Fergus Stoddart, director at content marketing agency Edge, gives his tips on how the finance industry is using content to create sticky customers – and how advisers can do the same.
Customer loyalty has become a considerable focus over the past few years, in parts due to an explosion of online information which means customers can easily compare deals, access more brands, and find their own –potentially misleading – financial advice.
Stoddart helps over 30 big financial companies – including Westpac, Perpetual and Suncorp – to deviate from traditional advertising and instead using content marketing to build direct “sticky” relationships and loyalty with customers.
“The core shift in the last year is rather than trying to sell products and services to clients, companies are offering advice and provide content, info and tools to clients to help them,” Stoddart tells Wealth Professional.
“If you have a large number of clients who are in a particular industry, you can create valuable content to help those clients. For example, Westpac or NAB may have a group of customers in the retail space facing similar market conditions, so content which would help them in their day-to-day business – like creating website guides around retail white papers and industry reports – is really useful.”
Stoddart says it is important if advisers have clients in a particular area they stay up to date with what is happening in that space.
“When talking about financial planning the obvious thing is to provide customers with the tools and advice to help their future financial position. Things like market advice, financial planning tools – things that will give them a deep understanding of their financial position will get that value exchange and return a deeper relationship.
“Think about what would be valuable to a financial planning customer and make sure you are the brand offering that service.”
Stoddart suggests creating a newsletter programme which pushes clients back to a content hub on your company’s website or a separate microsite.
“Make sure it can be found on Google and work from an SEO point of view, and then it is a way to attract new clients.
“Social media makes it easier for content to be disseminated. It also allows people who read and like the content to share that content. Clients can share it to their own LinkedIn page, or email it to friends.”
People read information in different ways so you have to think about ways to present it to catch the attention of many, Stoddart says.
“If you’re going to invest time, research and money into a particular white paper, don’t just publish it as a white paper and leave it at that.
“You could take the five key facts from that white paper and make it into an info-graphic. Or think about the one valuable piece of content and think about how you can reformat that so people are ‘snacking’ on content,” he says.
“You want it to be a journey you can take people on.”