Published 22 Dec 2022

The Fundamentals of Finance Content Marketing

Once upon a time, stern bank managers in small office rooms were the gatekeepers to the world of finance, controlling mortgage loan approvals, determining credit scores, and running bankers’ cheques through their fingers. But it’s a different story today. Anyone can apply for a loan by Googling instructions right from their phone, or get stock …

The Fundamentals of Finance Content Marketing
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Hire Digital Editorial

22 Dec 2022

Once upon a time, stern bank managers in small office rooms were the gatekeepers to the world of finance, controlling mortgage loan approvals, determining credit scores, and running bankers’ cheques through their fingers. But it’s a different story today. Anyone can apply for a loan by Googling instructions right from their phone, or get stock advice tips from TikTok, or learn everything they need to know about improving their credit in a blog post. 

But it’s precisely because of this easy access to financial services, products, and information, that finance-related businesses such as banks, financial institutions, and finance aggregators need to invest in strong content marketing. Remember, modern consumers have endless choices at their fingertips. So how can companies cut through the noise with all the content generated in the finance space? Quality.

Creating helpful, educational, and empathetic content is one of the best ways for a business to 1) distinguish itself from competitors and 2) establish a trusted and reliable one-to-one relationship with its market and potential customers.

Paypal is a great example of a leading financial business getting content marketing right. The fintech juggernaut regularly publishes ‘Paypal Stories’ – informative and engaging articles that illustrate how their customers use Paypal to power their financial interests. 

Photo: Paypal Stories

All of this content says to a prospective lead: “Others trust us, and you should too.” The collection of individual success stories instills confidence in Paypal’s services as a thought leader and gives the company a humane and empathetic face.

Here’s another example of financial content marketing done right. The stocks and cryptocurrency investment brokerage Robinhood does an excellent job of using content to explain the fundamentals of investment to its target audience (millennials and Gen Z who are learning to invest for the first time) in a way that’s easy to understand.

Photo: Robinhood

Each article is filled with long-tail search inquiries (questions that first-time investors would be asking) to bring in SEO traffic, which ensures that Robinhood is easily discoverable in the moment of intent. Guides are written in conversational language, offering tips as users start their financial journeys, and providing clear solutions. Plus, each piece of finance content has links to related pieces, to help direct readers to additional helpful content. All of this establishes Robinhood as a trustworthy source, authority, and ally that can be relied on.

Then there’s NerdWallet, an American personal finance company that makes personalization the backbone of its content production. Taking the ‘Get a card recommendation’ interactive content on NerdWallet’s website for example generates card suggestions tailored to your information and preferences, as well as helpful articles that help you get more for your money.

Photo: NerdWallet

Additionally, NerdWallet thoughtfully creates high-quality content in a variety of formats – articles, podcasts, and videos – to turn what can be a dry, intimidating topic into an approachable, easy-to-understand one.  By treating consumers as individuals, and using meaningful and relevant content to nurture a one-on-one relationship with them, NerdWallet is able to distinguish itself from the rest of the pack.

Creating Financial Content

Overall, these three finance content marketing examples highlight a couple of elements that are essential to keep in mind when producing your own content:

  1. Specific to your target audience: Given that 91% of consumers are more likely to do business with a brand that provides them with relevant offers and recommendations, it’s critical for financial businesses to not fall into a one-size-fits-all marketing trap. Tailoring your content to the customer persona,  pain points, and journey will keep your business top of mind. To this end, put together a content strategy that identifies what pieces you aim to produce, what persona they are aimed at, keywords to incorporate, etc. so that regardless of whether you’re creating these pieces in-house or with a freelance finance writer, each is focused and goal-driven.
  1. Easy to understand: Distilling and simplifying complex finance topics for your audience by producing clear and actionable pieces of content inaccessible ‘plain language’ can help to show that you understand them in ways others might not, and help build trust in your brand. 
  1. Diversified content: Using a variety of content formats helps brands to engage with customers no matter where they are in their journey, and in ways most convenient to them. Here are the different types of content you should produce:
  • Blog posts: Articles posted on the company blog are a great way to bring visibility to and awareness of your financial brand, and position it as a source they can trust for relevant, accurate, and helpful information. Here’s how NerdWallet leverages its blog to build trust. 
Source: NerdWallet
  • Infographics: Given that many people respond to visual information over plain text, creating infographics is a savvy move as it lets you distill large, complex amounts of financial information into simple-to-understand images. And because infographics are easy to share on social media, they help to attract more customers to your brand. Here’s a great example of how Schroders presents a snapshot of the global economy in August 2022 succinctly via an infographic.
Source: Schroders
  • Case studies: A compelling story that shows off your expertise via a case study can convince those on the fence to become a customer. It’s a form of social proof; by illustrating how you were able to provide value for X customers, you’re telling each visitor on your site that you can do the same for them.
  • Whitepapers: These long-form finance content pieces help to establish your organization as an authority in the finance industry and expert in the field. They can provide an edge over your competitors. Citi, for example, has a research-heavy series called Citi GPS: Global Perspectives & Solutions that showcases the company’s global footprint and industry expertise.

Finance content marketing needs to have a combination of these different content formats and include the elements we’ve mentioned above to stand out and stay ahead.

But businesses need to remember that these recommendations are only one part of the equation. 

The first step is coming up with content topics so topical or relatable that they immediately grab a customer’s attention. This is no easy feat in our oversaturated content environment, but you can get started with these tips:

Financial content ideation

  1. Use SEO to answer customers’ financial questions: By looking at keyword rankings within the search engines, finance content marketers can identify topics, pain points, and goals that are important to their target audience. Using this information, brands can produce content that is meaningful and relevant, which will ideally result in more visibility, visitors to the website, and interactions that can drive revenue down the line.
  1. Align with sales colleagues to identify your audience’s concerns: Talking with your sales team or your customer service team colleagues can help you get more insights on pressing financial issues your target audience faces, and then create content that can address them.
  1. Keep an eye on Google News and marketing trends to stay current: Monitoring industry news sites and social media platforms and producing content about it positions your brand as current and credible and a source users can turn to for the latest financial guidance.
  1. Look to customers and competition to fill content gaps: Identify niche financial topics and questions that have little to no content written about them by using surveys, feedback forms, and social media platforms like Reddit or Quora. You can also check to see what high-performing digital marketing content your competitors have created, and then one-up them by producing content that is more insightful and valuable.

The combination of ideation tactics as well as the best practices in creating financial content we’ve discussed will help financial businesses move their marketing tactics in line with what modern consumers expect and demand. But to optimize their approach and strategy, marketing managers need to keep their finger on the pulse of today’s trends. Here are a few examples:

  1. Automation and AI to provide content in micro-moments: Using these tools can help financial businesses to better predict content that customers may require – and supply it immediately. For example, chatbots can address customer requests on a website by suggesting relevant content and boosting satisfaction levels.
  1. Investing in video content: With 93% of businesses saying that using video landed them a new customer, it’s a no-brainer for financial marketers to use video to tell brand stories or produce helpful “how-to” content. 

As we’ve seen, for a business to really distinguish itself through finance content marketing requires a smart strategy that blends SEO  and specificity to your target audience. But, just producing great finance content isn’t enough to succeed. To maximize returns, you need to distribute your content on platforms your target personas are using. To this end, here are some best practices to keep in mind:

  1. Use a combination of earned, owned, and paid channels: Build out a distribution strategy based on your audience’s demographics, their position in the customer journey, and their goals. With this in mind, use a combination of platforms to promote your content: 
OwnedWebsite (banner, pop-ups)Email marketingSocial media channelsCompany Slack communityIn-app notificationsPodcastCompany email signatures
PaidGoogle adsSponsored postsInfluencer marketingSyndication tools like Outbrain and Taboola
EarnedPRPartner networksPlacements on aggregator sites like HackerNews, and Reddit
  1. Monitor, measure, and optimize: Marketing managers need to experiment with different tools and platforms to identify which ones are working best for the brand, and use data to double-down accordingly.
  1. Repurpose, repurpose, repurpose: Get more mileage out of a single piece of content by repacking and reformatting it for distribution across different channels. There’s so much you can do with just a single asset. 

Image source: Quu

Content marketing tips for finance service organizations 

In this article, we’ve highlighted the most important elements and steps you need to take when thinking about finance content marketing in 2023. To wrap up, here’s a quick recap of top tips to make sure you’re going in the right direction:

  1. The internet is littered with lots of average content. When building out your finance content marketing strategy, keep in mind that each piece of  financial content you produce needs to be targeted, easy to understand, and valuable to your audience to make any sort of impact
  1. If you don’t invest in ideation, your content can become obsolete. Finance content marketers need to use a blend of SEO and social listening tools to ensure that they are creating evergreen and topical pieces that position their brand as a relevant and dependable financial company.
  1. Stay on top of content financial trends so that you are producing and sharing timely information. 
  1. Without a good distribution strategy, your financial content will not reach its potential. Use a mix of channels to reach a wider audience, and then use analytics to determine which avenues are working the best. 

Producing and distributing great content is tough. It requires strategic thinking, consistent tracking and optimizing, and creativity. But with a structured plan in place, you can create long-term, organic, and sustainable growth for your financial brand and business. Become so valuable to your prospects and customers that when it comes time to make a buying decision, their loyalty lies with you.

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Finance Content Marketing
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