Whitepaper & Longform articles

Marketing a Fintech App? Whitepapers and Long-Form Articles Can Give You an Unfair Advantage

If you have a fintech app, alongside any hopes of having the word viral anywhere near your name, content should be central to your marketing campaign. 

However, with some of the most widely used apps spotting the barest of web pages, it’s easy to believe that content, is not as important in marketing an app when that is far from the truth. Whitepapers and long-form blog articles-when used correctly- open up amazing opportunities to give your app visibility.

Instagram with 1 billion active users has a single page website. Smaller apps might be tempted to go the same route...don't.

Whitepapers

 In 2018, Telegram, EOS, Dragon Corp and Huobi raised a combined $6.42 billion through an Initial Coin Offering (ICO). An ICO involves launching a currency and convincing investors to give it value by buying it at a certain price. In all these cases a whitepaper was used to get people behind the currency. 

In the same year, one of the biggest ICO scams (Pincoin) robbed investors of $660 million, guess what the people behind the ICO used to convince investors? You guessed it, a good ol’ whitepaper. 

Whitepapers are the big guns you pull out when you want to establish brand authority. They’re not only useful for legit ICOs and (when used for bad causes) scammers, fintech apps can and should embrace them as well. 

Whitepapers should be extremely in-depth, typically range between 6 pages and 30 pages, although I’ve seen some hit 100 pages.

How to Develop a Whitepaper for a Fintech App

The first step to developing an effective whitepaper is defining your target audience and what action you’d want to trigger in them. For a fintech app, that might be an install or a newsletter that leads to an install. 

Let’s imagine your company has developed a new budgeting app, as far as you’re concerned, it’s so well built it could entice a drunk off his/her drink. 

Your target market is young professionals who’ve started making money but are looking for better ways to plan and keep track of spending.

In this case, the whitepaper’s potential reader is at the top of the sales funnel; they’ve never heard of your app and are just looking to know more about financial planning. For them, what defines a great whitepaper is that which fills their informational gaps.

Using this insight, you’d go ahead and create an audience profile:

  • My readers are non-experts in matters of financial planning.
  • They are not looking for a product to buy but want to learn (could buy in the future).
  • They are young professionals between the age of 24-35 years.

And you’d go a step further, (ask yourself) how will this insight influence my whitepaper?

  • I won’t use jargon.
  • I will talk more about the problem than my app.
  • I will use a design that caters to mobile readers on the go; readable on commutes or during breaks.

With all this established, the next step is to create your audience-focused whitepaper. 

 4 Ingredients of an Effective Whitepaper

An Eye-catching Heading

 An effective strategy to use is to mention the problem being explored within the heading so that the reader quickly knows what problem the paper solves. 

Thereafter, the writer’s job is to ensure that the content of the paper remains in tandem with the heading.

 In the image below, the heading clearly shows that the problem IBM’s whitepaper is exploring is bad data, and how it compromises the intelligence companies use for decision making. This makes it easy to choose to read this whitepaper amongst all the others listed.

How to Effectively Use Whitepapers and Long-form Blog Articles to Market Your Fintech App
 A Persuasive Executive Summary

Your executive summary should be a maximum of one page, with all the paper’s main points outlined. Use it to answer two important questions: the what (what problem is being explored), the why (why should I care about the problem). 

Images and Infographics

If you have ever read through a boring whitepaper (or at least survived through a page), one thing you’re bound to see is pages of large text blocks without any images to add a little flavor.

For a document that is at times very technical (and for a fintech app, that can go a notch higher), ‘white space’ is your friend here, don’t struggle to fill it.  Try breaking down texts into 45-75 characters per line if your design is single columned and 40-50 character if you use multiple columns. This will cater to readers’ short attention spans, as well as make it easy to skim.

Use images under creative commons licenses from free stock sites such as Pixabay or Pexels. To create infographics, there are tools like Canva and Smart Draw you can use. As a rule of thumb, always quote your source if you are using someone else’s data to make your infographic.

A Call to Action

What does asking someone on a second date, a street musician’s hat with a few coins in it and the altar-call have in common? 

They are all call to actions which encourage a response (positive or negative), and without them, the audience may not initiate any action even if they wanted to. For your whitepaper to have any chance at a return on investment include a call to action.

For example, in the budgeting app mentioned earlier, you could offer a free trial, a signup link to receive daily tips, a link to your website etc. 

Blog Articles

Imagine having a waiting list of 20,000 people before you even launch your fintech app. Mint, a budgeting and financial planning app used a combination of useful articles on its own site and sponsored content on small blogs to achieve this.

This should be an industry standard for a niche like fintech, where educating the user is important.

Blog articles are lead magnets, data from a HubSpot Study shows that businesses that blog, generate 126% more leads than businesses that don’t blog. On the other hand, successful blogging is not just about posting tons of articles on your website and hoping people find them. 

The key lies in focusing on the right content, keywords, depth of articles, as well as establishing site authority through guest posting. Here are tips for doing that:

Picking the Right Finance-related Keywords

The longer the articles on your blogs, the better optimized you become for the search engine. What does length have to do with keywords? 7 out of every 10 keyword searches on Google are unique longer phrases called longtail keywords.

Think of it this way, when you search for answers on Google, do you use 1-3 phrases? Or do you search with longer sentences? A majority of the internet uses long phrases, searches like how do I market my fintech app on a budget-in multiple variations-are more common than short-phrase searches like fintech app.

For example, for this article, Fintech App might be an important keyword but not more than the hundreds of keyword combinations that appear throughout the text. The longer the article, the more variety of long tail keywords you stand to rank for. 

 Guest Posting

Another way to grow your blog’s reach is to have your content appear on other people’s blogs. Why? 65 % of consumers trust content more if it comes from another source rather than the brand itself. 

For a trust sensitive industry like fintech, this is vital. For example, Mint, the financial planning app mentioned above, sponsored small blogs to feature their content as part of their strategy and it worked out well.

Nonetheless, one problem I have observed from writing sponsored content for brands is that readers will ask the host blog, questions, rather than reach you directly.

The post in the image below received 55 comments (most of them questions) and we had to keep on referring them to the company.

Don't make bloggers have to keep referring customers to your company, interact with them yourself.

The better strategy would be to have the blog that’s hosting your content enable comments and then spend time interacting and answering readers’ questions yourself in the comments section.

For cash strapped startups not willing (unable) to sponsor content, guest posting can still work for you without having to spend any money. 

Pitch articles to popular blogs and give your expert take on issues in your industry. Bloggers and publications are always looking for fresh content with unique angles.

If your company blog is active as well, pitch guest articles that are connected to the articles on your blog and include a link within the guest post.

However, the links have to be relevant and provide value to the readers of your guest post.  This will generate traffic to your site as well as help your Google ranking.

By nature, fintech products need to be trustable enough for users to try them out. Content is a great way to build trust; know your audience, where they spend time and design great content to reach them.

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