As a profit functioning business, in many cases the goal when creating any form of content always comes back to some metric that involves engagement or sales.

Often this leads to marketers creating content that appeals to getting engagement or getting sales, rarely are they combined together in the same piece. This can be tricky to achieve but when done right, can strike pure gold.

Posts that are overly sales orientated can actual do the opposite of what you are trying to achieve; drive away customers rather than having them convert into a sale. You want to put out a lot of valuable content and only every so often release content that has more of a sales vibe to it.

For banks and credit unions in particular, it can seem like quiet the challenge to create content that is very appealing and engaging for customers, but fear not, here are some actionable tips you can take on board to help change this.

Make sure you clearly know the needs of your audience

The fundamental question that you need to ask yourself when you look to create engaging content that also feeds your bottom line is what are the exact needs of your target audience.

The advent of social media means that you need to engage with customer on a human level. You need to narrow down your marketing and advertising efforts by identifying your precise target audience.

For example, Starbucks sees 75% of their revenues from customers who are aged between 18 and 40 years old. Therefore they are going to target this specific subset in a way that appeals to this age group and on the platforms they like to use.

You need to speak the language of those you are targeting, so this may mean dropping the complicated terms and convoluted sentences in exchange for more easy to read words that get your point across in a short and concise way.

How to effectively gauge what your audience’s needs are

One of the easiest ways to do this is by creating a survey. This doesn’t need to be complicated; it may be as simple as asking what sorts of banking services these people are interested in. You also want to capture some data about their demographics, whether they are from a certain region, in a particular age range etc.

Clearly Define Your Strategy for Content

A mistake that many financial institutions make is that they don’t seem to have a clear content strategy in place, their pieces of content seem inconsistent with each other and are not following a similar theme.

You need to have a strategy for your content that is clearly defined, have targets in place and ensure that this plan is followed.

A good way to gauge what sort of content works well is by checking out the social media accounts of your competitors who are having some success and seeing what type of content is working for them. As well, you can check out those competitors not doing so well and learn about what things you should be avoiding.

One area of content that many banks seem to overlook is the headline. According to one of the finest copywriters David Ogilvy, powerful and provocative headlines are the ones that will be clicked and there is going to be a whole lot more eyes on the headline than the main piece of content.

Having said this, the headline simply draws the customer into the piece of content, if the body of text is weak, people are going to disregard it and bounce off your page. You want to use the headline as the eye candy that draws people in as use the main content to show people that there’s more than meets the eye.

Having a desired action in mind for each post is important as you want there to be a purpose to each and every thing you publish. This could simply mean having the reader like the post, sign-up for a new product or to view your new video.

Whatever the case may be, always ask yourself before publishing if this piece of content achieves this goal.

Getting down into the entity gritty of social media

You don’t need to see social media as being like rocket science. Once you strip it back to its fundamentals, you will be able to get significant results from it.

Once you have your accounts in place, you want to be very consistent, identify the best times to post by testing out different times of the day and seeing which posts perform the best. You then want to encourage users to engage and then measure your results to identify what areas you can improve upon.

As a bank, every so often it is good to humanise your content as much as possible. This may mean hopping on trends that are taking social media by storm, such as the mannequin challenge etc.

You can also conduct funny interviews and make parodies using your staff. This will also encourage them to get more creative and share your bank or credit union’s content even on their own social media.