All of us are fed up with endless telemarketing calls and spam email from banks. Imagine the number of banks and BFSI companies in the country. Imagine the daily one call from each one of them.
As per the survey on debate.org, 94% responded opined that telemarketing should be banned. Companies and good brands can’t remain good by disturbing and irritating potential customers. Banks need to understand telemarketing is irritation and interruptions.
The good news is there is an alternative and valuable, brand-boosting alternative. This is Content Marketing. More than mere marketing the Content Marketing is about helping customers. Past, present and future.
Someone asked me what do you really mean by Content Marketing?
“Content marketing is all the marketing that’s left.” Seth Godin
Content Marketing is a part of inbound marketing designed for specifically targeted people, based on customer personas and stage of their buyer’s journey. This buyer’s journey is different from the buyer’s journey we consider in designing customer experiences.
Here journey means the stages of the buying process i.e. awareness, consideration, and decision.
“Pushing out content you want to publish is a lot different than executing a successful content marketing program that connects with customers by delivering meaningful experiences that are contextually relevant.”
Ardath Albee, CEO & B2B Marketing Strategist, Marketing Interactions
Content marketing is not merely content creation. It is smart, deliberate content creation and distribution. Today with so many BFSI service providers, customers are most confused.
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Confusion about the safety of the money, options for better returns, liquidity, risk cover, financial planning, and the list is endless. Financial literacy is a major concern in India.
As reported in the Mint newspaper in June 2017, “According to its literal definition, financial literacy is the ability to use skills and knowledge to take effective and informed money-management decisions.
For a country like India, this plays a bigger role as it is considered an important adjunct to the promotion of financial inclusion and ultimately financial stability.
As per a global survey by Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC, (S&P) less than 25% of adults are financially literate in South Asian countries.
For an average Indian, financial literacy is yet to become a priority. India is home to 17.5% of the world’s population, but nearly 76% of its adult population does not understand even the basic financial concepts.”
Isn’t the above fact is a goldmine for the banks? Content Marketing is the way to bridge this huge gap of illiteracy.
Educating customers through consistent and deliberate content creation is what the banks should do.
We have about 50 plus Indian banks in India (excluding cooperative and foreign banks) and 76% financial illiteracy means banks are missing this mega financial literacy opportunity.
Which means the banks are only focussed on sales. Which means the banks are facing cut-throat competition and red ocean margins.
This must change.
The Social media specialist Michael Stelzner writes in his book Launch,
” Don’t think about people as targets of the sale. The question isn’t who can you land, it’s who can you help? ”
He further writes which is very important,” If you are only focused on the sale, you are missing a mega opportunity.”
Content Marketing has the power to change the scenario quickly. We have JAM based Mobile penetration. Jio leads to internet penetration. What we need are the relevant content creation and methodical content marketing strategy.
What banks can do with CM is not only Ebooks, videos, infographics, articles, true stories, calculators but an entire TV Channel.
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Content Marketing Institute reports, “Jyske Bank has created one of the most high-tech, in-house television production studios in Denmark.
In fact, the company refers to itself as both a bank and a media company.
Jyskebank.tv produces amazing financial programming, as well as compelling stories that the bank believes, are relevant to its core audience of younger consumers and small enterprises.“
Another Spanish bank, Santander bank has created a complete content platform in the name of Thrive and Prosper. They are producing interesting and useful posts to help their target audience in better management of money.
Bank of America is doing big in content marketing with their platform; Better Money Habits.
Citi Bank is the leader in the banking space. Their new content strategy is a lesson for every company – small, medium, and big.
Their goal of content creation is: “Deliver a customer-driven content experience that energizes and sparks action during the big and small moments that matter most.”
There is nothing about their products and services in their content goal statement.
“It’s easy to talk about messages you want to share, but make sure what you’re creating is things people want to hear about.” Jenn Eldin, SVP, Global Head of Content, Citi
It is about the people i.e. your target audience. Their interest is the focus, not your (sales and marketing) message.
Their Life and money blog which is their content platform is creating content about music, travel culture, well-being, and personal development.
What can you learn from Citi Bank’s content marketing initiatives?
- Content Marketing is important and is worth your time and investments.
- Content Marketing needs strategy and consistency.
- Content is not about your products and services, but it is about what your target audience is interested in. (Many companies find it difficult to digest this fact. They create content only about their product and services.)
For the Indian banks, and Fintech companies this is a huge chance to differentiate.
Differentiating by spreading financial literacy could have a positive impact on the bottom line.
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Content Marketing is a new but only credible form of marketing. Indian banks must lap up this opportunity. The dividend would be rich.
“Great marketers have immense empathy for their audience. They can put themselves in their shoes, live their lives, feel what they feel, go where they go, and respond how they’d respond.
That empathy comes out in content that resonates with your audience.”
Rand Fishkin, Wizard of Moz, Moz.
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