It’s no secret that digital content is king. As a premier content marketing agency in London we couldn’t agree more! In fact, there are 3.96 billion total social media users across all platforms as of January 2022, which is roughly half the world’s population. (SproutSocial)
For this reason, financial services marketers are spending 87% more on digital advertising (American Bankers Association study, July 2022). With growing competition, Financial Services Marketing Managers need to invest in advertising the smarter way. This means sharing content that attracts new types of retail investors while expanding their client base.
The secret to success is starting with research and creating the right types of content for your consumer. Janus Henderson and AVI both faced different challenges, but ended up seeing significant jumps in performance by taking a strategic approach to content creation and not creating content for content’s sake. For us, there’s one process that gets results:
- Research and insight – understanding the marketplace around you, and knowing what attracts your audience to your product or service. What makes them ‘tick?’
- Strategy – transforming research and insights into a results driven gameplan
- Creative and production – content is created based on insight, and made up of creative solutions that meet your consumers’ needs.
- Distribution and promotion – targeting your audience effectively, at the right times and in the right places.
- Measurement and analytics – consider what went wrong and what worked well – then consider how you refine your content to improve.
Strategise, then strategise again
The number one rule: gain insights through research before you start anything. Know the current climate of your industry, understand your place in the market, and then determine what you’re aiming to achieve.
Next, there’s no results driven content without strategy. Many companies fall into the trap of creating irrelevant content, without considering each element of the strategy process – you won’t see results.
Let your audience inform your content strategy
As thought leaders in the space – your content should reflect your value to the consumer and raise the profile of your brand. The first question you should ask yourself is – who are you talking to? There are many types of retail investors. Segmenting the audience landscape and deciding which groups you’d like to target is crucial. Next, understand what drives their investment decisions.
This is a process we undertook for Janus Henderson (JH). First, we segment our audiences by level of investor knowledge and sophistication, then we prioritise what we call ‘the lowest hanging fruit’. The results: Janus Henderson (JH) drove 6x more organic traffic to their website between 2021 and 2022.
Actively representing 12 UK Investments Trusts, Janus Henderson (JH) is the umbrella brand representing total assets of over £8Bn. By coming up with a ‘twin track’ strategy and dual journeys for the two priority customer segments, the focus for JH was serving content for ‘confident’ investors while acquiring ‘learners’ (those new to investing). JH said:
“Our focus in the last two years has been very much about serving the right content and the right time to the right audience. We know we need to be looking to the next generation of Investment Trust investors”.
Bespoke content and channels
The next area to consider is how to distribute your content to the wider audience. Taking the time to research allows us to select the right content type, for the right audiences. For example, some audiences have the time to digest long form content and some don’t. AVI’s organic website traffic grew a staggering 6x in 8 months through sharing Hub’s bespoke multi- faceted range of relevant video content, articles, whitepapers, and emails.
Having an in-depth understanding of where customers like to consume content is vital. It’s important to note that content strategy goes further than the format and creative. Hub helped AVI to decide which channels would help them to reach future investors and early cycle retail investors. Those included:
- Owned channels – website, LinkedIn organic, database
- Paid channels – social media ads, digital, any paid media
- Earned – outside attention that you “earn” but don’t directly pay for. Eg. PR
- External = IFAs (independent financial advisers), share dealing platforms
Find your place in search results: optimising your content
So now you have your content, what’s next? There’s several techniques you can use to ensure your campaign is discoverable. To help AVI improve their organic rankings, Hub audited their website, making it easier for search engines to find, crawl, render and index the site pages.
“Mobile queries for “what should I invest in?” have increased by 65% year-over-year. If you can optimise your SEO… you’ll be able to entice consumers looking for investment advice.” (Source: Google)
In addition to the vital SEO work on site pages and content pieces, seeding is a key for search strategy and targeting customer segments – all helping you to rank higher on Google search. Focusing on SEO and keywords increase organic search rankings on search engines, too. More traffic to your site increases the probability that investors will discover you and convert into leads.
Understand your success metrics
The work isn’t over until you’ve measured your results. Measuring effectiveness of your campaign allows you to analyse and understand the impact of your marketing and advertising. It’s both an essential and valuable process – because it paves the way for future campaigns. Here’s a few examples of metrics Hub look at to determine the success of your content (these differ depending on your goals):
- Generic and organic website traffic – how many of your site visits come from search engines, while which percentage of site traffic is from people entering your company URL into their browser or directly from your digital content?
- Average session duration – how much time do leads spend viewing each piece of content/ site pages?
- Total engagement time – how long are visitors spending ingesting your content as whole?
- Unique page views – what percentage of your audience are new?
- Bounce rate – what percentage of your site visits leave your content straight away?
Janus Henderson and AVI are both testament to the work that Hub provides for companies who offer financial services. A successful campaign is born from finding solutions to the challenges in the market and your business by following a rigid process.
The difference between good and bad content: using data, market research, and expert advertising optimisation to make sure your creative brief is relevant and served to your consumers in the right way. With all this considered, Hub can turn extraordinary content into even more extraordinary audience engagement.