Funding for Lending (FLS) has changed the rules of the game for the mortgage industry. Smaller lenders and brokers and are now far better equipped to punch above their weight against the larger players, as opportunities for business growth continue to present themselves.
At a time when business is booming, lenders are lending and the diversity of products on the market continues to grow, it has never been more important to achieve sustainable brand recognition and awareness. This is especially relevant for brokers, who now have the opportunity to seize market share back from the direct offerings in the market.
So how can this be achieved on a tight budget?
Going up against the advertising spend of the High Street banks is not a smart move. What a carefully planned content marketing strategy can do is give smaller players a competitive edge.
Content marketing is the sharing and publication of content with the aim of attracting new customers. This includes anything from white papers, case studies, ‘how to’ guides, press releases, surveys and videos.
Therefore, in this brave new world where content is king, how are you going to get your messages heard above the noise?
Nowadays, quality, insightful material that is much more likely to get your brand recognised and is much more cost effective to implement than pure SEO (search engine optimisation). A recent study showed that 90% of consumers find tailored content helpful, whilst 78% believe that organisations providing targeted content are genuinely interested in building good relationships with them.
When trying to reach consumers (and potential buyers), it is especially important to ensure they continue to return to your content time and time again via different search engines and other online channels such as blogs and press articles.
For brokers and building societies alike, the importance of content generation within regional media is not to be underestimated. Each area has its own character and set of cultural values, therefore advertising to mass audiences is going to be largely fruitless in comparison with an intelligently written ‘thought leadership’ article based on a regional trend or issue affecting local residents.
Where lenders want to develop communications for intermediary channels, they would be wise to employ the use of tailored business tools such as LinkedIn, where over 60% of organisations have uncovered business leads and forged new relationships. It is possible to filter LinkedIn to a specific set of requirements which allows business to deliver relevant content to the most high value audiences.
Top five tips for effective content marketing
1) Don’t just throw big budgets at advertising or online marketing- especially if you are a small broker. You could save considerable costs by developing a structured plan for delivering content via different channels.
2) Do an audit across the web to find out where your customers are spending time online.
3) Evaluate your resources. Planning content is a full time job in the majority of cases so you may find it much more cost effective to outsource this to an expert.
4) Get a messaging document together detailing what it is you want to talk about and what it is your customers are interested in. This should include a point about your ‘house style’ and tone of voice to ensure you are getting your most ‘high value’ messaging across to your customers.
5) Take care when crafting content offering any form of consumer advice (which you may not be authorised to give). The FCA has a specific set of guidelines for firms to abide by when developing content for what it refers to as ‘new media’ i.e online blogs, content and social media.