By Bekki Bushnell, Head of Business Development
The fintech industry isn’t something that is new, it has been around for a long time. But it’s quite hard to determine the actual inception of the fintech industry. Like cloud, ERP and CRM, fintech is part of our business vernacular. But when did the term even originate? Was it the world’s first ATM in 1967? Maybe the introduction of the Nasdaq, the first electronic stock exchange in 1971? Or does it go as far back as 1866, when the first transatlantic cable was laid? Many people would claim that PayPal was the first to really kick off the rise of the fintech industry – the online payments system has brought fintech to the masses.
Today, the UK fintech industry is worth £11 billion, according to Kalifa Review published in 2021. Regardless of its origins, the industry presents a wealth of business opportunities for fintech startups. So, with such a competitive market and one that is growing rapidly – how do they capitalise on it? Beyond the obvious answer (have a great solution), fintech PR has a definite role to play in making your brand stand out and help fuel your growth.
I’ve outlined three key areas you need to consider when thinking about fintech PR:
Understanding your fintech audience
The first thing you need to do when considering fintech PR is to understand your audience and who you’re engaging with. The fintech industry has a multitude of areas to it, from mobile payments to SME financing, all these audiences have different factors that affect their buying decisions. Your digital PR agency can help you define this audience (B2B customers, B2C customers, potential investors) so that you can fully understand their needs and pain points. They can also help you split them into different buyer personas so that when you come to create your messaging it can be tailored to each persona.
Your tech PR agency can then take the messages directed at each persona and identify the channels they need to be targeting for each, whether that’s the media, social, events, or a combination. By doing so, you as the client can know that your messages are hitting the right targets at the right time.
Confidentiality and security are vital for customers in the financial services sector, which means new entrants have to work harder than established players to build up trust and break through the perception that it’s not just those organisations with decades of experience behind them that are trustworthy. This is where fintech PR and marketing can play a key role in fostering that trust and credibility.
Customers need to have confidence in the company to deliver what they said they would. Thought leadership and customer endorsement can play a key role in this. SiriusDecisions suggests that 70% of the buying decision is now done before even speaking to a salesperson. That’s why B2B content marketing is so important now. You can build up the profile of your brand and team, giving you presence in the fintech sector and people will start to see you as the source of information when it comes to your niche.
By gaining the trust of your customers they will become much more comfortable in your ability to handle their data responsibly and provide vital services within financial services.
Learn more about how to build trust in our Question of Trust eBook.
Return on investment
Considering how competitive the fintech industry is, you must make sure every penny you spend on PR is helping you achieve your business goals and objectives. PR has long had a reputation for being hard to prove business impact, but this is not an excuse anymore. Stakeholders will want hard evidence that their PR investment is working – this is more than just coverage numbers – they want to be able to see evidence of sales leads, share of voice and website traffic to name a few.
I would recommend all fintech startups considering a PR investment not to accept the recommendations of the agency until they can prove the link between the activity they’ll be undertaking and the company’s startup strategy and goals. This is why our deliberately different approach of set fees for set deliverables, linked to clear performance commitments underpinned by a formal service level agreement, continues to resonate so well with fintech startups and firms looking for PR.