Engage and retain financial customers with these content production strategies and best practices.
By Suzy Buglewicz, Senior Writer
You’ve identified your audience segments and distribution channels. Your financial content marketing team has some great ideas to engage customers and boost sales. But have you figured out how you’re going to fuel your content engine long-term — and at a pace that will allow for creating content consistently? The tips and tactics below can help you and your team keep your content funnel full on an ongoing basis.
The Proven Power of Financial Content Marketing
Here’s why consistent content creation is important: Educational content has been shown to have a powerful and positive impact on consumers’ feelings about a brand, dramatically increasing their level of trust with the brand. In fact, research shows consumers were 131 percent more likely to buy immediately after reading a piece of educational content.1 With 73 percent of B2C marketers planning to create more content this year over the previous year,2 it’s more important than ever to your financial institution’s bottom line to stay consistent with producing content.
Prepare for Success
To avoid starting strong only to run out of steam and ideas, it’s crucial to prepare for content marketing success. Before creating a single piece of content, start with the four steps below. They’ll help pave the way to creating content consistently — and keeping audiences engaged and informed throughout their purchase journey.
1: Identify your content team.
Start by identifying roles and responsibilities you’ll need to fill. Include strategy, writing, designing, reviewing, approving, distributing, promoting and managing completed content assets. Consider the skillset of your internal team and decide if it makes sense to bring in outside resources for content creation.
2: Develop a content strategy that aligns with company goals.
A clearly defined financial content marketing strategy that aligns with your corporate mission and speaks to your audience’s challenges will help drive your messaging, as well as your content pipeline. Your strategy should include overall objectives, audience segments, content mix and a distribution plan. Keep the focus on how you’ll produce a variety of content to help your organization achieve its goals.
3: Create an editorial calendar.
An annual editorial calendar helps your team stay organized so you’re not left scrambling for last-minute ideas. The calendar can also ensure that you’re covering all important topic areas based on your content strategy. In addition to the content topic and publish date, your editorial calendar can include details like content type, audience segment, calls to action and distribution channels. As a best practice, review your editorial calendar at least quarterly to ensure it still aligns with your strategy and intended audiences.
4: Establish a workflow process for content production and distribution.
Having a process can increase content production efficiency and reduce bottlenecks that waste time and money. Make sure all content stakeholders are on board with the process and understand the steps. Stages of your content workflow might include the following: develop ideas, create content, review and approve, distribute and promote, organize and store, and track results. To keep your content engine running smoothly and on time, incorporate legal and other key stakeholder feedback in the early stages to allow ample time for review and feedback.
9 Ways to Keep the Financial Content Funnel Filled to the Brim
Once you’ve covered strategic planning, assigned roles and responsibilities, and established a process, it’s time to start producing content. How do you generate all the content you need? Below are nine tips, tactics and best practices for efficiently and consistently creating engaging content that converts.
1. Schedule regular content brainstorm sessions with your team.
When looking for new ideas, look at your audience’s challenges as well as their interests. Which ones can you tie to your products and services? Are there any company-wide initiatives, product launches or industry trends you can leverage? Create an ideas file or topic bank for storing future content ideas.
2. Generate new content ideas by reviewing customer feedback.
Focus on what’s important to your current and potential customers by reviewing your data and talking to your sales and customer service teams. For more inspiration, conduct customer surveys or social media polls to learn more about your audience segments.
3. Conduct a content audit.
Do an inventory of your existing content. Include content on all channels and platforms, including content in other areas of your organization, from white papers and how-to guides to FAQs. Identify popular topics, areas where you have excess, and any gaps that need to be filled.
4. Repurpose existing content.
Leverage top-performing pieces of content by making a few tweaks and republishing in different formats and on a variety of distribution channels. For example, turn a how-to blog post into a video, a list into an infographic, or update a popular evergreen piece with current trends and new statistics.
5. Consider adding curated content into your content mix.
Sharing relevant content published by an outside source, and crediting the original author, is an easy way to fill your content holes. Whether it’s a subject matter expert or industry-related content, be sure to add a few insights to give it your own voice.
6. Keep all current and potential customer segments in mind.
Are you meeting the needs of your audience segments through all stages of the purchase journey? Review your data and analytics and compare it with topics in your editorial calendar or ideas file. Add more relevant content where you notice gaps.
7. Consider all formats and distribution channels.
Your customers absorb information in different ways. Produce content in a variety of formats, such as infographics, listicles and video. Include all the channels where your current and future customers are, including mobile, web, in-branch and social. And don’t underestimate the power of visual assets. According to ION Interactive, visual content is 40 times more likely to get shared on social media than other type of content.
8. Let your metrics be your guide.
Determine which pieces of content perform best and how well your metrics meet your content strategy goals. Indicators of content marketing conversion could include leads, sales, subscriptions and behavior metrics. Use this feedback to adjust your editorial calendar and make tweaks as needed.
9. Focus on value not volume.
Resist the pressure to produce large quantities of content because it feels like that’s what everyone else is doing. Creating quality, relevant content that focuses on your current and future customers will result in more connections and conversions.
Patience and Planning Are Keys to Creating Financial Content Consistently
Creating quality content consistently for the long-term takes time. By focusing on planning and process before producing and distributing content, your financial institution will be on track to keep your content marketing engine running steadily and efficiently — with engaging content that connects and converts.
Are you struggling to keep your financial content calendar full of engaging content? CCG’s financial marketing experts have four decades of experience helping financial institutions deliver the right message to the right customer at the right time. Our financial marketing capabilities and services include content strategy and development, custom content, ready-to-go evergreen financial content and analytics. Request a free consultation or call 800.525.0313 today.
1 “Educational Content Makes Researchers 131% More Likely to Buy,” Charity Stebbins, Conductor, published July 6, 2017, https://www.conductor.com/blog/2017/07/winning-customers-educational-content/, accessed Oct. 16, 2017
2 “B2C Content Marketing: 2017 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends – North America,” Content Marketing Institute, http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/2017_B2C_Research_Final-rev-10-26-16.pdf, accessed Oct. 1, 2017