Why Financial Technology Marketing and Growth Strategy Matters
The use of Financial Technology (Fintech) has heralded a new era of global trade. As we straddle the old and new paradigms, the characteristics of the burgeoning financial frameworks are still very much up for discussion. How do you regulate new technology that there has been no precedent for before this moment? How do you keep assets safe in a world of cybercrime? How do you market new products the likes of which have never been heard of by their future users?
Startups are racing to answer these and other questions as the Fintech industry booms with investment. And they are right to do so. Investment in Fintech funding reached US $31 billion in 2017 (KPMG) and is set to rise.
While the Financial Technology sector is galloping at quite a pace, it is simultaneously still learning to walk. For this reason, it is vital that comprehensive marketing and business growth strategies are employed by new and more established players alike to ensure that startups do not fizzle out as quickly as they start to shine.
The question is, what does contemporary Fintech advertising look like? Can the same strategies be employed that are used in other industries today? Is it as simple as identifying the current marketing trends and copy-pasting them onto the Financial Technology world?
The answer is yes and no.
Let’s have a closer look.
Fintech Growth and Marketing Strategies
Unique kinds of innovation require unique advertising and sales strategies.
The good news is there is evidence to suggest that we have moved past the “hype phase” of Fintech adoption. This means that while you still have to assuage the fears of consumers, the trends are pointing toward a positive environment for startups. Essentially, people are more and more willing to engage with Financial Technology innovation.
According to an EY report, we are currently sitting on a global consumer adoption rate of 33%. This means that, for a sector characterized by innovation, there is evidence to suggest that the market is far from adverse to it. Consumers worldwide are displaying a willingness to adapt to this new paradigm.
While Fintech marketing challenges exist, rising to them is not without its potential for revenue rewards.
As the industry develops, so do strategies that are specifically relevant to the field. Through a combination of research and our own experience as a marketing agency, we’ve come up with these vital elements that should be part and parcel of any financial technology marketing and growth strategy.
Here they are.
8 Important Tips for Fintech Marketing and Growth Strategy
1. Know Thy Worth
This may sound simple, but it is imperative that you get this right. Quite simply, it boils down to the fact that if you don’t know the value of the services you bring, you will not be able to convince anyone else that they need them—especially when you’re dealing with a market that is based on brand new innovation.
Our advice would be that before you do anything else, refine your value proposition. Decide what it is that you bring to the table, and why your clients need your services. Make it as clear as possible. This will be the ideological HQ from which all your other business growth efforts flow.
2. Work within the bounds of your jurisdiction’s rules
In his article for Forbes magazine entitled The Fintech Boom and Bank Innovation, Falguni Desai outlines, “The relatively high level of regulation surrounding financial services is the same worldwide and for good reason. Financial services, after all, handle people’s assets, retirement savings and hard-earned salaries.”
It is this regulatory element that dictates that Fintech have a very special relationship with innovation. While you can be creative with the products you create, they still have to remain compliant with the legal frameworks they operate within. What makes this even more challenging is our globalized world is composed of different regions, each with their own set of rules.
You get it—you have to operate within the bounds stipulated by local and federal financial regulation to act ethically and grow and retain your client base.
Rather than seeing this as an obstacle, look at it as an opportunity. Use your knowledge about Fintech regulation in your area to leverage your business by positioning yourself as an expert in the field—and use content marketing to do it, as you’ll see in Tip 3.
Have a look at Philip Perry’s Big Think article, “Why Imposing Restrictions can Actually Boost Creativity” to see how regulation may just be an entrepreneur’s best friend. Having restraints provides problems that you need to seek solutions to. Very quickly, you become an authority, simply by understanding an industry pain point and how to solve it legitimately.
3. Use content marketing as a teacher
It’s no secret that content marketing is a cornerstone of any successful digital marketing campaign. As an SEO agency, our work is to provide relevant content to searchers that answer their questions about specific topics, while at the same time drawing traffic to businesses. When used effectively, this is our single most powerful tool in our toolbox. (The statistics speak for themselves—90% of companies currently use content marketing to generate leads.)
But how does this apply specifically to the world of Fintech? It comes down to one word—education. As we have discussed, regulation is one of the defining features of the Fintech sector. Content marketing is an excellent conduit to inform both businesses and individuals alike about how regulations work in a particular jurisdiction and, of course, how your products fall inline with it.
Added to this, content marketing can assauge your clientele’s fears about the broader adoption of fintech.
Content marketing comes in all shapes and sizes. One of the methods we have found particularly effective as a Fintech marketing strategy is creating informative downloads—not only as a lead generation tool, but also as a means of answering the questions that might plague an audience new to the fintech sector. Think big with your content. White papers and comprehensive guides are a great place to start.
4. Create keywords for people who are not entering the right ones
At the base of any successful SEO strategy is keyword research. This can be a straightforward enough process to determine how your product can answer the questions that searchers are asking. The fintech industry, however, has other ideas.
Keyword research for SEO works a little differently in the Fintech world. Why is this the case? Quite simply, how can people search for things they don’t know exist? You as a fintech startup may have the answer, but they don’t know that they should be asking the question.
Fintech solutions are responses to pain points that many people are not even aware they have. Take the realm of financial planning, for example. Fintech has made financial planning available to people as a standalone service, rather than an add-on to asset management, opening up a whole new market of younger, less asset-endowed customers. Until recently, this market would not have been searching for financial planning services at all.
So how do you engage in SEO and keyword research for keywords that don’t exist? Rather than getting stuck in an existential loop, get creative. Ask yourself what kinds of keywords your audience might be searching for that would lead them to your business, without being too literal. The next phase is trial and error. It’s by no means an exact science.
And to do this, you need to:
5. Really, we mean really, know your audience
When it comes to your fintech marketing strategy, you will be looking at three different kinds of audiences:
- Individual consumers (B2C)
- Businesses in other sectors (B2B)
- Financial Services Providers
Startups are not shying away from providing services to existing financial services providers. This is evidenced in the following statistics from the 2018 Banking Tech Report:
- 84% of insurers will increase Fintech partnerships over the next 3-5 years
- The banking services sector received 41% of total Fintech funding globally
Of course, any marketing and growth strategy should be undertaken with a clear customer avatar in place. Our experience has been that, in the Fintech industry, this is even more important. The reasons for this are two fold.
- The more tailored your products are, the more likely they are to succeed, and the easier they are to market.
- To win trust, you have to know who you are winning it from.
Ask yourself what exactly your chosen market needs in a financial product. Is it security, convenience, advice? Are they early adopter or will you have to be in it with them for the longhaul before you start to see conversions? And then set about making and promoting that thing that in a few months they’ll wonder how they did without.
That leads us to the next tip.
6. Embrace Generation X and Y
Yes, Generations X and Y want financial services! Yes, they have expendable incomes that they want to know how to manage. The current trends around financial services for a younger generation center around a whole new payment structure. For one, Gen X and Yers are far more ready to embrace a monthly retainer model than their parents’ generation would have been. This has excellent potential as a growth strategy for financial technology startups.
And of course, reach them in places where they already are—social media. Financial service providers are becoming less reticent about using social media as a marketing channel. LinkedIn is really rising to this marketing challenge. Take a look here.
7. Focus efforts on top of funnel marketing.
Because it is a new industry, lead generation efforts (and similarly in solar lead generation) have to be made in order to drive customers to you. The focus has to be on acquiring new customers. Of course, retaining those customers is also a vital concern, but first you have to reel them in.
It is at this phase that you can also begin to develop the trust that is so needed in the fintech sector. The first introduction to your brand should be one where the question of whether you are following regulation and acting in an ethical manner does not even come into the minds of your customers.
To do this, embrace strategies such as visual marketing and video. From your website design to employing visual content methods such as the creation of infographics, your presence should be immediately reassuring. Video is an outstanding way to communicate credibility. There is still no real substitute for looking someone in the eye.
8. Take advantage of speaking opportunities
Whether it’s in the digital realm in the form of podcasts, or at live events, snatch up
any opportunity that you have to speak about your work. In fact, don’t just snatch up
opportunities, make them! Get in touch with the organisers of symposia that are
relevent to your work. Reach out to radio hosts and podcasters and offer yourself as a guest. Get your voice out there.
And then take it to the next level by connecting your speaking opportunities to the other content you have created. This way, you will allow your future and existing clients the opportunity to embrace your brands from all sides.
Ready to tackle this? We thought so. To keep you motivated, we’re going to tell you a little more about why you have chosen an exhilirating sector at an exciting time.
Welcome to the Fintech boom
Let’s have a look at the FinFacts.
Here are some fast facts that will help you come to terms with the magnitude of global Fintech growth:
- In 2017, global investment in Fintech companies hit US$8.2 billion across 274 deals. (Banking Tech)
- In a poll of which entities were most likely to disrupt the financial industry, 75% of respondents saw startups as the main disruptors. It’s important to highlight, however, that there is a noteworthy move in the kinds of services startups are offering. The trend of providing services directly to clients is moving over in favour of the B2B model of providing financial technology platforms to existing financial institutions. (PWC 2017 Global Fintech Report)
- 30% of large Financial Institutions are investing in AI (PWC 2017 Global Fintech Report)
- Digital Payments have the largest market segment with a worldwide total transaction value of $3,265,209 million. (Statista)
Have a look at Statista’s graph below:
- An annual growth rate of 13.5% is expected between 2018 and 2022, with total transaction value estimated to amount to US$5,411,345 million by 2022. (Statista)
The rise of Fintech makes a case for itself.
The rush of being at the forefront of a booming industry is unparalleled, but always comes with a key challenge—to escape the bust. If you are looking toward growth strategies that last, you have to take longevity into consideration from the outset.
Our philosophy has always been about long-term investment. Sure, it can be fun to see a quick spike in revenue, but there is really no feeling like witnessing the sustainable, long-term growth of a business you really care about.
If you would like to talk more about this with us, please contact us here. We have successfully served emerging fintech startups, and would love to see if there is a way we can do the same for you.
We offer a free SEO strategy review call. That might be a very good place to start.