Content Creation Is a Struggle

I’m guessing you found this post because you Googled something like “How to create content for banks,” probably because you’re a content creator like me, and probably because you’re looking for a boost to reach that next cutting-edge idea. You’ve been staring down the business end of a word processor to no avail. Just that nagging cursor and a deadline that’s either around the corner or just went by. 

You’re not alone. Even the greatest storytellers and most engaging brands struggle to produce meaningful, valuable content. 

Higher-ups hear the word “content” at a conference and expect the marketing department to publish three pieces of “original content” each week. We respond to those expectations with arbitrary deadlines. We forget to set an intention. We forget why we’re writing in the first place. We forget our names. We turn to Facebook for a reminder and get sucked into meaningless top 10 lists produced by other banks. It’s the circle of life. 

Why are we writing? 

  • To boost SEO?
  • To fill our web page? 
  • To have something to share on social media?

Those don’t seem like inspiring goals. They definitely don’t give us new ideas of what to write about. 

Set Your Intention

You need to have a driving goal to inform your content strategy. Posting blindly to your blog or social media platforms is a sure-fire way to leave your readers uninterested and guarantee your own burnout. 

What do you want to achieve with your content?

  • Make your clients happier?
  • Encourage community involvement?
  • Increase financial literacy?
  • Promote deposit growth?
  • Attract a certain type of business owner?
  • A little bit of everything?

Once you’ve set a few intentions for your content, you can think of each intention as a bucket and begin filling it with ideas. 

Now you just have to start creating it. Or do you?

Content Isn’t Created

We struggle the most when we’re trying to create something from nothing.

Calling ourselves content creators is setting unrealistic expectations. We are, at our best, content curators. 

No one is asking you to go full DaVinci Code—tying archaeology, religion, art, history and Crusades-era politics into a riveting narrative. They’ve got Dan Brown and other authors like him for that. They’re coming to you, likely, because they’re a client of your bank, or because they are looking for more information about how to improve themselves and the financial well-being of their clients. You don’t have to create something from scratch, you just have to find the things your clients are looking for and make it available to them.

This may mean gathering facts about personal credit scores or walking entrepreneurs through the process of getting a new business loan. 

It may mean providing existing clients with light-hearted breaks from their day by sharing something funny or promoting your employees’ community involvement efforts. 

It definitely means sharing the success stories of the people and businesses your bank works with on a daily basis.

Look around you for the stories that already exist, and curate them through your website. 

Teach Your Clients

One of the biggest blank spots in financial content is simply explaining banking products—helping consumers connect the dots. We know so much about banking that we forget to tell others who don’t share our banking-is-our-universe perspectives.

Planting your flag as a financial expert is a great place to start. 

Every week, it seems a new study or survey comes out proving again how frustrated Americans are when it comes to finances.

For example, a recent National Endowment for Financial Education survey showed only 24 percent of millennials demonstrated a basic understanding of how to manage their money. Another SunTrust Bank survey of people in relationships revealed money is the leading cause of relationship stress. 

As banks, our job is to help educate our clients on the ins and outs of finances. After all, we’re the ones employing the majority of financial experts. 

Your job, as a content curator, is to identify the areas where your clients are struggling and seek out the experts in each area. Have them produce how-to pieces, or simply interview them and do the writing yourself. 

Helping your clients grow their understanding of finances is not just a gesture of noble intention—it generates goodwill from potential clients and can be a boon to your website’s SEO efforts.

Enlist Outside Help

You don’t need to go it alone. 

Find the people in your bank who know the most about the topics you want to cover, and enlist their help. No one wants to write a weekly column for your bank’s website, but if every expert writes something about their field once each year, you’ll have generated a year’s worth of rich, engaging content that meets the needs of your clients.

Since your in-office colleagues tend to know their clients and communities better than anyone else, they’ll know the success stories, too. Don’t think of yourself as a writer stranded on an island. Think of yourself as a museum curator, looking for the best stories to share with the public. 

Finally, be sure to look outside your company for partners in the community.