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4 Lessons of Content Marketing Strategy

Our recent Financial Services Content Marketing Survey 2013/14 found that 97% of the financial services companies polled already make use of content marketing activity. And they are set to do more in the near future: 81% of respondents believe that content marketing will become more important in the coming year, while 79% state that their content marketing budgets will increase in that time.

Yet despite this growing focus on content marketing within the sector, only 41% of the survey’s respondents currently have a defined content strategy in place. Indeed, the survey found the lack of a co-ordinated strategy was the biggest content marketing obstacle for the companies polled.

But without a proper content marketing strategy in place, there is a high risk that the content produced will be at best ineffective – or at worst, contradictory and confusing.

And this is the challenge for financial services firms. It’s one thing to use content marketing; another to use it effectively. According to the 2013 Edelman Trust Barometer, the sector continues to be the least trusted industry globally. While there is much focus within the sector on rebuilding that trust, many have yet to do so through an effective content marketing strategy.

The 4 lessons we’ve learnt are:

  1. Be selective. The object of the exercise is not to get as many words out as possible, but to deliver meaningful content in the right way. Take an objective look at existing content and identify the most valuable resources and media channels.
  2. Define a unique content proposition. Content marketing has to compete not only with the organisation’s direct competitors but with everything else jostling for the reader’s attention. Take the time to understand what customers want you to tell them, and where and when they want to hear from you.
  3. Plan the journey. Proposed activity should be mapped out as a journey, with content tailored to the relevant channels. The more engaged the reader is, the more immersive and interactive the content can become. Thought leadership may entice customers into deeper engagement via microsites and videos, ultimately leading to one-to-one interactions at events or via social media.
  4. Measure success. Rather than judging the effectiveness of marketing through activity levels such as ‘likes’ or ‘click-throughs’, a more strategic approach is to measure effectiveness on the basis of revenue generation and to compare the effectiveness of different channels.

Full details of the Financial Services Content Marketing survey can be found at

Caspian Woods is Chief Content Strategist at Editions Financial. Caspian will be speaking at the B2B Marketing Conference in November.