2 Crucial Ways Financial Services Can Score in Content Marketing

Posted by Oren Smith

In the world of content marketing, financial services companies haven’t been touted as shining examples of success. Already beaten up by the economy, they have been singled out for content marketing that ceases to impress.

Financial services firms do face a unique set of content marketing and PR challenges. Aside from sticky legal and compliance-related components (which, to even further complicate things, vary from country to country), the industry is dominated by a lack of consumer trust, a gap in consumer education, and content that often lacks a human voice after running a vicious gauntlet of checks and parameters.

With a myriad of regulations, it’s easy for financial services companies to get lost in a pile of what they can’t say instead of concentrating on what they can do! It’s important to recognize that these regulations don’t preclude a creative approach to financial services content generation. Many of the technicalities are predominantly focused on what’s being said – not the style, design, and delivery of the message.

In fact, financial services firms have a key advantage for public relations and content marketing. Typically, they are bursting with facts, figures, and information that can fuel PR and content marketing programs. But data means nothing if you can’t package it effectively. Here are 2 helpful ways to do just that – and be sure to check back later this week when we’ll share 2 other tips!

1. Conversational writing

Financial industry companies are often condemned for sounding dull, fake, or robotic. Develop a way to converse with your audience, as if you actually know them. Create personas for your target customers and a writing style that complements these identities. Research reports and direct mail often wind up trashed, so try a more comprehensive integrated campaign including short and sweet expert blog posts, podcasts, or webinars.


Seeking Alpha utilizes an interactive stock market analysis website to keep visitors engaged in not only real-time market changes, but also content writing itself.The interactive website derives its content from independent contributors with 250 to 400 articles submitted by them daily for publication.


TD Ameritrade’s thinkMoney magazine has been hailed as one of the best new financial magazines. Why? It’s not only smart and informative, but it’s clever, stylish, and modern. Conversational and colloquial writing can go a long way if produced in good taste.

2. Getting to the heart of the matter       

It’s important for financial services firms to discuss core issues minus the blatant PR spin. People take their money very seriously, and trust is a big problem when it comes to investing it. Locate your customer’s pain points and answer their questions before they’re even asked, backing up information with a simple, usable, and relatable statistic. Education is key, and it will help build trust.

Sun Life Financial’s Brighter Life website serves as a place to share ideas about money, family, and healthcare. Its content includes an array of relevant articles and videos with suggestions and tools for personal finance and retirement planning, among other topics. By incorporating a variety of issues families care about into its content marketing, Sun Life has established a sense of community for a broad audience.


Companies like this perform well because they address people’s emotional needs and they “humanize” their content marketing.     Take a chance! Make people laugh. Remember how well the Discover Card “We Treat You Like You Treat You” campaign worked?

Now, what can you do to spruce up your content marketing? Please feel free to share your ideas in the comments section below.

- Oren Smith

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Nov 11, 2013

Wendy Marx

Wendy Marx is the founder and president of Marx Communications, a boutique inbound marketing and public relations agency. An award-winning B2B public relations pro, she has helped many small- & medium-sized firms (SMBs) become well-known industry brands and transform their businesses, going from Anonymity to Industry Icon™.

Her business articles have appeared in The New York Times, InformationWeek, Inc., Advertising Age, & Fast Company, among other outlets. 

View all posts by Wendy Marx