In 2017, JP Morgan Chase realized it had a problem: of the 400,000 ads the financial institution had floating around the web, some were popping up in some pretty unsavory places, including a website called Hillary 4 Prison. In response, the company made a bold move, slashing its number of advertisements from 400,000 to just 5,000 and committing only to reputable publishers.
On the surface, the move seemed pretty risky. After all, reaching audiences is the goal of content marketing. However, placing quality ads only in well-respected places actually had no detrimental effect on the success of their ads. And the CMO — not to mention the company — got a reputation boost for focusing on quality over quantity.
When it comes to native advertising for financial services, quality counts. Perhaps more than any other industry, financial services customers want to trust their institutions. Making that trust the center of your campaigns is the best way to stand out from competitors and create ads that convert.
Content produced in collaboration with Dianomi.
Clickbait won’t cut it
We’ve all seen clickbait-y finance ads: those sketchy-looking stories promising lower student debt or mortgage payments. Those ads are pretty terrible on their own, but they also make all financial institutions look bad. The 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer found that 46 percent of U.S. consumers believe they can’t trust financial brands.
Earning trust with relevant, well-written content makes all the difference, since customers don’t invest where they don’t trust. In a recent presentation by Luigi Zingales to the World Bank, he proposed that “more trusting people are more likely to invest in stock and risky assets and that, other things being equal, less trusting people keep their money under the mattress.” He went on to explain that trust in mutual funds increases probability of switching by 27 percentage points.
Serving sketchy ads on questionable websites can actually hurt your business in the long run. One research report found that 75 percent of consumers feel brands are accountable for the high or low quality of content that appears next to their advertising. As JP Morgan proved, placing quality ads in reputable spaces makes more sense for financial institutions, even if doing so means less native advertising.
Understand what your audience wants
Publishing high-quality content, however, is often easier said than done. The content that matters to one customer may not mean much to another. And with millions of pieces of content to choose from, audiences may feel overwhelmed by options. Using data to determine which message will resonate with which audience is crucial for customers who might have trouble discerning one message from the next.
For example, according to recent research by Dianomi, with regard to bank accounts, millennials are about 14 percent more interested than Gen X. Millennials are also almost equally interested in credit cards as Gen X, while boomers were much more interested than other demographics in investment guides and stock newsletters. Serving a credit card ad to a customer who’s really looking to invest might be more than a waste of ad spend; it could turn audiences off to your company entirely.
Audiences are much more likely to trust messages relevant to their interests. Understanding who’s clicking your ads could be the key to offering valuable content to wary, overwhelmed customers.
Know the programmatic pitfalls
For companies desperate to meet customers with the right message at the right time, programmatic advertising has been a life saver. But as JP Morgan taught us, financial institutions don’t necessarily need to be everywhere their customers are. Out in the real world, your Gen X customer might be at a death metal show, but that doesn’t mean he or she wants to talk about opening a checking account.
The same goes for the internet. There are hundreds of thousands of sites that simply won’t perform, and some of these sites are definitely not brand safe. Better options for financial marketers include working only with a network of high quality sites, whitelisting your buy and only paying for actual clicks.
According to a recent study by Trinity Mirror, 69% of consumers no longer trust advertising. In the finance industry, where customers walk away from institutions they don’t trust, those numbers should be pretty scary. Creating content tailored to audiences’ needs and serving it in reputable spaces is a the best way to ensure your message is being seen, and received, by the right audiences in the right places.
For more information, download Dianomi’s recent white paper, “How to Master Native Advertising in Financial Services.”