Why banks struggle to create inspiring content - Banking blog

More than 70% of all prospects and clients look for banking products & services information online before making a purchase decision

This blogpost is the third in our five-part series on “Five strategic imperatives for marketing and sales executives in banking”.

Here’s a question for you: When was the last time you read a post or watched a video from your bank? Let’s pretend that you do remember – what did you think of it?

The answer is likely to be on a scale from “it was ok” to “I don’t remember”. And perhaps you don’t expect more – after all, it’s content from a bank and not The Economist, right?

This should be a wake-up call for banks, as our latest study reveals that more than 70% of all prospects and clients look for banking products & services information online before making a purchase decision.

Based on our experience planning and implementing various content creation and distribution initiatives for banks, we believe that talking about financial topics in simple terms and educating investors is key. Banks should aim to compete with top content creators and news outlets.

Why do banks struggle with that?

In Switzerland, having worked with most leading financial institutions, we see three main obstacles in retail banks, asset and wealth managers:

Issue number 1: Most content is created by economists – not marketers

Banking content is often created by economists or financial experts and contains jargon that is hard for the average reader to understand. Videos start with disclaimers instead of teasing information. This is understandable from a bank’s perspective: compliance requirements are important. But they also reduce the effectiveness of the original message and cause readers and viewers to lose interest. “The hook”, the initial moment that grabs audience attention, is crucial. For videos, this means the title, thumbnail picture and the first 3 to 5 seconds. If this precious space is used for redundant information, then audience engagement is doomed. So, why not start with a catchy hook and show the disclaimer at the very end of the video? It’s simple and effective.

What does good look like?

There are examples, such as Finimize, Morning Brew or Robinhood Snacks, which do an incredibly good job at breaking down complex financial topics into bite-sized and easily digestible content. By using simple, punchy headlines to make financial topics accessible and fun, they have managed to attract wide audiences and built sizeable communities of people who want to get more control of their finances – precisely the communities banks want to tap into.

Blog pic 1

Finimize , Morning Brew and Robinhood Snacks are leveraging different formats and channels to reach and entertain their community members.

Issue number 2: Lack of experience in creating digital content

From printing brochures to recording 30 second explainer videos on TikTok, banks nowadays must consider a broad range of channels and formats. While there is a great depth of knowledge on analogue means of communication, many banks have not fully embraced digital content and fail to use it to its fullest potential.

We often notice 1:1 copy and pasting of content across channels, ignoring different trends and expectations in specific channels and audiences. As with investing, a one-size-fits-all approach to digital content is not good enough. Embedding a 30-page research report on LinkedIn is not going to persuade investors to buy a financial product.

What does good look like?

A lot can be learned from banks that are already successfully winning new clients using online channels. Their key success factor is that they have found a clever and systematic way to sell online by tailoring content to the specific requirements of different channels. They attract clients’ attention with interesting taglines on social and advertising channels and lead interested prospects to their website to continue the sales journey. We have put together a matrix showing how to create digital content across the sales journey so that you can get started right away.

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Schematic representation of how and on which channels different content formats can be leveraged.

Julius Bär for example is especially effective at attracting the attention of potential customers with catchy content on a wide range of social, advertising and affiliate channels.

Issue number 3: Content production not optimised for speed

When market-moving news breaks, clients expect analysis of what this means for them and their portfolios. For example: What is the impact of a surprising election result on the local stock market? Or: A hot, new crypto currency gained massively – is this the next big thing? Maybe the Fed just hiked interest rates for the first time in a decade and the chief investment officer wants to give a quick statement.

Unfortunately, cumbersome internal processes are often obstacles to providing clients with a swift and meaningful response. Teams are not set up in a way to quickly create and approve market commentary – let alone package it in an engaging format. At present only very few banks interact with their clients over social media on an ad-hoc basis, largely because they lack appropriate processes, tools and a culture that tolerates fast responses.

What does good look like?

To create exciting digital content fast and tailor it to a different range of channels, a next generation content creation model is required. Based on our experience with Swiss banks, we have briefly outlined how the new process works and what tools are required to bring it into being.

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Schematic visualisation of the content creation model. Not exhaustive.

How does it work? To identify the next blockbuster story, insights are systematically collected from within the firm or directly from the market, by leveraging Social Listening or SEO Analysis tools. The most promising topics are grouped into an editorial plan and content will then be produced by topic in various forms: taglines, infographics, videos, full articles, paragraphs, soundbites, etc. These assets, best managed and stored within a Digital Asset Management platform, make up the content hub, from which different parts can be published flexibly by CMS or publishing tools, in channels like the blog on the website, newsletter and various social media platforms.

You want to know how to transform your bank into a content powerhouse? Here are 5 steps to get started:

1. Understand your audience/customers & what they care about

Start with user research based on a problem statement: Who is your target audience – what moves them? Where can you reach them?

2. Define your content strategy & plan your content calendar

Define the strategic, mid-term and ad-hoc topics where you can demonstrate expertise. How do you schedule the topics and what content do you need for each?

3. Produce raw content first & customise it based on your audience/customers

The economists and other financial experts work together with editors, content marketing specialists and creative designers. Based on the previous user research, each piece of content is tailored to a specific persona.

4. Distribute and engage with your community

Each channel requires a different approach. Digital asset management and community engagement tools should be considered to make content distribution for non-experts as easy as possible. Dedicated resources engage with the community and steer the public dialogue. We will deep-dive more into the topic Audience/customer Engagement in the next blog post in our five-part series, “Five strategic imperatives for marketing executives in banking”.

5. Optimise, measure & learn

Every single data point on interaction and engagement is helpful to continuously refine the content universe. How many people read the full article? How many shared? Commented? Social listening tools play an important part in providing guidance about trending topics.

Get in touch with us, and see how we can help you give your own clients the experience they really want – at every stage of their journey.

We acknowledge that changing the way content is created, packaged, and distributed across channels and touchpoints often means changing the way marketing organisations are set up today – and this can seem daunting. The first step is to define the target state, i.e., the full strategy including content, channels, ways of working and technology. Next, think about the trajectory towards that target state. How can you package elements of the target state into implementable sub-projects and execute step by step.

We have supported several Swiss financial institutions in reimagining how they produce and distribute content that impacts business growth. Reach out to us if you want to learn more.

 

Key contacts

Cyrill

Cyrill Kiefer - Banking Leader Deloitte Consulting Switzerland

Cyrill leads the Banking practice of Deloitte Consulting Switzerland and has more than 20 years of banking industry experience. His focus is the transformation of business models into the digital age for Swiss retail and private banks. His passion is the customer / bank interaction like "customer experience", "product and sales management", “digital marketing” and the corresponding operating models and technologies. He works primarily in the interface between business and technology and has successfully led various «end-to-end» transformation projects from strategy to go-live, including the technical implementation.

Email | LinkedIn

Jon

Jonathan Herrle - Customer Experience Strategy and Design Lead Deloitte Digital Switzerland

Jonathan Herrle leads the Customer Experience Strategy & Design offering in Deloitte Digital Switzerland and has over 12 years’ experience ranging across multiple industries, enabling him to transfer knowledge from one industry to another with a special focus on customer experience, business transformation and solution design.

He is an expert in Design Thinking, Human Centered Design, Agile and is a strong speaker and facilitator.

With his teams, he has won numerous high-profile design awards for outstanding digital experiences and solutions.

Email | LinkedIn

Benjamin

Benjamin Schmitt - Digital Product Development Lead Deloitte Digital Switzerland

Benjamin leads the digital product development offering in Deloitte Digital Switzerland and supports companies in their journey to become client centric and mobile first. His main area of focus is to ideate, design and deliver digital products for financial service providers that people love to use. He has more than eight years’ experience in consulting and in leading agile teams in the Swiss banking industry.

Email | LinkedIn

Joel

Joel Bont - Consultant Digital Experience and Innovation

As a former entrepreneur, Joel loves to build digital services from scratch. During his previous positions and assignments, he has guided several companies (including his own) through the entire innovation lifecycle – from understanding the needs and pains of customers through to launching new products and services on to the market. This has not only equipped Joel with a broad repository of innovation tools and methods but has also exposed him to a wide array of industries.
Recently, Joel has focused on financial services and provided support to various clients in understanding how technologies can be leveraged to improve customer experience and business success.

Email | LinkedIn

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