Financial Services Content Marketing: Building the Case for Value-Added Content

Get the facts (and the stats) on how a financial content marketing strategy focused on your customers’ needs can give a boost to your bank or credit union.

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Most financial institutions these days are doing some form of financial services content marketing. But not all are taking a strategic approach or developing the kind of content that will yield benefits — such as increased customer engagement and cross-sells, improved customer relationships and profitability, and enhanced company reputation.

The facts and statistics below prove the value of financial content that fits this profile — helping you convince the powers that be to back your initiatives and your budget. Plus, we’ll provide a checklist of what value-added content means — so you can make sure your content hits the mark.

The Components of Value-Added Financial Content Marketing

Unlike many direct marketing tactics, the overall goal of a value-added content strategy in the financial industry is not exclusively to sell product. Instead, value-added content works to create stronger customer relationships. That, in itself, should eventually lead to more sales, although that end goal is generally a degree or more removed from the content itself.

Value-added content marketing can take nearly any form — blogs, newsletters, videos, infographics, social messaging and so forth. But to truly do its thing, it should meet all or most of these criteria:

  • Strategic and part of a plan, not haphazard or thrown together at the last minute
  • Not overtly promotional or self-serving
  • Useful, providing information, insight, advice or education
  • Solution-oriented, helping to solve a specific problem and/or answering a question
  • Benefits-oriented, showing the reader “what’s in it for me” rather than what’s in it for your company
  • Relevant, with messaging targeted to a specific segment or individual, based on analyzing customer data and understanding the customer’s place on the buyer journey

The Benefits of Value-Added Financial Content Marketing

With these elements in place, your value-added content strategy for financial services is poised to deliver numerous benefits, like the following.

Delivers Excellent ROI

Value-added content continues to prove its worth in terms of return on investment. Exact numbers can be hard to pin down for two reasons. First, content marketing is really a large bucket of different content forms and formats, each with its own cost. Second, since this isn’t a direct-sell tactic, it can take time — sometimes months — to see results in the form of a sale. Therefore, content marketers often valuate their projects based on other metrics, such as consumption, lead generation, website traffic and other goals.

That said, some ROI-related stats and facts include:

  • Content marketing costs 62% less than promotional, push-based outbound marketing while generating more than three times as many leads1
  • 62% of companies rate content marketing as excellent or good in terms of ROI2
  • Newsletter marketing — a form of value-added content — is considerably less expensive than banner advertising, Google AdWords, Facebook Ads and influencer marketing3

When you layer the power of value-added content with the cost-effectiveness of email, you take advantage of additional returns:

  • Average ROI for email marketing is $38 for each $1 invested3
  • 73% of companies rate email marketing as excellent or good when it comes to ROI2
  • U.S. marketing executives believe email alone drives the same amount of revenue as social media, website and display ads combined2

Increases Marketing Performance

Value-added financial content marketing is extremely useful for increasing customer engagement, and you’ll see that in enhanced metrics for your marketing initiatives.

For instance, editorial- or newsletter-style emails average 2.6% unique click-thru rates and 23.3% unique click-to-open rates. That’s compared to general marketing emails that garner 0.7% unique click-thrus and 5.8% unique click-to-opens.4

At CCG, we’ve seen the value of financial content in client open rates that have increased more than 40% and click-thru rates that have jumped by 200%.

Influences Behavior

While value-added financial services content marketing may not directly pitch products, it can definitely influence purchase decisions, improve cross-sell, increase leads, keep customers engaged through the buyer journey — and ultimately increase customer profitability.

  • 61% of consumers’ buying decisions are influenced by custom content5
  • 61% of U.S. online consumers made a purchase after reading recommendations on a blog6
  • 47% of buyers view between three and five pieces of content before they engage a sales rep1
  • Content marketing can deliver six times higher conversion rates versus traditional marketing1

Enhances Reach

Good financial services content marketing helps to not only build brand awareness, but also to maintain that awareness — so when someone is ready to choose a financial institution or a financial product, you’re top of mind. It can also enhance your SEO, which helps to increase online visibility and website traffic. And value-added content can even help your message reach your audience with greater reliability.

  • 77% of internet users read blogs6
  • Increasing the number of blogs produced can yield a five-fold increase in website traffic1
  • Value-added content can help your messages get past ad blockers and defy the ever-changing whims of social media platforms and search engine algorithms

Builds Trust

Content that’s useful, relevant and focused on customer benefits can change perceptions of your company for the better. Particularly when delivered consistently, it can enhance your credibility and authority — positioning your organization as a trusted expert, not just a company there to sell something. This can lead to greater loyalty and brand advocacy.

Test It

Statistics are well and good. But the best way to determine the effectiveness of value-added financial services content marketing is to give it a try. In head-to-head testing, we’ve seen value-added content beat promotional marketing time and again.

As you develop and revise your marketing strategy for the second half of the year, consider including a value-added content test. If you’re already convinced, then you’re already on the road to reaping the benefits of better customer relationships that value-added financial content can deliver.

If you’re ready to launch a value-added financial content marketing strategy, or want to refine or audit your current approach, we can help. CCG’s financial marketing experts have more than 40 years of experience working with value-added financial services content. It’s what our company was built on. Learn more about how we can help you achieve your marketing goals. Click below to schedule a free consultation or call us today at 303.986.3000.

1 “Top 25 Benefits of Content Marketing & How Content Marketing Can Transform Your Business,” LYFE Marketing, posted August 6, 2019, https://www.lyfemarketing.com/blog/benefits-content-marketing/, accessed May 18, 2020

2 “10 Essential Email Marketing Insights for Banks & Credit Unions,” Jeffry Pilcher, The Financial Brand, posted Jan. 30, 2017, https://thefinancialbrand.com/63546/email-marketing-trends-for-banks-credit-unions/, accessed May 18, 2020

3 “How to Plan an Effective Newsletter Strategy,” Judith Michel, Mailjet, posted Dec. 12, 2019, https://www.mailjet.com/blog/news/how-to-plan-an-effective-newsletter-strategy/, accessed May 18, 2020

4 “Email Trends and Benchmarks Q2 2019,” Epsilon, https://www.epsilon.com/hubfs/US%20EPSILON/WEB%20images%20and%20videos%20by%20page/Resource-center-assets/Resources-Home/PDFs/Epsilon_Q2_2019_Email_Trends_Benchmarks.pdf, accessed May 18, 2020

5 “38 Content Marketing Stats Every Marketer Needs to Know,” Neil Patel, https://neilpatel.com/blog/38-content-marketing-stats-that-every-marketer-needs-to-know/, accessed May 18, 2020

6 “9 Stats That Will Make You Want to invest in Content Marketing,” Julia McCoy, Content Marketing Institute, posted Oct. 22, 2017, https://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2017/10/stats-invest-content-marketing/, accessed May 18, 2020

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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