If your business provides financial services, things are not straight-forward when it comes to digital marketing. Simply put, financial services marketing is different.
You can’t jump straight in and use the same approach to marketing as other industries. When it comes to online marketing, you need to know all about “Your Money or Your Life” (also known as YMYL) – then E-E-A-T is important – and that’s just the first step. That’s a lot of acronyms!
Fortunately, financial services marketing doesn’t have to be as overwhelming as it first seems. In this post, we’ll clear things up, look at why it’s important and cover three top tips…
Related Reading: Guide to Your Money or Your Life (YMYL) SEO
Financial services marketing – the ABCs
Simply put, financial services marketing refers to the various methods of promoting your financial services. This may not have been key too long ago, but it can’t be ignored today.
Using digital marketing (such as social media and pay-per-click ads) and traditional marketing (such as TV, radio or print ads), your financial services can be promoted to a wide audience, generating business.
Financial services marketing, unlike most other industries, has more stipulations and rules that must be followed. For the protection of customer interests, there are many acts and laws around how financial institutions do their marketing, such as the Truth In Savings Act and Fair Lending Laws.
When it comes to promoting financial services online, Your Money or Your Life is another factor you need to consider…
What is YMYL?
In marketing, the phrase Your Money or Your Life refers to websites that could potentially affect a person’s happiness, health, financial stability or safety.
If a financial services company – such as an accountancy– is not transparent about its fees, policies or procedures, it could put customers at risk. For example, a company that charges hidden fees could end up costing customers a lot of money without them even realising it. This could lead to financial hardship for customers, and it could also damage the company’s reputation.
This doesn’t stop with your services though. Even bad or incorrect advice in a blog post can have a dramatic impact on someone’s life. This is why businesses that provide financial services have to tread very carefully.
The importance of E-E-A-T
When Google reviews a website, it will decide if any webpages should be classed as YMYL. Google even has quality evaluators that manually check websites to determine whether a page qualifies as YMYL content, so this isn’t just an automated process.
A clear YMYL topic would be something like information about tax accounting news or guidance on stocks & shares. Any pages that are classed as YMYL need to demonstrate the highest levels of E-E-A-T. What’s this? E-E-A-T stands for Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness. If your website doesn’t demonstrate these qualities, it will struggle to rank highly on search engines. Simply put, SEO for financial services is more than just adding keywords.
Further Reading: E-A-T is discussed in detail in Google’s Quality Raters’ Guidelines
There are many different ways to demonstrate Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness, such as:
- Add clear author information with detailed bios
- Include your business’s contact information
- Publish an About page with team members
- Secure brand mentions from authoritative websites
- Become known as a subject matter expert
For businesses offering financial services, YMYL and E-E-A-T must be considered while performing any digital marketing campaign. If these factors aren’t take into account, your hard work could be wasted.
Why is financial services marketing needed?
These days, not marketing your financial services is the proverbial equivalent of ‘pulling the plug’ on your business. Financial institutions can no longer wait for customers. You have to get yourself out there.
Not only has the general public lost trust in some financial services, but regulatory barriers and digitisation are hampering the face of your business. You must prove that you are the go-to financial institution for your customers and get word out to them in the first place.
How to do financial services marketing properly!
1. Craft a cohesive campaign
There are many strategies in digital marketing, alongside the practised and effective traditional marketing. Finding the right marketing mix for your brand is key when constructing a comprehensive and cohesive marketing campaign.
Before you jump straight in and start tweeting, run through this checklist…
- Set clear goals and objectives – What do you want to achieve with your marketing campaign? Do you want to increase brand awareness, generate leads, or drive sales? Once you know your goals, you can start to develop a strategy to achieve them.
- Do your research – Before you launch your campaign, it’s important to research your target audience. Who are they? What are their needs and interests? Where do they spend their time online? Once you know your target audience, you can start to tailor your marketing messages to them.
- Choose the right channels – There are many different marketing channels available, so it’s important to choose the ones that are right for your target audience. For example, if your target audience is young people, you might want to focus on social media marketing.
- Measure your results – It’s important to track the results of your marketing campaign so you can see what’s working and what’s not. This will help you to make adjustments to your campaign as needed.
2. Rising up the ranks on search engines
Shaking hands. Speaking at events. Cold calling. There are many traditional forms of marketing that still work.
However, there are few better ways to grow a business than a constant source of website traffic from search engines. Modern consumers don’t go to a high street or the Yellow Pages when they need help. They head to Google.
There are two approaches to get your site seen on Google for relevant search terms – search engine optimisation (SEO) and pay-per-click advertising (PPC).
SEO is a great long-term strategy. Over time, you can increase your website’s visibility of search engines, like Google. With higher rankings on the SERPs (search engine results pages), you can expect more traffic on your website and – consequently – more leads.
The first step in SEO is providing an excellent user experience for visitors. If your website is fast, mobile-friendly and easy to navigate, that’s the perfect foundation. Next up, create useful resources that help your target audience. Google loves websites that demonstrate their expertise on a topic and genuinely want to help people, as we have discussed further below.
On the other hand, PPC fast-tracks you to the top of search results pages. You can bid on search terms and instantly get your name in front of people.
SEO takes time but is an excellent long-term strategy. It will continue to work even if you stop working on the SEO. PPC can be turned on or off instantly – but you always have to pay for the pleasure. A combination of PPC and SEO can provide the best of both worlds for many financial services providers.
3. Content is king
According to Christina Clegg Financial Services Limited, an estimated 3 million Brits would like to get financial advice if they could find an institution they trust. One of the best ways to build trust is through the creation of informative and useful content on your financial services website.
This could include blog posts, e-books, infographics, explainer videos – anything that demonstrates your authority as a financial services provider.
Best of all, by offering helpful information, you can better connect with people when they are researching a topic. When they are at the stage of choosing a financial services provider, your brand will already be front and centre in their mind.
Get the marketing experts on your side
While the tips above give you a brief overview of best practices, financial services marketing is still a lot to take on.
Fortunately, you don’t have to go it alone. At Rapport Digital, we specialise in a range of marketing services for accountants. That includes email marketing, social media, search engine optimisation and more.
Ready to get your financial services out there and attract the right customers? Email us at email@example.com.