How to Make Content Marketing Work Inside a Financial Services Organisation
The Dubs grilled Lindsey Hoad, BT Financial’s Group Senior Manager, Consumer Marketing Strategy and Channel Development and asked her to retrace her steps in implementing the finance brand’s first major content strategy, GetMoving.
What follows is Lindsey's insider perspective on what it’s like to launch a brand new content marketing strategy and prove why a long term ROI strategy is worth the wait. While sign-off is the hardest part… it’s just the beginning of building a content program from the ground up.
#1: Drawing the bigger picture
Digital is certainly the new media focus for many financial services players. Moving away from more traditional and expensive above the line campaigns and tilting towards digital content marketing allows for tactical and highly measurable programs. Diverging from those direct response / acquisition strategies however requires businesses to recalibrate their expectations in regards to the immediacy of ROI, and to understand that content is a long term, slow burn brand and acquisition strategy.
#2: How do you define content?
For me, delving into the world of content was an exciting one. Energised by the idea of using authentic storytelling in longer form, video formats, supported by editorial and other visual media and platforms, meant greater creative control. Strategically too this new landscape was fascinating in terms of understanding consumers, their life stages, and behaviours in order to design seamless customer journeys that both engaged and educated.
#3: Content goals are just the beginning
Content is obviously not just about engaging audiences, but a new to call to action that resonates with your target market. Armed with our business objectives I provided The Dubs with a clear set of objectives around our wealth categories and together we worked through translating these into a content program that could help prove the ROI business case and strategy.
#4: Breaking old habits
It was important to me to position content towards consumer needs rather than product sell, and to move away from talking about life’s dull necessities, like super and insurance, to more aspirational stories of advice, preparation and success. By sharing the stories of people such as Olympic snowboarder Nate Johnstone, food blogger Lorraine Elliot (aka Not Quite Nigella) or footballer Luke Ricketson, the challenge was how to tie them back to the everyday person, their needs and then the wealth product solutions that can help them achieve their goals.
It was important to me to position content towards consumer needs rather than product sell, and to move away from talking about life’s dull necessities, like super and insurance, to more aspirational stories of advice, preparation and success
#5: Small scale videos are better than one TV ad
Instead of putting millions of dollars in to one TVC, GetMoving featured a small scale series of videos with really high production values, and people loved it. The reaction after launch was very positive. The feedback both internally and externally was overwhelming in regards to the production value that was achieved, these beautifully shot stories resonated with our key audiences and were proven by great engagement rates.
#6: Data and analytics are key – especially if you don’t have them
In traditional marketing, you can more easily demonstrate ROI but with content there’s often no immediate analytics to definitively show trends in a customer journey. You've got to really make sure you have as much data as possible so you can continually optimise both the storytelling and your media distribution choices.
#7: In hindsight…
Like any new marketing or media strategy there were some who were slow to embrace the idea of GetMoving and digital content, if I had to do anything differently it would be to take the business through the philosophy of content more thoroughly and to set their expectations in relation to measuring the success of content, with a focus on the slower burn timeline for proving ROI.
#8: The results speak for themselves
Brand metrics definitely moved. We smashed things such as the highest engagement for a LinkedIn financial services post in Australia at the time; the rates were amazing. We drove more than 120,000 visits to the hub in four months and drove some of the highest brand tracking results for the business in some time.
#9: UX should be part of content strategy
UX undoubtedly is important in the content game. Designing customer journeys based on sound customer insights and data is key. Engaging a consumer is one thing, taking them on a journey of education, consideration and ultimately purchase is another. UX needs to constantly address where a consumer is in terms of their goal, their research process, the type of information they need, and how to best serve them that next content piece that provides answers and clear call to actions to provide them with a product solution.
#10 It’s the story that matters
Whether you’re distributing digital content via owned, native or social platforms, your content needs to tap into a key consumer insight, need, life stage, or want. It needs to be interesting, has to have a point of difference and tell a story that people can empathise with. If you don't have that it will fail. The days of talking heads spruiking peace of mind for the price of a cup of coffee are (thankfully) gone. The content challenge now is utilising valuable insights and storytelling through video, editorial, and infographics and meaningful customer journeys that help them make informed decisions.
(Full disclosure - BT Financial is a client of The Dubs)