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Connecting with Consumers through Content

Connecting with Consumers through Content


Recently released research from Ad Age and The Content Council confirms what most of us know: the growth of content marketing is explosive. Currently 23% of overall marketing budgets, content marketing is predicted to be 33% two years from now. And the biggest challenge reported? Creating engaging content. Which is particularly applicable for the financial services industry. Recently, the Financial Communication Society focused on Content Marketing at their annual Education Summit. With speakers and panelists from Goldman Sachs, Vanguard, GE, SAP, PIMCO, Duff & Phelps, and Aberdeen Asset Management, the event produced some great advice applicable across content marketing – mostly agnostic of industry. For content strategist looking to expand on their existing strategies, here are some of the key takeaways from the day:

  1. Trade value for time. When a person commits to following your brand, they are doing so voluntarily. Typically, there is nothing incentivized about that action. Content marketers need to keep in mind the expectations that their followers and brand-loyalists have for their ‘relationship’ with the brand. Marketers and brands cannot half-commit to a content initiative, but must make sure it is sustainable. Companies must create value and provide that to consumers in return for their time.
  2. The power and path of the breadcrumb. One of the biggest struggles for financial services companies is re-imagining long-form content into visually appealing pieces that are easy for readers to digest. To separate from competitors, the education and guidance presented by these financial brands must have personality, be accessible across platforms, and use storytelling to frame their messages. The best way to do this: visual elements like infographics. With tons of whitepapers circulating constantly, you want consumers to be able to digest the same information but quicker. Doing so will make it easier for customers to follow the breadcrumbs to the desired purchase/action, instead of having to navigate through endless content to find the intended action.
  3. Back to basics. There are a couple key points that all companies, whether financial or not, should strive to employ in their content marketing strategies.
    • Have a point of view. Customers are loyal to brands because they want to hear what you have to say. Take advantage of this and have a well-informed opinion about topics that are important to them.
    • Center your content releases around events and other important announcements. Consumer’s minds are most open to attaching to new ideas at these times.
    • Finally, tell a story. Storytelling resonates with consumers everywhere. If you have a good story to tell with universal themes, you can customize messaging as necessary.

Keeping customers and consumers engaged with your brand is key to success. When you create a sense of loyalty and a relationship with them, they will look to your brand for advice and guidance. Take advantage of these opportunities and write YOUR own brand story through content marketing.

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