Inbound Marketing for Fintech companies
If you look at the vast number of inbound marketing agencies focused on the technology space, that alone will let you know just how much of a demand there is for the practice within that sector. Marcus Sheridan wrote an article in 2014 on the best 20 Hubspot agency partners and all of them work with tech companies.
During the article, he goes on to talk about the need to ensure that your chosen agency partner is a subject matter expert and can show results in the field, although discounting a newer agency isn’t always a good thing as a fresh perspective can also pay dividends.
I recently touched on the subject of why inbound marketing requires subject matter experts because I too believe that you should work with agencies that actually have industry knowledge, working knowledge of your product or services, but relatable experience comes a close second.
Personally, I have over 13 years’ industry experience within financial services at all levels and worked on many more “Fintech” or financial technology projects at the banks, before leaving and coming to work in marketing and web technology.
Understanding exactly what makes people in the finance industry tick, what pushes their clients into a buying cycle and how projects of this magnitude would be handled internally, really gives someone in my position an edge over someone without that experience. I mean, do you really want to be paying for your chosen agency partner to learn about you, your company, the industry and your client base whilst you’re paying them to create results?
I think not!
Whilst there is an element of learning and education on any inbound campaign, this should be learning of the data that you are collecting as the web design or marketing campaign gathers pace, effectively ensuring you tweak the campaign as the data tells you to so that you improve conversion results*.
What is inbound marketing….
Inbound marketing, marketing automation, Hubspot, Marketo, Pardot… if your business, sorry when your business needs digital lead generation, I’m of no doubt that you will hear or would have heard of these terms or platform names.
Inbound Marketing is a combined strategic practice of using various formats of content, social media, email, SEO, paid search, websites, apps and calls to action to attract prospects and create leads in your companies sales funnel.
As you can see from the graphic above, there are four stages to the inbound methodology, the Attract stage, the Convert stage, the Close stage and finally the Delight stage. Each stage clearly shows what types of content or actions are used to entice your prospects further down your sales funnel, taking website visitors and converting them into promoters of your brand, product or services.
Note, the further along the inbound process your website or blog visitors travel, the higher the chance of converting them into a paying customer. Which you then keep happy and prepped for a further pitch or educate with a view to sell or upsell your products or services at a later date.
And no! Inbound marketing is not strictly B2B. Everybody is searching and researching more and more online independent of big company websites. If your content appears in those natural search results, that’s almost a recommendation from Google, well almost!
Let’s look at each stage.
The Attract Stage
At the attract stage, we are going to assume you have at least one of two things, a website, and a blog. You can have either or, but you will definitely need the blog 100%!
The attract stage relates directly to the search activity online that most of us perform on a daily basis. We are constantly searching for news, information, products across Google, Bing, Yahoo and Social Media channels. It’s up to you as a Fintech company to ensure you have content that will match those search terms being used and to ensure that content will be displayed in the organic search results on search engines.
General or top of the funnel search terms are things such as
- Online money transfer
- Online accounting software
- Best fx rates online
These terms all relate to possible Fintech company services and products
The Convert Stage
Once you have attracted the visitors to your blog or website, it’s time to further educate them about your products or service. By clicking through to your content from the search engine results, they’ve already expressed a general interest, so feeding them more high-level content probably isn’t going to be what they want in most cases.
It’s time to entice them in.
Once the visitors are on your site, it’s your job to get them to exchange their details with you – now called consent marketing so that you can lawfully add them to your mailing lists and company CRM. But why would they give you their details if they are only looking generally in your direction?
Well, let’s look back at the examples of high-level search terms - one of which was “online accounting software”.
If you created an ebook, that looked at the best and worst of online accounting software 2016, written in an independent perspective, but was a gated piece of content (you have to fill in a form to download), wouldn’t you want to read it?
To obtain that, I have to give you my name, email and some other data (dependent on goals) in the form and then you mail me a link or the ebook automatically downloads to my device.
Following that process through logically shows that there was a generic search for online accounting software of which your content appeared in the search results. The researcher clicked through into your content and there was a call to action on that piece of content to download a review of the best and worst online accounting software 2016.
This additional piece of content is directly related to the search term the researcher came to your site with, but is more informative and definitely of interest and further down the sales funnel MOFU – middle of the funnel.
To follow this MOFU content offering you could go in for the conversion by offering a free trial of the software or offering an exploratory consultancy call to find a little more about your prospect and to talk through the benefits of your software solution, often called a BOFU or bottom of the funnel offer.
… and marketing automation
Marketing automation is provided by technology, in this case, Hubspot.
The Hubspot platform enables you, or your marketing agency to set up the automated workflows required to lead your prospects down your sales funnel. Dependent on which touch points within the marketing strategy your prospects interact, the automated workflows allow you to create a triggered response sequence of communication, that is both timely and also personalised.
Some examples of workflow actions include:
- Sending out a follow-up email with your promised offer when a contact fills out certain forms with a valid email address.
- Sending out reminder emails for your upcoming webinar or conference with follow up emails after the event.
- Sending different emails based on how a contact fills out a form.
- Dynamically updating a contact property so that the contact sees a different version of your page's Smart Content (Professional and Enterprise accounts only)
Not only are workflows powerful enough to automate your lead nurturing, but they also help you complete internal tasks such as:
- Notifying a sales rep when a contact submits a free trial form.
- Automatically setting an internal contact property, such as a Trial Start Date.
- Adding your contacts to a static list of conference registrants for historical viewing.
- Posting your contact's data into another system via a Webhook, when that contact fills out a form.
A unique advantage of HubSpot's Workflows tool is its ability to track your workflow’s performance towards a focused goal. Setting a goal list will be key to many of your workflows as you’ll be able to see at a quick glance at how the workflow measures up.
Why financial technology companies should use Inbound Marketing
By now, you are starting to grasp a better understanding of inbound marketing, marketing automation and how that can start to benefit your Fintech company. But are you at all interested in finding out more about this and how it can benefit you?
Let’s look at a Hubspot fintech case study. Intelliflo a SaaS business that delivers an on-demand management system to clients in the financial services industry so they can become more efficient, manage risk and build a better business had fantastic results
165% - Increase in leads 174% - Increase in website traffic 83% - Increase in organic traffic
To increase website traffic and generate more leads, Intelliflo developed an inbound marketing strategy and began the process of identifying the right marketing software. They needed a platform which had the necessary tools for inbound success, as well as Salesforce integration so they could gain real-time insights into the leads its sales team should focus on.
"HubSpot helped us increase traffic and leads, as well as sales rep productivity thanks to its Salesforce integration and lead scoring feature."
Dan Moody, Digital Marketing Manager
What I like about what Intelliflo achieved is that they did this with their own internal marketing team, they didn’t employ an agency partner as the business was of sufficient size to tackle this integration themselves.
I’m pretty certain that Hubspot's own internal sales team helped with this process, but as an agency, I’m expected to talk of the benefits of agency partnership, however, what this shows is that marketing automation is something you can achieve with or without an agency partner.
Fintech startups that are in an accelerator or incubator and are funded to a max $1MM can also get access to Hubspot via their startup package and get access to the full platform with training and support. Other rules apply and you have to pass their eligibility tests, but there is no reason why you shouldn’t kick off your road to success with the world’s number one rated marketing automation software platform.