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5 Key Considerations when Building a Marketing Strategy for Your Fintech Startup

Powered by a developing regulatory framework, fast emerging technology, ESG awareness, and the continuing consolidation of the financial sector, the fintech industry is transforming at a rapid pace. As the landscape continues to change, it’s important that new startups are aware of the marketing challenges that they face. 

Although online trading and investing platforms continue to grow in popularity, regulatory challenges pose constant problems for marketers in promoting leveraged investment products in such a risky environment. 

With this in mind, fintech differs significantly from more traditional product categories. As a result, many marketers face the challenge of producing content that’s compliant, transparent, informative, and entertaining. 

Despite these challenges, and the widespread stock market losses experienced by fintech firms in late 2021 and 2022, we can see in the Invesco KBW Nasdaq Fintech UCITS ETF, the UK’s largest exchange-traded fund for finance technology, that the industry is largely correlating upwards. This is down to the growth of an industry in which essential tools are emerging at a rapid pace. 

With this in mind, marketers can reap the benefits of working in a growing market that’s forecasted to attain a CAGR of 19.5% through to 2030. But how can they build impactful campaigns for fintech startups in a landscape that experiences more regulatory scrutiny and a greater emphasis on ESG? Let’s take a look at five key approaches to navigate the tricky fintech landscape:

1. Look to Responsible Gamification

Much has been made of gamification in the fintech industry. In an ESG-focused industry, how firms implement gamification strategies can be highly controversial. 

For instance, investing platform Robinhood continually faced scrutiny over what critics suggested was gamification features, and was forced to remove a confetti feature on its app which was used to celebrate a user purchasing a stock. Ultimately, Robinhood was handed a $70 million fine from the securities industry’s self-regulator for misleading customers as the result of what was deemed a ‘series of failures’. 

Despite this, gamification can be a powerful marketing tool for fintech startups that are capable of utilizing gameplay principles and game design elements in a responsible way. 

With this in mind, marketers can use gamification tools to hold contests and give prizes to users, offer reward points for referrals or completed purchases/transactions, create quizzes, puzzles, and visual games to liven up content and make it more shareable. 

Gamification has long been a popular means of generating a buzz around new financial products. For instance, when UK challenger bank Monzo introduced a waiting list for the launch of its banking app, the only way that users could advance their place in the queue was to refer more friends–introducing a socially competitive element to the app’s launch.

2. Embrace AI and Machine Learning

Artificial intelligence is making waves throughout the fintech industry, and is continually providing startups with the tools they need to succeed during those delicate early months and years. However, there are many ways that AI can directly improve the marketing efforts of fintechs, too. 

There are also many different areas of AI that we can refer to when it comes to improving the fintech landscape, and these concentrations can include: 

  • Machine learning

  • Natural language processing (NLP)

  • Computer vision

  • Generative AI

  • Forecasting and optimization

One of the most widespread use cases for AI within marketing is through the implementation of virtual assistants, or chatbots. These chatbots can create meaningful interactions with customers and intelligently communicate with them to smooth the acquisition process, introduce new products, and act as a query response tool by anticipating responses. 

Artificial intelligence is also excellent at delivering actionable insights into campaign performance, and can perform well in informing your marketing strategy through integrated online tools like Google Analytics.

3. Conscious Branding

The fintech landscape can be a congested place with the technology supporting the industry seemingly growing by the week. This makes it even harder for marketers to stand out from the crowd and work on branding that can win new customers. 

With many fintech startups using similar approaches when it comes to branding, it certainly pays to get creative and bold. However, in a regulatory-conscious industry, it’s also important to stay inclusive, balanced, and considerate. 

Unlike in many industries, it’s not unusual for brands to change names when the timing’s right and the market opportunity is there. This was famously the case for TransferWise, which simply became known as ‘Wise’ in 2021. 

This can be a strong approach for brands starting out in the competitive world of fintech. Beginning life with an unmistakable name can help to build your identity and the trust of customers, then when you grow, shorten your name to something that can be universally recognisable without the risk of becoming too difficult to find. 

It’s important that you keep this in mind when going through ideas for your website. Should data suggest an opportunity is available, make sure that your branding is capable of changing to suit the landscape.

4. Transparency is Key

We’re living in a post-pandemic society where economic headwinds have been strong in recent months. This means that supporting customers with their finances is essential for fintechs, and it’s certainly worth marketers highlighting what their firm or client is doing to help. 

In the United Kingdom, the rise of Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) has caused further unease, with the Woolard Review claiming that the industry represents “significant potential for consumer harm”.

According to Attest research, many consumers would be happy to see new industry regulations like credit checks and greater transparency introduced to this area of the landscape. In fact, 49% of BNPL users believe that they would be willing to spend more because they would feel more comfortable. 

This shows that welcoming greater transparency around a fintech firm can not only be great for building customer trust, it may also lead to financial products being used more frequently than before.

5. Keep Your Content Rich

Finally, it’s time to cover the most important area of digital marketing across just about any industry: content. Whether you’re aiming to reach a new audience, promote a new service, or nurture your leads, content is always king. 

There are many ways that innovative content can be utilized in the fintech industry, and these can include:

  • Video explainers

  • Blog posts

  • Podcasts

  • Thought-leader videos

  • Product demonstration videos

  • eBooks

  • Email marketing

  • Customer testimonials

  • User-generated content

  • Infographics

  • Knowledge base articles

  • Guest posts

Your content should be geared towards your buyer personas, which will detail exactly who your target audience is and what they’re likely to be interested in. Discovering your target audience’s online habits can illuminate just how you can appeal to them. 

It can be advantageous to use your own data to craft your content. Look at your audience FAQs around your product, and the industry’s biggest ongoing pain points. Is a recurring customer problem capable of being solved within an explainer video? Or could a fresh viewpoint add value in an eBook? It’s these approaches that can help you to win more engagements in return for your content. 

With added SEO considerations, it’s possible to use content to appeal to customers and showcase your transparency and trustworthiness. 

In an industry that’s increasingly regulatory and ESG conscious, your campaigns can benefit from taking a more measured and considerate approach. But with the right tools and audience insights, your campaigns can be just as impactful as ever.

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