The Content Imperative
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Image source: Lloyds

Retail banks investing in content marketing

| 22 February 2016

We all know that good content marketing can make a real difference to how your brand is perceived and can potentially influence consumer decisions. This relates to retail banking just as much as any other sector - even more so if you factor in the importance of trust when it comes to our finances.

Retail banks are accordingly looking to content marketing to build customer relationships and solidify trust in their institutions. We look at three different approaches:

Lloyds - Through the Ages

Brand storytelling. Whatever your definition, its core principle is unwavering: to present your brand as being more human and more relevant to your customers by using content that tells stories.

Lloyds has recently been doing just this, reinforcing the heritage and history of the bank in a simple, creative way by overlaying ‘old’ photos of banks over a modern background. This is clearly an effort to cement trust in the institution, whilst simultaneously demonstrating creative prowess to the youth audience. Moreover, its showcasing the inherent ‘Britishness’ of the bank, with outlets from Cornwall all the the way through to Cumbria - there’s something for everyone.

To tell stories in the right way you have to be prepared to flex your content marketing strategy. That is, adapting content to the audiences’ behaviours. This could mean changing tone and messaging to communicate in a meaningful (and sometimes, emotive) manner. Lloyds are succeeding at that.

ANZ New Zealand - Dream Big

During the Cricket World Cup (CWC), New Zealand retail bank ANZ employed a brand storytelling campaign, “Dream Big”, to cut-through the marketing noise on social and beyond.

Rather than focusing exclusively on the main event, the bank brought its Black Caps (NZ cricket team) sponsorship to life by travelling around the country upgrading facilities at various cricket grounds, showing its support for grassroots sport. Each of these refurbishments were filmed then seeded out on social, providing shareable content that quickly spread around country and led to a combined total of over 2 million likes, shares and comments for the brand. The bank then went a step further, asking New Zealanders to submit their #DreamBig goals during the CWC, even making a select few come true.

The whole campaign was focused on extending the usual sponsorship activity. By adding the storytelling skew, the bank was able to connect with its customers - and indeed, potential customers - on a very personal level. Moreover, as ANZ didn’t sponsor the CWC itself, this was a clever example of the bank muscling in on the territory of its competitors, who no doubt paid hefty sponsorship fees.

RBS - Apple Pay & Trending Tech

With a vast swathe of Apple Pay users being defined as “Millennials”, RBS spotted an opportunity to connect with their younger (and potentially highly engaged) audience.

Over a short series of 4 videos on Facebook, RBS celebrated the launch of Apple Pay by showing a tutorial on adding Apple Pay to an RBS account and created some ‘funny’ scenario-based videos. The subjects of these shorts were real customers, therefore demonstrating the bank’s connection with its customers, their experiences and their needs.

These shorts were insightful and crucially, useful. For the Millennials, social media is seen as an information platform; they demand value in the content that they’re consuming. Layer some humour/brand personality on top and you’re onto a winner.

This example is indicative of RBS’s overarching content marketing strategy, particularly skewed to the Millennials on social. Their clear demonstration of understanding for emerging and trending technologies is progressive and a benchmark for other retail banks.

 

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