Proving the Importance of Content Marketing for Financial Services

Here’s how to show value and gain buy-in from your CEO.

It’s been said time and again that content is king. And as a savvy financial marketer, you understand that value-added content has the power to influence consumer behavior. But the higher-ups that sign off on your marketing budgets — well, they may need more persuading on the importance of content marketing. These tips can help you overcome lack of buy-in, demonstrate ROI opportunities and sell your CEO on a winning content marketing strategy.

Demonstrate the Value of Content Marketing

How important is content marketing? It generates about three times as many leads as traditional marketing — yet costs 62 percent less, according to the Content Marketing Institute.1

Furthermore, content drives engagement and motivates consumers to act. More than 60 percent of consumers report that they’re motivated to seek a product or service after reading content about it.2  This is key for financial institutions, as content marketing has the power to position your brand as a trusted resource by addressing consumer needs or lifestyle interests associated with your products and services in an educational way, without resorting to overt sales tactics.

Align Content Strategy with the Purchase Journey

Value-added content lets you teach customers how to buy from you — by providing useful information at each stage of the buying process, ultimately resulting in higher engagement, acquisition, retention and profits. Aligning content with your customer funnel ensures that your brand is top-of-mind during the course of the purchase journey.

Here’s how you can demonstrate potential ROI opportunities throughout the sales funnel during the five stages of the customer journey.

Stage 1: Problem recognition.

The buying process begins when the consumer realizes he has a problem that needs to be solved or a need that must be filled. For example, an older roof needs to be replaced or the kitchen needs to be remodeled to accommodate a growing family. Your content in this stage serves to open the lines of communication, establish your bank as an expert resource and demonstrate an understanding of the problem that needs to be solved — leaving readers feeling more informed to make decisions about their financial life.

Stage 2: Information search.

Though consumers have many choices and sources of information available to them, they want access to trusted content that addresses their challenges and offers solutions to make their lives easier. As potential customers research solutions to their problems or needs, you can anticipate their questions and provide answers through educational content that delivers value.

  • Content example: Tips on how to find the right financing option for that kitchen remodel, based on the individual situation.

Stage 3: Evaluation of alternatives.

Content at this stage should clearly present your bank’s benefits and differentiators to help consumers understand “what’s in it for me” as they shop the competition before making a purchase decision.

  • Content example: Highlight the speed and ease of your mortgage process, the experience of and expertise of your loan officers — anything that sets your financial institution apart from the competition. A call to action in the content should present your “sell” as a benefit or solution to the consumer’s problem.

Stage 4: Purchase decision.

Once consumers decide to buy a product or service, they’ll likely still have questions. Create content that guides them through the process, answers questions and provides useful information

  • Content example: Provide tips on what to expect during a mortgage closing, advice on document preparation or even home maintenance tips.

Stage 5: Post-purchase behavior.

Ongoing communication helps maintain long-lasting relationships with customers, and increases referral opportunities, loyalty and opportunities to cross-sell other products and services.

  • Content example: Follow up a mortgage closing with content that’s relevant to your customer’s new role as a homeowner — like important insurance considerations, home improvement tips or uses for a home equity line of credit.

How to Sell Your Boss on a Content Marketing Strategy

Creating and sharing a documented content marketing strategy that ties to institution–wide goals is another important key to gaining executive support. And research shows that organizations that have adopted a content marketing strategy have conversion rates that are nearly six times higher than those that don’t.1 The tactics below can help you build a solid business case to convince the executives that your content marketing strategy is well thought out, supports corporate goals and will yield results.

Map Content Metrics to Business Goals

Tie your content marketing strategy to specific business objectives. Show how your content plan will address the challenges and goals that matter most to your organization, whether that’s generating more leads, growing loans or acquiring more deposits.

Leverage Your Customer Data

Explain how you can use customer data to increase the relevancy of your content and make the customer feel like you “get” them — improving the chances that they’ll respond to your message. For instance, segmenting customers can create a more personalized experience, and lets you deliver the right content to the right customer at the right time — and when done well, in the right format and through the right channels.

Follow a Consistent, Multi-Channel Approach

Be sure to discuss the importance of content in digital marketing. Look at where your customers are getting information and incorporate that into your strategy. Today’s customers expect access to information from their bank when and where they want it, similar to the way they access information from other industries. And they absorb content in different ways, so your content marketing strategy should outline how you’ll communicate in a variety of formats — like checklists and Q&As —  and through a variety of channels, including video, social, your website and your mobile app.

Identify Content Marketing Resources

Your boss will want to know who is going to do all the work required to bring your content marketing strategy to life and sustain it long-term. Make sure you outline who will produce the content — whether it will be created in-house, outsourced or a combination of both. Consider your resources as you make decisions based on budget, staff expertise and time considerations. Identifying these upfront in your content marketing strategy can help your organization make cost-effective use of resources, which can positively impact ROI.

Show Me the Money: The Importance of Content Marketing

Overcoming lack of buy-in from the boss is no easy feat. But when you can show the importance and value of content marketing in terms of increased sales and lower acquisition costs, you’ll be a star. Arm yourself with the tactics above, and you should have no trouble getting the higher-ups excited about generating more qualified leads, creating long-term relationships and positively impacting your organization’s bottom line through content marketing.

Does your content marketing strategy need a boost? CCG’s financial marketing expertise and services include custom content, ready-to-go evergreen financial content, content strategy, development and analytics. 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. Request a free consultation or call 800.525.0313 today.

1 “Why is content marketing today’s marketing? 10 stats that prove it,” Julia McCoy, published August 29, 2016,  http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2016/08/content-marketing-stats/, accessed September 25, 2017

2 “A Guide to Marketing Genius: Content Marketing,” by Demand Metric,  https://www.demandmetric.com/content/content-marketing-infographic, accessed Sept. 25, 2017