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5 Conservative Brands Who Don't Do Boring Content Marketing

Posted by Loree O'Sullivan

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image credit: lekkyjustdoit via freedigitalphotos.net

Most of us associate conservative brands with sterile and boring content marketing. However, this certainly doesn’t have to be the case! There are a number of conservative brands in the finance and insurance sectors who’ve decided to take a bold approach, and realized fantastic returns on their efforts.

Content marketer Kathy Klotz-Guest believes that in finance and other “boring” industries, creative content is an investment in the future. In fact, she writes that “conservative firms...need to adapt marketing for younger audiences.” Regardless of whether you’re marketing to millennials or baby boomers, it’s worth your time to capture the minds and imaginations of your audience with innovative content. Join us as we review five brands who are definitely more interesting than average.

1. Umpqua Bank

Umpqua Bank is a small financial brand that’s been an early adopter of multimedia content marketing. Back in 2005, they started a podcast but ended up putting it on hold due to a lack of interest.

As consumer adoption of mobile technology has soared, the demand for podcast has boomed over the last decade. Umpqua has restarted their podcast and has made a short film called The Seed + The Moon in order to capture a younger audience.

With helpful podcasts and creative short films, Umpqua is clear proof that financial companies and other “boring brands” can infuse beauty into visual content marketing and other digital formats.

2. Allstate Insurance

Anyone watching mainstream television in the last decade knows Allstate insurance. The company's video advertising, usually delivered in the format of television commercials, is notoriously humorous.

Accidents of any manner are frightening, but Allstate’s content marketing team does a brilliant job of covering worst-case scenarios with a dark anti-hero. Allstate’s video marketing is far from boring.

3. Barclays

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Barclays is a UK-based bank that’s boldly gone where almost no financial institution has gone before -- into the world of flash-based, free online gaming. 56 Sage Street is an interactive, single-player game that aims to teach its players the principles of money management.

Players start as a character in a fictional city with only a few euros in their pockets. To improve their lot in life, they must work diligently to earn their money and improve their appearance. If you play your strategy right, you’ll go from sleeping on park benches to inheriting an ailing millionaire's empire. While this game is equal parts personal finance and fun, it’s an important lesson for inbound marketers at other companies. Just because your product or services aren’t fun doesn’t mean you’re unable to create addictive marketing.

4. Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo is another bank whose inbound marketing efforts have gained momentum and buzz on social media networks. The brand’s efforts included some pretty guerilla-style marketing tactics, including their notable organization of a Flash Mob that overtook Times Square in New York. The resultant video posted to Vimeo earned attention and tons of shares.

While finance is a highly-regulated industry and Wells Fargo is a huge company, a flash mob is definitely not the kind of “boring” content you’d expect. The novelty factor alone contributes to the content’s viral-ready potential.

5. T. Rowe Price

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When new parents welcome a baby, they’re likely to realize they need to start saving for their children’s college tuition fund. Financial planning firm T. Rowe Price created some content marketing that’s perfect for tired new parents who are beginning to panic about paying for higher education.

With a branded microsite that’s designed like an interactive, video storybook, T. Rowe Price breaks down the process of putting away money for the future. Best of all, they make the potentially boring and painful process of financial planning a little fun.

If you’re operating at a “boring” or highly-regulated organization, your content doesn’t need to reflect consumer perceptions of your product. By stepping outside of what your audience expects from your content -- including dry, how-to articles -- you can capture the attention and trust of your ideal customers. Take inspiration from these boring brands to infuse your inbound marketing strategy with a little sparkle.

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Topics: content marketing

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