Fintech is here, and it’s disrupting how people and businesses manage money across the globe.
Deloitte expects significant disruption from neo-banks, investment apps, payment solutions, and more.
In an industry as heavily regulated as finance, disruption can be a dirty word.
Fintech companies should expect pushback from traditional banks and financial institutions – in some cases, ugly pushback.
This is why successful thought leadership in fintech is critical. Fintech thought leaders must carefully balance transparency, reassurance, and innovation to build trust in their target markets and investors.
8 Things You Absolutely Need for Successful Thought Leadership in Fintech
Consumers and businesses alike are already distrusting financial institutions. Bain & Co has found that 54% of global consumers trust at least one tech company more than banks in general. In Italy, West Asia, and China, the figure is even higher: over 75%.
At the same time, people don’t trust tech companies so much either.
Only 69% of people trust Google and Apple with their data. Social media companies score even lower: Only 41% trust Facebook.
Fintech leaders certainly have their work cut out for them but thought leadership content offers the perfect opportunity to bridge the trust gap.
1. A Well-Defined Audience
Thought leaders are often overconfident in their knowledge of their audience. They wrongly assume their audience is either overly optimistic or wary of their product or service.
Innovative thought leaders don’t make assumptions. They create content based on extensive research and planning. Making too many assumptions without research could result in content that insults your audience’s intelligence or makes you appear out of touch.
Research is the only way to figure out what your audience values, what concerns they have about your industry, what pain points they face, and whom they respect.
2. A Research Strategy for Thought Leadership
Thought leadership research isn’t something just anyone can do. Average marketers aren’t prepared to develop comprehensive surveys, collect qualitative and quantitative data, organize outreach, find groups to target, and analyze data.
It would be best if you had a distinct thought leadership research strategy from experts.
A research strategy isn’t something you complete once before starting your content creation and calling it quits. Fintech is still an emerging industry. Your research could show wildly different results a few months apart. Ongoing research is necessary for creating successful thought leadership content that evolves as your sector evolves.
3. A Content Strategy for Thought Leadership
Your research and content strategies should work hand-in-hand. Research guides your content creation and the KPIs from your content guide further research.
Content creation involves several elements. It’s a misconception that thought leadership content only targets top of the funnel leads with blog posts and social media content. Thought leadership content is vital at every stage of the funnel in formats like product comparisons, eBooks, whitepapers, podcasts, and more.
Each format and stage require distinct KPIs for tracking your results and adjusting your strategy.
4. An Understanding of the Current Industry Thought Leaders
Standing out from the competition isn’t easy. Sometimes, it isn’t about doing thought leadership better than your competition but taking a different route.
Fintech is still fresh. It takes time to earn trust and build a content library. There’s no way every competitor has created a successful thought leadership strategy for every niche.
Research your competition. Research your audience’s perceptions of your competition and their behaviors towards them. Find an area they’ve neglected or ignored. Make it yours and own it.
5. Defined KPIs
A whopping 74% of B2B marketers admit they have no way of attributing their thought leadership strategy to sales impact. Defining your KPIs and understanding how to track them is vital for determining the ROI of your thought leadership content.
Your KPIs will look different for blogs at the top of the funnel than product comparisons and guides at the bottom of the funnel.
Your thought leadership KPIs also look different for thought leadership compared to content marketing. For example, you might track brand mentions and their context, returning monthly website visitors, backlinks, and booked engagements like podcasts.
6. An Editorial Line and Thought Leader Voice
Consistency breeds trust. A media outlet that continually changes its editorial line looks untrustworthy or inexperienced. Thought leadership is the same way, and in fintech, trust is paramount.
What type of thought leader voice will your audience trust? Are they more likely to trust someone who speaks conversationally and casually or someone with more of a technical tone?
You’ll never know if you don’t conduct thorough research to figure out what your audience already values and trusts. At the same time, your thought leader voice shouldn’t differ drastically from your natural voice because that’s equally distrusting. Research your audience and find a happy middle ground.
7. A Promotional Plan
You’re not creating a thought leadership strategy to impress your colleagues or other thought leaders. Your goal is to impress leads, investors, and potentially even regulators and win them over.
Where you publish your thought leadership content should reflect that as well.
Where does your target audience go to find the latest information? Which sources do they trust?
It’s all about building trust, so make sure you only attach yourself to podcasts, publications, and media outlets that your audience trusts – and that reflect your brand values.
8. Subject Matter Experts and Fellow Thought Leaders for Collaborating
Fellow thought leaders in fintech don’t have to be the enemy. It would help if you targeted different niches so you can collaborate.
Find leaders your audience already trusts through comprehensive research. Invite them on your podcasts or video series. You gain access to their audience and can instil trust in your audience as well – as do they through you.
Carve Out Your Niche for Thought Leadership in Fintech and Start to Shine
Successful thought leadership in fintech is all about consistently instilling trust while demonstrating your innovation. You must carefully balance reassurance and nuance in your content.
Comprehensive research and content strategy are critical for understanding your audience’s fears, future concerns, and current perspectives of both traditional finance and fintech companies.
That’s how you create content to win the hearts and minds of leads.