Some say that the financial services industry is a boring industry for which to produce content. They present many reasons why they think so, including that there are some restrictions regarding what can and can’t be published.
We don't agree.
First of all, the industry has to do with money, which is a matter close to everyone's heart. If you don't know how to present your message about money in such a way people want to read it, how well will you present information in areas people don’t care about?
For other people, it's the fact that they don't see the kind of results everyone touts content marketing to produce. So they conclude that content marketing doesn’t work well for financial services.
There are statistics everywhere to prove that it works, even for your competitors. If it’s not working for you, you’re probably missing it. If you offer a financial copywriting service, here are a few tips to give your copywriting a boost and help you get the results you're expecting. It doesn’t matter whether you’re an in-house copywriter or work for an agency.
Right! Maybe everyone needs your financial services. After all, it does involve money. But you would be making a grand mistake to produce financial content for everyone.
First of all, not everyone may be able to afford your services. Secondly, some people just won’t, no matter what you say or do due to location and many other factors. Thirdly, some people will never associate with your brand. No hard feelings!
Of course, good content marketing can turn some things around. Still, start with and focus on the people most likely to use your services.
Build detailed customer/buyer personas for the different ideal customers for each of your services. The financial services market is quite broad. As much as you can, zero in on one aspect, or just a few, especially those areas where you have the most strength and competitive advantage.
Yes, you can produce content for the entire market, but you’ll have to doa lot more work and spend far more than if you focus your content. You might also not get as good a result as when your content is focused.
If you have been in business, you already have a head start. You already have customers, so building a buyer persona should be a lot easier. Get every detail you have on your customers – demographics, age, location, income, why they use your service, their goals and aspirations, pain points, creditworthiness (where necessary) etc. – and use it to build your customer avatar. From there, you can leapfrog for the type of customers/clients you want but haven't got yet.
If you’re just starting out, you would have to make educated guesses mixed with research to build your ideal customers’ personas.
After building it, use it!
It is not just an exercise that copywriters do. Building and using your personas are critical to your copywriting success; that includes financial copywriting too.
Your content MUST be relevant. There’s no other way to say it.
People don't consume irrelevant content, and your audience or customers won't be the first. Relevancy is a significant reason you have to create content for a focused audience, instead of everyone. Publishing articles for everyone will water down your message.
Moreover, no matter who you are, you can’t speak to everyone in just a single post. Plus, if people are not consuming your content for any reason, there’s no way you’d reap the benefits of content marketing.
So, once again: You MUST provide relevant content.
For your content to be relevant, it must help your focused audience solves their pain points. Your audience has to identify with it. Which means that the examples you use, the voice, etc., all have to tailored towards them.
Write to help your audience grow, not to help you grow. If your audience loves and consumes your work, you will grow!
This is one place a lot of content in the financial services industry miss it. Financial copywriting is not about using jargon and filling a page with language that confuses people.
Financial copywriting is about presenting information in such a way that it educates, entertains, enriches, and engages your audience. It is about getting them to perform the desired action that you specify. To do this, you have to speak the language your audience understands.
Content that converts is written in simple, clear language. If you must use financial terms and numbers, use them sparingly and with intent.
Numbers and statistics are great at driving home a point and increasing credibility, but use too many and all you’ll do is confuse people, and that’s not what you want.
If you want your financial content to be found by your customers, you have to target the keywords they’re typing into their search engines. So, how do you know how to do that? Research.
There are several tools to use, but you can begin with Google's free tools which include its Keyword Planner, Google Trends, and the most underrated but highly useful of them all, the search-bar suggestions.
Start a with a seed keyword and type it into your search bar, and it instantly suggests some more search terms to you. Take note of them. Also, on the search results page, you will find a list headed ‘People also ask’ – make a note of these, too.
Yes, you would have to dig deeper using any of the free tools mentioned above or a paid-for tool. But it is well worth the money, time and effort. A final note on this subject: keywords with clear search intent are excellent targets. For example, ‘retirement plan’ is a keyword, but ‘How to plan for retirement’ is much better. The latter has a clear intent of what the searcher wants.
Close every article or post with a call to action. This is essential. Whether it is ‘learn more’, ‘read the next/previous article’, ‘Schedule an appointment’ or ‘Subscribe for more’, you should always have a call to action.
You're the expert, so guide your audience to what's next. Don't expect them to know or use their initiatives.
Creating and publishing financial services content can be interesting and can put you ahead of the competition. How good it is and the results you get depend on how well these tips and several others are carried out. They also depend on the ability of your copywriter or copywriting agency.