Information and answers. Without question, they are the currency of the day. Customers want to be educated and informed on the financial topics that matter most to where they are in life. You want to write their home loan? Educate them on the home buying process. You want to get their investment dollars, educate them on retirement planning best practices. This is the essence of content marketing. The days of customers coming in to branch to talk about the mortgage loans, or for investment strategies are officially “The Good Old Days. “
Content marketing represents the shift in bank marketing methods where the center of attention is on what the consumer wants and needs to know, and providing the means to help them obtain it. In fact, according to Axelrod, 91% of financial institutions now use content marketing to build their sales funnel and create cross-sell opportunities within their customer base.
Here’s the rub, though. Financial education in and of itself does not create cross-selling opportunities. How effectively your content marketing generates cross-selling depends almost completely on how robust your delivery platform is AND on owning that platform.
For example, Tim McAlpine, Founder and Owner of Currency Marketing, says that instead of offering their own branded content, financial institutions are “are mostly linking to articles and videos created by others and not hosted on their own websites.” With the current state of social media platforms, banks and credit unions need to understand that placing content on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. and creating impressions on those platforms is only creating impressions on those platforms. You want your customers to come to you for guidance, and part of that means owning the platform in which your content is delivered. The goal should always be to drive traffic back to your site, where your brand is well represented and there are more resources for consumers to use..
Additionally, one of the primary keys to content marketing success is keeping your content up to date and your site looking fresh, and when you own the content vs. linking to it, you control not only how it looks but how often it’s updated. If customers keep coming back only to find the “same old same old,” you can lose whatever connection you had formed, which is the last thing you want when trying to appeal to an audience and attract new readers..
A content marketing delivery platform that integrates marketing tools with content to create customer engagement using your existing channels, (web, social media, branch) Beyond that, platforms such as interactive content apps, assessment calculations, calculators, configurators and quizzes are great compliments to content marketing platforms to help deliver your message to consumers and further guide them in your sales process. Using applications such as these will help lead to sales conversions 70% of the time compared to 36% for those using passive content only.
By empowering customers with the education and answers they need, and the freedom to do as they wish. You build brand loyalty and create future business relationships by becoming their trusted financial resource. But ultimately, your content marketing is only as effective as its delivery platform.