Differentiating products in a fragmented and highly regulated marketplace is a major issue faced by financial service providers. With competition so high, even amongst industry leaders, differentiation is vital, and this is something that can be provided through the use of marketing technologies. Service providers are moving towards digital marketing, especially in the search and social media space to stay ahead of the curve while remaining compliant to local regulators. In this post, I’ll look at why and which technologies are the best to use.
Why financial services marketers must embrace technology
The industry has developed dramatically over the last few years, and the most prominent change has been a shift and growing emphasis towards digital marketing and automation.
It is vital that financial services businesses are highly flexible. Embracing technology allows for increased flexibility, allowing businesses to adapt to ever-changing market conditions, regulatory requirements and business objectives.
A shift towards digital marketing and automation clearly allows for this. Competition remains fierce among market leaders, especially due to the growing emphasis in the online space. Investing in technology, particularly around education, allows our readers and customers to better understand our business and products, ultimately increasing the number of account sign-ups and drive trading decisions.
The technologies to embrace
The key to utilising technology is to take on of a multitude of channels and not having a binary focus. Here’s a few essential technologies you should be embracing:
SEO Strategies - Ranking for certain organic keywords requires a huge amount of analysis and investment but the returns can be very beneficial. The key is finding the balance between targeting high volume keywords with greater potential traffic as well as lower volume long-tail keywords with a potentially higher conversion rate to make sure we stay ahead in an increasingly competitive space.
For example, when compiling an SEO strategy, not only must we make sure that the keywords we’re looking to rank for are part of our strategy, we must also be broader to include conversion based keywords with low search volumes.
For example, if we were to simply target “broker”, we would have to spend large volumes of money chasing one keyword that may achieve visits, but not necessarily sales. However, by looking at longer tail keywords such as “forex education in Singapore”, we can drive smaller amounts of traffic at a lower cost. By providing these people with free education, we can then attempt to convert them to customers while they’re on-site.
We can also balance this with low search volume keywords that have higher conversion rate. For example, “cheap forex broker in Singapore” may only have minimal search volume, but it is likely to have a high conversion rate.
As a result, we need to balance the amount we spend targeting high traffic keywords against high conversion rates to ensure the strategy remains rounded and costs do not spiral. This also allows us to meet multiple KPIs, such as traffic, engagement and conversion all in one strategy.
Automation - Automation has also played a huge part in the industry’s development requiring technological intelligence in automating repetitive tasks such as Client Journey Builders, Predictive Intelligence, etc. This is a trend that is likely to be key moving forward, too.
As a customer’s reliance on digital marketing deepens, user experience (UX) will become even more important. Automation of Client Journey (the sales process) allows us to move a potential customer through the communications and sales funnel without the need for physical man power. In addition, Predictive Intelligence allows us to use technology to monitor whether users engage with the site in the way that we expect them to. If they don’t, we can then tailor the site based on the intelligence supplied to improve conversion rates.
Videos and eBooks - In terms of messaging and positioning, there has been a greater focus on educating traders free of charge providing thought leadership and helping our customers understand our products better, particularly CFD trading, a term which might be intimidating to new traders. In a marketplace dominated by acronyms and jargon, the addition of videos and eBooks to our site has helped to make the product more accessible to visitors, allowing for conscious and well-informed buying decisions.
It is important that as a financial services provider, we play our part in educating the audience on risk management and how they can integrate CFD trading as part of their investment portfolio. This is something that will need to continue as we take the opportunity to inform and educate the next generations of traders.
Geraldine Goh is head of marketing for IG Asia, based in Singapore.