Most financial advisers want more brand exposure for their financial website. We’ve all seen how other brands can “go viral” amongst their target market with their campaigns, so why can’t you?
In our experience, most IFAs don’t really want to “go viral.” Most are locally or regionally-focused smaller businesses, looking to build up a solid client base of higher-net-worth clients.
National brand exposure, therefore, isn’t usually on their radar. We understand that. A pension adviser in Newark, for instance, probably is most concerned with gaining wealthy clients in and around Nottinghamshire, not Hampshire.
If there were ways to build up the local or regional “virality” of your financial website, however, then in our experience most IFAs would be interested. Whilst we believe there are no hard-set formulas, there are certainly proven methods for creating highly successful content marketing campaigns.
What Sets Apart The Top Performing Financial Websites?
If we could name two things which distinguish effective IFA marketing campaigns online, then it would probably be this: emotional resonance and surprise.
In 2016, Moz published a study into 345 marketing campaigns and found this to be the case. Their most recent research expanded their analysis to 759 campaigns, covering 2013 to 2017. Again they assessed how the performance of marketing campaigns is affected by their attributes (e.g. timescales, audience size, emotionalism etc.). They found that:
- Over 70% of the “highly successful” campaigns had an emotional hook.
- 76% of these kinds of campaigns contained a surprising element.
Broad appeal did not really matter. On its own, this isn’t enough to produce highly effective marketing campaigns which significantly promote brand awareness for a financial website.
Let’s look at these two elements – emotional resonance and surprise – in a bit more depth:
#1 Emotional Resonance
Engaging human emotions is crucial for brand exposure, particularly on social media. If you have Facebook, then take a look through your news feed. What do you notice about the posts that have lots of likes, shares and comments? They are usually emotional in nature.
New births. Engagements. A funny video of two colleagues pranking each other at work.
Certain emotions work better than others for making your content marketing spread:
- Positivity. People like to feel good, so they’re more likely to engage with content which produces those emotions. People like to then share these things.
- Contrast. Having said that, people like emotional roller coasters. They’re highly engaging. So consider not just making your audience feel good with your content, but actually pairing different feelings together – such as sadness and inspiration.
- Limit Negative Emotions. Avoid making your readers dwell on negative feelings. Using negative emotions such as fear or anger should be carefully be paired with surprise, to work well.
It’s important to note that surprise is not the same as shock. You do not need to horrify your readers or audience in order to create novelty. Rather, find ways to bring newness with the content of your financial website. This might take the form of new data – i.e. “I didn’t know that!”
This approach can create intrigue, which draws human interest and encourages social sharing. Remember, this approach can also have the added benefit of putting your financial website in the sights of publishers and news outlets, who want exclusive stories.
Where Does Broad Appeal Fit In, Then?
Broad appeal, on its own, is unlikely to cause your marketing campaigns to propel your financial website into the limelight. That said, universal “like-ability” or appeal is important for getting your campaigns in front of as many viewers and readers as possible. If you appeal to wide audiences, then this can increase your media pickup rate by 38%, and your social shares by 96%.
This does, of course, present something of dilemma. Should you produce niche content which appeals to a more defined audience, or broadly-appealing content which allows you to fish in a bigger pond?
One way through this morass is to create tangential content. This is content which talks about a popular topic which relates to your vertical. It is possible, however, to also create widespread interest and engagement from niche topics and campaigns. We’ll explore this a bit later.
It would appear, then, that financial websites see the most success when they combine broad appeal, surprise and emotional resonance in their marketing campaigns. These campaign traits also open the door for strong headline potential, which encourages click-through-rates and links to your content.
Looking for some examples? Here are some from industries outside the financial sector:
- The surprising reason why most men cheat
- Here are the countries which post the meanest tweets
- More schoolboys smoke cannabis than binge drink
If you encountered these headlines in your news feed, it would be difficult NOT to click on these links wouldn’t it? If you can find ways to do this in your financial marketing, then you’re onto a winner.
Other Success Factors
Of course, simply including these three traits in your financial website and marketing is not going to guarantee success. There are other factors involved, and here are some of them:
- Outreach. Even if your content is amazing, you will not get much coverage if your outreach efforts are weak or ineffective. It’s a good idea, for instance, to find publishers who actually publish on the kinds of topics you’re dealing with, not pitching to long lists of general publishers.
- Credibility. Your data, opinions and prose need to be of the highest standard. Content with inaccuracies and questionable data are likely to undermine your brand’s reputation, and hurt your trustworthiness in the longer run.