Thursday, November 01, 2012

Top ten tips for financial services content marketing from candy & confectionery

At the Global PR Summit today I saw one the most useful sessions I can share with the financial services community. Because "content" we still really don't get in the banking, finance, asset management and insurance sectors.

Whether the sale happens online or offline the challenge is gain our consumers' attention. Between Hershey's and Intel the audience reach hits hundreds of millions. 

Here's my pick of what the top ten tips for the financial services industry from retail (FMCG - Hershey's) and technology (B2B - Intel).

1. PR thinking is closest of all marketers to the editorial (brand journalism) skill set. And that's what needed to drive quality, shareable content programs that gain engagement

2. Engaging influencers is easier in niche markets where influencers tend to want to congregate - brands with broad, mainstream appeal (say confectionary) are actually more challenged to do this.

3. Front end analytics (let's call them lead indicators or research) can be more helpful than back end analytics (say impressions or engagement metrics) because they help target content to target market pain points or passions

4. Content needs to run across earned, paid and owned digital channels to gain traction - to drive engagement, loyalty and advocacy

5. Content really does drive sales - but you need the 'back end' analytics to prove it

6. Social is not a cheap date if you want to create, curate and share quality content - it's time and resource intensive

7. In retail, shopper marketing is the next big thing - and shoppers in different outlets behave really differently. A key outtake for financial services is to think about the different consumer behaviours in different locations - in a bank branch for example versus on hold on a phone call versus waiting to see their financial adviser

8. Contextual ads with blended content are much more successful

9. Costs for all this capability - content, big data management, creative & execution - go up each year. At the same time in annual planning cycles marketers are forced to make decisions each year a long way ahead on relative spend allocations in the channel - it's hard to know each year where the best investment will be

10. Technology isn't everything...stories on the other hand maybe. Intel has employees self-publishing at Intel IQ which means a veritable army of online advocates telling stories - creating the massed voices we were talking about with our clients as early as 2009.

The Hershey's content slides from David Witt, Director of global digital marketing & brand PR gave a fantastic overview of what a comprehensive integrated content program should look like. Drop me a line and I'm more than happy to share them. 

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