Marketing a new business is difficult whatever the service or product you're trying to supply. Making your voice heard in noisy marketplaces and prying customers away from established brands is a first hurdle many well-meaning enterprises never overcome.
Imagine then how hard it is when your new business provides a service which involves the handling of people's personal finances. To say the challenge is intensified, is somewhat of an understatement.
Undeterred by this reality, new banks and fintechs are emerging and many of them are doing rather well. A common thread amongst those new-starts enjoying successful beginnings is an approach to marketing their brand which deviates from the conventional.
Using the examples of social media and content marketing, we'll demonstrate how technology and communications continue to present new ways of delivering results.
It's safe to say that most of us get it now, social media can be a great platform for marketing a business. Heaven knows it doesn't need another blog. That said, some businesses just do it better than others and amongst those businesses are new players in
the finance industry.
A social media strategy has traditionally consisted of posting regular content deemed of interest to the target demographic, with as much customer interaction as the Marketing team can handle. This is a tried and tested approach and providing the content
is good quality, the posts regular without being intrusive, and the interaction helpful, it can produce healthy results.
However, there are better approaches still, and some of the latest entrants to the finance world are making full use of them. Take, for example, Starling Bank. This emergent player recently caused ripples by unveiling a mobile-only bank account with the
intention of returning full control of personal finances to customers via an entirely mobile-optimised service. In order to effectively market their new product to their intended demographic and hit app install and current account open targets, Starling zeroed
in on Facebook.
Their strategy began by deploying Facebook's software developer kit to track and measure user behaviour within their app. This facilitated a precise targeting of users allowing Startling to provide an optimised customer experience. Media efficiency was also
enhanced as ads were directed only to userswithouta Starling current account.
Facebook's software developer kit also enabled Starling to see which campaigns garnered the best results. Video ads for instance, were shown to perform better than static ads in driving app installs, so Starling ramped up their video ad output to further
meet this objective.
By combining tested, effective campaigns with a highly targeted audience, Starling were able to attribute 44% of new account opens in November 2017 to their social media initiative.
Much like the role of social media, the role of content in marketing campaigns has been subject to copious discussion. However, as with social media, newcomers to the world of banking and finance are finding novel ways of utilising content to produce compelling
results thereby creating new discussion points.
One such company forcing us all to think differently about how we approach content production is Manchester fintech, AccessPay. Founded in 2011, the faster payments firm have invested heavily in their content marketing output. This has included staple activity
such as regular online blogging, publishing of white papers and frequent contributions to online magazines. AccessPay though, in an unusual move for a new, digital-first financial technology company, did something else, they took some of their content offline.
In 2017 they released two books; The Little Book of Payment Horrorsand The Little Book of Big banking Changes. The books aimed to educate readers as to how the banking world was changing and how legacy payment procedures raised considerable risks for banks,
businesses and individuals alike. What made the books different to similar material on the market was the way they were written. The books maintained a playful, mischievous tone throughout which smoothed accessibility into complex topics neatly promoting their
own product along the way.
By maintaining a confident, regular online presence combined with their two books, AccessPay experienced a surge in qualified leads and adding a sizeable chunk to their sales pipeline.
A changing Marketing landscape
Marketing has always been an organic, fluid process in a constant state of evolution, adaptation and flux. Resisting change is a sure-fire way for companies to find themselves in the wake of their competitors. What the likes of Starling Bank and AccessPay
are showing us is that, though the channels we use remain fairly constant, how we use them changes all the time.
Social media and content marketing have become conventional marketing tools, but there are always novel ways value can be extracted from each. Indeed, this is true for all marketing tools and though word count precludes us from exploring them all, these
two examples prove the point that technology and communications provide endless opportunity for innovation, it's just about being brave enough to try something different.