Content is one of the biggest opportunities in marketing—especially for the financial services industry. As the competition for audience attention becomes more cutthroat, audiences are becoming less receptive to unsolicited sales pitches and product announcements.
To put it bluntly, companies churn out a lot of junk that consumers don’t have the mental bandwidth to navigate.
Brand storytelling can help financial services firms stand out in genuine, human, and authentic ways. The challenge that financial services marketers face, however, is that good content ideas are often buried under complex sales objectives.
In a sales-oriented world, it’s much more intuitive to deliver a pitch than share a story. Not to mention that financial services companies are bound by rigorous compliance rules and need to be careful about how they communicate information and share advice.
Don’t let these obstacles hold you back—outsmart them instead with these three storytelling ideas.
1. Stories of People Achieving Their Dreams
Finance is a topic that touches every aspect of a consumer’s life. Drill down into any amazing story—starting a business, completing school, finding love, buying a dream home—and a finance angle will always be there. Finance marketers can find these stories and bring them to life in the form of an interview.
For inspiration, check out the LearnVest blog. The company commits to publishing stories that help people manage their money better. The image below shows a few examples of their recent blog content:
Rather than providing direct advice in these articles, however, LearnVest publishes experience-based interviews with amazing people.
Focusing on the people behind the stories allows finance to become the unspoken thread that ties everything together.
2. Stories That Address a Problem or Challenge
When people encounter obstacles, they often head to Google to research solutions. Resources that provide helpful answers will often rank high on search-result pages. The end product of this matchmaking process? Consumers get the answers they need, and the brands that help them get more visibility.
For inspiration, check out Investopedia, a top finance publisher that specializes in topics like investing, markets, and trading. The website also features a dictionary that translates complex finance jargon into everyday speak. Here’s an example of some of their content:
Financial services firms have access to a lot of information and can provide unique insight into trends, patterns, and frequently asked questions. If your brand has identified a common pain point or need, you should blog about it. Chances are that exponentially more online audiences will be seeking out what you’ve uncovered in your own data.
3. “How-To” Stories
Finance is a black box for many consumers, but they’re eager to learn how to make smarter money-management decisions. How-to guides can address this need while positioning your company as an educator, thought leader, and go-to resource. For inspiration, take a look at the following trending article topics from Betterment’s resource center:
One of the biggest challenges that financial services firms face when writing how-tos is compliance. Your lawyers will need to review every piece of content you create, which means that some of your awesome blog posts and guides may never see the light of day.
The solution, however, is simple: involve the legal team early on in the approval process by incorporating them into your content workflow. In the planning stage, create a list of content that’s off limits, and make sure your entire marketing team understands the do’s and don’ts of compliance. By planning early on, you’ll eliminate potential roadblocks.
Content is marketing’s biggest opportunity, and the beauty of the space is that you can truly make it your own. Don’t let constraints hold you back. Instead, harness challenges to help your team become even more creative.