Your financial blog is the voice of your brand. As a result, this voice needs to be effectively aligned with your target audiences. Most marketing managers at financial brands understand this, of course, but actually executing this imperative is often easier said than done. For example, some marketing managers may not have extensive experience writing blog posts for high-end investors. On the other hand, creating content for, say, college students can be awkward and downright embarrassing. Given these challenges, we'd like to pass along some tips for determining the proper language and voice for your financial blog.
Know Your Audience (No Surprise Here)
The first step for establishing your financial "voice" isn't exactly rocket science: it's about knowing your audience. Pull out and revisit your trusty buyer personas, talk to your sales reps, and then determine the types of challenges these customers face. Research other financial blogs that successfully reach these demographics. Develop your language in a way that speaks directly to their needs without sounding patronizing.
Examples of Target Audiences
From our experience, it is possible to lay out each target audience across a continuum where the "voice" of the blog evolves from "casual" to "professional."
Let's start on the "casual" end of the spectrum. Here we see customers like college students paying off loans, eating peanut butter sandwiches, and maxing out their credit cards. Moving along, next we tend to see families and working parents: the "soccer moms" and Concord and Walnut Creek dads dropping off their kids at school. Your language here can be more formal.
Next up: small business owners. They are a slightly more serious bunch — and who can blame them? — concerned with different issues like accounting, financial planning, and payroll. At the most "serious" end of the spectrum are customers like high-end investors. They, like commercial business owners, tend to be "experts" in their field. It's important to speak to them in an intelligent and educated manner.
Aligning Your Voice and Content to Your Audience
Here's where it gets tricky. If you're a small community bank you likely have a diverse array of clients. Therefore, you'll want a more calibrated approach in your financial blog "voice." Naturally, if your post is entitled "Seven Ways to Save Money Over Christmas Break," your language will address the concerns of college students. Likewise, for a post called "When it Makes Sense to Cash Out Your 401(k)," you'll want to speak directly towards the pocketbook issues of older readers. Our suggestion is to err on the side of formal while realizing you can slightly alter your tone based on the post itself.
Universal Themes, Regardless of Your Audience
No matter your audience’s age, the voice of your financial blog should:
- Exude expertise.
- Align with your brand. If you're a community bank, highlight areas where you are active locally.
- Stress the importance of customer privacy.
- Accentuate the power of peer networks by linking to social media sites
- Highlight the "people behind the brand." Include a guest post by your seasoned financial advisor who's been helping high-end clients since 1992.
Most importantly, before clicking "publish" on any blog post, ask yourself a simple question: "Would an actual person talk that way?" If the answer is "no," some editing will be in order.
Speaking of "actual people," what do you think? What makes a successful financial blog? Does you brand calibrate you blog's "voice" based on it's audience? If so, how?