Most financial business blogs don’t generate real business through content marketing. This post will discuss the B2C content strategy for financial services firms.
- 3 main problems with the way most b2c financial firms approach content marketing
- The B2C content strategy we use that solves them
- Difference between B2B and B2C content marketing (and what you need to understand if you’re a B2C financial business.)
- How we’d apply our content strategy to a real financial services B2C business
Curious about having us do content marketing for your financial business? Learn more about our services and framework.
3 Ways Most B2C Financial Firms do Content Marketing (All Wrong)
We’ve identified 3 primary challenges with how most B2C financial services do their content marketing:
- They focus on lifestyle content
- Leave a ton of high-buyer intent (high value) keywords in favor of high volume keywords
- Produce low-quality content
Let’s look at each.
Problem #1: They focus on lifestyle content
Most businesses focus on creating lifestyle content designed primarily for brand awareness rather than selling services.
This content is often disseminated through social media marketing, retargeting content, or email marketing campaigns, hoping that the target audience will eventually purchase from the company.
The thinking behind this inbound marketing is that potential customers won’t find content that directly promotes a product or service to be “salesy” or pushy. Instead, businesses believe it’s more effective to offer helpful advice simply.
However, this approach rarely converts into actual sales. If you want your content to generate leads and bring in new business, you need to focus on creating more specific, sales-oriented content.
Many business-to-consumer companies make the mistake of outsourcing their content to freelancers to save time and money. However, this results in subpar content that does little to engage or impress potential customers more often than not.
The freelancers chosen usually have no understanding of the company or its services, and as a result, the blog content they write about is usually loosely related at best.
This fails to convert potential customers into actual sales, but it also does very little to increase brand recognition or build organic traffic. In the end, these companies end up getting the worst of both worlds.
Problem #2: Leave a ton of high-buyer intent (high value) keywords in favor of high volume keywords
B2C financial businesses that blog about lifestyle content will likely rank for their service pages.
However, this can lead to several problems.
First, the keywords/ content ideas associated with their services are usually highly competitive since bigger competitors are also targeting these head terms.
Secondly, even if they do manage to rank for main keywords such as “loans”, there are still many lower-competitive long-tail keywords such as “how to get loans for bad credit” or “how to get a loan with no job“.
As a result, ranking for service-related keywords can be difficult and time-consuming. It may be better for B2C financial businesses to focus on other, less competitive keywords.
This leads B2C businesses to leave a ton of high-value keyword opportunities on the table.
Here’s a quick example to demonstrate what we mean:
When we search for the query “Loans” in our SEO tool, we see examples of long-tail product keywords that have high purchase intent and that most businesses are unlikely to rank for with their general “Loans” product page (as evidenced in the screenshot below).
As you can see, there is no general services page ranking in the top search results for “bad credit personal loans guaranteed approval, direct lenders”. Each top ranking result is a unique page to discuss that specific subject.
These are the kind of keywords we go after in our B2C content strategy for financial services because they show high intent, lower competition, and require a dedicated blog post to rank and, therefore, are more effective.
They’re incredibly valuable keywords to rank for because the buying intent of such terms is extremely high. In particular, if you write and rank an article explaining how and why your services are good for them, I should produce a steady flow of customers.
All you need is a good strategy to execute that (not sprinkling keywords on existing pages)
We’ll go into further detail later.
Problem #3: Produce low-quality content
In problem #1, we mentioned that most B2C financial companies outsource their content creation to freelance writers. We also said freelance writers are less likely to produce high-quality content for B2C companies than for B2B.
In most cases, B2B companies deal with an advanced customer base, so content marketers are generally aware that they need to produce advanced content effectively.
Unfortunately, most B2B financial companies still produce ultimate guides that are too basic for their target audience.
We have explained partly in this article:
SEO for Financial Companies: How to Beat Your Competition (Big Guys) at Search
In contrast, many consumer-facing companies think that because B2C customers are mainly beginners, they can hire a freelancer to produce content.
But it only leads to uncompelling, generic content that doesn’t reflect well on the brand and doesn’t rank for strategic keywords that drive business value.
(For example, in the bad credit personal loans example above, a super basic “bad credit personal loan” post full of definitions of “what is a bad credit personal loan” is what we have heard a thousand times.)
Combined, these 3 problems have the following implications:
- No measurable ROI: Their content doesn’t bring in leads or sales
- Ineffective branding: Their “lifestyle” content has little impact on brand recognition.
- Low SEO impact: Competitors outperform and outrank them in search engine results pages (SERPs), leaving a lot of high-value keyword possibilities on the table.
Now let’s look at our B2C content marketing strategy, which solves these problems.
Our B2C Content Marketing Strategies: Start with Bottom of Funnel (BoF) and Work Your Way Up
Producing Bottom of the Funnel (BoF) SEO content is the most effective strategy for getting a return on investment (ROI) from your content marketing efforts.
Here’s what I mean by BoF.
When people search terms that indicate they’re searching for a service you sell and show up in search results with a compelling pitch for your services, you’re showing up in front of prospects ready to buy.
Such keywords or customer base reveal their readiness to buy.
On the contrary, educational content about general topics in your industry – the type of content meant for social media platforms or non-buyer search terms- does not have such an advantage in B2C content marketing.
The content may be good for brand awareness, but the act of reading informational, how to style content doesn’t automatically indicate the reader is ready to buy or willing to buy now.
How Do You Create a B2C Content Strategy?
How we differentiate ourselves from other agencies
Our strategy focuses on targeting;
- BOF services keywords: Services search queries that our B2C client’s general services pages won’t rank for.
- Pain point keywords: Search queries/content ideas that indicate someone has a pain point that our client’s services solve.
- Use case keywords: Search queries that indicate someone wants to do something our client’s services help them do.
This SEO strategy produces content that converts more than Top of the Funnel (ToF) content – despite having lower search volumes and traffic potential than many ToF keywords.
To read partly about this strategy, check out these past articles;
How to Come Up With High-Converting Financial Content Ideas
Below, we’ll show examples of how this content marketing strategy works in practice. But first, let’s quickly cover how B2B content marketing differs from B2C content marketing.
B2B Content Marketing vs. B2C Content Marketing: The Differences B2C Companies Should Know.
Much of what people say online about B2B versus B2C content marketing is concerned with how audiences differ.
For example, you frequently hear that there are more “buyer personas” to target content in B2C, but this is largely irrelevant because you can create content personalized for search queries regardless of who types those terms into Google.
In terms of B2C content marketing, there are three essential factors that B2C financial company owners and decision-makers should know before putting money into it.
Let’s look at each.
1. The Average Ticket Size Usually Much Lower in B2C Compared to B2B
Of course, you’ll find exceptions, but generally, B2B services tend to have a higher ticket size than B2C services.
For example, according to Nav, the interest rates for business loans from traditional lenders range from 2% to 13% p.a, while personal loan interest rates range from 6% to 36% p.a. But, personal loans rarely exceed $50,000, and even that amount can be difficult to qualify for.
Wealth managers usually charge a percentage of Assets Under Management (AUM); definitely, AUM for an individual (B2C) is much lower than AUM for a business (B2B)
This makes a huge difference in how much you should spend in a channel to get one lead or close one sale. Specifically, for the lower-priced B2C customers, the number of conversions you need to break even or generate a positive ROI is significantly higher.
Like in the example above, some B2B financial companies might break even with 5-10 leads per month. But in B2C, it could be 10X -100X (or more) due to much lower ticket size. You need to rank more keywords for your investment to make sense.
However, the decision is company and context-dependent.
B2C financial companies should consider the following:
- Investment needed: How much would it cost to hire a financial content marketing agency vs. having full-time employees? At the time of writing this article, the minimum is $2500/Month. See our rates
- Sales per month: How many sales attributable to content marketing do you need in a month to break even? Use a simple calculation from the investment above (e.g. $2500 per month for a content agency divided by $250 of average revenue per user is 10 sales per month.) This is your breakeven conversion goal.
- Traffic per month: How much traffic do you need to get to that breakeven conversion goal? (Assume traffic to conversion rate from your content of between 0.1% and 0.75%.)
- Time commitment: How long are you willing to invest in content marketing to get to that point? (e.g. If you need to get to 20K visitors/mo., that may take a couple of months or more.)
- Compare with other channels: How does that look about the performance and ROI of your other channels?
Some financial companies will do this maths and find that the numbers make sense and are worth it. In other cases, investing in content marketing may not be a good idea at the moment. But most importantly, do this napkin math and get a perspective on it before committing your budget to content marketing.
The good news: B2C, on the other hand, tends to have a much larger volume of keyword possibilities than B2B.
2. Availability of High-Volume Keyword Opportunities in B2C
There’re more consumers than there are businesses. So the volume of people searching for consumer services is generally much higher than the volume of people searching for a business to business services.
The number of monthly search volumes and traffic potential is significantly higher in B2C than in B2B. And with more people searching for B2C services tend to have a lot more variations of what people call services.
Therefore, it’s not uncommon for B2C companies to have 10X more keyword opportunities than the average B2B business.
The positive implication is that more keyword opportunities make it possible for you to meet the need for more traffic and conversions – hence a positive ROI.
The main challenge is that you have to create more content to take advantage of all possible opportunities.
3. B2C Face More Competition in the SERPs
Finally, there are many more brands to compete with when creating SEO content in the Business to Consumer space in most cases. While B2B companies usually have 5 to 10 notable competitors, B2C firms frequently compete with dozens of brands in the SERPs.
That’s why it’s so important to use a strategic marketing approach to selecting keywords to target your content if you can see the less obvious opportunities that your competitors are missing – (as we’ll demonstrate in the next section).
You can own many purchase intent keywords in your market that your competitors aren’t targeting.
How We Apply Our B2C Content Strategy to a Real Business
Let’s make our content marketing strategy concrete by discussing how we apply it in a real B2B business.
Specifically, let’s look at how we’d approach Oyster Loan (we do not have any working relationship at the time of writing this article – may be in future)
Oyster Loan is a UK based online loan broker. They introduce customers with bad credit history to loan lenders in the UK for all types of loans, including personal loans and celebration loans.
This is one of my prospects and just a hypothetical look at how we’d implement our strategy if we were working together.
How We’d Approach B2C Content Marketing for Oyster
Like most B2C businesses, blogs in the loan brokerage space focus on the top of the funnel “lifestyle” topics. For example, here are some of the topics covered by a different sports nutrition company:
Two of these topics are perfect examples of TOF Content. “Save Money When Travelling Abroad” and “Signs and Symptoms of Money Disorders” are topics that would likely interest their audience. Still, neither indicates the person searching or reading is interested in a loan.
From an ROI standpoint, as we’ve seen previously, these types of content convert far less (often 25X less) than the BoF content.
Consequently, we think it doesn’t make sense to go invest your resources in such topics when other high volume keywords indicate people looking for loans.
We mentioned earlier that we’d focus our content strategy on 3 types of keywords before anything else.
- BOF services keywords: Purchase-intent keywords for which our B2C client’s general services pages are unlikely to rank.
- Pain point keywords: Search queries that indicate someone has a pain point that our client’s services solve.
- Use case keywords: Search queries that indicate someone wants to do something our client’s services help them do.
Let’s look at examples of each.
1. BOF Services Keywords
This personal loan is often taken out to fund the season of celebrations.
Starting at the Bottom of the Funnel, you can imagine the types of keywords they might rank for with individual service pages. For example:
- Christmas Loans [product type]
- Short Term Loans [product type]
- Personal Loans [product type]
- Payday Loans [product type]
And in fact, there is exactly the type of keywords their product pages are ranking for, e.g. Christmas Loans for Bad Credit is actually a category/product page but optimized for Christmas loans for bad credit.
However, there are tons of other ways that people can describe these types of products (i.e. other purchase intent keywords) to go after.
For example, “loans for Christmas no credit checks” is ranking on pages 2-3 of search results (you’ll get essentially zero conversions when raking after page 1. It’s not much different from not ranking at all.
All the terms above indicate someone is looking for the exact loan Oyster can recommend. Still, it’s possible and most likely that their general category pages will never rank for different variations.
This is because of how Google’s algorithm functions. They rate sites based on their capacity to satisfy search intent. On the other hand, highly specialized pages do a far better job of it.
So for such terms, it’s often necessary to create an article optimized for the specific query, or at least a lifestyle post that presents searches with multiple options.
The latter is often what you’ll find – get to the top of page #1 of Google in the SERPs for queries like these because people searching for search terms want to explore options before deciding to take one.
There are many ways to find these types of the Bottom of the funnel keyword opportunities.
However, we’d likely start with the keywords they’ve included on their product page, such as “Christmas loans for bad credit”.
This keyword hints at a potential long-tail keyword opportunity. And people looking for Christmas loans for bad credit with these specific qualities are a perfect match for Oyster.
You may get more results by optimizing for more specific terms. These can produce a higher conversion rate than people who search for broader product names.
So for queries that include “Christmas loans for bad credit” with any combination of these other terms – if they aren’t already ranking, we’d want to target those.
Here are some examples that show up in KeySearch when searching “Christmas loans for bad credit“:
We may have 10+ potential product keyword targets for only one of their four categories in these few short scenarios. For each product, we’d use the same approach—both with each product and competitor keywords—as we did for this one. (i.e. Christmas Loans, Short Term Loans, Personal Loans, Payday Loans).
In doing so, you can see how Oyster has the potential to rank for 50-100+ revenue-producing keywords that they may not have considered previously.
Let’s look at the various sorts of keywords we may target as we work our way up the funnel away from direct product intent keywords.
Pain Point Keywords
The major advantage of targeting pain point keywords is that searchers frequently intend to find a solution, and there’s a natural chance to connect your product to the article.
To show how we approach this, let’s take a minute to come up with possible pain areas that Oyster solves for its customers. As was the case with other keywords, it’s worth considering this from the perspective of the specific information they provide on their product page.
Based on their about page, pain points their customers might include:
- Need a cash advance for an emergency
- Worries over how and where they’ll get the loan of their choice.
- Uncertainty about getting an engaging loan deal through regulated lenders.
- Desire short-term loans, instalment loans and many more.
So, if we were doing content ideation for pain point keywords, we’d start searching for these terms in the various tools we use (Ahrefs, Keysearch, Google Related Searches, Google Suggested Search, “People also ask”, etc.).
Here are some examples of the “need for an emergency loan” pain point:
These queries could be opportunities for Oyster to show up, educate readers on how to get emergency loans, and present their alternative as a solution to that.
Here are some examples of short-term loans pain points:
Oyster could show up and discuss the best short-term loans, those with low monthly payments, and interest-free short-term loans for people who want short-term loans.
You get the idea here. We’d continue repeating this in Google and Keyword Research tools and do so for the specific pain points that each of their product solves.
Consider how this batch of keywords is one step removed from the absolute Bottom of the funnel batch discussed previously. The consumers that entered these search queries were looking for specific loans, which means they had product-purchasing intent. (you don’t Google “salary advance loans” unless you are a salaried individual interested in a salary advance). So, these terms will still convert way higher than TOF terms with no product buying intent.
Use Case Keywords
Finally, we’d also look for opportunities where people search for how to do something that Oyster’s product can help them do.
For example, if someone types in “get a loan instantly…”—it would make a lot of sense for Oyster to show up there with their solution.
You can imagine how performing this approach for both pain issues, and use cases might quickly produce a few more hundred keywords since the target audience is seeking to address something or do something that Oyster may assist them with.
You may also see how it makes more sense to go after all of these keywords first before writing about unrelated lifestyle subjects that have nothing to do with your actual product.
Benefits of Effective B2C Content Strategy
B2C content marketing helps you speak directly to your consumers with no intermediary, resulting in a shorter sales cycle. The individual consumer makes the final decision, usually based on both rational and emotional thinking.
At Content Takeoff, we’re always discussing the importance of writing good financial articles. We are committed to producing and delivering quality content that hits home with your specific target audience.
Want to work with us to generate real business?
Our Agency: If you want to hire us to execute financial content marketing in this way, you can learn more about working with us here.
What is B2C content marketing?
B2C content marketing is a type of marketing that is focused on creating and distributing content to a consumer audience. This type of marketing can be used to create brand awareness, drive traffic to websites or landing pages, and convert leads into customers.
How do you create a B2C content strategy?
Understand your customer’s pain points, then start looking for high buyer intent keywords. These are the keywords that searchers use when they are actively looking for ways to solve their problems. Finally, you need to make sure that your content is relevant and useful. Provide information that will help your readers solve their problems.
What are B2C strategies?
Focus on the BOF services keywords, Pain point keywords, and use case keywords.
What is an example of B2C marketing?
An example of B2C marketing is when a company markets their products or services directly to consumers. This can include advertising, PR, and customer service/support.
I’m an ex-banker, agency owner, and SEO & Content Expert for Financial Service Providers & Personal Finance Bloggers. I leverage my 15 years of expertise in financial writing & SEO to drive more traffic to your blog. Whether you want more traffic to your website for new customers, Ad revenue, or affiliate sales, I can help.