One of the most challenging parts of running a fintech business is the marketing. Trying to make a traditionally dry subject into something lively and engaging is no mean feat.
When constructing your plan of action, your arsenal should include the tactics you’re going to need to capture peoples’ interest and drive business growth. Before you start tinkering with your fintech marketing strategy, take a second to establish your goals to make the road ahead clearer.
Here are six ways to get your fintech marketing message across.
1. Build a solid, consistent brand image
Your brand image is essentially your identity as a business. It’s made up of your visuals, your messaging, your actions and your tone of voice.
The knowledge and experience of your brand is key to its success but so is consistency. Keep your brand’s character recognisable to build trust and familiarity with your audience.
Try to set your brand as far apart from your competitors as you can. The fintech aesthetic has been slick and minimalistic of late, so a departure from that would be refreshing. Customers also care about values so make sure you’re upfront about yours. Embody honesty, integrity and other ethical values in your messaging and content.
Of course, your audience play a role in your brand image – and that will constantly evolve. “I think strategy for a fintech will always be based on the combination of audience insights, technology roadmap and growth ambitions, so try to combine the three,” said Patrick Stal, CMO of WorldRemit.
Be on the platforms that yield results for your business. This rounds back to knowing your audience and, in turn, which media platforms they’re on or they consume. “Facebook is much more of an engagement platform for us. If you look at what WorldRemit does on Twitter, it’s slightly more of a customer care platform for us,” said Stal. The firm creates individual posts intended for individual audiences, but the visuals and tone are consistent. “We’re consistent about the belief of our view of the economic migrant experience. When people move, they meet new people, they share ideas, share cultures, recipes, new music, evolve new art. Those are the subjects that are important to us, those stand out from the crowd and are what we do.”
“What Starling Bank does with marketing really depends on the nature of the content, the message and the audience.” That’s the magic trio, according to Oliver Mott, head of social media at Starling Bank. Company news, product updates, product launches and drops are published cross-platform so the tone and messaging are largely the same. However, humorous content tends to perform well on Twitter and Facebook, while Starling’s people and culture are more at-home on LinkedIn. “We’ve only been on TikTok about three months now,” said Mott. “TikTok is just completely different, two ends of the scale, really. Pinterest lasts for months, years. People can come back to it and find it again, because of its discoverability. That’s got to be really core brand stuff.”
To build the brand, Starling Bank is being native, engaging with trends which last maybe two or three days. “What you’re seeing is our people engaging with the TikTok communities so that we can build our brand to get known and our culture and our personality can become known. It’s not just dancing around like we’re just having a bit of fun and showing off the human side of Starling. The longer-term plan is to then try and counter the awful financial education that happens on TikTok, or ‘FinTok’. This is all just making moves, so that we’ve got an audience to then start fighting against that.”
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“There’s always that fine line between humour and wit. Taking the silly approach when you’re a bank doesn’t always feel right. We’re quite careful that we certainly do want to be an approachable, friendly brand. But we are a bank, so we have to have something about us. One of the challenges is communicating that it’s an incredibly safe and secure bank, but also dynamic and fluid. That juxtaposition is often tricky to get across, especially when people have all sorts of unconscious bias towards money and security and safety and new things,” said Mott.
Starling takes a very cross-company approach to its social media output. “A lot gets left on the cutting room floor,” said Mott. “We’ve got a great team – brand and marketing teams, the growth team, our customer service team – anyone can come up with an idea for what we do on social. More and more we’re trying to become more specific to the platform and learning what works.”
2. Engage your customers
A bit of realism goes a long way in fintech marketing. “I think the fintechs have done a really good job of that compared to the incumbents.” said Stal. “Come on, folks. Who really wants to listen to a bank? It’s not something that you can go to a bar and say, ‘Oh, my God, I had this great banking experience.’”
Your marketing doesn’t necessarily have to be a one-way thing either. Everyone can get involved. “I have regular meetings with our CIO, with our head of comms, with our data team, product teams. We share knowledge, but any strategy that we put together has to work across those areas.” said Rachel Kerrone, director of brand and marketing at Starling Bank. Kerrone’s team also speaks to Starling’s customer service and customer excellence teams regularly. She said that customers will also call up customer service and ask for features in the app and the customer service agents will contact the developers who build the features.
Connecting with the community, or communities in WorldRemit’s case, is crucial. “It’s often a matter of trust, onboarding, education,” said Stal.
“We have to do those non-scalable things for the scalable things to work. We have to go to the mosques in a local community, to talk to the Pakistani community, to introduce us, to build trust over time, for them to try the product out and then start recommending us to others.”
Of course, firms scale up, adding more scalable channels. “But you can’t let go of the non-scalable ones,” said Stal. “I’ve seen a lot of businesses make that mistake, including ourselves. We were just going to invest everything into performance marketing, and television and radio. We come back to the community and they say, ‘Well, it’s not like you abandoned us, we saw you on the tube. But you weren’t at our barbecue in the park.’
“That’s a balancing act. You have to really combine the two and I think that’s relatively unique to our business and our audiences and the diversity and maturity of markets.”
3. Consider paid ads
Paid ads allow you to reach the audience that you want to target. They’re easy to measure and provide instant results. From there, you get a cost per click or cost per impression. Different platforms offer different types of ads such as newsletter slots, text ads and display ads.
>See also: Retargeting paid ads to maximise exposure
According to MarketingLabs, 84 per cent of B2B marketers use paid channels to promote their content.
WordLead said that paid ads have a 200 per cent return on investment, with 65 per cent of customers clicking on Pay Per Click (PPC) ads. If you want to go for social media ads, try Facebook. SERP Watch says that 9.21 per cent of Facebook ads convert – the highest of all the platforms. What’s more, 928.5m people are reached by Instagram Ads, say Hootsuite. It is considerably more expensive though, with a one-off project fee costing between £4,000 and £24,000, according to Search Engine Land.
The good news is that ads can boost brand awareness by 80 per cent, according to Valve + Meter, which makes sense when you consider that 90 per cent of users see Google display ads, according to Power Traffick.
4. Explore different types of marketing
Take different types of marketing into account, for example:
- Blog posts
- Referral, affiliate or influencer marketing
- Experiential marketing (unique experiences)
- Partnership marketing (licensing, co-branding, sponsorships, product placements)
- Community marketing
- Content campaigns (email marketing, social media marketing, SEO, PPC, video marketing, podcasts, TV or radio advertising)
Inbound marketing is good for fintech because rather than going for a broad market, you can target a more specific audience and nurture them. It’s good for getting in front of the people you want to get in front of and ahead of your competitors – again with the focus on the smaller market.
“We target all of the usual marketing suspects,” said Stal. “But I think there’s some things that are pretty unique to what we do. We have very, very diverse audiences. I think for us, that’s important when it comes to channel choice.”
For example, WorldRemit looks at Filipino television abroad, as well as digital marketing, all of your paid social paid search the entire funnel piece, but at the same time, staying close to the community.
“You’ll see that we’re advertising on the Filipino channel, which is a global channel for Filipino audiences. But at the same time, we show up some of the larger community events: Barrio Fiesta, 1MX. These are big community events for Filipinos. But we also work in the UK with the Filipino Nurses Association, when people for the first time enter the UK to help them onboard and become part of the community,” said Stal.
“It’s really about bringing that trust element and the reasons to believe throughout that,” said Stal. That comes through in the form of television, ads on YouTube, Facebook ads, display search, targeting and community events.
“The marketing function is intended to generate sustainable growth for our business,” he continued. With this in mind, it’s best to play the long game when you’re plotting out your fintech marketing strategy. “Then again, a long-term piece in retaining those customers is continuously fighting to prove to them that you are worth their business.”
When you’re doing your marketing, it can be so tempting to focus on acquiring new customers. But it’s important to give back and contribute to the wellbeing of existing customers too. This can be in the form of loyalty discounts and other perks, as well as early access to new products.
“Early-stage growth companies tend to focus on acquiring users. You’ll do a funky activation, you put out a crazy press release, somebody will write about that and you’ll get another 1000 users. That’s the easy stages. It’s harder to think about all that performance, spend, everything that you’re doing. How can we make sure that that leaves a long-term impression? How do we not just look at new user growth? How do we keep building new features, keep improving the product?” said Stal.
Your preferred marketing methods may surprise you. Starling is currently running an out of home (OOH) ad campaign, which is quite a big channel for the firm. “We don’t have a high street presence, because we’re fully digital, so it’s really important for us to be out there on the high street and as part of people’s daily lives, which is all around our 24/7 customer service,” said Kerrone. The campaign is called ‘The bank that never closes’. “The creative shows sunrise and sunset and Twilight. It changes throughout the day, depending on the time of day.”
“We have a really competitive travel offering, but travel isn’t so high on people’s agendas at the moment,” she added. “We’ve pulled back on some of that messaging and we’re really focusing on some of our money management features. All the different features that we have within the app help people to monitor their spending and then quite easily make cuts. We’ve also recently launched a cost of living hub.”
5. Gamify your offering
Gamification – making basic or tedious tasks into a game where the player can stand to gain – may come in the form of competitions with prizes, points for referring a friend or completing transactions and more. Games and puzzles are often used in pre-launch campaigns to generate interest.
Gamifying your content this way helps users to become more involved in a subject which may be otherwise unexciting. You could go for savings goals in your app or include games and short videos to explain complex financial products. The sweet spot with games and quizzes is to make them difficult enough to be engaging but not so difficult it puts people off playing.
Whatever method you decide, shareability on social media is key. Allow users to share scores, tallies or completed goals on their socials – not only does this showcase the features that your website or app has but it also increases the reach of your brand without you even trying. Check out this timely example from Revolut.
6. Be open to changing your fintech marketing strategy
Marketing rules and trends are ever changing – and you should be moving with them. Try out some new features that social media sites have introduced or use the demographic figures from a previous ad campaign to help drive your next one.
The bottom line is that every marketing strategy needs to be reviewed regularly – every six months at most.
“Every day, twice a day,” Stal said when asked how often WorldRemit reviews its marketing. “High growth, high pace companies tend to have an annual strategy, structural reviews. If I have my way, it’s every three months, with a monthly forecast. “Context changes, dynamics change,” he said. “I’m not kidding when I say it’s a daily thing to revisit, asking, ‘Is this quarter still working? Is our campaign working? Is our material working? Should we optimise something?’ I think that’s what art and science comes together.”
“I would say [we review our marketing strategy] pretty constantly,” echoed Kerrone. “We are able to change things up quite quickly. We review things all the time – we don’t make plans for 24 months, 18 months, often not even 12 months. We’re planning as we need to, particularly for above the line channels like TV, where you’ve got to plan a lot more in advance.” It’s all about being able to be swift about it. Kerrone talks about a recent campaign from Fairy liquid where they brought out a product that works well with cold water to demonstrate brand agility. “I think our ability to be able to move quickly is really important to us, no matter how big we get,” said Kerrone.
When you’re assessing your data, pay particular attention to what performs well, what time of day your content performs well and what the key demographics of the user base is. Remember your goals, short and long-term. “If we’re not generating growth, we have no reason to exist,” said Stal.