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Data and reality show that content marketing is not just another option. It is the strategy of the most successful banks in the digital age.
If digital marketing is the most effective marketing strategy in this 4.0 era; then content marketing can be seen as the not-so-secret recipe behind the success of top-performing brands in this digital age.
Research conducted by the digital marketing study Point Visible shows that 78% of B2B brands and 74% of leading B2C brands in their fields apply a content marketing strategy.
In addition, 77% of B2C brands participating in the survey said that this strategy helps them align their teams toward common goals, while 67% of B2B brands said it helps them better understand their audience or target audience.
Content marketing is the creation and subsequent distribution of value-added content that attracts and retains an audience. The goal is to position your company as an expert in the topics of interest to the audience, and thus facilitate the conversion of leads into customers.
Valuable content strengthens the relationship between brand and audience and makes the sales process more personalized and less intrusive.
It is not about bombarding social media users with ads or making timidly informative or allusive posts to important holidays and dates. Content marketing is about educating, informing and entertaining users while positioning the brand in the minds of consumers.
The age of the internet and the smartphone have changed all business sectors. This is due to the tremendous impact they have on consumer behavior patterns. Today, the consumer is not sitting in front of the television or listening to the radio for a long time; advertising in these media is too intrusive and generic.
A study conducted by the company Demand Metric showed that internet users invest 20% of their time in consuming content. More importantly, 68% of Internet users spend time reading about brands that interest them.
Additionally, 60% of people are encouraged to do more research on a product if they read content about it, while 84% of people skip TV advertising.
Faced with this scenario, brands have chosen to become their own means of communication, and thus reach the audience through digital media with a content strategy. According to a study by the Content Marketing Institute, this strategy is 300% more effective than traditional marketing (such as television advertising or printed flyers). And costs 62% less because production and dissemination costs are low in digital distribution channels such as websites, blogs, social networks, YouTube or Spotify (for podcasts).
One of the most common content marketing mantras is to reach the right person with the right content at the right time. Content marketing addresses the needs and interests of the consumer; responds to a strategy of segmentation, analysis, and measurement of data, and outlines concise objectives. The actions are not for everyone: they are aimed at that buyer persona (ideal customer) who needs answers and wants to know more.
Offering valuable and personalized content is useful to get new leads; it also contributes to positioning the brand in their minds, which translates into higher sales. But it is not only useful to attract new customers: it also allows you to build customer loyalty and create your own audiences, as it redefines the meaning of the word "followers".
Some of the most important benefits of content marketing are:
The aforementioned study by Demand Metric shows that 60% of consumers enjoy reading relevant content published by their favorite brands.
This closeness is the perfect opportunity to begin a consumer education process that leads to a sale. In fact, according to Demand Gen Report, 47% of shoppers read three to five blog pieces or watch two videos before buying.
Nowadays, a person is more likely to choose their bank based on the content they get on their website; instead of getting carried away by a commercial seen on TV. For example, for the user, content related to their need to learn about personal finance is more important than watching a commercial with smiling people and a thirty-second script that does not suit their needs.
Getting new leads is easier if you know the buyer persona well and create valuable content that attracts them to the bank.
Once a lead is achieved, positioning your business as an expert in the mind of that lead is the next step, and it's done purely with education.
If someone searches the internet for "what is a loan" they want to know exactly that: they do not want to apply for a loan. Creating content that relates both things, in the style of traditional advertising, would be very aggressive. Brand positioning happens organically; there is no need to "sell" that the bank offers loans right off the bat.
A successful content marketing strategy would guide the lead through a series of valuable content related to that search. After reading an article or watching a video about "what is a loan", this person may want to know "the types of loans".
Then, with further information on the subject, you may want to know "how to choose a loan" or "when to apply for a loan". If this content really adds value to the user, you probably want to know about the loans available in the bank that has provided all this information. To continue the process, the following content could educate specifically about the product the bank offers. In this case, loans: application requirements, conditions of use, additional benefits, and other elements of interest.
This is why 66% of the most successful brands in marketing prioritize their information content instead of sales-focused content. Furthermore, according to the report "Missing the Mark," by The Economist Group, 71% of buyers abandon content that has a sales pitch.
Knowing a customer's needs helps optimize the creation of content that new leads and customers will consume. The more thoroughly the audience is known, the more successful the strategy of segmentation, analysis, data measurement and goal setting will be. This facilitates positioning in the customer's mind, a cycle that feeds on itself.
The content serves not only to attract, but also to retain existing customers. Knowing the content needs of the audience from the earliest stages helps to develop better customer profiles, which allows knowing the type of content that they require as customers.
Offering content related to the challenges faced by customers such as SMEs or entrepreneurs in a certain economic sector, invitations to webinars with experts or giving away an e-book are strategies that could make an occasional customer a more recurring customer and a true brand ambassador.
That's why 81% of B2C brands surveyed by Point Visible say that content helps them build loyalty relationships with their customers.
When the content is truly valuable, customers become followers of the brand. They don't just buy once but are constant consumers of content and products.
This audience has a direct relationship with the brand and is perfect for testing new products; likewise, to spread the news about the brand in a newsletter format. Content marketing not only brings the audience closer, but also allows creating true followers of the brand beyond a "like". This allows banks to build an audience of their own on their website instead of continuing to pay Facebook or Google to reach their audience.
Corporate clients, for example, need a different type of content than natural persons are looking for. Furthermore, among corporate clients, SMEs are a niche with different interests and needs than larger companies.
Each of these audiences needs to be educated on different topics with tailored content. Individuals could search for content on financial planning or savings, which might initially lead them to content like "What should you know before choosing a savings account?", to guide them organically towards content that covers the different types of savings accounts offered by the bank.
It does not necessarily have to be content written in a blog format; it can also be distributed in a podcast in which the central theme is financial education. This is what the Morgan Stanley bank does in its podcast on financial education, technology, and business.
The more specific the content, the more opportunities to connect with the audience. SMEs and startups, for example, want to know about other companies' success stories, ways to streamline their cash flow, new technologies and how to increase their sales.
A great way to create content for your audience can be a content hub: a space where everything is useful. There you can share video interviews with experts, statistical analysis in the form of infographics and even webinars with bank executives to talk exclusively about financial topics of interest. Bancolombia, for example, has a hub in Capital Inteligente where it offers this type of information aimed at presidents and vice presidents of the largest companies in Colombia.
In the banking world, JPMorgan Chase and Co. is an example of content marketing. According to SimilarWeb, Chase's website is the most visited in the United States in the category of banks or financial institutions and is one of the thirty most visited throughout the country; in other words, it competes with pages such as Facebook, Netflix and Amazon. Although a large portion of visits come from clients, it's striking that both Chase's and JP Morgan's pages offer content directly on the homepage.
Two sections stand out on the web, Your Money and Small Business. The first offers information on personal finance education. There is great college-related content, such as, "Pre-College Financial Checklist" and "How to Save While Your Friends Always Spend," indicating that it's targeting a young audience; something successful, since 84% of millennials affirm that the content influences their purchase decision.
When reading the content, there is not a single reference to financial products from Chase or JP Morgan, only useful information such as links to related content, with which they seek to continue educating the consumer and position themselves as experts.
The same goes for the Small Business section. Comprehensive small business information is shared there, from marketing and social media management to productivity, how to start an online store and tips for running family businesses.
Another interesting case is that of BBVA, which as part of its digitalization project used tactics frequently used in content marketing to develop its strategy.
Thus, in January 2018 alone, 40% of its sales in Spain were digital. This is a cause and a consequence of their new practice of knowing what content each user consumes and what their behavior is. All with the purpose of analyzing in real time what could be the step-in relation to the brand to offer you personalized value content.
This is how BBVA met its goal of having 50% digital customers. Just to get an idea of its effectiveness, in Colombia the number of digital customers grew 40% from 2017 to 2018.
One of its most popular content comes in the form of a podcast with multiple lines of content, a format similar to a radio show. One of the most popular programs is "Aprendamos juntos," which are interviews done with people with great life stories.
Closer to the content for a specific audience is its "Sencillo y Efectivo" line. Where topics such as the steps to open a business in Peru or how to plan expenses for special celebrations are discussed, which allows them to educate consumers from their most basic concerns.
At the national level, Bancolombia is a reference in various ways. As we mentioned before, the Bancolombia Group manages the Capital Inteligente content hub, in which it gathers financial information ranging from capital markets to economic research and articles on strategy, management and other concepts of interest to the presidents and vice presidents of the country's largest companies.
At the other end is its innovation portal, which is aimed at a young entrepreneurial audience, with an interest in the latest technologies and their impact on companies and the economy, with the aim of positioning itself in Colombia's entrepreneurial world.
Content marketing is the not-so-secret strategy behind the success of various banking institutions. The sooner it is put into practice, the faster the results will be seen.
For more information about how we can help you strategize and produce the banking content your brand requires, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org