Content marketing: It is harder than it looks

Creating content that resonates and lasts requires a lot of effort. In my experience, the corporate world vastly underestimates the time and energy commitment of a successful content strategy. On top of that, it is challenging to outsource it without losing relevancy and quality.

So, why should you endeavour on a content strategy journey if the costs are so high? Because it is one of the few ways to establish trust and loyalty with any audience. I saw it first-hand by leading communication campaigns ranging from wines and fashion to chemicals and anti-theft systems.

Now, I see it even more working for a promising fintech start-up that is challenging the entrenched incumbents of the financial service industry. The established players have had decades to develop customer relationships based on trust and loyalty; now the newcomers can use content to showcase what sets them apart.

However, this needs to be done in a manner where the content strategy must be efficient, relevant and professional.

Efficient: Since content creation is burdensome, its distribution must be insanely efficient. A well engineered piece of content is created once and natively repurposed across many different touch-points. Record a one-minute interview in front of a whiteboard and deliver it as a video inside the app, then use it as a podcast. Subtitle it and post it in the corporate blog, and in different media outlets.

Share excerpts of the video on several social media platforms, and don’t forget to take photos of the whiteboard to create engaging infographics that you can share in an email newsletter. Remember that every drop of content counts.

Relevant: All of the above assumes the original video was relevant for the ideal prospect. The degree of pertinence is problematic to measure, but good proxies are the most frequently asked questions or the worst friction points along the customer journey. Use them to decide the next topics of your content calendar.

Don’t forget to fine-tune your content agenda for every country in which you operate. A less obvious measure of relevancy is the level of alignment between your content and the recipient’s emotional state.

In the wealth management industry, we deal with fundamental human instincts: fear and greed. The right material should be able to reach your recipients at the precise time and teach them, with the appropriate tone of voice, how to cope with their powerful emotions when the markets fluctuate. Moreover, the markets always fluctuate!

Professional: Last, but not least, you need to be ready to put in a recurring effort. When you start to share something every Monday, it means the next Monday, and the next one and the next one – no matter what happens.

You have to keep your implicit promise and continue to share something new every week. Be patient, don’t compromise on quality, and don’t cut it short to get something out or it could backfire. Trust is earned in drips and lost in buckets. Also, it is very important to act as a professional by limiting the clickbait components of what you create and by ignoring your competitors.

If you work well, they will use their content strategy to attack you; this is usually a good sign. All in all, good content complements all of your communication touch-points well and, in the long term, will also benefit your organic search engine ranking. However, the increase in trust is the real deal. Every day ask yourself what you can do to be 1% more efficient, relevant and professional with your content. Content returns compound over time, like investments.

The writer is Filippo Stefanelli, CMO, StashAway.