Four Ways to Establish Your Fintech as a Thought Leader.
Why Your Fintech Content Marketing Needs Thought Leadership
What’s the difference between fintech content marketing and fintech thought leadership? Read on for the top four ways to establish your fintech as a thought leader.
Sometimes thought leadership and content marketing are seen as interchangeable terms. Both play an important role in establishing your brand, driving your fintech marketing strategies and helping you connect and engage with your target markets. But understanding the differences between the two is important if you want to build a strong and distinct fintech brand. So what’s the difference?
Content marketing is a good start
At a minimum, both content marketing and thought leadership have to be informative, interesting and professionally produced. Content marketing is less likely to offer up ground-breaking or new thinking.
- It may technically be of a very high standard and it may help establish your fintech as a credible player in your space, but it probably won’t help shift or change attitudes about industry norms.
- It might be great at outlining your fintech product and services to those that already have an interest in your company, but it might not convince those who are not already on board with what you’re selling.
- It can be well put together from an SEO optimization perspective and be ranking well, but it’s probably not going to be that different from what your competitors are offering.
That’s not to say that there isn’t room for this kind of fintech content. The content machine can be a hungry beast and fintech content marketers don’t have the bandwidth to make every piece of content a shining example of originality. Work to make everything you produce of the highest quality with specific awareness, customer acquisition or nurture objectives, but recognize this content is merely table stakes. Content marketing will get you in the game and may position you as a credible information source, but it won’t set your fintech company apart.
Thought leadership breaks new ground
Fintech thought leadership is insightful and thought-provoking. Thought leadership is about revealing something new or shifting, or even blowing up, long held beliefs around the industry you do business in. Fintech and, more broadly, financial services, is constantly breaking new ground. So it is fertile territory for leading thinking and bringing something new to your audience. Building your fintech’s reputation as a thought leader in your industry takes effort and expertise. But it’s what will inspire your audience to take action – be that to learn more or to make a buying decision.
So what are the four keys to establish your fintech as a thought leader?
Here’s a quick list:
- Authentic expertise. Thought leadership can only thrive when there is real subject matter expertise within the organization. Sometimes it’s obvious if you are offering a new unique service or you have a leader or recognized expert in your team. If it’s not in your offering, perhaps it’s in the way you deliver it, or one of your people has related industry expertise that can add real value to your customer experience. Whatever the source, be sure that it comes from a place of real expertise and insight. Ask yourself – Does this content inspire reflection or offer an alternative point of view? Is it a deep well that can be mined for inspiration and, most importantly, is it supported by real expertise and credentials?
- Have an opinion. Don’t be afraid to promote a contrarian view or argument. Making a case that is different from the industry norms can be a powerful way to stand out from the pack. When it comes to PR and media, you are much more likely to get interest from journalists if you are singing a different tune to your peers and competitors. Just make sure it is a position your organization is truly behind and you have the data and authority to back it up when it’s challenged.
- Manage your thought leaders. Sometimes you are in luck. You have financial services industry experts who enjoy creating their own content. Your biggest challenge will be editing and managing the prolific flow. At the other end of the spectrum is the SME who doesn’t like it at all. When it comes to getting leading thoughts from your industry experts, you have to work with what you’ve got. For most of them, producing content is not in their job description. It’s seen as low priority at best or an imposition at worst. Make sure you talk to them about what’s the best way to extract their knowledge. Sometimes they will be happy to write it all down. For others it’s likely to be easier to interview them or get them to make a recording. Learn to be flexible and accommodate what is going to get valuable content easily and quickly.
- Relevance. It’s important that what you are talking about is something that your target market cares about. You want to inspire them to action. It can be tempting just to amplify what looks like authoritative content from thought leaders. It’s the fintech content marketer’s role to be the advocate for the prospective customer, know what’s important to them and make sure it’s additive to their understanding.
Building a reputation as a fintech thought leader doesn’t happen overnight in the financial services industry. There’s already plenty of smart people out there. It’s important to build out a content marketing strategy for how you intend to deliver this kind of valuable content. It’s also worthwhile considering how your thought leadership position is reflected in the culture of the organization. The more you cultivate and encourage curiosity and problem-solving, the more thought leadership your content marketers will have to harvest.