How digital communications can transform the fortunes of financial services

Financial services firms boast a wealth of expertise – the problem is that most fall short when it comes to showcasing their knowhow.

Digital communications is an effective tool, but corporate barriers must be broken down for this strategy to flourish.

The companies that are best at getting their message across are those who can create a buzz around the products and services they offer without promoting them explicitly.

The idea is that swerving the so-called ‘hard sell’ and tapping into topical themes instead is more likely to pique the interest of potential customers and clients.

However, this is often easier said than done.

When it comes to the financial services industry, companies must walk a fine line between producing eye-catching content and adhering to strict regulatory requirements.

But with the right approach it’s possible to turn even the most complex business proposition into something that will appeal to everyone, from board-level execs to the man on the street.

Why are financial services firms turning to digital communications?

In highly-commoditised markets like banking and insurance, websites that are designed purely around products and services are becoming a thing of the past. Companies are starting to realise they must offer more if they want to boost brand awareness and convert prospects.

Insurance products, for example, will always be a grudge purchase (who gets excited about shopping for car insurance?!). But with the right messaging it’s possible to drum up interest in the vital role insurance plays in safeguarding the interests of people and businesses.  

Fortunately, digitalisation has opened many doors – organisations can now tell their stories on multiple platforms via journalistic-style articles, blog posts and social videos.

What are the obstacles to adopting a digital communications strategy?  

Financial services has got a reputation of being slow to react to innovation. This is largely due to the regulatory burden that’s placed on the industry. But corporate culture is also partly to blame.

When it comes to communicating to prospective customers and clients, financial services firms can often get bogged down by organisational silos.

The key is to get board-level buy-in for a digital communications strategy that recognises these issues.

Another stumbling block is style and tone, which needs to shift away from sales language and towards providing informative and personable content that both resonates with prospects and highlights brand values.

Which financial services firms are best at digital communications?

Financial services companies all over the world are beginning to adopt a digital communications approach – although some are better at it than others.

Here are a few stand-out examples of those financial services brands investing in this new type of corporate communication, built on the foundations of targeted conversation and community, rather than traditional PR and marketing messages:

• BNY Mellon. The American banking institution’s ‘Market Eye’ blog was set up to provide investment professionals in the UK with a 15 second view of key market trends, expert research and insights in an illustrative and shareable format.

• Legal & General. UK financial organisation L&G has previously made clever use of social media campaigns designed to get people talking about money. Research found that 44% of people exposed to the campaigns would consider purchasing a product with L&G.

• ANZ. Australia and New Zealand Banking Group hired a team of journalists to tell the company’s stories to customers. The bank’s ‘Blue Notes’ online media publication won plaudits for raising the bar of ‘brand journalism’.

 

Like this post? Read ‘Why you should be writing for an intelligent goldfish’ for more tips to make complex messages easier to understand.

 

If you’d like to talk to us about the ways our team of experienced journalists and marketers could transform your digital communications, get in touch: office@formativecontent.com Tel: +44 (0) 20 7206 2687

Callum BrodieCallum Brodie is a Content Editor at Formative Content with years of financial journalism experience.

Formative Content is a UK based corporate content agency producing high quality content, live event coverage and strategic communications support for clients.