Content marketing in 2020
How digital content maturity will evolve
The digitisation of content marketing has seen the discipline boom, but not evolve. Until now.
Content marketing began in the world of print. Much of the print mindset has been carried across to digital practices, in particular, reliance on instinct and qualitative feedback.
As the technologies for tracking and understanding audiences and performance evolve, financial institutions who keep this mindset will find their successes – and their careers – washed away by other agile, results-driven technology that provides tangible insights into marketing ROI.
How is your financial institution responding to change?
- Sinking - we're stuck in offline mindsets
- Swimming - we're getting more and more digitally savvy
- Surfing - we're nailing it, digital-first through and through
The anticipated evolution of content marketing
Intuitive content marketing
- Intuition steers activity
- No/minimal insight on performance
Insight-driven content marketing
- Past performance insight steers activity
- Content performance measurement tied to revenue
Predictive content marketing
- Forecasted performance steers activity
- AI delivers performance predictions for marketers to leverage
Autonomous content marketing
- Predictive analytics and hyper personalisation steer activity
- AI delivers content based on the inputs and criteria of marketers e.g. core idea, budget, results
- Identify audience interests and preferences. What will they exchange their attention for?
- Nurture leads with consistently high quality online experiences. What keeps them coming back for more?
- Evaluate and adapt content strategy based on meaningful data and insight. What is making the right impact?
- Improve identification of MQLs to deliver warmer leads. Who is primed and ready for your services?
68% of financial marketers say measuring content effectiveness is the most difficult challenge
Content Marketing Institute
The demands of the CX era
Quality and relevance rule the day
The era of customer convenience raises the bar for content quality and relevance
Nearly a decade after the content marketing revolution, many financial marketers are still struggling to create content experiences centered around the needs and convenience of customers.
The 2010s saw fintech startups blast onto the global stage with digital-first, user-centric service models that have exposed the complacency of traditional financial institutions. These high growth businesses have set a new bar for the kind of experience customers now expect from financial businesses, which marketers can't afford to ignore.
Building trust in your brand is more critical than ever, and this means investing in customer interactions that offer real value to people from the very start of your firm's relationship with them. Marketers need to deliver consistent, high quality and relevant experiences designed for the given context of each interaction, which more often than not is online, and on mobile.
The PDF is not a digital-first format, which means it offers inferior online reading experience, as well as extremely limited engagement tracking.
UX failures of the PDF
Impossible to read on mobile without pinching and prodding the screen to see the content
Static and linear - a highly passive reading experience and often annoying to navigate
Awkward to share
Downloads clog up desktops and hard drives
Better content experiences nurture deeper relationships
Lead and client nurturing will benefit greatly from the death of PDF. It's here in the middle of the funnel that white papers, ebooks and thought leadership come into play – all content types that tend to be in PDF format.
Nurturing leads with better and more relevant content and experiences can have a tangible impact on the bottom line.
Research from Marketo has shown that strong lead nurturing increases the volume of qualified leads and the size of the deal by about 50%. Converting a nurtured lead is also 33% cheaper than non-nurtured.
Digital content that delivers a visually rich and interactive reading experience is proven to be more persuasive and memorable than static, text-heavy documents.
Top content types for nurturing
- On-demand webinars
- Thought leadership
- Interactive content
Source: Demand Gen Report
more people will be persuaded by an argument if it is presented in a visually rich format versus text only
Deeper insight, better targeting
Unless you know how people engage with your content, you won't know what they care about. When tailored to the individual interests of your client, content is far more likely to generate trust and likability, improving the quality of opportunities.
Only 6% of financial institutions say they are deploying advanced personalisation technology.
The Financial Brand
Digital-first formats don't just offer better reading experiences, they typically afford far more detailed information about how a content piece is used by a reader.
See which sections of a document readers skip through and which topics they focus their time on. Tailor what you share with people next depending on what they've shown interest in. You simply don't have access to this kind of information about your readers if you publish in PDF.
You can track whether a PDF document has been opened or downloaded, but not how it’s actually been read:
- How long are people engaging with the document?
- Which chapters or sections do they engage with the most?
- How many times do they interact with the content?
- Do they share it with anyone?
Alternative formats can answer these questions, and much more.
3 in 5 say they feel better about a firm that delivers custom content and are more likely to purchase from them.
Pair insights-driven content with email automation and you open up the full potential of personalisation at your financial institution.
Beyond download counts
Demonstrate the value of your activities
Digital-first alternatives to PDF allow you to track reader engaged to measure and improve ROI, as well as connect marketing activity to the bottom line
High performing marketers are 1.4x more likely to say traditional approaches to measurement are no longer effective
The Financial Brand
You might feel sending out your snazzy new research report in PDF is all well and good, but how are you going to prove ROI when you know nothing about how the document is being read? To truly understand and demonstrate the business impact of your content activities - especially for hero content pieces like whitepapers and reports - you need more data than download counts and open rates.
Tracking known readers across a number of different content assets is needed to create accurate attribution models when it comes to conversions. Progressions along the buyer journey, and ultimately revenue. can be attributed to interactions with content assets where reader analytics show considerable engagement. Marketing will become more accountable, but also more able to prove their value.
Return on investment
By understanding what content is contributing most to business wins, you can create more like it, improving the return on investment from each individual asset created by marketing.
If you empower teams to create and edit content, speeding up the production process, you can be more responsive and efficient with the content you create – again impacting ROI.
Only 43% of marketing teams in the financial sector rate their content as effective
Content Marketing Institute