Has it become harder to "do marketing"?

It’s been a crazy marketing rollercoaster for a while now. Brands and marketers had to rapidly adjust to the pandemic marketing era before facing the daily new stream that is filled with the war in Ukraine, the Cost of Living crisis, and consumer concerns about rising energy bills.

Never more so than during these uncertain times, consumers are demanding more and more from their brand connections. Immediate response rates to customer service demands, ethical and sustainable business operating practices, fair and transparent treatment of their personal data and they want to feel truly seen and valued by their chosen service provider.

It can feel like a rather confusing maze….how best to connect with your audience, perhaps even more so for brands in the Financial sector. However, by utilising various marketing tactics, including SEO and PPC, you can ensure you can still deliver the maximum number of leads for your business.

10 Top Tips for Financial Firms

Financial firms face a heap of unique challenges to their marketing, communications and content strategies. 

Not only do financial brands have to be rigorous in their adherence to industry standards, ethics and compliance requirements BUT they also carry a huge weight of responsibility to their customers. After all, wrong or poor financial advice can be utterly damaging to their target audience.

#1 Be an Expert in your Content

Google has taken great steps to create specific algorithmic considerations for information it sees as important relating to fields such as financial advice, current events, politics, legal advice and such. 

Google refers to important content, like financial advice such as YMYL content: Your Money, Your Life. This guideline has been around for a while and works together with Google’s other content guidelines which include:

  • Beneficial Purpose
  • E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness), or Page Quality
  • YMYL

The Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines have been updated three times: in July 2018, May 2019 and again in October 2021. These guidelines serve as a reference for Google’s human search evaluators…those are the folks who rate how well Google’s algorithm is doing its job. By this, we mean that they’re making sure the algorithm retrieves the most relevant and reliable search results from trusted sources for searchers so that they’re not provided with incorrect, invaluable, or misleading information. 

YMYL content is “the type of information that, if presented inaccurately, untruthfully, or deceptively, could directly impact the reader’s happiness, health, safety, or financial stability.”

So, as a Financial Firm, you need to be on the ball when it comes to planning a comprehensive content calendar and ensuring you have topic experts crafting said content. Of course, you can use your judgement to determine whether a page qualifies as YMYL content but either way, you need to ensure your copy and landing pages are hitting the highest levels of E-A-T. By ensuring this, not only will you stand out from the crowd in Google’s eyes, you’re also more likely to stand out to your target audience due to appearing as an authority figure and utilising the principle of authority bias. As a natural instinct consumers will trust those who appear to have more authority in a certain area, specifically areas that they haven’t too much knowledge in (like areas of finance).

#2 Elevate Your SEO

There have been multiple studies that show that Financial Services consumers, especially millennials and Gen-X, do their own research before selecting a service provider or wealth management advisor. 

We also know that Google searches for financial service terms spike during periods of concern. For example, if we have a look at the term “financial advisor”, we can see there was quite a kick of interest during the covid period. And we can see mirrored spikes over that time period across a variety of financial service keyword terms. So, with the looming threats of Cost of Living and Energy Crises, now is the time where your audience will be seeking financial advice and optimising your SEO is how to make sure you’re the advisors they come to.  

Ensuring your website is set up and optimised to take advantage of the search traffic potential is key to helping increase new customers, and grow leads/enquiries.  SEO done well can help you achieve the following:

  • Increased search rankings which can deliver you more organic traffic
  • Increased organic traffic can lead to increased “call back” or “contact form” leads
  • Increasing call or web forms can lead to increased sales

There are over 400 factors that can affect a page’s search rankings so it’s best to work with a knowledgeable and experienced team to help ensure your website is secure, mobile-optimised, has the correct schema makeup, has fast page load speeds as well a host of other factors to help elevate you onto Page 1 of Google.

#3 Join up your audience data

A key challenge that often faces the financial firm marketing manager is getting proper visibility and usability over their valuable data and customer insight. There may be data silos sitting across marketing, sales, customer service and operations with varying levels of data authority.

Precise, centralised data analysis is critical to creating joined-up, data-driven marketing campaigns that create positive, sticky customer experiences. Marketing teams need to build cross-departmental data handling plans across the financial services organisation and work to link each and every discipline of their marketing team together to unify a single view of customer information. Within a central data platform, teams can store important marketing data and link that data across every line of business. 

There are a multitude of CRM tools out there with varying capabilities and price ranges that can help brands like yours to do this, from Salesforce to Hubspot.

#4 Personalise your content

The financial services space is highly competitive and personalisation offers a way for brands to become laser-focused on their customer, as opposed to their product. With a true, authentic understanding of the consumer, marketers can craft unique content experiences, catering to specific needs, pain points or expectations of their customers.

This is where persona work can be so incredibly valuable. Human behaviour psychology is integrated into all aspects of our lives, it’s the reason we have our daily habits like brushing our teeth and sleeping on a certain side of the bed, it even goes deeper and helps us decide what’s right and wrong. 

Diving into persona knowledge, and connecting that to your database means brands can have strategic marketing strategies that focus on optimising every part of their digital presence to their customers’ preferences. Doing this for your customers can fill them with a sense of recognition and importance because you’ve gone the extra mile and truly understand their underlying needs and motivations. 

#5 Get stuck into social through video  

YouTube is the second largest search engine and since one minute of video is worth about 1.8 million words, it may seem to be an obvious play to invest in your video marketing.

Video not only helps increase engagement but it can also help you to diversify your content plan and expose your brand to new audiences. From YouTube videos to TikTok, Facebook live reels to Instagram stores, depending on who you are looking to reach, you can use video to demystify fin tech, provide useful support to millennials looking to get on top of their budgeting or start helping Gen Zs tackle their investment strategies since these generations respond the best to video content. 

To get started, consider incorporating some of the following types of videos into your YouTube and social marketing plans:

  • Testimonials help you to build up social proof with your audience, increasing feelings of trust, credibility and comfort in the decision maker. Testimonials also build social proof to potential customers as you’re socially proving that what you do works and others will back you up on that.
  • Video guides, the financial system is hard to navigate so why not make it as easy as possible for your consumer by breaking down complex topics, regulations or financial processes into easy-to-digest video formats. This helps to reinforce that sense of authority we mentioned earlier because you’re appearing as the expert.
  • How-to-videos, similar to guides, a how-to video around investing, planning or saving money can be a great way to connect with a new potential customer. This also helps you to establish your identity as an authority figure in the industry.

Amplify that content with some paid social and you can increase brand awareness and focus on nurturing content to draw new users further into your communication funnel.  

#6 Harness the power of influence 

Influencers are not going anywhere, in fact, they are increasingly becoming one of the top marketing channels for brands to harness. Selecting influencers that align with your fintech brand identity and harnessing them as an additional channel in your marketing mix can really help to unlock ROI from your marketing investment. There are actually already some financial influencer figures who are growing their following on TikTok and Instagram - the most well-known being Martin Lewis! 

The macro influencer (like Martin Lewis) can, however, cost the same as, if not more, as a full-on ad campaign! So, consider the micro-influencer. These are typically people with fewer followers (100 to 500 000) But, they deliver higher engagement rates than the macro influencer….so, better bang for your buck.

Many studies have shown the connection between content that consumers engage with through influencers and the resultant conversion rate so work with well-selected influencers to help you increase your social profile, leverage new audience connections and harness the power of their influence over their aspirational followers to your advantage.

#7 Play a good game

Gamification is the process of applying gameplay principles and game design to a non-game environment. We’ve all come across gamification in marketing from brands holding contests, offering prizes, and rewarding points for referrals to creating quizzes, puzzles or literal visual games to get you engaging with their content. Gamification creates positive emotions and memories in customers which tend to be remembered upon brand recognition, so by creating your own gamification campaign you’ll be subconsciously creating a good name for your brand. 

In the fintech space, gamification can come in really handy to help create a buzz, generate awareness and grab the attention of new users, particularly when launching a new product or service offering.

Monzo, for example, a retail challenger bank introduced a waiting list with a referral scheme when they launched their banking app. Users downloaded the app but were added to a waiting list and the only way to move in the queue was to refer a friend to the product. They were playing on the human behaviour that drives people’s competitive spirit, the desire for exclusivity and curiosity all through that one gamification marketing move!

#8 Be brand bold

In years gone by, financial firms often had to stick close to rather serious, boring brand colours and ‘safe guidelines’. There were a lot of muted greys, blues, and greens doing the rounds.

Now, however, if you want to make an impression in the fintech space, you can afford to be bold. Branding remains the first impression in the marketing mix….it’s usually the first and the last thing customers see and interact with.

You can have incredible content, a brilliant social strategy and a best-in-class mobile-based platform but if the branding still looks like it was doing the rounds in the 80s or 90s, then it’s likely not going to land quite right with today’s consumer.

Branding is always a unique thing, unique to the company culture and to the people you are attempting to reach. If you are aiming for a younger audience, then you can be brave and bold with branding decisions.

Consider the brand’s energy and mood and look at whether it’s right to embrace splashes of colour, and humour and benchmark yourself against your competitor set to ensure you can be fresh and memorable and not slip into “forgettable”. Additionally, think about integrating colour psychology into your brand and use colours that radiate your brand values. For example, do you want to appear as a successful and energetic brand? Why not rebrand with splashes of orange to portray this to customers. 

#9 Have something to say

A blog is a great marketing tool for any brand but particularly for those in the finance space looking to educate, encourage trust and increase conversions.

Websites with blogs typically have more indexed pages in search, meaning they appear much more often in Google’s eyes and they’ll be rewarded as such. Brands with active blogs tend to get more referral/backlinks and connections to their websites AND of course, when people search for relevant terms, you want your website to be the top result on Google….active blog content can help you achieve all of that.

Users who actively engage with your blog content know and develop increased levels of trust. A well-curated blog will add value and help you outperform your competitors. 

#10 Amplify with ad campaigns  

The amplification space in digital is the broadest it’s ever been. There are so many options for fintech marketing campaigns and creating a smart ad strategy to ensure you are promoting your content and brand messaging so that it hits the right customer, with the right message and at the right time.

Fintech firms should concentrate on elevating their impressions and on creating and testing creative messaging to see which are going to generate the optimum click-through rates for the campaigns. 

Don’t forget to ensure the landing page that users click through is also set up for best possible conversion and that it carries through a consistent brand look and marketing message throughout so that the experience is seamless and comprehensive. Otherwise, your audience might end up being confused and not wanting to do business with you. 
Setting up google and social ad campaigns means setting realistic budgets, targeting your ideal audience target market through insightly demographics, interests, keywords and then ensuring you’ve got a good repertoire of visuals and call-to-action messages. Everything can be optimised and should be looked at weekly, and tweaked throughout to ensure the campaign delivers the best possible ROI. By checking in with your campaign regularly, you’re keeping track of what’s working and what isn’t so that you can direct more of your resources towards what’s going to bring you the best results, and away from what isn’t.

Key Takeaways

Marketing has always been tricky. Knowing where to invest your marketing budget and how to generate ROI is an ongoing game of strategy, iteration and optimisation, and it takes experience to know how to do this well.

For those in the fintech space, there are exciting opportunities to leverage exciting digital content formats, understand audience behaviours and create customer-centric digital marketing experiences that help users connect more with brands, and help brands generate more from their marketing spend.

  • Be an expert with your YMYL content
  • Invest in an always-on SEO plan
  • Centralise your audience data
  • Personalise content and marketing with human behaviour and persona insights
  • Up weight your social with video
  • Partner with well-selected influencers
  • Look for some elements of gamification
  • Benchmark your brand and make sure you stand out
  • Get blogging regularly
  • Amplify your strategy with smart ad campaigns

Are you interested in elevating your marketing game but you’re not sure where to start? Get in touch with our knowledgeable team at Reflect to see how we can take your digital presence to the next level.


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