State Of Affairs
Content Marketing For Financial Services
Content marketing for financial services has evolved significantly over the years. Many financial companies today, realise the need to create relatable content for their customers. The numbers say it for themselves: 78% of marketers in the financial industry use content marketing. A survey conducted in the subject by Newscred revealed that 55% of respondents trust a bank more when it offers them useful content.
Considering almost every person needs to make financial decisions at some point in life, there is a huge audience that would be interested in useful content in this space. This magnifies the relevance of content marketing for financial services.
We analysed over 64.6K content pieces published over the past year, using EpicBeat, to understand what kind of content works for the financial services industry.
The search reveals that educative content that aids in financial planning at different life stages generates a lot of interest among the audience.
Information on student loans and scholarships is a useful topic that is relevant to anyone hunting for financial information before finalizing on a college. One of the articles with the highest number of shares, provides a wealth of information on scholarships that help pay for college. What makes it even better is that Lisa Rowan, the author, updates the list on a regular basis so it never gets outdated.
Read the article here: 100+ Awesome Scholarships That Will Help You Pay For College.
Podcasts Are A Great Route
The audience is receptive to informative content that guides their financial decisions. But what are their preferred formats for consuming content?
Here are the top content formats that work for the financial services industry and how the audience reacts to them.
A lot of the content producers rely on articles, but the numbers suggest that getting creative with formats works with the audience. If you’re looking for new format ideas, audio recordings and podcasts work well for content in the financial services industry (highlight to tweet).
Pro tip: Publish your podcasts towards the middle of the week, preferably on Tuesdays, as they get the highest engagement.
Investigative Pieces Perform Well
Holding on to its position of being the undisputed king of content types, listicles score big for financial content as well. That isn’t a surprising insight considering content in this industry tends to be quite heavy to handle. Breaking it into easily consumable lists improves readability for the audience.
But if you’re looking for an additional way of writing content, try creating investigative content pieces that are a deep-dive into an aspect of the industry. Such content is targeted at providing answers to commonly occurring questions or attempt to simplify the ‘problem of plenty’ faced by the audience.
One of the top investigative content pieces with a whopping 23.3K shares, 25.9K likes and 13.2K comments, is an interesting research driven piece on why women are $60K behind men in retirement savings.
Long-form content works
The shift towards data-driven, research driven long pieces of content has been evident in the content marketing world since a while now. Influencers like Neil Patel have been vociferous proponents of the merits of long-form content and not without reason.
Our data proves this yet again. The audience is hungry for well thought out, insightful pieces of content that add value. While quantity cannot be considered the singular criterion for value, it is obvious that the audience is significantly more engaged with long-form content, than with shorter pieces of content.
Top Content Producers
An analysis of the top 5 domains for finance related content revealed that while Investor’s Business Daily had a higher number of content pieces published, Bloomberg scored highest on engagement followed by Forbes.
Companies like State Farm and American Express focus on creating a lot of relevant content that is tailored to their audience.
State Farm’s ‘All dog breeds deserve a chance’, is one of their most popular pieces and proves that successful content triggers in the financial services industry are just the same as any other industry. At the end of the day, you’re still talking to regular people who relate to emotional stories and your content needs to speak to them.
American Express’s top shared content proves this point, yet again. One of their top performing articles is an advisory piece on how to maintain work-life balance.
In closing, here are the major takeaways if you’re interested in content marketing for financial services:
- Ensure that your content is educative and focuses on a specific area of financial planning. A good tip to keep in mind is breaking content down by life stages and creating content that’s useful to them.
Pro tip: If your services cater to a particular subset of the demographic, investigate about what are the major financial concerns or needs of your demographic. Create simple content that targets those needs.
- Listicles are winners. But then again, if you want to push your creative boundaries, create investigative content that is a deep-dive into an aspect of the industry.
- The audience is receptive to insightful, long-form content. Take the time to build out those longer pieces that add value to your audience.
- Everyone relates to a story. Create content that is relatable and try to build an emotional connect through your content.
At the end of the day, irrespective of the industry, the audience comes to you in search of answers to their problems, not content. Be useful to them.
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