By Uriel Alvarado
Brand journalism leverages social media effectively to build influence, improve search results and spread ideas and excitement about a particular industry. Good brand journalism, involves storytelling that invites audiences to participate through digital and social media channels.
The key to a firm’s success is producing and hosting unique content designed to engage and attract a new audience. How well you can actually leverage social media to drive this new style of journalism can mean the difference between success and failure. It has already been proven, if marketeers produce great content – articles, videos, infographics, they will return for more. This storytelling process is a soft touch, inbound public relations approach, that will pull consumers, competitors and media towards your business’s content hubs – company website, blog and critical social media platforms like Linkedin Facebook and Twitter.
Financial institutions, certainly have more reason than most to take a more personal approach. Over the past few years, social media has revolutionised the way that traders access trading insights. Many traders use it to access real time information that allows them to outperform the market in a rapidly changing digital economy, and to corroborate stories they’ve found online.
Traders often use social media to establish themselves as credible sources in their own right, but the ability to interact and debate with other sources is crucial.
Financial institutions have a unique opportunity to participate in this interaction, but doing so means getting past the fear that social media channels often engender and getting to grips with sharing. Fortunately, a number of leading financial institutions are successfully blazing a trail for others to follow.
#FXDebates – facilitating a sophisticated exchange of trading insights
For example, Saxo Capital Markets UK’s #FXDebates campaign brought together a range of different marketing, advertising, and PR strategies with the aim of getting closer to our clients and building brand depth. The result was a powerful inbound marketing campaign tailored specifically to the requirements of high-volume FX traders in the UK market.
Delivered in partnership with Bloomberg and TradingFloor (Saxo Bank’s online trading community), #FXdebates drew together a variety of online and offline content, including television adverts, press releases, infographics, campaign-based landing pages, an ebook and two high-profile events at the British Museum and at the Bloomberg offices in collaboration with CityAM. This allowed each audience member to engage with the campaign in the way that best suited them and create their own personal experience of the Saxo brand.
The accompanying social media campaign played a vital role, allowing us at Saxo to engage our target audience and clients in open discussion with leading forex trading experts to gain a better understanding how currencies and the financial markets impact our world.
Financial Brand Journalism: Think about facilitating personal interactions, not about creating messages
The biggest change financial marketers need to make is to start thinking less about delivering a message and more about facilitating interactions. Few people enjoy one-way conversations, which is why the key to a successful PR or marketing campaign is about ensuring information can be shared, and responded to rather than simply cascaded down from a single source.
For financial institutions, that means empowering trading experts to demonstrate their expertise and share insights by interacting publicly with a wider audience, through a variety of press and social media channels. We have known for a long time at Saxo Bank that our best clients come from direct referrals and word of mouth. By facilitating interactions via sophisticated debates we have been able to join conversations online among groups of high net worth individuals, who have embraced our debates. Furthermore, by engaging our audience and clients into a sophisticated discussion we have started a dialogue, which has amplified the word of mouth about our brand and platform.
The personalization tsunami will not stop but rather take more force. As long as you have a strong offering and the relevant brand guidelines are in place for your experts to follow, personalisation through brand journalism and inbound marketing will be the most powerful tools you ever use.
Uriel Alvarado is a highly experienced, senior financial services marketer. In his current role as Chief Marketing and Public Relations Officer, he drives all phases of Marketing, Brand Management and Public Relations strategy for Saxo Capital Markets. He has held numerous senior marketing and PR roles within the Saxo Bank Group including: Global Chief Marketing and Public Relations Officer, ForexTrading, a trade name of FT World Ltd, a fully-owned subsidiary broker in the Saxo Bank Group.