These days, having a strong content marketing strategy is key to any organization. This holds equally for financial institutions. It’s all too easy to churn out multiple blogs about random topics. However, are those topics relevant to the reader?
Of course, the drive of any marketing strategy is to sell. Yet, if your bank can’t provide excellent service to its customers, it isn’t succeeding in its primary purpose. What does providing excellent customer service look like? Essentially, it’s about relieving their challenges and pain points and giving them solutions to their problems.
Helping customers and potential customers to identify the challenges they face is the key to successful marketing. When you identify those challenges, it’s then possible to find ways in which your bank can address them. As a result, you can add value to your content by helping customers to solve their problems.
Problem – Solution – Content
There is a helpful formula that can help with this: Problem – Solution – Content.
Once you know who your customers are, you can identify their main pain points. You can then move onto the next step – working out how your products and services address those pain points. You can then translate this into engaging content that interests and informs the reader. With the right title and keywords, this quality content will reach a wider audience. It will also help to turn leads into customers.
The Content/Leads Relationship
Organizations of all kinds need to find ways to improve their online leads’ quality. To solve problems, you can harness tools, such as videos, blogs, and white papers. Yet, it’s important to ensure that the content you create isn’t just more noise. There’s a lot of content on the Internet today. People are accessing this content more than ever before. Therefore, it’s vital to make sure yours stands out.
Utility content is solution-based. With blog posts, web content, social media posts, and ebooks, solving customer problems is key. Determine what your organization can offer that a customer cannot find by searching on Google. Share expert advice and tips with customers rather than pushing out identical information he or she can find elsewhere.
Continually, organizations see success from solution-based content marketing strategies. Eighty-five percent of companies believe high-quality content is contributing to their success. So, what does quality content look like? How can you harness this potential to benefit your financial institution?
Your organization is unique in its sector. Therefore, the content that you create must form part of this. It shouldn’t be just about jargon and sales speak. It should talk directly to customers and would-be customers to address their requirements.
Taking your expertise and knowledge and applying it to your customers’ questions is imperative. With a unique perspective and insight, you can provide content nobody else can. Content that makes your readers feel gratitude for your help is the content you’ll need for your blog.
To this end, you must write your content with a clear purpose in mind. Readers must walk away from it, taking away something useful. So blogs, for example, should offer solutions to customers’ problems. White papers can go in-depth with implementable solutions. Meanwhile, videos can inform and educate using visuals.
There is more than one outlet for creative and engaging solution-based content. Yet, the concept behind all types remains the same. Informing and interesting readers and addressing their concerns and demands is at the heart of success.
Solution Selling As A Strategy
During the 1980s, a strategy known as “solution selling” was popular. This involved identifying a customer’s problem and then addressing it with one of the organization’s products or services. It is this same strategy that applies to content marketing. Pinpointing the customers’ issues is still key to successful content marketing. However, rather than promoting products in face-to-face sales, content marketing involves subtly showcasing those products through blog posts and articles.
Of course, not every customer knows that he or she has a problem. This, in turn, means he or she may also not know what the problem looks like. It also means the customer doesn’t understand how important it may be and that he or she should address it. Your blog posts and content can harness this potential. Not only can they help customers understand their situations, but they also help them react to it.
Getting Started with Solution-Based Content
There are three basic steps to getting started with solution-based content.
First, identify your customer’s primary pain points. This allows you to target customers effectively and present your solutions.
Second, determine which of your products or services address those pain points. How can they assist customers with the issues they experience? How can you help them to overcome the challenges they face?
Third, create content that answers their questions and addresses their pain points and problems. This content must highlight how your products and services can help them to overcome their challenges. By including keywords and an emotive writing style, it’s possible to reach not only existing customers but also new ones.
Every financial institution’s customers will have some of their unique pain points. But many will be common across the industry. The bar chart above shows some of the most common banking customer pain points. These can form the early basis of an effective content marketing strategy.
Yet, institutions must put in a lot more work into the process of determining pain points.
The content you give your customers should answer their commonly asked questions. This is the best way to ensure you have engaged and interested your readers in what you have to say. It’s also the best way, in turn, to sell the products and services you provide to address those questions.
So, how do you know what customers are asking? The answer is simple. Listen to them. It’s only through questioning and inquiring that you will be able to gain an understanding of their needs and wants.
How to Find Out Your Customers’ Pain Points
It may sound simple to identify your customers’ pain points, but how do you go about doing this? How can you effectively question them and get the answers you need?
There are several ways to do this:
- Survey customers. While this can be an effective option, it can also be problematic. Sending surveys to customers doesn’t mean that customers will always respond. Also, you need to ask the right questions. Surveys should be relatively simple to prevent customers from giving up in frustration. Yet, there should also be an option to allow customers to volunteer more detailed information. Asking them directly about the problem they were attempting to solve provides vital details that you can harness for content.
- Talk to your customer-facing teams. One way to find out what your customers want is to listen to those who deal with them daily. Staff members who are in frontline services are best-placed to tell you what the main issues of the customers are.
- Read online reviews. Reviews of your organization can help you identify pain points easily. What are customers writing on social media or review websites? This will show you what they’re struggling with. You can then use this information to create content that addresses those issues.
- Check your competitors. Another way to identify customer pain points is to find out what problems your competitors’ customers face. Read their blog posts, and check their reviews, too. This helps to pinpoint the issues that are common to your industry.
It’s never easy to identify customer pain points. Yet, although making assumptions seems to be an easy option, it’s not the best one. You must understand your customers’ thoughts and needs to know which issues you need to address. You can only do this by listening to them. Therefore, take steps to listen and hear. You can then utilize this data to further your content strategy.
Fueling Your Content
Now that you have an idea of your customers’ pain points, you must use this to fuel your content. You can achieve this by writing blog posts that focus on topics mentioned by customers.
So if, for example, customers are asking questions about refinancing, it’s clear that you should cover topics about refinancing. Articles about how to refinance or how much equity people can have taken out of their property are good examples.
Injecting Problem Solving into Content
As you can see above, consumers want to get to know companies through articles and custom content, not advertising. So, how can you get started with injecting problem-solving strategies into your content marketing? Here are eight helpful tips.
- Creating How-To Content – How-to posts are a popular choice for content marketing. Their purpose is to solve customers’ problems. In this type of content, you should give actionable advice. Readers need to walk away knowing at least one way to solve their problems.
- Creating Lead-Generating Offers – Helpful content shouldn’t end with a blog post. You must convert that reader traffic into leads. You must create lead-generating content to help readers achieve success.
- Sourcing Problems that Feed Content – As we’ve pointed out, the topics for your content must come from the customers.
- Monitoring and Responding to Inquiries – Social media platforms are valuable ways to connect with customers. As part of this, monitoring and responding to inquiries through such platforms is important. An active social media presence contributes to your organization’s reputation as a problem solver and thought leader. This not only helps to inform future content but also boost your institution’s reputation.
- Optimizing for Long-tail Search Keywords – Long-tail keywords are a major component in any content strategy. They give marketers excellent opportunities when they want to create content that is solution-based. Most long-tail keywords focus on interrogative questions. This makes it easy to create posts and articles that are helpful to customers and attract readers. Centering content around question-based long-tail keywords allows customers to view you as a helpful marketer rather than a salesperson. It also helps your organization to achieve a higher place in the search engine rankings while reaching niche markets. When those keywords provide answers to evergreen problems, you can be sure you’ll have organic, ongoing traffic.
Nurturing Leads –When solution-based, quality content is in place, you need to use it to nurture leads. You can send e-mails to customers based on the problems they’re experiencing and point them to your relevant content
As you can see above, consumers want to get to know companies through articles and custom content, not advertising. So, how can you get started with injecting problem-solving strategies into your content marketing?
Making Content Count
Your content must give your customers value. It should help to bring them relief from their problems. Not only should it bring new customers to your organization, but it should also keep existing ones happy.
It’s tempting to fall into the selling trap. Trying to emphasize the services and products that you’re trying to sell is, after all, the purpose of marketing. However, counterintuitive as it may seem, this is something you should avoid in your content.
Customers don’t want to read a long advertisement for your brand. They want to read something that interests, engages, and inspires. You need to show them how you can solve their problems with your products. The best way to do this is to show them you understand their problems in the first place.
Taking a step back to consider what you’d want to know as a customer could be helpful. Forget about what you think readers may want to hear. Providing solutions, not just products, isn’t just good marketing practice. In fact, it’s the best way to engage with modern customers in today’s increasingly competitive financial marketplace.
One of the best ways to harness the power of solution-based content is to use a professional content writing company. When you have the skill and experience of content writing professionals, it’s possible to engage, inspire, and reach the widest audience. It’s also possible to establish a stronger brand reputation within a competitive marketplace and set your organization ahead of the crowd. With a talented team on board, you can generate content that will achieve your selling goals subtly yet effectively.
About The Author:
Shondell Varcianna is the founder of Varci Media. A content writing agency that writes content for financial institutions. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more blog writing tips, check out The Ultimate Blog Content Checklist – 10 Keys to Blog Content Success at www.varcimedia.com/checklist