Most banks have ZERO content marketing strategy or experience.

What is content marketing?

It’s publishing quality content online that serves your prospects and client base with helpful articles, tools and tips, and grows a steadily increasing flow of traffic to your website and business, while increasing customers. In the age of social information and digital search, a consistent, quality content marketing strategy is essential for businesses, including banks.

Enter COVID – it’s now more important than ever, that your bank has a consistent, digital content marketing strategy so that you can grow your customer base and retention year after year.

But how does a content marketing strategy work for a bank? It’s easier than you might think. In the age when we are drowned in information, but starving for quality content that gives solutions, it’s now easier than ever to stand out and be far ahead of your competition.

The key is to change glasses – to view marketing through a different set of lenses, and to become an un-expendable resource to your customer and prospect base.

While most banks have little to no content strategy, those that grasp and master this strategy will not only accelerate beyond their competition in terms of market share, but those who do it consistently with quality, and with an understanding of how to deliver the content your prospect and customer base truly desires, will lap their competition year-after-year and and become the de facto authority on the applicable subjects.

Content marketing, especially today, is as much of an art as it is science. Without the art, the science will not deliver an ROI, and without the science, the art will not have the desired impact.

It will require a sound strategy as well as the talent and insight of inexpensible content writers / marketers who can pair technical writing with a style that simplifies complex concepts and connects with your target audience, while bringing real solution-based content to alleviate their pain points.

Your bank, through a sound and creative content strategy, will become the go-to resource for your prospect and customer base with digital resources that are effective, easy to consume, simplifies and solves real pain points, and is easy to share…

When you employ these concepts consistently and with quality over a period of many months, your strategy will become the catalyst for content that people love to share. Your team will have mastered the art and science of creating viral content that spreads easily through word-of-mouth (or the click of a share button), and perpetually drives new business.

Without any further delay, let’s get started on your content journey.

The Visible Progress Team

1 – Content is King!

Content is king in the digital marketing world. What does that mean to you and your bank?

People are constantly seeking content, not for the sake of finding content, but to find answers.

The amount of searches people are performing through voice search, mobile search, and desktop devices has increased exponentially over the past 15 years, and this trend will continue.

A 2020 article on search trends by DBS Interactive revealed these increasing search trends….

(https://www.dbswebsite.com/blog/trends-in-voice-search/)

What this means in short: if your bank has no effective content strategy, then your bank is missing out on a sea of potential customers who are searching and spending hours online every day!

What this means for your bank is that search, including voice search continues to increase and the increase in trends have no end insight.

And, if your bank has a consistent content marketing plan, with high quality content that helps people avoid their fears and alleviate their pains while helping them move toward their current goals and future desires, you will gain the lion’s share of clients in your market through digital search.

According to and Article by Search Engine Journal titled, “10 Important 2021 SEO Trends You Need to Know”, the better your content focuses on adding value and giving your visitors a valuable interaction that serves the need of their search intent, the better your content will perform in terms of ranking, engaging and converting visitors to fans and customers. It goes on to point out that if your content focuses on your products and pitches, your content will detract from your online presence. When people are engaging a search engine, whether it is via a mobile device, voice search, or desktop computer, they are seeking answers to their questions.

What this also means is this: not having content marketing means your voice is not relevant or even present among all the potential customers using search to find solutions for their financial goals, challenges, loans, etc. essentially all the solutions and products your bank has.

In simple terms, it means that when millions of people are searching for answers, your bank will not show up. Not at all. It also means that your website, like most bank websites, is only a user portal and possibly a static brochure for the products and services your bank offers. etc.

The #1 Trend your content needs to focus on is the user and their search intent – not your products and services. Once people see your content as both present and an authority source for all of their financial and banking decisions, your bank and products will be the obvious go-to resource for correlating products and services. (https://www.searchenginejournal.com/10-important-2021-seo-trends-you-need-to-know/389395)

2 – COVID the Game Changer and Other Trends

And, along with online marketing getting more complex and diverse… enter COVID.

Covid was a big game-changer that we will be dealing with for years to come, not necessarily the virus, but the economic shift and repercussions that the virus created through government decisions, as well as the way it has affected how people are doing digital vs. in-person business.

A recent article by Stackla titled, “20 Stats Showing How COVID-19 Has Changed Consumer Behavior”, revealed that COVID helped take online activity, including social media, to an all-time-high.

(chart credit https://stackla.com/resources/blog/20-stats-showing-how-covid-19-has-changed-consumer-behavior)

Mobile ad engagement has increased by 15%, and online shopping through apps has increased by 37% during the Pandemic.

According to eMarketer.com, one can see that the increase in preferences for engaging and shopping online has increased dramatically due to COVID.

Chances are, what your bank has implemented to adjust to these consumer preferences will need to be continually assessed and improved. And, if your bank has not created a content strategy, it’s long overdue.

Why…the answer is simple, Covid created new habits. When people behave in a new way for more than 23 days, it becomes a habit. The online habits established during this pandemic are bound to continue and even grow further from here.

You will need to create and sustain a growing content marketing strategy just to maintain your current level of business. In order to dominate your market, you will need to have a superior content marketing strategy compared to your competition.

But you don’t want to start blindly, without a strategy. Haphazard content marketing with no real goals or benchmarks will be a slow, uphill battle. Start with our Banker’s Content Roadmap and be sure to hire or outsource a content marketing expert to lead and execute your plan.

3 Enter the Banker’s Content Roadmap

At Visible Progress, one of the ways we serve our most competitive bank clients is by delivering leading edge strategies, and this includes staying on the cusp of leading digital / content marketing trends and strategies.

The Visible Progress Content Roadmap includes the following stages:

1) How to create your team and strategy
2) How to properly segment your audience
3) Building commitment & consistency for growth
4) Content brainstorming tool and schedule
5) The publisher / resource / solution mindset
6) Create gates, opt-ins & funnels
7) Track, improve and grow

*Request your copy of “The Banker’s Ultimate Guide to Content Marketing” when you schedule your complimentary strategy session.

 

4 – Every Strategy Needs an Experienced Guide

You won’t want to lead your content strategy without proven experience. Begin with our content strategy roadmap for bankers, and be sure to get expert help immediately, not just for creating a strategy, but for carrying out and adjusting your strategy in real-time.

There are only a few ways you can do this. You can hire an expert to be a full-time part of your content marketing team. You can outsource a content marketing professional or agency. Or, you can hire experts like Visible Progress to manage the process for you, until you decide that you want to take the process completely internal.

According to Neil Patel, Search Engine and International Marketing expert, 89% of B2B marketers use content marketing to reach their business goals.

B2C trends are similar.

b2c-content-marketing

Among the tools used for content marketing, Blogs, email newsletters and social media content make up the top 3 tiers. Your strategy will need to focus on at least these 3 components of a marketing funnel to have a good foundation that can bring a positive ROI. And remember, solid content marketing blog articles and posts can bring qualified prospect traffic to your website and business for years into the future when executed properly. So your content marketing should be seen as a growing asset in your marketing, sales, and customer acquisition / retention strategy.

( chart & imge credit: https://neilpatel.com/blog/outsource-quality-content-marketing)

On top of this, there are many “roles” or “functions that are needed in order to execute a winning, long-term content marketing strategy. Neil lists up to 16 roles that need filled in order for a content marketing strategy to be all that it can be. This truth can be overwhelming for most companies and become a barrier to getting started.

This is why it is wise to consider outsourcing this strategy to a content marketing firm or management team with a reasonable monthly budget to get it started, while your team learns how to manage the strategy in bite-size pieces. You can adjust and re-allocate as your team learns more and as your ROI & budget increases.

Start with a reasonable budget and be consistent. Over time, if you invest in quality, deep content that solves problems for your prospects and customers, you will be building marketing assets that will bring qualified traffic for years, and you will see the rankings of your content grow in the search engines over time.

You’ll want to also be flexible with your first exploits in content marketing, because your team will be learning what works as you will also be learning how to clearly communicate expectations to your content marketing firm.

Some of the things that you will want to cover in your strategy while managing an outsourced content marketing team are:

  • Freelancer vs. Agency / Firm
  • Style Guides
  • Instructions & Workflow
  • Schedule and expectations
  • Social Media Strategy & Syndication Tools
  • Images and content curation
  • Analytics and feedback metrics
  • Editing guidelines
  • Team contributions
  • High Quality Lead Magnets, Tools and Resources
  • Goals and Benchmarks
  • Content testing and feedback

In conclusion, content marketing is not just here to stay, the need for businesses to utilize a winning content strategy is growing in epic proportions. Most bankers that we talk to have no clear content marketing strategy, although many know of its importance. What’s more, many bankers don’t realize how important a content marketing strategy is for all businesses, including banks, and they do not realize how affordable it can be to launch. What’s important for your bank is that you realize the importance of content marketing for your bank, develop a strategy, hire a professional whether you outsource or bring on new staff, and begin today. Content marketing takes time to build momentum, but by remaining consistent to the quality, direction and execution of your strategy, you will see a growing, positive ROI.

What’s next? 

Schedule your complimentary strategy session with one of our expert guides.

 

Congratulations Matt Baffo

CONGRATULATIONS to Matt Baffo for earning your way to the top 1% of Mortgage Brokers in the Nation! We’re very proud to have you as one of our coaching clients! Matt Baffo – First State Bank of Michigan – NMLS 770988Would you like to learn more about how Matt achieved…