How lifestyle can you go?

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Side stepping but still selling
By Jasmine Crittenden, contributor. 15 May, 2019
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A superannuation fund commenting on Netflix? An insurance company providing advice on gift giving? Investment experts reporting on alternatives to plastic?

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Gone are the days when finance marketing meant sticking to numbers, products and advice. Today, it’s all about building good relationships with customers – through content that appeals to their needs and interests. But how lifestyle can you go, before you lose sight of your branding – or, worse still, fail to sell anything to anyone?

Lifestyle, but on brand

First, of all, going lifestyle doesn’t mean going off brand. Take Spaceship, a super fund whose audience is millennials. Rather than second guessing their interests, head of content Jessica Sier went straight to the source – and asked. Hundreds of customers replied with requests for content. As a result, the fund’s blog covers timely, appealing topics like ‘The robot doctors are making a lot of money’, ‘Amazon Alexa and the battle for your home’ and ‘The epic quest for money, oil and power’.

Lifestyle, but driven by values

Lifestyle content marketing is an opportunity to reiterate your values – and, in the process, win trust, admiration and loyalty. Lemonade, a New York City-based online company that offers low cost insurance to renters and homeowners, has mastered the art, with content underpinned by transparency and social good. While one blog post argues ‘The case for renewable energy’, another questions whether or not Giving Tuesday is impactful and, another still, offers advice on ‘how to convince your friends to vote’.

Lifestyle, but still financial

One of the gifts of lifestyle content marketing to finance brands is that it’s automatically relevant. For most people, their financial position correlates with their ability to fulfil their lifestyle goals. So, don’t be frightened of content that addresses this directly.

Spanish bank Santander is far from afraid. Launched in 2016, its content hub for millennials, Prosper and Thrive, has pumped out a cornucopia of pieces that combine lifestyle tips with financial advice – and attracted more than a million visits in the process. Among the secrets to its success is a focus on quirky yet useful concepts, such as ‘4 simple rules for smart shopping, with a side of Nutella’, ‘How to afford your honeymoon without going into debt’ and ‘6 tips for building a fabulous capsule wardrobe on a budget’.

Lifestyle – and building community

Lifestyle content can not only strengthen the relationship between you and your customer, but also between your customers, helping to build a community around your brand.

First Republic, a US-based bank, has a Travel Gallery on its website, where customers can publish stories, photos and travel tips. An extra benefit of this approach is that it cuts back on leg work: users take care of content creation for you. Meanwhile, the blog features a series of profiles, featuring individuals who’ve made positive changes to their communities, such as law student-turned-entrepreneur Josh Harris and Dr Kita S. Curry, CEO of Los Angeles-based Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services.

Is it time to bring a little more lifestyle into your content strategy?

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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.