Readying your fintech marketing strategy and feeling like you’ll never have the time to do it all?

We hear you. Here’s the real-real.

Financial services and FinTech exist in a notoriously difficult niche for digital marketing. Established businesses – like mega-banks and Silicon Valley-funded FinTech unicorns – outspend the competition across almost every distribution channel. And Google sets rigorous and specific guidelines for what fintech websites can and can’t say, which makes ranking for high-volume, high-value keywords challenging.

And then there’s just the sheer amount of tasks you could include when building a digital marketing plan for startup businesses. (Especially for those in still-sorta-niche industries like FinTech where there are thousands of ‘growth hacking’ trends but little real guidance. SEO, social media, PR, guest posting, journalist pitching, A/B testing, content development… you get the picture. It’s a lot.

The truth is, unless you’re blessed with a large internal team or have the budget to engage with a marketing agency with a proven track record in fintech, you’ll have to pick and choose only those strategies that will move the needle – and fast.

In this post, we queried some of the world’s best financial marketers for the challenges, opportunities, and tactics that are working the best for their business right now – so you can develop a fintech marketing strategy that crushes the competition.

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The Pros and Cons of Financial Marketing

What makes the financial industry a unique challenge for marketers? Mike LaLonde from Finzmo broke down a high-level overview of what he believes the benefits and cons are:

“On a certain level, the difficulty of generating links and social momentum is proportionate to individuals’ willingness to talk about them. People like talking about money, in general. It can be tougher on a personal level when discussing things people consider private, such as debt or income, but the general principles are widely discussed and popular sources of commentary. That makes SEO for financial services companies easier than many other industries.

But at the same time, you won’t come across many more competitive niches than financial services. There’s a lot of great content on financial topics, and companies invest heavily in growing their organic presence.

This combination results in a few very competent players fighting over prime positions on valuable keywords. So in the end, it’s incredibly hard to break into, as financial providers and fintech companies are up against teams of content producers trying to remain atop the industry (e.g. NerdWallet, LendingTree, BankRate). You may feel good about your content strategy and generating links, but the competition is great at it too (and they’ve been around for years), so overcoming that lead is a major challenge.”

This isn’t the only challenge for financial services and FinTech marketers. Google places very specific restrictions on the industry to safeguard consumers. Financial content must be top-quality, and sites that post finance-related content that is spammy, illegal, or irrelevant can receive Google penalties for doing so.

“SEO in the financial space is getting tougher, and with Google’s updates in the last year that emphasized E-A-T, SEOs have been trying to get more authoritative content created. Financial companies are usually considered Your Money or Your Life sites as well, so the standards are even higher than for SEOs in other spaces. What this has translated to is that they’re now trying to hire actual experts to write their content. People with experience in the industry, degrees in Finance, etc – they’re ensuring that people have a background to draw on and that they’re not hiring a generalist who is going to research what’s already published on the web.

Further, they’re focusing a lot more on creating comprehensive content. That means that they’re ensuring their content fully covers the topic it’s intended to, including exploring the related subtopics and questions that Google expects it to.”

– Eric Hoppe at CrowdContent

Best Strategies for Financial Marketers

FinTech Content Should Focus on Customer Intent:

Even with the challenges, financial companies can effectively market online if they use the right strategy. Jeffrey Boga of Paxful suggests a highly customer-centric approach:

“Transactions in this industry often amount to thousands (if not tens of thousands) of dollars as opposed to relatively smaller amounts spent on e-commerce websites. And since large amounts of cash are involved, consumers are much more finicky and require more effort to convert them from being a lead to an actual customer.My advice to fellow SEO professionals working in the FinTech sector is to focus on educating consumers rather than finding ways to circumvent the next Google update.

Remember that search engines are trying to evolve their algorithm to be as “human” as possible so don’t get caught up in the latest updates. Instead, understand what makes your customers tick by placing yourself in the customer’s shoes and in doing so you can serve content that meets their needs to a greater degree. Explain complex products/services with videos, list the reasons why you’re better than the competition, present case studies and whitepapers – anything to capture the attention of your target market and make them convert.”

Plan Ahead for Compliance:

Compliance, compliance, compliance. The financial industry is highly regulated both by federal and state entities, so marketers must be prepared for dealing with compliance. Knowing the legal ins and outs of the industry will go a long way in getting your content marketing assets published faster.

“What you publish on your website and social media plays an important role in building trust of the potential customers.To comply, all content should be pre-approved by an internal or external compliance officer. Climbing up the search results is a process that many financial services companies fall short on. They miss the opportunity out of fear that they may not be compliant. Employ a process for pre-approving content and accounting for the details so that compliance requirements are consistently met.”

– Sameer Somal is the CEO of Blue Ocean Global Technology

AND… Befriend Compliance:

“The absolute first step when approaching SEO for a financial services company is to create a connection with the person in charge of compliance, as you must learn what can and cannot be said. FINRA, the regulatory body that oversees everything that even remotely represents financial advice, is very strict when it comes to messaging for financial advisors and companies in the financial services industry. Virtually anything you write will need to get approved by the compliance officer before it can be published. Establishing rapport with him or her will make your job less complicated.”

– Logan Brown is a Communications Specialist for Independent Financial Group, LLC, an independent broker-dealer based in San Diego, CA.

Traditional Marketing Strategies Work for FinTech Too

“Do not be afraid to make contacts and write to people by mail. Partnerships with major players can save you thousands and tens of thousands of dollars.”

– Sharilov Aleksandr, Co-Founder and CEO of CoinDataFlow

Create Engaging Finance Content

“The financial industry is a dry subject, so to help our financial clients rank well and stay there – we don’t make the content unique, as that is impossible, but we do make it engaging.

Finance sites have high bounce rates and low page view time and pages per session, we make sure when a user lands, they stay. This increases visit time and pages per visit reflect well in the eyes of Google and other search engines.”

– Sean Clancy is the SEO director of Edge Marketing

Pay Attention to Site Wide Trust Factors

“The difficulty in doing marketing for financial services is building trust. It is not only difficult to identify your ideal client and niche in a broad way using only keywords, but more difficult is your ability to build up enough trust through just content marketing via a blog or website. This is especially true if you are targeting potential clients globally and not just in a defined local, geography. In situations where the client can meet the advisor, face-to-face quickly, then the barrier goes away. Otherwise, flying to the client can, for many advisors, become cost prohibitive, depending on the size of the client. Financial services generally require a great deal of trust and respect. Building up the trust factor remains the single most difficult aspect of financial services SEO I have experienced.”

– Mason Stout, SEO Specialist for

Content Matters

“From a content creation POV, it’s a technical recruiting challenge to source the best writers who can write on fintech topics with authority and confidence. This could be a challenge.

From a content marketing perspective, once you have the content creation process under control, it should be fairly straight forward to promote the content by way of numerous online communities focused on your brand’s CTA/buyer’s journey as well as public relations with relevant online blogs and publications.”

Invest in your content from day 1. Build with an evergreen approach and skip time-sensitive news-like articles. Focus instead on quality resources and how-tos that you can update on a regular basis to stay on top of the latest current trends, and you’ll have at your fingertips content in the form of assets that will bring quality traffic in for years to come.

Look for online communities frequented by your target customers and join the most relevant conversations. Are CTOs venting on Quora about a pain point that your product solves? If so, joining that convo thread puts you front and center with your most relevant leads.”

– Irina, Co-founder of Galactic Fed

We know that content matters in any industry, but with an industry that is so focused on personal and business finance, it’s absolutely imperative to get it right. It’s difficult to trust something as important as your money with a brand whose content seems unreliable.

“Developing a content strategy from the start is critical to naturally increase visibility in organic results. These can be blogs, news articles, Q&A sections or individual thematic landing pages properly linked to the website using internal linking.

The content should always be tailored to the needs and intentions of the potential recipient.. Sometimes they will expect an extended article, sometimes just a short, concise response to a direct question.

Linkbuilding will be a support in content promotion. Also here, it’s worth focusing only on high-quality websites that are related to your business. I recommend looking for partners among bloggers or high-ranking editorial staff in the industry. Although such cooperation can be a large investment, it will bring more benefits from the SEO point of view than getting a massive number of links from questionable sources. It is also worth analyzing the competition on an ongoing basis, examining positions for important keywords and drawing conclusions.”

Irena Zobniów – Head of SEO and Co-Founder of Insightland

Working in a competitive industry can be challenging, but there are proven marketing strategies that deliver reliable results. If you work in financial services or FinTech and want to see the specific tactics we used to save a personal finance client 97% on advertising costs, check out our Financial SEO case study.