Finance brands win big at Content Marketing Awards

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Best of 2019
By Jasmine Crittenden, contributor. 8 August, 2019
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An animal hospital that escaped two bushfires, a ten-year-old boy who raised $1.1 million for farmers and a family that lost its power supply during Hurricane Maria – just three of the stories that helped finance brands win big in the Content Marketing Institute’s 2019 Content Marketing Awards. We take a look at the five finalists in the financial services category – and examine why their content has inspired so much love.

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And the winner is … Santander Consumer Bank Denmark

Santander Consumer Bank is part of Banco Santander, the biggest bank in the Eurozone. But in Scandinavia there was an image problem. Most people saw a provider of quick loans with high interest rates. Awareness of the bank’s many other offerings was lower than a limbo pole.

To turn this around Santander pursued an idea that blurred the lines between content marketing and traditional advertising. First came an epic content hub, packed with articles, tips and ideas that reflect Santander’s commitment to ‘prosperity through responsibility’. Within a year, web traffic jumped 52%, attracting more than 600,000 Danish readers.

Within a year, web traffic jumped 52%, attracting more than 600,000 Danish readers.

Then came a video ad. But in place of an old-school commercial Santander produced a short, sharp, witty satire of bragging culture at a dinner party. Afterward, viewers landed on various pages depending on their position in the sales funnel. For example, those ready to convert went straight to products, while those on the brink were served more content covering responsible loans.

The result? A 17% increase in visits to Santander’s content hub, a 30% increase in time spent on the website, a 48% increase in visits to product pages and a 25% increase in conversion rate.

And the runners up are...

NRMA Insurance for Stories of Help

As part of its Help Is Who We Are campaign, NRMA Insurance filled The Hub, its online magazine, with tales of everyday Australian heroes. Spearheading the campaign was a video soundtracked by a cover of the Hunters & Collectors ‘Throw Your Arms Around Me’ that featured moments of heroism, including a firefighter saving a koala from a bushfire and a surfer rescuing a stranger after a head injury. Three versions of the ad – at 90 seconds, 60 seconds and 15 seconds – were broadcast via out of home, cinema, customer and social media channels, inspiring more than 50,000 views on YouTube. Meanwhile, on The Hub, viewers can read the backstory of each moment – and discover many others.

Western Union for One Year In The Dark

Another big scorer on YouTube is Western Union’s ‘One Year In The Dark’, with more than 70,000 views. This one-minute video transports viewers to the mountain town of Ad Juntas, Puerto Rico, where a farmer tells his story in one sentence, ‘It took us 22 years to plant everything we had and Hurricane Maria destroyed it in less than 24 hours and we still don’t know if we’ll get power back’. This loss of power extends to the banking system, rendering plastic cards useless. But, via Western Union, a neighbour is able to access cash quickly and easily – to help the farmer and others in the community.

Farmers Insurance for Learn From Experience

Like those of NRMA Insurance and Western Union, Learn From Experience, an online magazine by Farmers Insurance, features true, surprising, well-written stories of kindness and resilience – with practical advice thrown in. We meet a Marine Corps veteran who after Hurricane Harvey went straight to Houston, Texas to volunteer – and rescued a horse, a herd of cattle and a family of five, among others. We hear about a five-acre animal hospital that survived not one, but two, bushfires. We learn about a 75-year-old man’s tireless search for a stranger’s lost engagement ring. On social media these stories have attracted hundreds of comments, tens of thousands of views and scores of shares. Farmers Insurance’s Facebook following is now at more than 2.1 million.

ATB Financial for ATB alphaBeta

ATB Financial, the biggest financial institution in Alberta, Canada put its content focus on technology with ATB alphaBeta, a beautifully-designed online hub devoted to AI, robots, blockchain and all things futuristic. Key to its success is left-of-field story angles. For example, 'How would an average life expectancy of 100 change the way that banks lend money?' and 'Will there be enough skilled workers to fill the AI-driven workforce of the future?'.

Find out more about the Content Marketing Institute’s 2019 Content Marketing Awards here.

If you’re interested in an award-winning content strategy, get in touch.

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Jasmine Crittenden has written extensively for major finance brands including Westpac, BT Financial Group, Suncorp and Aberdeen Standard Investments – across both digital and print. She’s an expert in content that puts the human element in finance marketing, be it connecting with local communities, inspiring millennials to care about super or clarifying the complexities of personal loans.