July 29th, 2020

Finance Copywriting: Everything You Need to Know

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Written by Copycat Copywriters

When it comes to brand messaging and content creation, every industry has its own unique challenges. But few fields are as tricky to write for as the financial sector. 

Effective financial copywriting requires the writer to boil down complex topics into interesting, accurate, and digestible content. All the while, they must optimize each page for search, ensure that the content abides by federal regulations, and be mindful of the brand’s voice, value proposition, and audience.

That’s no simple task. But it is one we can help with. 

To that end, let’s discuss everything you need to know about finance copywriting services. 

The State of Finance Copywriting 

The financial services industry is massive. 

In terms of marketing, the sheer magnitude of this vertical creates a messaging problem—there are so many competing voices. This clamor drowns everything out. To consumers, it all too easily becomes white noise. 

So, how do you get heard above the din? 

It starts with a unique content plan filled with a diverse portfolio of high-quality copy, including: 

  • Blog posts
  • Landing pages
  • Website content
  • White papers
  • Sales copy
  • Marketing emails

But being a copywriter for the financial services industry poses some unique challenges. There are two differentiating factors in particular that can make it tough to produce quality content:

  • #1 Messaging is sales-centric – Even more so than other forms of copywriting, financial copywriting is intentional about galvanizing the reader toward a specific action—whether that be to invest, sign up for an email list, purchase a good or service, or subscribe. Doing so effectively without being too on the nose is a delicate balance.

  • #2 The field is heavily regulated – Unlike many other content creation fields, there are stringent messaging regulations within the financial sector. Anything that could be deemed as an advertisement or promotional material, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) requires that, “A firm or other provider must take reasonable steps to ensure that a communication, financial promotion or payment service or electronic money promotion is fair, clear and not misleading.” You must know the rules, and be careful about what you say and how you say it.  

These elements add complexity to the copywriting equation.
 

How We Create Financial Copy That Stands Out 

High-quality financial writing has been important for decades. But in a digital world dominated by web content and social media, it’s now an essential ingredient to financial success. 

Done properly it can help you:

  • Establish thought leadership
  • Drive site traffic and conversions
  • Move readers down the sales funnel
  • Deliver valuable insights and advice to readers  
  • Build a steady audience 

But many businesses don’t live up to these goals. 

Why?

Because their content falls flat. 

So how do you avoid following their lead? 

For us, there are five things we focus on in order to create financial copy that sells. 

The Content MUST Be Engaging

Money is serious. Financial copywriting doesn’t have to be. Or, at least, it needn’t be dull.

If the content conjures images of paint drying or makes the readers’ eyes glaze over before the introduction is through, the battle is lost before it ever begins. And, in the end, everyone’s valuable time is wasted. 

You must engage the audience from the beginning and then never let go. 

As Will Rogers once said, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”

There’s no doubt that the numbers are important. But don’t focus on the facts at the expense of the message. It's how they’re framed that makes the difference. 

You must ask, “What’s their impact on and relation to the audience?” 

Far too often, that question isn’t answered from the get-go. Instead, the reader is practically waterboarded by a deluge of financial information without clearly understanding how it impacts their life and why they should keep on enduring the torture.   

Gear Content Towards a Target Audience 

According to Warren Buffett, it’s crucial that you write with a specific person in mind: 

“When writing Berkshire Hathaway’s annual report, I pretend that I’m talking to my sisters. I have no trouble picturing them: Though highly intelligent, they are not experts in accounting or finance. They will understand plain English, but jargon may puzzle them. My goal is simply to give them the information I would wish them to supply me if our positions were reversed. To succeed, I don’t need to be Shakespeare; I must, though, have a sincere desire to inform. No siblings to write to? Borrow mine: Just begin with “Dear Doris and Bertie.”

Content can’t be applicable to every reader. If you attempt to write for a universal audience, the end product will be boring, generalized copy that appeals to neither the ideal audience nor the casual reader. What might speak to a CEO may have zero impact and make even less sense to a thirty-something-first-time investor. 

Whoever your audience is, the content needs to be tailored to them. 

But knowing your audience isn’t simply about building their demographic profile. More importantly, you have to understand who they are on a root level. 

How? 

By asking questions like:

  • What problems are they dealing with?
  • What are their hopes and dreams?
  • What are their fears?
  • What are their concerns?
  • What type of messaging do they respond to?

What do they want? To be a better trader? To save up money for their college fund? To attain a thorough grasp on concepts like ETF markets and budgeting? 

Whatever it is they’re looking for, it’s crucial that each piece of content is geared toward not only answering that question but doing it in a way that feels personalized. 

Tailor it for SEO

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) plays a critical role in a business’s digital success. It not only helps you rank higher on search but also makes your content easier to read and more effective at pushing your reader down the sales funnel and towards the end goal. 

While there are hundreds of steps you can take to ensure that your content is optimized for search, there are a couple of key pointers to keep in mind:

  • Make each page easily scannable
  • Utilize white space
  • Break up content with engaging headlines
  • Use keywords and meta descriptions
  • Add optimized title tags
  • Link to other external websites as well as internal pages
  • Optimize images with alt-text    

By taking these actions, you can build better financial content, increase web traffic, and drive conversions. 

Stop Being So Humble 

Whether you’re an individual or part of a larger corporation, don’t be shy. Tell your audience what makes you special.  

If you have the stats or financials to support your expertise and experience, use them. And don’t just use them, shout them. Display them on your website, your copy, your emails—anywhere, everywhere. 

Let your audience know immediately why they can trust you with their money, time, or financial decisions. 

For instance, common financial resume boosters include: 

  • How many assets do you have under management?
  • What were your sales?
  • How many clients trust you and what were their returns?
  • What big names partner with you?  

Do you have case studies that demonstrate that your company is doing something different, something better? Make it downloadable. Have you written books on the subject? Articles? Given lectures? Share them. Has the company developed proprietary software that is a game-changer within the marketplace? Let everyone know.   

People (strangers especially) demand social proof. They want to know what makes you worth listening to. And yet far too many financial companies fail to proudly display these key differentiators. 

Now’s not the time for a false sense of humility. Tell your audience what makes you the best. 

Don’t miss out on a perfect opportunity to toot your own horn.   

Be Careful About Jargon  

While it’s important to brag about your laurels and establish your authority, that can be done in several ways besides using fancy, industry-specific language.

What does that mean? 

Put simply, far too much financial content is jam-packed with finance industry jargon that isn’t geared for the target consumer or layman. Highfalutin diction filled with ten-dollar words doesn’t make you relatable, nor does it provide your audience with the useful information they need. 

The diction you use in your content shouldn’t be elevated (unless that’s your target audience). Instead, all of your copy should be in easy-to-read and easy-to-understand English. 

Whether you’re writing a blog or a landing page, your goal is simple: quickly demonstrate your expertise by providing your reader with small pieces of digestible content that leave them with obvious takeaways and actionable insights. 

Now, this doesn’t mean that you can’t explain or talk about difficult financial concepts, but it’s important you strike a balance between readability and competence. So, if you use jargon, be sure to explain it so that there’s no confusion.   

Getting Help Finance Copywriting

Creating financial content that’s engaging and effective takes time, know-how, and talent. You need a knack for storytelling, a deep understanding of the brand message, and the ability to take complex topics and shape them into accessible primers. 

Put simply, writing solid financial copy isn’t an easy feat. 

Just like how others come to you for your financial advice, you may need to turn to writing experts to help you elevate your financial copywriting. 

Here at Copycat, we’re not just some financial services copywriting agency. We’re different. We build in-house financial writing teams. Each copywriting team is staffed by experienced financial scribes who not only have the finance industry know-how but intuitively understand how to best position your brand’s message. 

We’re are pros at:

  • Creating engaging, quality content
  • Tailoring each piece towards a specific audience
  • Optimizing for search
  • Tastefully singing your praises
  • Writing in plainspeak 

Whether it’s copywriting for financial advisors or partnering with an equity firms’ marketing team, we have the skills and stable of writers you need to increase site traffic, conversions, and sales. 

You can bet on this—working with Copycat will be one of the best investments you ever make. Reach out below and we’ll build you a free piece of content! 

Sources

Financial Conduct Authority. Purpose and Application: Who and what? https://www.handbook.fca.org.uk/handbook/BCOBS/2/?view=chapter

Forbes. Thoughts on the Life of Business. https://www.forbes.com/quotes/9717/

Warren Buffett. Security and Exchange Commission, A Plain English Handbook. https://plainlanguage.gov/resources/guides/plain-english-handbook/

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