Vaibhav Khullar, a London-based banking technology startup founder, noticed that digital ads alone wouldn’t generate a big enough bump in business. Six months ago, he decided that content, or branded stories, could be the answer.
“We started off with paid advertising, but online ads aren’t good for the market we’re working in,” said Khullar, the founder of six-year-old OSREC Financial, whose clients are mostly banks and hedge funds. “People who are tech savvy aren’t going to be as influenced by online ads as a high-quality article that’s shared around — it could be an article talking about things that might address an existing problem.”
In finance, content marketing has become a must-have to keep customers and attract new ones. But it’s a cluttered market. It’s tough for a company to distinguish its voice from others presenting the same topic in a similar format or style. For example, the “news and stories” section of Chase’s website features the headline “7 essential rules of saving“; Bank of America’s “Better Money Habits” offers “7 steps to stay financially fit” and Capital One weighs in on “7 ways to enjoy your wedding season without crushing your wallet.” The similarity in look, feel and presentation can make branded articles seem less authentic.
“You’re generally going into a marketplace where everyone is just shouting,” said Khullar. “It’s eventually going to be a mess of noise, and there’s going to be nothing coherent to be heard.”