Win With Financial Services Content Marketing

The financial services industry has significantly shifted its marketing methods within the past five years. Many other industries have as well, so the financial services content marketing is quickly seeing mass adoption.

Surveys show that 61% of CMOs expect to increase content marketing budgets in the coming year. Unfortunately, that also means financial services content marketing has saturated the online space. Therefore, this makes it even more difficult for them to get attention. What will work? Before we dive into strategies for success, let’s examine what used to work:

  • Newsletters. Content was typically delivered in a newsletter format much less frequently, such as monthly or quarterly.
  • The hard sell. Financial institutions tended to promote their products and services right off the bat.
  • Marketing to other businesses. The industry was much more focused on marketing to other businesses rather than to individuals.

That kind of approach simply will not work anymore. Here’s why:

  • Digital is more economical. To be seen, you must be online because that’s where potential customers are these days. Traditional marketing methods are too costly and do little to help you form a personal connection with customers.
  • Financial institutions must inform before they sell. People, especially millennials, don’t trust the financial services industry. That makes their trust especially difficult to win. The solution doesn’t involve sales pitches. It involves giving away knowledge and advice for free.
  • It’s getting very personal. The financial sector is taking a much more personalized approach to marketing, trying to appeal to individual customers with informative content that helps them solve problems.

Content marketing fits well into the new approach. Here’s how to make a financial services content marketing strategy shine:

Generic blog posts won’t cut it anymore

A blog title such as “10 Ways to Invest Wisely” might get to the point, but it’s not necessarily going to hold customers’ attention for very long. A better way is to consider different types of content that are fun, human and informative.

For example: This fun video series from Umpqua Bank is aimed at millennials. The videos address the lives of potential investors and speaks to why investing can be so pivotal. It also tells them what to do.

Or, 56 Sage Street, a fun interactive game from Barclays in the United Kingdom, teaches kids money management.

These content types are both educational and engaging, which benefits both the customer and the company.

Boost your SEO knowledge for financial services content marketing

  • Update your location in your meta descriptions.
  • Make sure your business is properly listed on Google.
  • Include local words in your header tags.

Consider a mix of content types

Beyond blog posts, consider:

  • Infographics.
  • Videos.
  • Podcasts.
  • Webinars.

Make sure your content is bolstered by effective social media and email marketing.

Use social media effectively

  • Listen to conversations about your brand to gauge customer sentiment.
  • Participate in conversations with current and potential customers.
  • Use their feedback as fuel for informative content.

Want more content help with financial services content marketing?

Tempesta Media‘s content experts, backed by a state-of-the-art content management system, can help you design a strategy for your business. Contact us to discuss your content marketing goals and how we can help.

Outsourcing Content Marketing in Regulated Industries – Part Four

Part three of our four part series discussed incorporating regulatory compliance into your content review process. Today, we will analyze outsourcing content marketing production in regulated industries. In addition, we will discuss the debate of creating content in house versus from an outsourced content marketing vendor.
A common question that occurs is how to create content with an outsourced marketing vendor. Even more commonly, we are asked whether it is possible to develop the best content for your business if it is in a highly regulated industry. The short answer is yes, it is possible. Tempesta Media has much experience creating content in the financial services, banking, investment, healthcare, pharmaceutical and many other highly regulated industries.

Writers with experience in highly regulated industries

Quality content is important, and there is a lot at stake for your company without it. That’s why the messaging must be correct, match your voice and meet your quality assurance checks.
Firstly, you’ll need a team of writers who have experience writing in your specific industry segment. They must understand the nuances in the language and the requirements associated within the copy. The writers need to have both the industry experience and the writing experience to meet your needs. Tempesta Media’s writer vetting and audition process makes up for both.

A style guide to capture your specific requirements and language preferences

A playbook for your writing team brings the writers up to speed on how the content should be written along with the goals you wish to achieve. This playbook also ensures that the content captures the necessary language. It stays away from language that wouldn’t meet your quality assurance requirements. Tempesta Media’s Voice ProfileTM is continuously optimized to achieve even higher quality content.

Unlimited revisions for the best content marketing in regulated industries

Content can be a soft science. With different perspectives and styles, a few revisions might be needed at first. These revisions improve the learning curve among your writing team and help to optimize your Voice Profile. Tempesta Media offers unlimited revisions with a quick turnaround.

Ways an outsourced content marketing firm improves your process

With that said, it’s important to bring in the content provider that you’re going to use as part of the editorial process and part of the review process. Content companies like Tempesta Media have many capabilities to lighten the load for the marketing department.

  • Use Tempesta Media’s interface to review content on the spot by different individuals that do approvals within the company.
  • Have one centralized source and one centralized workflow to reduce the amount of emails and tracking done internally.
  • Editorial calendar capabilities help make the life of content managers easier because they’re able to have experts help them craft the strategy for highly effective and relevant content.
  • With bundled content creation, Tempesta Media’s editing and plagiarism screening remove some of the workload for the content manager.
  • A vendor has one account manager instead of dealing with multiple editors, writers and software technologies.

The suggestions that we’ve provided are based on actual experience and working with customers who have been successful with their content marketing programs. Contact Tempesta Media to learn more about how we can scale content for your business.

Tempesta Media Opens Michigan City Office

MICHIGAN CITY, IN – September 3, 2019 – Tempesta Media is pleased to announce the opening of its office in the uptown area of Michigan City.

The new office will house sales, marketing and operations personnel. Michigan City was selected over several other locations.  Multiple cities in the Midwest were reviewed. The new office is part of the company’s long-term growth plan.

Michigan City’s location is ideal

Tempesta Media selected Michigan City over numerous other cities because of its assets and growth potential.  Michigan City is located less than three hours from multiple major city centers. Chicago, Indianapolis, Detroit and Milwaukee are all within reach.

The city is serviced by two rail networks — Amtrak and the South Shore.   Importantly, it is located near multiple international and regional airports.

A deep talent pool and disciplined governance foster growth

Multiple world-class universities are within 90 minutes of the city, including Purdue University,  the University of Chicago, Notre Dame and Indiana University.  Having access to top talent from these universities will help propel Tempesta Media’s growth.

The city, county and state governments operate with strong fiscal discipline. La Porte County, Indiana also has one of the lowest personal income tax rates in the Midwest.

Selecting the right location can mean the difference between sustainable growth and mediocrity.  Michigan City has the assets, talent and focus needed to truly prosper.

To learn more about Tempesta Media’s new office, please be sure to visit the Economic Development Corporation Michigan City’s website.

Thank you to Northwest Indiana businesses

Through the end of 2019, we would like to thank Northwest Indiana businesses by offering an exclusive content marketing program.

For more information, please call
(312) 371-0555 or visit TempestaMedia.com/Contact-Us

How Medium Affects Your SEO and Content Marketing

You most likely have heard of a site called Medium.com if you’re looking to develop a marketing strategy centered around content and SEO. It’s a platform designed for both new and experienced bloggers. The site’s simplicity is one of its major attractions for individuals and companies. You can open an account and start writing and publishing right away. It’s that easy to use.Therefore, how Medium affects your SEO and content marketing must be addressed.
Medium allows companies to get their content out there, but the way it affects your SEO and content strategy leaves something to be desired. By default, it adds a rel=”nofollow” to every HTML, telling the search engine that the source exists but is not identified.
Even with that concern, Medium still has something to offer businesses. In the following segments, we’ll break down pros and cons to determine how valuable a marketing tool the site is.

Breaking down Medium

Medium.com was founded by Ev Williams. The site is set up as a hybrid social media platform/CMS/online community. As it grew, an increasing number of businesses used it for their blogs and other content. However, just because other businesses use it doesn’t mean you should.
Advantages of blogging with Medium:

  • Medium has a beautiful and professionally designed site, making it practical for businesses to use.
  • It has high credibility thanks to its structure and growth, meaning content on the site is trusted.
  • You can import from anywhere on the web where you have blog content.
  • Your audience can come from your other social media platforms, allowing for built-in followers.
  • Engagement is real and measurable thanks to the focus on reading time and on how many readers read to the end.

Disadvantages of blogging with Medium:

  • To make it work, you must put in a lot of time that could be spent elsewhere.
  • Keyword cannibalization can occur even with the rel=canonical tag applied.
  • Building an email list is difficult, and your only options are call to actions or in-line forms. In-line forms are a no-go for those focused on SEO.
  • You don’t own Medium, so your company is subject to rule, site or terms of use changes that can affect your strategy.
  • Lack of available backlinks and the inability to expand an email list, among other concerns, means Medium offers no immediate SEO value.
  • Full use of the site requires a membership fee that is reasonable, but you’re still paying for something you don’t own.
  • You can’t post to your own site because all content must be original.

How Medium affects your SEO and content marketing

If SEO mastery or full ownership of your entire content marketing distribution is your goal, Medium is not the right fit. When possible, it’s always better to keep ownership in your hands, not in another company’s.
However, how Medium affects your SEO and content marketing is a big deal. No doubt Medium has plenty of uses for many businesses, especially if they want to increase their audience quickly or need a content-heavy site with minimal web development. Medium may be right for you if you are just starting and need help.
For more about creating content, contact Tempesta Media.

Right Steps for Marketers in Bad Political Climates

Today’s American political environment poses significant risks to marketers. Companies need to adjust their marketing programs to ensure that they don’t step on a political landmine from either side. Marketers in bad political climates need to take the right steps to avoid potential negative brand impact.
It used to be said that all publicity was good publicity. Given the recent blowback experienced by several high-profile companies over the last two years, that axiom may no longer be relevant. A single misstep can lead to lost revenue, layoffs and even bankruptcy.
Marketers need to adjust their programs accordingly. Here are a few tips that can help you minimize brand risk.

Step one: Add an extra, non-marketer pair of eyes

Marketing departments can sometimes be opinion echo chambers. Before creative is rolled out to the public, you should run your concepts by people within and outside of your organization, who don’t have a vested interest in the creative or marketing concept. They can provide you with a fresh perspective and potential “gut check,” which you may not get through focus groups or from other members of your marketing team.

Step two: Don’t take political views to work with you

Most Americans have some sort of opinion on the state of the country and its political leadership. Marketers are no exception.  However, those personal opinions need to be checked at the door. No matter how much you like or dislike a specific political party or politician, you need to stay objective. Chances are that a material portion of your target audience does NOT think the way that you do and will be deeply offended by your creative message, even though you may view it as innocent or funny. Don’t do it!

Step three: Focus on marketing value 

Media has become saturated with marketing messages. Your target market is inundated with calls, emails, advertisements and more. It can feel like an impossible mission to break through all the noise. It’s at this moment that marketers might want to use either overt or covert creative tying directly or indirectly into the political environment. Don’t do it!
Take the smart choice and focus on the benefits that your brand’s solutions (products or services) bring to your target market. More than ever, prospects want to be educated on your products and services. This is especially true with B2B considered purchases. Take the time to fulfill this need through content marketing.

Step four: Educate your audience with content marketing, not bad political climate

Depending on the type of content, content marketing can fulfill your marketing requirements across all stages of the inbound funnel – awareness, interest and action. For marketers who want to be able to stand head and shoulders above their peers, a frequently updated corporate blog is a good first step. With the right content specifically tailored to your targeted audience, along with regular posting frequency, you can quickly achieve the visibility that you desire. Importantly, you’ll be able to achieve it cost effectively while minimizing political risk.
When developing educational content for your blog, focus on answering key questions that your target audience has about your product/service. Case studies and Q&A blog posts are excellent content vehicles to do so.
At the end of the day, your job as a marketer is to drive brand awareness and bottom line revenue results in a manner that does not harm your company. Do it right and reap the rewards. Develop the right steps for marketers that are dealing with bad political climates. Then dip your programs into the political waters and swim at your own risk!

Content Marketing Industry Resources

Content marketing continues to be a critical component for corporate growth, so education is key to making sure that you are using the best practices. Listed below are several industry resources. They provide great insight on everything you need to know about competitive content marketing industries, as well as how to beat the competition.

Industry blogs to follow:

Chief Martech
This company provides new content every week or two, and they focus on the broader Martech industry, such as trends, data, software and insights for industry leaders. You can subscribe to have it delivered to your inbox.
HubSpot blog
HubSpot does an excellent job of talking about inbound marketing. For inbound marketing to be successful, exquisite original content needs to be created to support it. Here, you will find tips, tricks and research. They have different blogs that cater specifically to sales, marketing and customer success. You can subscribe to learn more.
Content Marketing Institute
This website is hard core content marketing 24/7. If you want to go deep into the world of content marketing, this is the place you want to be. Select “email updates” from the top of the menu to have the latest research, suggestions and industry trends sent to your inbox.
Tempesta Media’s blog
We are always sharing the most cutting-edge trends to ensure success for our customers. We have numerous pieces that target different aspects of content marketing such as strategy, development, promotion and analytics.
eMarketer
EMarketer puts out a steady stream of research and industry statistics, including content marketing. When signing up for their newsletter, we recommend selecting eMarketer Daily.

More industry blogs to follow:

Adotas
The articles you’ll find here are broader than just content marketing. They cover digital marketing. However, they have a strong following, and they frequently feature very relevant and salient content marketing insight. If you would like to get a broader understanding of how content marketing fits into the broader digital marketing space, look no further.
Content Marketing Land
Again, this is another broader website that covers content marketing within the context of digital marketing. You can also sign up for their newsletter to focus just on content marketing content (no pun intended).
Entrepreneur
This venerable publication has an entire section of their website focused solely on content marketing. The content featured here is really geared toward the SMB executive – our target audience.
The Drum
The name is thought by some to be an agency joke, but the content is serious and valuable. Keep in mind that the content written here is focused on ad agency executives. In terms of customer success, content found that supports recommendations you provided to the agency customers will resonate well. This site has name recognition for that audience.

How Google News Can Double Your Content Marketing Results

Why incorporate Google News into your content strategy

Google News is an excellent way to use content marketing because it provides key points and statistics that will drastically improve a company’s engagement on a content marketing item. The site gives the firm updated and recent news from around the world.

To see it, type “Google News” in the Google search bar and click on it again when it pops up as the first search option. You can automatically receive Google News alerts by following these steps:

  • Click on Google Alerts Page.
  • Type in a search term to track.

  • Click “Show options” (below the search box) and pick the perferred option.

  • Pick a source for alerts.

  • Pick the language and region.

  • Decide how many results to see: “all results” or “only the best results.”

  • Pick a delivery email address (the location where Google will send alerts).

  • Click “Create alert.”

Since Google News is a huge database of articles and statistics, it can make content marketing much more legitimate and factual. In turn, this helps to build a company’s overall credibility with its audience.

New topics show trends

To generate new topics on Google News, simply type keywords that relate to the content you are looking to develop. That will display a variety of related topics for you to explore.

For example, if you are looking to write content about a cooking service, there are many keywords that can be associated with that topic, such as “meat,” “cooking” and “recipe”.

By using Google News alerts in conjunction with the company’s niche, the topics will remain relevant because they refer to the trends at that immediate moment in time. Being timely also helps improve your search engine optimization (SEO).

Want to learn how to drive SEO traffic to a company and increase its rank? Check out Tempesta Media’s guide.

Trending topics

Taking the process a step further, for a big boost to content marketing efforts, a company may want to create content that generates traffic from trending topics. Those can be found simply by typing “trending news” in the Google search and seeing what popular news shows up.
Another technique is to learn to figure out what keywords those articles are using so your company can use them for its own content marketing and generate more traffic.
Tempesta Media has a team of experts who can help companies seeking the advantages of content marketing. Learn more about Tempesta Media’s content marketing services and find out how we can help you attract more customers.

Content Marketing Requires More Project Management Time Than People Realize

To reap the rewards of content marketing, companies must invest serious time, often without seeing significant return on investment (ROI) until the next fiscal year. Still, the payoff is worth the wait, whether a company seeks to acquire new customers, increase brand awareness, improve its reputation, increase traffic to its website or achieve some combination of those goals.
A quality content marketing program requires time, resources and someone to manage it efficiently. Statistics are improving, but still only 42% of marketers say their company does content marketing well. Pushing content marketing management onto an employee who’s already got other full-time responsibilities won’t do.
A successful content marketing program requires talent and organization at every phase of creation and implementation. The tasks involved include:

Determining how you’ll create a content strategy

In order to be most prepared, figure out an estimated time and the positions that may be needed to successfully implement your content strategy. This includes what will be incorporated in the strategy, how much time the strategy will take to develop and who will need to be involved in the strategy development.
Positions that may be needed include content strategist, managing editor and data analyst.
Great content marketing programs aim to:

  • Give the audience information that helps accomplish their goals.
  • Help their audience solve problems.
  • Contribute meaningfully to the conversation.
  • Demonstrate they care about the audience.

Essentially, the company is creating the “why” behind its content. That requires good customer data about what they want, what makes them tick and what motivates them. The research required to answer those questions is ongoing, so the strategy can and should change quickly to accommodate audience needs. That requires at least one person consistently focused on strategy.

Implementing the strategy

Estimated time: At least two FTEs
Positions that may be needed: content writers/producers, SEO/SEM specialists, social media specialists, email marketing specialists and bloggers.
Implementing a content strategy involves:

  • Selecting the types of content to create.
  • Developing content.
  • Evaluating content for relevance and timeliness.
  • Reviewing and editing content for accuracy.
  • Distributing content via a website, social media, email, etc.

The average blog post takes about one to two hours to write. Every minute of video footage can take up to two hours to edit. Keyword research also takes significant time. Add in time for reviews, approvals and distribution, and the time for those tasks quickly adds up.

Coordinating creation and implementation of a content strategy requires stellar project management

With the right tools and people, a great content marketing program is within reach. But, it doesn’t require a big brand to make it happen. Follow these tips to make your content marketing strategy as successful as possible:
Automate as much as possible. Use a social media scheduling tool or content marketing platform that integrates with WordPress to save time and energy.
Develop a content marketing calendar. This serves as a home base for all content marketing efforts and helps the company distribute content more effectively.
Consider hiring a full-time content marketing position. At least one person dedicated to the cause full-time can help drive the strategy forward and get what’s needed from the team.
Consider outsourcing. Another economical choice is to outsource the job to a capable company that can help create and implement a content marketing strategy from start to finish. TempestaMedia provides an all-inclusive managed service that delivers quality content while helping customers save time. Call today to learn more.

Incorporating regulatory compliance into your content review process – Part 3

Last week we discussed assigning ownership to ensure that the content gets reviewed in a timely matter. Today’s focus is about reviewing content in highly regulated industries.

Regulatory compliance reviews content to avoid legal ramifications

A challenge facing many U.S. companies who wish to ramp up their content marketing efforts is passing compliance in highlight regulated industries. Examples of highly regulated industries include health care and  financial services industries industries. For example, in the financial space, companies may not be able to recommend specific investing advice. In this case, every single blog article that is created has to go through a regulatory review process either internally or externally.

Delineate who reviews the content and all expectations

The person who makes sure that the company is in compliance must have content review responsibilities specifically delineated to them. If reviewing content is not part of their mandate, often times that content will never get reviewed in a timely fashion. This is a perfect example of how reviewing content holds up the entire process.
Make sure that point person understands:

  • Why the content must be reviewed
  • What they are reviewing the content for
  • How much content they should expect to review on a weekly or monthly basis
  • Why your organization is creating content
  • What the goals are associated with the content

When someone understands the overarching purpose, they are more likely to work with you.

Review content at once instead of one article at a time

Another tip we recommend for companies in a highly regulated environment is to batch content together so the articles can be reviewed at one time instead of on an ad hoc basis. In this case, the content managers bundle the content together in a batch format allowing that individual to review everything at one time and make the changes as necessary. Our experience shows that this improves companies ability to increase content development and meet required deadlines.

Use editorial calendars to meet deadlines

Editorial calendars are a great way for companies to stay on top of their deadlines and work cross functionally with multiple departments. The editorial calendar should be established before the content is even created. Creating content in an ad hoc fashion can lead to headaches when seeking approval and maintaining a good cadence of new articles. A defined editorial calendar the has buy in from all parties involved (subject matter expert, any executives who require sign off authority, compliance, and the content marketing manager) means everyone is playing from the same playbook.
A transparent timeline where everyone knows when content the content will be ready and must be reviewed minimizes confusion. Most importantly, it makes the process more seamless so there is more room for success.
Next week we will look at whether content in highly regulated industries can outsource the content development. Want to review samples, request examples of content we’ve written in your industry.

How much to spend on your content marketing program

The percentage of your budget that is spent on content marketing must reflect the split between brand based marketing and the direct response based marketing.

“Most marketers are allocating anywhere between 25 and 49 percent of their marketing budget towards content marketing on the B2B side,” Michael Marchese, Founder & CEO of Tempesta Media.

And specifically the Content Marketing Institute’s 2018 B2B content marketing trends report, cited that in North America, the average spent across all B2B companies on content marketing was 26 percent. This number is only continuing to grow.
If you bifurcate the data between companies who were successful in their marketing programs and those that weren’t successful in their marketing programs, there was a start difference. Companies that were most successful were actually allocating close to 40 percent of their overall marketing budget on content marketing. Companies who allocated the least amount of their budget to custom content struggled the most.
An important take away is that content marketing requires skin in the game to be successful, and truly see results.
So when you’re trying to develop your content marketing budget, keep several things in mind:

  • What you’re trying to achieve
  • How you’re trying to allocate your marketing budget
  • Content marketing best practices
  • Keeping up with your competition

For questions about how to keep up with your competition, contact Tempesta Media.

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