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Over 83% of billion-dollar startups, including fintechs, use content marketing as part of their overall marketing strategy, and it’s easy to see why, when a multi-million dollar return on investment is on the cards. But how exactly is such a strategy built? More than a random, trial and error intent at content marketing, building a strategy is a thought-out process that combines industry experts, SEO knowledge, outstanding research, and the magic of technology.
At Castleberry Media (CBM), we have developed a proven methodology to create winning content strategies for our clients. For further analysis in the scope of this article, we developed a content strategy for fintech A, a FinTech that targets small and medium businesses in the service industry in the U.S. market, and whose example we will use throughout this article to explain the step-by-step methodology.
The first step in creating an effective content marketing strategy is understanding our client's objectives and target audiences. To this end, we hold a workshop with our client to determine content marketing goals, assert which audiences and roles the client wants to reach, and understand the customer journey. Finally, discover what the client already has in mind for the near future in marketing to align those efforts with our content marketing strategy.
Pre-strategy also involves evaluating a range of content marketing benchmarks to analyze during the development of the strategy itself. According to our client’s specific needs, these can be local, national, or international. Benchmarks may be competitors, or they may be companies in entirely different industries but who also target similar audiences.
We structure our research around the pillars of our methodology to present our client first with the findings, the strategy itself, and a list of action points to follow. This process takes around four weeks from start to finish.
We use technology to benchmark industry content around the world to solve questions such as:
Once we establish a set of industry benchmarks, we analyze their content marketing efforts: content topics, channels used to distribute quality content, formats, timings, length of articles where applicable, and a range of other relevant insights so that our client — in this case, fintech A, can understand not only where and how they will fit into the ocean of content, but stand out in it. We present the client with our findings on the industry benchmarks.
For our US-based client fintech A, we used Revolut, Wise, and Monese as the international benchmarks and Stripe, Klarna, Kraken, and Bank of New York Mellon as the national ones. We also analyzed media benchmarks, such as Fintech, Fintech & Finance News, and Money. We looked at each group separately and produced the following quantitative and qualitative types of data for each group:
After thoroughly analyzing each of the company groups mentioned above, we break down the content archetypes according to every three groups of industry benchmarks. We compile the audience’s most commonly-asked questions and specific keywords that lead to the quality content of those particular companies, the level of readability and tone of their content, and a further round of insights in a presentation similar to the one carried out for fintech A, pictured below:
Concerning the audience, we study the audience's online behavior to extract content insights. Our True Content platform, a technology developed in-house, builds custom audiences for B2B brands. This technology can target specific industries or companies and more generalized audiences in different markets.
For any audience, we investigate what audiences read, ask, share and comment on to understand their digital content consumption.
Along with a few other insights, this is how we know that the content we will create will appeal directly to these audiences. And it is with this information that we can, posteriorly, propose a range of concepts that provide value to our audience, ensuring we reach that specific audience with the content that interests them. For fintech A, for example, one of the most relevant findings we obtained from our research was that the audience topics of interest ranged from software development to digital goods, as pictured below:
The content strategy we create has to adhere to the intersection between what the audience is interested in and needs with the value offered by the brand. We call this intersection the Brand Content Territory and the place where our client — in this example, fintech A — must position their content to maximize its impact.
Once we've collected the data from the previous research, we developed content verticals, the pillars that will guide content production. These content verticals represent the topics and subtopics your brand should be engaging with and the topics to avoid. For each one, we also suggest content formats. And finally, if, for example, there are three content groups, we recommend the weight each topic should carry.
For fintech A, the content verticals we developed were digitalization and automation of financial services, investment, and business growth, as you can see from the slide below:
Finally, we look to create a checklist of action points. We define relevant keywords the content should include and key questions it should resolve, the tone it should have, the level of readability, and the feeling the content will evoke from the reader. These parameters have been established based on the content archetypes from the benchmarks analyzed. Mainly, for fintech A, the defined checklist was as follows:
The strategy itself is divided into phases, the number of which depends on the necessities of the individual client. Each phase has a specific objective, where we outline the duration of the phase, the distribution of the content according to the mix of the funnel, the optimum distribution channels, the main metrics, and the key milestones.
For fintech A, we created four strategy phases, the first of which aims to improve the company’s position on Google by creating content that addresses the key questions from the audience. We define very clear goals for this phase, including bringing in 12,000 visitors to the content, achieving reading times over 1:30 minutes, and positioning at least five pieces of content on the first page of Google.
Once this phase is met, the second phase we proposed aims to reach a wider audience by amplifying our reach through various channels. The distribution channels suggested at this stage were native distribution, contextual Display, social media channels, newsletters, Facebook groups, and Facebook Ads.
Considering we have already resolved the key questions and reached a broader spectrum of people from the previous phases, we aim to segment the audience with content according to their funnel stages, demographic characteristics, and other variables in the third phase. In this sense, we will produce content targeted at the funnel’s bottom and middle.
Finally, in the last phase, we aim to identify and convert the hottest leads. We will use metrics to calculate the percentage of leads through affiliate programs and percentages for conversion, client retention, and the sales value every quarter for inbound leads.
It is essential to highlight that the content marketing process does not culminate with the fourth phase. Instead, it is a process that must be done regularly to keep nurturing the brand’s positioning - in this case, fintech A - in the audience’s minds.
If you would like to learn more about how we can help you create a successful content strategy for your fintech, please contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org.