YouTube attracts more Millennials than any cable network (and they watch billions of hours of content each month). Physical newspapers are declining as people get their info from social feeds and online news aggregators. And even a good old-fashioned paperback can’t beat the convenience offered by e-readers. As the New York Times puts it, our “viewing habits [are] unrecognizable from even five years ago”.
This shift in content consumption is important to financial marketers who want to drive more sales.
Financial marketers face a challenge as content consumption swings digital. They must be developing and executing strategies that connect with a digital-minded audience. Institutions need to do more than just move their transaction-based services online. Marketers have a big opportunity to drive sales if they can engage their customers with something more than transactions.
How can marketers position their brands in this new environment? How can they compete?
Upgrade the Banking Experience
The banking experience must change from what it has been (in-branch & transaction-oriented) to something that meets modern expectations: A change from service to service and content in order to engage customers for sales.
- Service) Transactions, online account management, bill-pay
- Content) Information that helps customers save money and avoid mistakes
Financial institutions have already been successful with service. They’re able to capture customers’ attention with online account management. In order to take the next step and start driving sales they need content that can engage customers.
Content can position a brand as a more important part of the customer’s life.
Engaging content should provide the answers to customers’ financial questions in ways that will help them save money and avoid mistakes.
Provide the right answers, just when customers need them, in exactly the way they want.
Important Qualities of Engaging Financial Content
- Easily accessible
- Available 24/7
- Unobtrusive ads
- Clear calls to action
- Most importantly: Specific to individuals needs
Engaging content has to be the exact thing a customer is looking for, right when he/she needs it.
Seize Opportunities by Adapting to Content Consumption Trends
Content consumption trends show that customers have come to expect that they can find important answers online. They research products before they buy and are five times more likely to buy when content comes before a direct offer.
Content helps financial institutions to:
1. Remain relevant to customers’ lives
Content provides answers for the events that will occur throughout a customer’s life. Today they might need help with college planning, one day with a mortgage, another with retirement. Throughout customers’ lives an institution can be there with answers.
2. Engage beyond transactions
Customers know to come to your site for answers because they view their financial institution as a resource. With a direct ad the focus is on the transaction. With content the focus is on benefiting the customer, which drives engagement.
3. Create emotional connections
Content answers questions and provides clarity in the haze of complicated financial topics. When you use content to help customers save money and avoid mistakes you build their confidence. Customers feel better about the difficult financial decisions they have to make because of your content.
Relevant engagement around emotional connections will drive lead creation.
Gallup research has shown that an engaged customer is 23% more profitable to a financial institution.
The Key to Selling with Content
The key to selling with content is to transform customers’ research and content consumption into a sale with a delivery platform that’s built around forging connections.
Connect the content to the customer and the customer to the advisor who can help.
Customers need to be able to connect with the exact content that’s relevant to them right when they need it. Accomplished through a content search or checklist profile, customers should be able to easily identify their needs and find the answers to their questions. As they face financial events throughout their lives they should be able to find relevant info.
For this reason, integration across existing marketing channels is an essential part of delivering content. Digital content consumption happens through websites, mobile sites, emails and social media. Present content as educational help first and foremost to drive engagement and traffic across these channels.
Once customers find what they need, your content delivery platform should help them act by immediately connecting them with a salesperson near them. The dialogues that will lead to sales start with content.
It’s simply a matter of extending content consumption into a sales conversation. Leverage customer curiosity to help them take the next step. Make it easy for them to reach out to your salespeople with a link to the specific person who can help.
Content Delivery Platform
- Relevant content based on life events
- Promoted across channels to maximize traffic and engagement
- Leverage curiosity to form connections with exact person who can help
Become the resource your customers go to for answers, not Google or any other third party. Your brand, your answers.