For many financial service providers, publishing articles on a business or consumer financial blog is a great way to establish customer trust and garner the attention of search engines.
However, it is essential to publish compelling content on your blog or social media accounts, since it reflects on your credibility and affects whether or not your customers choose to do business with you.
According to a December 2013 SlideShare presentation, “The Future of Banking” by Australian marketing and technology expert Jenny Williams, 83% of consumers say that it is important to read user-generated content before making a decision about banking or other financial services.
Although the financial services industry has been slow to adopt Internet marketing and blogging, a blog can positively affect audience and revenue growth, while remaining compliant with NCUA (National Credit Union Association), FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation), FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) and SEC (U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission) regulations. But like any other marketing effort, blogging and social media activity require careful consideration.
Ideally, you will connect the blog’s content to a solid Internet marketing plan with specific goals such as creating brand awareness and educating your target audience. Other essential elements to include in a financial services blog include:
1) An attractive appearance. Your blog’s design should be visually compelling. To ensure easy reading, the blog should have sufficient white space around both images and text.
2) Shareable content. Whether your blog is for a credit union, bank, financial planner or financial services company, informative and educational content is essential for building your customers’ trust in you. By creating content that readers want to see and adding links to the other pages on your website, readers are more likely to purchase your products and services and to act as brand advocates by recommending you to the people they know.
3) Photos and videos. To attract more readers, it is worthwhile to add photos and videos, which your Internet marketing department may create or outsource to a reputable photographer or videographer.
4) Industry observations. Use some of your blog posts to discuss new laws and other topics in the financial industry. If a new law will affect a product that your readers use every day, such as credit cards or debit cards, a blog post is the ideal venue for explaining how the new law will affect the use of those cards. Similarly, another blog post could discuss a new financial fraud and offer practical ways for your readers to protect their accounts.
5) Interactive polls and questions that invite readers to comment. Many consumers like to give their opinions online on different topics. By making it easy for blog readers to participate in a poll or to answer a question, your organization can gain valuable feedback about the success of your products and services.