The production of quality content is an underutilized tool in banking. Banks are a gateway into a person’s or company’s finances which is an important and often emotionally charged topic. The level of complexity is high, and so banks are in the perfect position to deliver a steady stream of entertaining, educational and brand building content. In this article, we take a look at why content matters and how to use it for building a strong connection with your customers and prospects.
WP Engine, a popular bank website host, and The Center for Generational Kinetics teamed up on a recent survey to provide us the data below. On average, 77% of the respondents said that a consistent and relevant stream of content made them more likely to use a company.
The Tone of Content
The study goes on to reveal that content shouldn’t be canned but an authentic reflection of your community, customer base and issues of the day. Instead of purchasing a blog post, “The 5 Things Companies Need To Do To Get Hiring Right,” they would be far better off discussing how their city’s latest budget impacts them.
Almost 80% of the respondents said they would like more picture of actual employees and customers in the imagery of bank advertising, social media, and other content. Between that perfect stock photo and a local branch manager, go for the branch manager.
That said, many prospect and customers, 38% to be exact, don’t mind an “aspirational” tone to the content or imagery. Customers want a bank that wants what is best for them such as early retirement, purchasing a larger home or buying a business.
When it comes to the objective of content, most bank customers want to be educated, although the younger generation likes to be entertained more than twice the rate as the older generations.
Where To Use Content
The website is the perfect place to put content to help prospect find you through a search engine and to increase traffic. Taking that content on your website and then amplifying the reach using social media, such as LinkedIn for commercial businesses, and Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for households has proven to be a winning strategy for almost every bank that has tried it.
Direct to customer channels such as email and events shouldn’t be overlooked. Webinars, for example, are rarely used in banking, but they are rich for both brand awareness and lead generation (See our data below). Customers can be driven to webinars via email, the webinar recorded, and then used on the website and promoted using social media.
It is tempting to talk about yourself on your website and social media. We see it all the time - banks post about their awards, their promotions, and their products. While this has a time and place, the data indicates that this effort should be limited and it is far more effective to talk about your customer with the intent to make their lives better.
Banks are experts in many topics including finance, financial planning, security, trust, risk, strategic planning, the economy, marketing, and many other topics so producing content should be fairly easy and cost-effective. If you are one of the many banks that already have a content strategy, are you making the right investment and can you expand your efforts to cover commercial or specialty lines of business? If you don’t have a formal content marketing effort, maybe consider producing a few pieces and putting it out over social media or direct email to start?
Whatever the case, content marketing is one of our most effective strategies, and we would love to see more banks having even greater success with the effort.
Submitted by Chris Nichols on April 01, 2019