How to Tame the Financial Services Content Beast: 5 Steps to Mapping Content to the Customer Journey

June 24, 2016

Today’s customers make it 90 percent of the way through the purchase journey before reaching out to brands, according to Forrester Research. In response, financial brands have ramped up their investment in content marketing. However, many are still struggling to define how much content they should produce, in what formats and through which channels to activate it. They are swamped in content.

One way to "tame the content beast" is to view content in the context of the customer journey. Join us for the "Tame the Content Beast: Putting Content in Context of the Customer Journey" webinar, which takes place on Thursday, June 30, at 11AM ET/8AM PT.

In the interim, here are our top 5 tips to meet the content challenge facing financial services marketers:

The 5 Stages

1.  Start by Identifying Your Priority Audience Needs

Whether you work with personas or audience segments, any planning should start with your audience. There are many persona templates available, but our one tip is to focus on their current problems and needs. If your content can help solve these, you are on your way.

2.  Map the Customer Engagement Journeys

Whether on your own, or working with sales and front line teams, map the ideal customer journey for each of these audiences. They might be radically different based on seniority or role in the purchase decision. This needn’t be set in stone; think of these journeys instead as hypotheses that your campaigns will inform over time.

3.  Prioritize Channels Accordingly

Avoid the temptation to spread your resources thinly across every available channel. Instead, laser focus your efforts on the priority channels identified in the customer journey map. And don’t just be blinkered by digital – consider events, face-to-face meetings and referral partner channels.

4. Choose the Most Effective Content Formats  

The thinking you’ve done on needs, journeys and channels should now naturally dictate the most appropriate content formats. In the "top of funnel," content is more likely to be pithy nuggets that attract the attention of potential customers. However, don’t ignore the power of long-form content in the lower funnel. For a great example of long-form content, see Amex’s "The Journey." Consider interactive formats and face to face tools.

5.     Let Contact Strategies Drive Your Calendar

Too often, content strategies are dictated by internal publishing calendars. Instead, look back at your customer journeys and map the ideal contact strategies to progress each sale or prospect. This should then dictate the cadence of your distribution strategy. It should also be driven by the buyer’s agenda, not your production milestones.

Sign up for the "Tame the Content Beast" webinar today to hear how financial services brands such as State Street, Nationwide and Legg Mason are tackling this. And to dive deeper into content marketing as a whole, download the Sophisticated Marketer's Guide to Content Marketing" ebook today!