It’s become clear that content marketing is the best way to drive traffic to websites. This has been a long time coming, but now it seems to be a fact of internet life. This shift has brought about a number of interesting side effects, one of them being the crowding of the market. Today, one of the biggest challenges for a content marketer is standing out from the crowd.
For many brands, content marketing is a no brainer. Take GoPro, makers of the lightweight, ultraportable video cameras we love so much. For them, content marketing is easy, because it is literally a machine that creates content. So all they have to do is showcase that compelling content that GoPro is so good at creating, and let it go from there. GoPros have been all over the planet, from deep under the sea to Mount Everest, and their YourTube channel showcases this with skill.
It’s a compelling case for content marketing. But there’s just one catch: the product is itself naturally compelling. It’s exciting to watch people do exciting things. For a content marketer employed in the financial industry, the prospects aren’t nearly so interesting, and require quite a bit more creativity to create an engaging content marketing campaign.
However, do not despair. Just because it’s more difficult, doesn’t mean it’s impossible. And not every brand has to be following retail trends like hiring Instagram influencers. Read on to find out how a finance firm can go against the grain to create a compelling and engaging content marketing strategy.
What are the questions?
At its most basic, content marketing is about showing up in search results, so the first step to getting your content marketing campaign off the ground is to think about what questions people are asking about your product or brand. These questions might be concrete ones, like “How do I budget for college?” or they might be more abstract ones, like “How can I become rich?” Either way, every product is a solution to a problem, an answer to a question. And finance firms are no different.
So examine the work you do. Why do people come to your finance firm? What do they like about your services? Do you help people calculate business loans? What is your unique selling point? It’s a bit like the game show Jeopardy: looking for the question, when you already have the answer. Once you have the questions they’re asking, you know how to talk to them, and you’re ready to start creating content.
What are the answers?
Once you’ve got the questions, answer them! This is what your content should be doing: providing answers to the customers’ implicit questions. The goal is to present yourself as an expert, and to build association between your firm and the solution to consumers’ problems by creating sharable, interesting content. What types of content?
Listicles are the BuzzFeed-style mini articles that are the staple of the new media age of content marketing. These take relatively little effort to create, but are interesting and sharable. Listicles work best when they talk about things that people can identify themselves with, common traits, behaviors, or emotional reactions that we all share. Since everyone in the world has to deal with money, financial firms are uniquely poised to make relatable listicles.
Infographics are sharable, informative, and visually interesting bits of content to publish on your blog. Being a single image, they’re super sharable, which is always a bonus (particularly when mobile commerce goals are involved). Dig up some interesting statistics about your industry, your firm, or your customers, and relate that to the questions you determined. Add one designer and a bit of time, and you’ve got some content worth spreading across the internet.
Articles are keyword dense and great for SEO, and are the real foundation of any content marketing plan. How-to articles are a great way to answer those questions we’ve been talking about. Articles can also do double work, as a skilled designer can easily turn the information presented in an article into a killer infographic. In the B2B space, for example, a financial firm may also implement data and analytics to track company visitors to a website.
Content marketing for a financial firm is certainly a bit more challenging than doing it for GoPro, but it’s certainly not impossible. Indeed, it even has some advantages: not everyone can relate to a deep sea diver, but people can relate to someone with money problems. In the end, content marketing is all about relatability and answering people’s questions.