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The Role of Content Marketing in Banking Affiliate Programs

Caoimhe Ryan

Caoimhe Ryan

Affiliate Relationship Manager
  • Last Updated: March 1, 2024

Marketing teams at banks and other financial institutions have recently shown a growing interest in leveraging affiliate marketing programs. Affiliate marketing isn’t just for retail products, and it can provide numerous benefits including expanding reach and reducing the cost of customer acquisition. 

If you are a financial brand ready to infuse content marketing into your affiliate program, we can help. Reach out to our team of experts and they’ll walk through the process of getting started.

As this sector learns more about affiliate marketing and evolves how it uses this channel, it’s clear that affiliate marketing comes in many shapes and sizes. It doesn’t just have to be about building relationships with influencers. You can also have relationships built around content marketing efforts.

In this article, we’re taking a closer look at the relationship between affiliate marketing and content marketing for banks, and sharing an example of how one of our clients, Neo Financial, has benefitted from this strategy.

Content Marketing in Banking Affiliate Programs

On the surface, it’s true that content marketing and affiliate marketing are two different parts of the broader marketing strategy. However, they can work together. 

Content marketing doesn’t have to be limited to content you create and publish on your own channels. And affiliate marketing doesn’t have to be limited to product placement or influencer campaigns. 

Affiliate marketing offers a number of benefits to financial brands. It increases customer reach, improves brand exposure, enhances trust and credibility, and strengthens customer relations. These are all benefits that align with what an effective content marketing strategy can deliver. Affiliate marketing takes things a step further as it is one of the most cost effective channels for customer acquisition, only requires payment for tangible results, and allows for more targeted marketing efforts by leveraging partner audiences, thus maximizing your ROI.

In addition, affiliate marketing helps to diversify your marketing efforts. It allows you to be innovative and proactive, rather than reactive. From a content marketing perspective, it allows you to extend the reach of your content efforts. Rather than simply leveraging your own content distribution channels, you can also leverage those of other recognized and reputable brands. 

Content Marketing in All Its Forms

The great thing about content marketing is that it can take on a number of different formats. Which makes the most sense for your affiliate marketing partnerships will depend on what you and your affiliates know about your target audience. 

Pro tip: Make sure you are leveraging your affiliates and the knowledge and data they have about their audience. This will help you make decisions around the type of content you want to be creating together. 

Here are some content formats that are great to use for content marketing partnerships in your affiliate marketing program:

  • Financial product review or comparisons
  • Financial product roundups
  • Resource pages
  • Long-form guides
  • Product selection guides
  • Landing pages
  • Case studies
  • Customer stories 
  • Social media posts 

Leveraging different content formats and approaches will help you diversify your audience and ensure you are reaching as many people as possible in the format that most appeals to them.

Support Your Strategy by Measuring Performance

While content marketing is a different format than traditional affiliate marketing efforts, you still need to track its performance. Not only is this performance data important for paying your affiliate partners, but it will also give you more insight into what resonates with your audience and what encourages them to convert. 

Having the right tools in place will be key here. 

Fintel Performance, for instance, was designed to help financial brands streamline a lot of the work related to affiliate marketing. Not only does it open the door to a vast network of pre-vetted affiliates, it also allows teams to narrow in on the partners that could help them execute on marketing strategies that better resonate with their target audience (e.g. content marketing).

Fintel Performance has r​​obust multi-event tracking and reporting capabilities. Plus, its campaign management tools allow teams to have clear visibility into how affiliates are performing, regardless of the content’s format or location. This means you have seamless insight into how your budget is being spent and can quickly identify how to prioritize your content marketing efforts with affiliates.

Where Compliance Comes In

When it comes to banking affiliate programs, compliance is a vitally important element. Financial institutions have numerous regulations and responsibilities when it comes to how they market their products, and affiliate content marketing initiatives are no different. 

Ensuring all the content produced around your brand is compliant — whether it’s crafted by your team or an affiliate partner — requires a comprehensive compliance program. At the heart of this program, you need an AI-powered compliance tool that flags issues immediately (before the regulators see them) and helps your team resolve them. 

Fintel Check is one such tool. It was built to take the heavy lifting out of monitoring, finding, evaluating, and documenting fintech marketing activity — including content marketing distributed across various channels. Its rules-based engine houses established rules that tell the system what to monitor (e.g. specific language or terms). 

In a typical scan, Fintel Check evaluates anything it finds against the rules and provides an easy red, yellow, or green outcome that is easy to review, understand, and act on. More importantly, the tool ensures wider and more frequent reviews and oversight, increases review accuracy, and gives teams much more comprehensive transparency on partner activity.

This way, teams can strategically enter into affiliate marketing programs that include content marketing and test new marketing approaches, all without having to worry about a breach of compliance.

A Successful Approach in Practice

Neo Financial is a Canadian digital-first alternative to traditional banks and they are on a mission to bring much-needed innovation and choice to consumers in Canada. On their mission to revolutionize the banking experience for Canadians, they wanted to establish credibility in a market dominated by big banks. They had seen early promise in affiliate marketing and wanted to continue building brand recognition across leading publications, thus blending their content and affiliate marketing efforts. 

The team chose Fintel Connect to accelerate and amplify their affiliate marketing performance. Alongside onboarding them onto our affiliate marketing platform, we supported them in building out the strategy, mapping out their campaigns, and following approaches that delivered strong, quality results. With Fintel’s help, the team boosted its mix of high-quality partnerships by 400% in their first month alone. This included large names such as Forbes and Nerd Wallet. 

Since launching the program, Neo Financial has experienced exponential growth of 511% in net new customers through the affiliate channel, as well as valuable brand credibility in the market.

For Neo Financial, the key to a successful affiliate marketing program lies in aligning it with their content marketing strategy. They exemplify what success can look like for financial institutions that want to disrupt a traditional market. 

Want to learn more about how Fintel Connect can support your team? Reach out to us today.

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