As if content marketing wasn’t challenging enough, financial services companies have the added hurdle of dealing with compliance complexities. No matter what types of financial products you sell or the audiences you’re aiming to reach, you likely need to follow a unique and specific set of regulations surrounding the Dodd-Frank and Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) acts, among others.
Additionally, visitors researching financial products can spend more time looking for the resources they need than actually reading them. And given that it can take multiple months to publish just one blog post, it’s critical that financial services marketers make the most out of every resource they publish so that they can ensure maximum impact with each piece.
Here are four steps you can take to increase the value of your financial services content marketing program:
1. Use Content as a Learning Tool
Where do you start? Financial services marketers can gain a competitive edge by studying the needs and patterns of their audiences on an individual level—and becoming well-acquainted with their pain points and interests as a result.
A simple first step is to study the financial services content that audiences, especially your existing customers, are reading to understand which product offers are the most compelling. Take a look at the articles that are already on your website, as well as interest generated from your email campaigns. You can also survey reps and agents who engage with customers every day to study their most pressing questions.
2. Track Referral Sources
Understand what channels are driving audiences to your website at the top of the funnel, and try to uncover the reasons for the trends that you’re observing. Each referral traffic source will bring a new set of nuances to your marketing strategy.
For instance, you may notice that experts in your industry are linking to your most popular educational articles—a trend that should prompt you to create more content focused on those same topics. You might also notice that your email newsletters aren’t generating the traffic levels you would expect based on your investment—which should inspire you to revisit the content that you’ve integrated into your email marketing strategy.
As you continue to collect this data over time, analyze the differences in customer value between referral traffic sources. Use this information to refine your segmentation process to better streamline acquisition and onboarding for new customers. For instance, you could assess whether certain referral sources drive more engaged or higher converting audiences than others.
3. Provide Content Based on Persona
In the financial services industry where information can feel overwhelming to the everyday consumer, it’s important that you help your visitors find the content they need as quickly as possible. Rather than providing the same static experience for each visitor, you can promote different blog posts and articles based on what you know about each visitor from the moment they land on your site: where they came from, what types of content they have engaged with in the past, what products they currently use (if they are current customers), etc.
With this approach, you can help your visitors find more relevant content that can help them make their decisions and encourage them to start and complete applications or register for helpful planning guides or upcoming webinars.
4. Study Signals in Real Time to Personalize Communication
You can take it one step further by identifying what each visitor is doing in real time so that you can respond in the moment. For example, if a person starts researching a specific product on your site, you can recommend content that has been shown to be successful converting others who researched that same product.
Financial products are high consideration purchases, meaning that consumers spend a lot of time researching before they buy. Facilitate this research by highlighting the most pertinent articles that would help them understand financial topics during their research.
Remember that content is as much a learning tool for your team as it is a resource for educating audiences. Make every touchpoint count by incorporating real-time personalization into your strategy. Especially if your content goes through a lengthy approval process, you’ll want to make the most out of each and every resource that you publish.
For more ideas on how financial services marketers can use real-time personalization to drive engagement on their websites, watch the webinar replay: Personalization for Financial Institutions: Enriching Each Customer’s Experience to Drive Bottom-Line Results.