Learn how to deliver the right financial marketing content to the right audience.
Creating and delivering the right message for the right audience can be a time-consuming and costly undertaking, not to mention somewhat of a guessing game. What resonates with one segment might be meaningless to another. But determining the types of content your customers really want to read allows you to define and refine your messaging — ultimately leading to increased engagement, acquisition and sales.
According to the 2017 Digital Trends report, marketers say their top priority for 2017 is content marketing. Also trending, according to the report, is a more customer-centric approach emphasizing educational and informative content that’s personalized and targeted to specific segments, with the goal of increasing engagement, leads and sales.
- Related case study: Customer Segmentation Lifts Marketing Results
Better Content Targeting Tactics
Financial institutions investing in content marketing want to know that their messages are relevant. To meet that challenge, it’s crucial to know who you’re talking to — and what they want to hear from you. Consider the four tactics below that can arm your financial marketing team with information to craft a content strategy more likely to engage your targeted audience(s).
1. Customer Surveys
Surveys provide a budget-friendly way to gather information about your customers’ specific interests so you can refine and define your message, increasing engagement and, ultimately, sales. Survey feedback can help your financial marketing team understand which types of content customers want to receive from your financial institution. This may include specific personal finance topics, like retirement planning and home buying, as well as financial products and services that are most relevant to them.
Preferred topic information, combined with demographic and psychographic feedback, lets your financial institution target communications to specific audience segments on their preferred channels with messaging that’s most relevant to their interests. And when customers receive content that they want, they’re more likely to listen, engage and respond.
Marketing Tip: Make sure customers can access surveys in multiple ways, including via email, your website and direct mail containing a link to the survey. You might also consider including the survey in an existing newsletter.
2. Focus Groups
Focus groups let you explore opinions, understand behaviors, test products, services or programs, and even encourage the exchange of ideas. While you may not get the quantity of feedback you would with a survey, a focus group can provide more quality feedback. You’ll be able to see firsthand how participants react to your questions and get instant results.
Marketing Tip: In addition to asking about content and channel preferences, take advantage of a focus group environment to get live feedback on existing or potential financial products and services.
3. Preference Centers
Swap “one size fits all” content with a more personalized approach by creating a preference center that lets customers tell you which types of information they want to receive from you, how often and on which channels. Preference center best practices include offering a list of preferred communications channels for customers to choose from, such as email, postal mail, online and mobile; frequency, such as weekly, bi-weekly or monthly; and topic areas of interest.
Marketing Tip: Make it easy for customers to find your preference center by including links and calls to action on emails, your website and even on printed communications.
- Related reading: Does the digital generation get your message?
4. Short Questionnaires
Another tactic for gathering customer feedback is a brief questionnaire that you can promote offline and online. Consider a simple Facebook or Twitter poll, promote the questionnaire on your website and even inside branch locations.
Marketing Tip: Place signage promoting the questionnaire in branches and keep paper questionnaires nearby so customers have the option of completing it while they’re in the bank. Or provide a link so they can complete it online when they’re back home or via their smartphone.
Financial Customer Feedback: Ask and You Shall Receive
Customer feedback is your golden ticket for creating content that specific segments will find most relevant. But before you start asking for customer feedback, consider your financial institution’s objectives and the type of information that would be useful from customers to help achieve those goals.
To really understand what your customers want from you, ask for feedback in these areas:
- Demographic and behavioral information, so you can tie content interests to specific customer segments
- Preferred personal finance topics and subtopics
- Preferred communication channels
- Open-ended questions, such as where and how they search for financial information
- Questions and concerns they’d like you, as their bank, to address
Marketing Tip: Be sure to thank customers any time they take the time to respond to a survey, update their communication preferences on a preference center, or take any action to provide you with more information.
Incorporate Customer Feedback into a Strategic Communications Plan
Once you’ve identified customer segments and specific areas of interest, you can then provide useful, educational content that gains their trust and positions your financial institution as a valuable resource.
- Related reading: Mark Your Calendar with Content
Consider using customer feedback to create audience-specific landing pages, direct mail and newsletters. Include a variety of content formats, such as financial calculators, interactive assessments, videos, guides and microsites.
Or, take lead generation efforts to the next level by following up targeted content with an invitation to attend an offline or online event related to a similar topic. For example, a webinar or local event on retirement planning or home buying. Then follow up with additional related content after customers attend the event.
Marketing Tip: Include a clear call to action on each piece of content, and link to another relevant, related piece of content that’s aimed at that specific audience segment.
Better Content Targeting Leads to More Engagement and Sales
Targeted content marketing not only helps your financial institution provide value and engage with different audiences on multiple channels, it also gives your team a competitive advantage. By building stronger relationships and positioning your brand as a trusted resource, your personalized, targeted content will yield higher response rates, conversions and profits.
Need help with customer research, segmentation or communications? CCG’s financial marketing team has expertise in data analytics, surveys, content development, deployment and other financial marketing services.
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