Content Marketing — the fuel for speedy growth with Fintech startups
Financial technology (or Fintech) is a boom area for businesses and investors in the UK, with London emerging as the Fintech centre of the world.
According to Accenture, the UK and Ireland is now the fastest-growing region for fintech investment on the planet. This is due to a large and technologically sophisticated customer base, availability of business capital and supportive regulatory approach.
Of course, London is also a financial services leader and global trading hub, home to the global or European headquarters of four of the 10 largest banks in the world.
In 2016, the fintech ecosystem will continue the huge growth we saw in 2015. There were a significant number of new start-ups that came into being, supported with the aid of new accelerators and venture capitalists.
Many established banks also invested significantly in new technology, further illustrating that there is a significant amount of cash floating around in the sector.
London has been a centre of tech innovation for some time. There is Silicon Roundabout in east London or Level39 in Canary Wharf. This means the UK offers many opportunities in fintech, especially in relation to payments, platforms, software and data analytics.
Fintech to watch out for
One of the areas which is growing significantly in the UK is peer-to-peer lending. This is where companies like Zopa, Funding Circle and Ratesetter link up people with money to loan seekers, allowing the lender to make a profit by investing their money, and a borrower to get a decent loan without having to go to a bank.
Peer-to-peer money transfer services have also attracted investment. Companies like TransferWise and WorldRemit have created a splash simply because they offer a way for people to avoid high rates and charges that they are used to paying with banks. This is naturally good for the customer, as it offers them more choice to what they’ve been presented in the past with foreign exchange rates.
Blockchain is another technology resulting from fintech boom which is tipped to be transformative. Underpinning the heavily hyped Bitcoin, it’s a ledger of digital events that can be shared between different parties, only updated by the consensus of a majority of participants, and where information can never be erased.
While records can be added to a blockchain, no existing transactions can be changed or removed. It’s a permanent record that cannot be cannot be corrupted. The ledger essentially creates a trail of financial DNA which can remove the possibility for fraud, theft or compromising sensitive data.
In this time of the fintech startup, that’s not to say bigger banks are resting on their laurels. They recognise what technology can do, and are trying to reinvent themselves, repositioning what they do and how they do it. They are large complex organisations that are naturally resistant to change. But with the threat of more agile contenders, have needed to adopt a startup mentality.
Why fintech needs content marketing
One of the main challenges for a fintech company is marketing. There are two big challenges that a newer fintech company might face, and understanding them are crucial for growth.
1. Many fintech companies need prospective customers to actively change the way that they think about and use finances. It can be particularly challenging, especially if they’re not familiar with the technology and what the benefits are. This means they need to use creative ways to shout loudly and properly get the message across to places where their customers are.
2. They need to build trust. There’s lot of opportunity here for startups to win business from customers who might be turned off from using the big banks for certain activities. However, they need to convince the world that their security is top-notch and that there is absolutely no chance of the business going out of business and disappearing with their money.
Fintech companies, particularly in their early stages, don’t have huge amounts of money to spend on traditional advertising methods. They have to be more intelligent with their budgets, and this is where content marketing comes in, which can be a powerful tool if used wisely. Let’s go through some methods in which fintech companies both big and small can using to build their audience quickly using content.
Good quality online written content is one of the most effective ways of reaching an audience quickly, whether through owned or earned channels. Blogs are the most obvious form of this, but the quality must be high — it’s not good enough just stating the obvious in a post — there must be a substantial reason to read the article. That’s not always so easy. It’s getting harder and harder with more noise out there to have a truly original angle, especially in B2B.
Long-form content in the form of reports and whitepapers can do a great job in representing a lot more information in a powerful way. They can take a lot of time and resource — but the effort in creating these can be well worth the time. This is because these bigger projects can be used to inform smaller pieces of content in the form of quick-to-create short-form blogs or snackable pieces such as social media posts.
This is the idea of the Content Marketing Pyramid, which is a way to understand how high effort and rare content can inform low effort content that is published more regularly, such as shorter blogs or snackable content such as social media posts. The top of the pyramid would be the heavy duty research pieces, which would lead to lower levels that would consist of eBooks and white papers, infographics and webinars, short form blog posts, and finally curated content such as tweets and blog comments at the bottom.
Thought leadership is a valuable way that experts in their field can show that they understand their customers. However it does hinge on the credibility and value of what they are saying in the post. Within a short blog post of 500 to 700 words, it can be difficult to come up with a truly original viewpoint that knocks a reader’s socks off. Reports packed full of original research represents value to a reader, because it’s not just opinions offered by an expert. It’s powerful content with authority.
Bite recently did one of these lengthy, research-heavy projects in the Sage Payments Landscape 2015 Report. The creation of this 38-page document required us to survey 1,000 businesses and 1,000 consumers around what was happening in the payment space online and offline within the payment space and how businesses are approaching innovation.
Campaigns, Visual Storytelling and Paid Social Media
Long-form content such as the Payments report provides a great material for campaigns which short-form blog posts simply don’t. For example, these are great for paid social media advertising — promoting long-form content is much powerful than a blog post. As well as giving readers a good reason to click through, it’s possible to promote using custom graphics to complement the content.
A document like the Sage Payment Report requires a lot of research and writing, as well as time for designers to create the imagery (such as infographics) to give life to the research. The importance of visual storytelling cannot be underestimated. According to the CMO Council. 65% of senior marketing executives believed that visual assets like photos, videos, illustrations and infographics were core to how a brand story is communicated.
In fintech, there is often a need to communicate difficult ideas in an entertaining and clear way, as well as cut through a noise of content and capture attention. Infographics can do this, breaking complexity down into content easier to understand, making it easier to remember and more sharable.
We’ve long heard the term ‘a picture is worth a thousand words. Similarly to an infographic, video can explain quite difficult concepts in a simple easy-to-digest way. One reason that YouTube is useful for learning is that it helps viewers visualise how something is done, which in words it might be quite difficult to get across.
Video statistics released by Invodo showed that shoppers who viewed video were 1.81 more likely to purchase than non-viewers, and that 51.9 per cent of marketing professionals worldwide named video as the content with the best ROI. Nielsen claimed that 64% of marketers expected video to dominate their strategies in the near future.
In fintech this is relevant, because it shows that video can be a useful medium for educating potential users and making them comfortable in a new technology and how it’s used. Here’s an example of a video we created from the Sage Landscape Report — you can clearly see how animated video infographics has brought the video to life.
This blog was originally posted on LinkedIn.