers their questions and helps them move forward in their financial life.

2: Saves marketing departments time and money.

Taking a more targeted, strategic approach to personal finance content marketing can support operational efficiency by streamlining your content ideation process and removing the guesswork from content planning. In addition, this approach can boost ROI by increasing engagement and cross-sells. It can also help improve the performance of your marketing communications with higher open rates, responses and engagement.

3: Allows banks to softly introduce products and services.

Taking a customer-benefit approach with value-added content versus a sales-focused or promotional approach lets your brand help customers while quietly positioning your products and services as part of the solution to their needs. The right content may also influence purchase decisions by helping customers become aware of a problem they didn’t know they had. For example, an article about college planning could lead new parents to start a savings account or open a CD to help save for their new baby’s future education expenses.

4: Helps build loyal, long-term customer relationships.

When your financial institution chooses personal finance topics that meet your customers where they are — by addressing their needs throughout the various stages of their customer journey — you help build trust, boost sales and create long-lasting loyalty.

5: Helps your brand stand out from the competition.

Today, banks are fighting harder than ever for customers. In addition to providing useful, relevant personal finance content, delivering that content on your customers’ preferred channels (and in multiple formats) increases the chances that your customers will notice and engage with your brand. For instance, the content in a personal finance blog on your website can also be repurposed into formats like videos, infographics or social media posts to help keep your brand top of mind and help ensure you’re reaching audiences with different channel and format preferences.

6: Lets your financial institution deliver a more personalized customer experience.

A financial marketing content strategy focused on your customers’ specific interests makes them feel like you took the time to get to know them. Plus, providing content that your customers want not only builds trust, but also makes it truly feel like one-on-one communication versus a generic email blast.

How to Choose Personal Finance Topics

When it comes to selecting personal finance topics for content marketing, many bank marketing teams simply look at current or historical trends, see what their competitors are doing or assume they know what content topics their customers care about. But how do you know if those strategies will resonate with your audience segments? The only way to know for sure what your customers want is to get to know them better.

Tools like consumer surveys, bank data and third-party data can help your financial institution better identify more relevant content topics based on the interests, needs, preferences and demographics of your specific audiences. Customer surveys, in particular, can be an effective way to drill down to specific, fact-based insights that can help ensure that your overall marketing strategy is the most efficient use of your time and resources.

Once you’ve collected your data, the next and very important step is to analyze and act on those findings. You may discover that your personal finance content topics are on mostly on track. Or you might discover that you’re completely missing a valuable audience segment. Or perhaps you find that you have content gaps with other audiences.

CCG’s Content Topic Optimization Tool Reveals Financial Content Preferences

CCG’s new Content Topic Optimization (CTO) tool is based on our exclusive, nationwide consumer research. It helps financial institutions better understand which personal finance content topics are of most interest to their specific audience segments. Using an objective, data-based viewpoint focused on operational efficiency and increased ROI, the CTO tool looks at topic preferences for audience segments based on factors like geographic region, household income, education level and other demographics. When analysis is complete, the CTO tool recommends a list of preferred content topics for each key audience segment.

Learn More About CCG’s Content Topic Optimization Tool
Contact one of our financial marketing experts for a free consultation.

Enjoy Ongoing Customer Engagement with the Right Personal Finance Topics

Discovering the personal finance content topics that are most relevant for your different audience segments — and creating and delivering the content your customers want to engage with — is a win-win strategy. You’ll deliver more value to your customers’ lives while boosting engagement and retention, and reaping the benefits of a higher ROI.

CCG specializes in building long-term customer relationships that provide value to banks as well as their customers. We have decades of experience creating custom content, developing data-based marketing strategies, and conducting research and predictive modeling. For a free consultation with one of our financial marketing experts, click below or call us today at 303.986.3000.

1 “CCG Personal Finance Content Survey,” November 2020

2 “9 Stats That Will Make You Want to Invest in Content Marketing,” Julia McVoy, Content Marketing Institute, published Oct. 22, 2017, https://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2017/10/stats-invest-content-marketing/

Greg Sultan

Author Greg Sultan

Greg Sultan is CCG’s senior vice president, financial strategist. With more than two decades of experience in the sales and marketing industry, he understands client needs and how to both establish meaningful goals and plan a path to reach them. He brings a problem-solving mindset to help clients with their database marketing and custom direct-marketing programs.

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