Financial technology is experiencing a boom with global investment having topped $22 billion in 2015. With a slew of established fintech players vying for new customers and startups battling for a piece of the pie, it’s no surprise that many are looking for ways to create a leadership position through content marketing. Strategic use of custom or curated content can be an excellent driver of sales qualified leads. This can be accomplished through blog posts, emails, how-to videos and webinars, industry or product infographics, online guides, case studies, even slide decks and social media posts.
Fintech companies are as exciting and diverse as they are fragmented, so keying in on your industry’s high value markets is essential. I’ll explain how segmentation, personalization and leveraging user generated content are important in reaching your audience. You’ll also learn why collaborating with your sales team can bring new insights into the types of content you wish to share. Finally, learn how to package it with a compelling message and call to action.
1. Segment your audiences
Market or audience segmentation refers to the process of selecting who your target markets are and developing content directed to them. Rather than taking a "shotgun" approach, it's important to design a message with more focus that speaks straight to your audience. This can be based on business verticals, geographies, demographics or even where your targets are in the sales funnel.
For example, in the payments industry, it helps to separate messaging for a brick and mortar retailer versus an e-commerce business. It’s important to make sure the specific product or service being discussed is taken into consideration.
A content hub is perfect for sharing information with multiple audiences. It groups content in a visually appealing way while providing a simplified user experience. Omni-channel payment platform GlobalOnePay offers a commerce hub that delivers case studies and white papers based on product and vertical: global e-commerce payments, mobile payments, omni-channel payments, and their related industries.
After you've segmented your audiences, it's time to personalize your message based on your brand persona, needs, interests, and the way they consume your content. Research your target markets to find out what is relevant to them and the type of language they use. Do they browse on their desktop or mobile device? You can even find out the best time of day to deliver the message based on previous engagement or open rates if you’re sending an email.
2. Write for your customers, not for regulatory environments
If you're in banking or another heavily regulated financial industry, you may find you are hampered by regulations limiting what you can discuss publicly. However, that doesn’t mean that your content should be written towards regulators. This results in creating very weak content and brand stories that don’t stand out from your competition.
Ask yourself, what would you write if there was no legislation and what would be the ideal value proposition that would attract your customers? Start with this, and then remove the parts that would cause legal issues. This allows you to communicate a stronger brand message than if you wrote for the government.
A deeper understanding of your audience will help you craft your message and deliver it in a way that resonates specifically with them. From an SEO perspective, using keywords designed for your target audience helps optimize search engine traffic for terms related to their industry.
3. Leverage user-generated content
You'd be surprised by how much insight on certain topics you’ll get by simply listening to your audience. This is where the power of social media, blogs and online forums come in. Turn your findings into thoughtful, useful content that adds value and is aimed squarely at your audience.
Online network FINTECH Circle promotes its curated content through its LinkedIn group and allows its nearly 15,000 members to join in on the conversation or post articles themselves. Another example is Pivotal Payments' newsletter, which touches upon topics discussed by merchants who have contacted Client Care. This proactively helps others who may have similar support needs.
It's equally important to engage and build one-on-one relationships with clients who are regular posters or who provide useful information to their peers. They can be considered micro-thought leaders, experts in how they use your product or service, with the ability to influence an even wider audience.
4. Improve collaboration between marketing and sales
Although sometimes it feels like they work in silos, tighter collaboration between marketing and sales helps improve your message. After all, both groups work towards the same goal. By aligning content with insights from sales, you'll be in a better position to address your audience’s pain points, increase product knowledge and proactively handle common objections.
Stuck for content? Find out what non-core product or service related interests are commonly discussed between your prospects and sales team. This allows you to diversify content while keeping a pulse on industry trends.
5. Social media is your friend – use it wisely
Your customers spend more time on social media than they do watching TV. Social media is now such an integral part of their lives that it would be a strategic mistake to not use it as part of your content marketing.
Understandably, governmental regulations can hamper some social media campaigns, and as a result we’ve seen banks criticized for it. A report from the Carlisle and Gallagher consulting Group found that 87% of banking consumers thought that banks’ use of social media was unhelpful, especially when it came to customer service.
Of course, be aware of posting sensitive information publicly. But if you’re looking to gain a competitive advantage over traditional banks, posting relevant content on various platforms can help you gain wider brand exposure.
6. Engage your audience and boost conversions
Content marketing is a great way to build buzz, scale your lead generation program, and it has proven to be an amazing tool for customer retention.
Whether it's an email, blog post, forum topic or a PDF download, create content that is actionable. Each paragraph or section should keep your readers engaged and by the end, elicit a direct response. This could be filling out a form, signing up for a newsletter or calling for more information. Conversions can be tracked with your CRM or analytics platform. Forum posts should encourage reader interaction and comments, but it's important to keep them moderated.
At least once a quarter, perform a content audit and ask yourself, did your content create value either for your marketing goals (e.g. conversions, ROI) or for your prospect engagement? And did the content help your current customers get more value from using your product or service?
If your content doesn’t meet the needs of your target audience – either new prospects or existing customers – then adjust your strategy.
Above all, keep the message on topic and never lose sight of your marketing goals.
Louis Georgakakis is a fintech marketing professional based in Montreal, Canada. As Marketing Director for Pivotal Payments, he's part of a team dedicated to providing technology-driven global payment processing solutions for small to large enterprises in the point-of-sale, B2B and e-commerce industries.