OPINION: 4 digital marketing trends the finance industry needs to know about

Jonathan Birch

In the fast-paced world of digital marketing, it’s vital to keep on top of trends to get ahead of the competition. Here, Jonathan Birch, Creative Director at digital marketing agency Glass Digital, shares four key digital marketing trends financial service providers should be including in their strategy.

The digital marketing landscape is highly technical, which means it’s constantly transforming to better serve customers and businesses. So, it’s crucial for marketers to keep on top of trends and updates to avoid being left behind. And in a sensitive sector like finance, careful consideration needs to be made to ensure your marketing is trustworthy and accurate. To create marketing campaigns that stand out in 2022, you may want to keep these digital marketing trends in mind.

Voice search is entering the mainstream

The world is shifting towards convenience more and more, so it’s no surprise that voice search is on the rise. Customers are increasingly choosing to use tools like Siri and Alexa to answer their queries, rather than searching for them manually in a search engine, which means digital marketers need to consider this in their strategy.

This can be a particularly tricky concept in a sensitive sector like finance, but it can be done. For one, consider optimising your marketing for local queries. Most voice searchers are looking for options “near me”, which makes local SEO vital. If you haven’t yet, setting up a Google Business Profile complete with your address, opening times, and contact details can help you rank for geographical queries. This has the added benefit of helping with your PPC marketing. Financial keywords can be highly competitive, so going niche can help your brand stand out from the crowd.

Structure is important for voice search too, not just site structure, but the structure of your on-page content. Voice search offers users instant answers to the user’s questions, which means search engines need to find these answers quickly. So, you should consider how your web pages are structured to help search engines understand them. Schema markup can help make your pages clear and easy for search engines to read — you can use metadata to mark something as a product, review, or telephone number, for example. And if Google knows what part of your content applies to a certain query, you’ll increase your chances of ranking for rich snippets, and therefore a voice search answer.

Ethics are becoming increasingly more important

Trustworthiness has always had a say in Google rankings, but it’s really come to the forefront after Google’s Medic update in 2018, which put a major focus on reliable search results. Since then, trustworthiness has become a major focus for marketers and Google has released their own set of E-A-T guidelines — which stands for expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness — to determine the accuracy and relevancy of a web page. This is particularly important for the finance sector, where content needs to be highly accurate to avoid causing any kind of risk to a customer — Google calls this ‘your money or your life’ (YMYL).

There are a few ways you can improve your E-A-T score. Writing informational content that has been fact-checked and written by experts can indicate to Google that you’re a reliable source. You can demonstrate your expertise to both customers and search engines by adding author bios to your blog posts and guides. Outreaching these guides can then help generate backlinks to your site, another sign of trustworthiness.

Keeping content constantly up to date is also vital, as matters like laws and regulations can change often. Refreshing your content regularly ensures you’re always providing your customers with the most recent and valuable information, which can therefore boost your SEO.

Video content is more popular than ever

Video content certainly isn’t anything new, and search engines have been showing a mixture of video and text-based results for some years now. In fact, it’s rumoured that Google actually prefers content that includes video (LinkedIn). There are two main reasons for this. Videos mean people spend longer on a web page. They’re also highly shareable, which means more backlinks to your site. Both of these are key ranking factors for Google.

Video holds great potential in the finance industry. You can use videos to answer queries, demonstrate financial tools like credit score checkers, and share customer testimonials, which can engage customers and help build trust.

Live streams are one kind of mobile video content that’s doing very well for marketers. The real-time format of these videos can create a sense of exclusivity and community and can be a great option for connecting with your customers on a more personal level. Live Q&A sessions that offer your audience financial advice, tips for investing, and more can be particularly useful and can generate high engagement, leading to customer loyalty for your brand.

Cookie-less tracking will be the future

You may have heard the news that third-party cookies are being gradually phased out. These cookies once allowed marketers to gather information on a person’s activity across the web and generate targeted ads and offers based on this data. For example, sending personalised offers and mortgage advice to customers who have visited online estate agents. While cookie-less tracking will improve online data privacy, this will come at a cost to the marketing benefits so it’s best to be prepared to minimise the impact.

Data co-ops will become extremely useful for this. These are groups that offer jointly accessible data between companies. This information is stripped of all personal information and identifying factors, and is transformed into an anonymous profile which allows businesses to personalise their ads and marketing. Transparency is vital here and customers should be aware of exactly what data is collected, how it is processed, and how it is used, and their information should only be collected if they consent.

As the digital marketing world grows and changes, it’s vital for businesses to keep on top of trends, particularly in complex industries like finance. Voice search and video content should be a particular focus for marketers, but privacy and trust are even more important, so be sure to keep these tips in mind when reviewing your strategy.

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