Mariah Holmes, Financial Marketing Intern
What do your customers think of your marketing strategy? Does your marketing create meaningful interactions with your customers? What marketing platform creates the most content for your customers? If you can’t answer any of these questions without saying “ummm…” then you need to look at the content marketing strategy your financial institution is running on, if it has one at all.
Content marketing is “based on the premise of nourishing relationships with your current and prospective customers and providing value beyond what your product or service has to offer.” Once you figure out WHY you should participate in content marketing, it’s important to figure out HOW to participate in content marketing. The three keys to content marketing that I believe are essential are:
- Stay on Brand
- Be Spontaneous and Engaging
- Create Content FOR Customers
Successfully focusing on these three areas will help you create relevant content for your customers.
Stay on Brand
You need to focus on staying familiar with what your customers want and what they know. Be purposeful with your content and mindful of your customers. Take the Cadbury Egg, for example, a beloved chocolate treat most popular around Easter. This brand has been around for almost 200 years, and they are still true to what they set out to do back in 1831. They are even running the same commercial story line from 1994, maybe upgrading to some HD quality but all in all it’s the same commercial everyone knows and loves. Cadbury has prioritized the consistency of their brand over all product lines every year since their start, which invokes a sense of trust from their customers.
Remember the importance of staying on brand and within the image you want to create for your bank. Don’t just capitalize on what is trending in the world today. While it is helpful to draw inspiration from the media, it can sometimes go too far, leaving some customers wondering what happened to the company they thought they knew. Remaining true to your institutions goals and constantly listening to customers will always be the best way to drive content.
Be Spontaneous and Engaging
Marketers rely on the ability to engage with customers on social media. But there is one issue, they aren’t creating content that is engaging. Don’t put content out that doesn’t drive some sort of action or response. You want customers to interact with you and your brand.
Jim Marous, co-publisher of The Financial Brand and Publisher of the Digital Banking Report said, “There is a greater need for relevant and interactive content marketing that can be delivered using the right channels at the right time (contextual).”
A great example of being spontaneous with your content marketing is the current Pokémon Go™ craze. As much as I hate to admit it, this is just what the world of marketing needed. People of all ages are getting out and exploring their neighborhoods because of this app. Institutions can capitalize on all this extra traffic by letting customers know all the great PokéStops in the area or offering water and other goodies inside your branches for people walking by. Creating a helpful personality that is there to assist customers in whatever they need will resonate with customers of all age groups.
Creating Content FOR Customers
Marketers forget to create content FOR their customers and instead create content WITH their customers. Content marketing can sometimes cause marketers to go a little crazy. They think that if they join in on the trendy hashtag or photo contest, it will boost their image with the community and their customers.
Take this tweet from Kenneth Cole for example. The #Cairo hashtag was trending due to political upheaval taking place in Egypt at the time. While the tweet was meant to be funny, it took advantage of a very serious social event and tried to turn it into a business transaction. This is a perfect example of companies trying to do too much in the way of forcing interactions with followers on social media.
Any and all content created should focus on the needs of the customer, not because of data or information available to marketers. Customers will engage with information when it pertains to them, so making them the priority will ensure better communication and interaction with your brand. They will look to your financial institution to answer questions and help them make the best decisions with their finances.
What are you creating if it doesn’t have the customer in mind?
When your customer is the ultimate decision maker for your business, it requires you to be more thoughtful in how you conduct business for them. Offering products and services that customers want, providing educational and entertaining information, and proving to be a reliable business partner are all important ways to keep the focus on the customer. Staying on brand and creating spontaneous and engaging content that’s relevant to your customers lets them to know you listen to them, which can go a long way in deepening your relationship with them.
Sources: http://thefinancialbrand.com/57831/5-financial-marketing-trends-tools/ http://thefinancialbrand.com/57325/ten-financial-marketing-priorities-trends/ http://www.businessinsider.com/13-epic-twitter-fails-by-big-brands-2012-2