The levels of trust within the financial services industry has been in a precarious position in recent years due to seemingly unstable political environments and customers demanding better experiences both on and offline.

The challenge that many financial services firms are facing is how to stay true to their principles that historically have defined success but at the same time, ensure that a culture of innovation is developed. How can this proposition be communicated to its audience in a way that is simple and easy to understand?

Communication strategies need to be clear on what elements of the brand have to be protected, and what elements of the brand can be more flexible. Typically if this hasn’t been defined then communication strategies can become incoherent as they don’t align to the core messaging and the story of the firm or are incredibly rigid and nondescript.

Taking the time to understand branding, content, and channel strategy will help maintain the integrity of your brand whilst also being able to be innovative enough to stand out from your competitors.


Branding for Financial Service Organisations

For large established FS organisation, the brand identity is clear and well documented, however, for newer organisations, the brand identity can be a little unclear and a process needs to be put in place to define it.

When it comes to branding, it is imperative that there is a clear brand identity before even beginning to look at channel activity. Start by identifying the brand’s core competence that can be positioned clearly as a way to answer what the brand does and who it does it for- what is the one differentiator from the market that can be used to lead all strategic decisions?

As key drivers for consumer purchasing are increasingly based around emotive and ethical elements, focusing on the “why” when looking at your purpose and ensuring that the purpose can engage both stakeholders and audience is important. Don’t just explain what your company does, the purpose needs to have depth to be compelling.

For those financial services firms that can articulate their core competence, purpose, and position clearly, the next step is to expand into the broader architecture of the brand such as the firm’s values, tone of voice, products, and services. Finally, translating this information into a visual representation of the brand in terms of typeface, imagery, and colour palette is the next challenge before moving onto content.

Content Strategy for Financial Service Organisations

Without a clearly defined and documented content strategy, companies find themselves working harder and faster than they need to, just to create average results. Unfortunately almost half of all financial services firms find themselves in this position.

A clear content strategy will ensure you are:

  • Telling a clear story
  • Aligned to the brand identity, both in visuals and messaging
  • Ensuring efficiency with the resources at your disposal
  • Maximising your engagement and reach

Whilst a perfect content strategy does not exist, there are key principles within the financial markets that content strategies should adhere to:

Think customer first– there is no better way to initiate a relationship than to start a conversation on a topic that the other person is comfortable with. Content marketing is the same. If you were a bank whose key audience is small business owners, putting yourself in their shoes, what information are they looking for? Is it insight into what other business owners are doing? Key trends in sales and marketing? Mapping out different categories or interests helps to make up the initial engagement content. The first step is all about engagement, if you can’t maintain your audience’s engagement level, then it’s going to be difficult to get your product or service in front of them. Don’t rush the journey.

Think efficiently – Ensuring that your content strategy is channel agnostic and that your content delivers a consistent message, will save you time in the long run. As Marshall McLewin said, “The medium is the message” so spending time tweaking content for the relevant channel is going to be the best way to be efficient. One key in content strategy efficiency is taking the time to prioritise content that has a long shelf life and can be repurposed over time.

Think big– the bigger and more ambitious your content strategy is, the more likely you are going to be able to secure people’s buy-in by capturing people’s imagination. Financial institutions supply a consistent flow of professional content that does not stand out- by thinking big and aiming for the remarkable, you’ll stand out.

Creating Your Website Content

Once you can answer the above, you are ready to start setting up a strong online presence on websites and search engines. If you focus on creating content-rich landing pages that deal with specific customer needs, your technology company will already be taking a great leap forward ahead of less compelling brands that just send users to their homepage.

What’s more, pages for specific technology products, industries or unique selling points are likely to be more relevant to customer searches and increase the change of them enquiring or converting a sale online.

With the right SEO on and off your landing pages, as well as engaging copy and imagery, your technology company will soon take the no. one spot in the search engine rankings.

Channel Strategy for Financial Services

Financial services core channels are most likely to include:

Organic Search

Regardless of whether your audience is a consumer or business, the majority of times, a search in Google is where the majority of purchasing decisions start. Google only understands that there is one legitimate organic search result meaning that the majority of searches will be brand agnostic and generic. Capturing traffic can have a huge impact on whether your pipeline is healthy or not


This channel is highly popular with financial services firms due to the highly engaged business community and advanced advertising platform. A starting point for the use of LinkedIn would be using the platform to increase engagement and grow the brand reach by promoting content to specifically targeted audiences. A more advanced route would be to develop a Cost Per Acquisition ad campaign where your firm has defined the maximum cost for new customer acquisition, then scaling the activity based on this figure. LinkedIn has been provided as an effective and profitable channel for lead generation.

Email and Webinars

Your website and email list are key digital assets that you own and in terms of the emails, is critical to protect this and also use it to its fullest. Having clear objectives for your email strategy is key so that you can measure its effectiveness as is ensuring that you look at different performance metrics and content pillars to realise your objectives. Finally using your social media channels in tandem with your email and strategy means that you can nurture your prospects to participate in offline events and webinars.


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