April 16, 2015

Digital Financial Services Seminar Round-up

We kicked off the first of our industry-specific events with the Figaro Digital Financial Services Seminar on 15 April—a morning looking at everything from driving positive press online to the value of video content for marketers in the financial sector. We were joined by experts from Branded3, e3, Stream:20, Liberty Marketing, Brightcove, SDL and American Express. Here’s a quick round-up of some of the issues under discussion

Demonstrating Success in Non-standard Lending

Laura Crimmons – Social & PR Manager at Branded3 

“Think of an issue that people like to talk about.”

Laura at Branded3 explained how the agency achieved positive PR coverage for a payday loans company—an industry which has frequently suffered from negative press coverage. To engage people without mentioning the specific product, Branded3 created a quiz focused on a perennially topical issue: the cost of living. The ‘Back in the Day’ quiz generated coverage from The Mirror, The Telegraph, AOL, Huffington Post and Wales Online. To gauge public opinion on an idea like this, advises Laura, try it out on a few key contacts first. 

Past, Present, Future – How the User is Levelling the Financial Landscape
Neil Collard – Managing Director at e3

“Focus on the user and all else will follow.”

Historically, financial services have led the way in digital innovation. But now that digital disruption is gathering pace, said Neil at e3, the financial services sector has slowed down as business criticality dulls the appetite for risk. Banks need to find new ways to fit into the lives of consumers. Neil stressed the need for marketers to understand that changes in banking services will be driven by millennials, and highlighted the significance for all industries of new business models like those of Uber and Netflix. Focus on the user, he says, and all else will follow. 

Using Data to Understand your Customers and Build Longer Term Relationships
Alex Lockett – Director at Stream:20

“People don’t want financial services, they need financial services. This is a positive thing.”

Data enables you to understand your customers and what they need from financial services, said Alex at Stream:20. It helps ensure communication and products are relevant. Traditional touch-points can be expanded rapidly with data. From an acquisition point of view, this means that you can create the audiences that you want to talk to, and decide which channels you want to use. With data, marketers are able to build up a detailed profile of the consumer, meaning that products can be evolved according to that user’s needs.

SEO for Financial Services

Gareth Morgan – Managing Director at Liberty Marketing

“The centre of any SEO strategy is content.”

To be successful at search engine marketing, you need Google on your side. Gareth at Liberty Marketing offered a best practice check list and laid out things for marketers in the financial sector to avoid. First, make sure your website is mobile friendly: from 21 April this year, when Google will expand the role mobile-friendliness plays as a ranking signal, non-mobile friendly sites will suffer. Gareth also stressed the importance of reviewing keywords on a regular basis. Even a subtle tweak could boost search visibility. And make sure you’re generating positive social signals, as Google will come to view these as indicators of trustworthiness. Other things to consider are native advertising, local SEO, cookie-based remarketing, remarketing lists for search ads, ad extensions and Bing ads. 

Cutting Through with Content: New Opportunities in Video Marketing
Willem Challenger – Video Marketing Consultant EMEA & LATAM at Brightcove

“Your content is your first, second and third sales call.”

Financial services marketers should integrate video into their marketing mix, said Willem at Brightcove. Video prompts engagement and allows the user to listen to a brand’s story, showing the human face of the business in a more personal way. And including a transcript of the video gives search engines something to tag on to. Video is inherently shareable, so make it clear that you want people to share your video content, and make it easy to do so. This is also an opportunity to generate feedback. But, said Willem, you should seriously consider owning your video experience rather than enlisting third party platforms such as YouTube. 

Driving ROI from Content Management and Making Business Decisions Based on Data
Aaron Suppel – Senior Manager, Digital Marketing Platforms at American Express

“Everything should be iterated, and the user is at the centre.” 

Speaking as SDL’s guest, Aaron from American Express explained that ROI from CMS relies on three pillars: editorial engagement; global content orchestration; and omni-device content delivery. Empower your editors—happy editors create and maintain local and global content more effectively. Make your results known to stakeholders in an engaging way. Work iteratively and take high performing assets forward. Win in areas that require no advertising budget (ie organic search). And drive all decisions with data. 

Round-up written by Estelle Hakner.