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by Hub27/01/2016

Video is the future of content marketing and there are some great examples of strategic users of video marketing in financial services.

According to a report from Cisco, by 2017, 69% of all consumer Internet traffic will be video. It’s a naturally engaging medium with the potential to generate huge reach. 

Storytelling is the essence of any effective video. Stories engage audiences and make them more willing to share the content. But what many financial services firms don’t realise is that they are sitting on great stories. After all, most people want to know how to make more money!


So, which financial services firms are doing it well? Here’s a look at three firms we think are making great content.


Allianz have a good track record for using video in interesting ways to engage with its audiences. They’ve experimented with social media, magazine content, interactive content, etcetera. As with any experiment, sometimes you’ll see the results you were after, sometimes you won’t. Their willingness to take risks, however, when it pays off, it pays off in a big way.

Back in 2016, their #MyCarStory campaign saw incredible success in the UK, reaching over 4.45 million people and leading to over 48,000 engagements. The idea was simple, film families driving in their car as they tell amusing and relatable anecdotes – the adverts don’t even mention the word insurance.


Allianz’ most recent set of videos promoting their insurance takes a more musical approach. Through cutesy cartoons and catchy tunes, they encourage their audience to live worry-free. As with #MyCarStory, this content opts for engagement over ‘the hard sell’. Each video has currently attracted a few hundred thousand views and the series has seen positive interactions. Once again, insurance isn’t directly mentioned at all.


Another interesting experiment to recently appear on the Allianz YouTube channel, though not linked to their insurance offering, is a competition as part of their #ExploreWithUs campaign. Allianz reached out to its audience to submit short films that demonstrated how they would ‘Hack Their Commute’ and take an alternative approach to getting through their city. Successful entries would win a cash prize. This prize grew based on the number of views their video attracted after being uploaded to Allianz social channels.


UBS have taken a different tact. As an investment bank, they are speaking to an informed professional audience. In their latest thought-leadership campaign, Nobel Perspectives, they turn to recent Nobel laureates for answers to some of the biggest issues our world faces. UBS present ideas in an intelligent and thought-provoking way, demonstrating rather than talking about their engagement with and understanding of the modern world.

This campaign has produced a range of information-rich, well-produced content that can be engaged with on a number of levels. The Nobel Perspectives microsite uses a mixture of video and text to take a deep dive into the big questions behind the issues. The laureates’ responses to these questions are also sometimes cross-referenced through the presentation of data sets and UBS’ own commentary.


Question with Data Set

Question with UBS Commentary

The campaign is extended beyond the microsite to YouTube UBS where access to  shorter pieces of content, including a hero film to promote the campaign, a mini-documentary series, and compiled summaries of laureates’ responses to the big questions.


Also present on YouTube are bite-sized clips taken from the Nobel Perspectives Live! conferences. The events are an opportunity for UBS’ audience to interact with the campaign and submit their own questions, opening up a two-way conversation between the audience and the organisation.


This layered approach to content gives the audience options for the level of engagement it requires of them. The campaign has a broader appeal because it acknowledges that different audiences have different viewing habits and may be exposed to the content through a number of devices and at different times in their day.


Among most of the ten largest asset management companies in the world, video is used with a rather limited scope. There are few examples that move beyond discussing recent and prevalent topics through formal webcasts or traditional talking heads. M&G have produced an interesting series with a slightly different approach.

Joffy’s Journals is an ongoing series that’s put together in a format that echoes popular broadcast documentaries. It’s less stuffy and more accessible than the alternatives seen on other channels. It considers how its audience absorbs information during their leisure time and uses this to influence its delivery. These films encourage the audience to come back to M&G for explanations and commentary that’s easy to digest.


JPMorgan have also produced a series of promotional animations that deal with similar ideas, however their content distils this information down into much smaller pieces. Using simple metaphors and data, they are able to discuss the benefits of saving for a long retirement, investing assets, and diversifying a portfolio in under 30 seconds. JPMorgan’s self-imposed restriction of keeping things short works in their favour. These films plant an idea and then encourage the audience to start a conversation.



American Express is a master of great storytelling. Its #ShopSmallUK campaign promotes the role small businesses play in our communities and the contribution they make to the economy. It encourages shoppers to spend money at small businesses and helps small businesses get noticed.

Dragon’s Den star Sarah Willingham explains the campaign in a short video on the campaign microsite – a branded content site that lives separate to the main corporate home page. This is a great example of multi-faceted storytelling that brings the story into different aspects of people’s lives.


Barclays also takes the approach of telling ‘personal’ and ‘authentic’ stories. Faced with some pretty serious brand reputation issues, Barclays has gone for a grass roots approach to promote the LifeSkills youth employment programme. The campaign aims to help 11-19 year olds build workplace skills such as CV writing and using appropriate language.

This video taps into the real life experiences of older people advising young people how to approach a job interview.


Goldman Sachs also get that stories are more engaging if told in a visually engaging style. It can be difficult for investment banks to make videos that work as well as retail banks because they’re targeting a sophisticated professional audience and talking about complicated subjects that don’t lend themselves well to great pictures. By incorporating graphics and stock footage, Goldman is able to make their ‘hygiene content’ – key informational and educational content – much more engaging to watch.

In this example, Goldman has an expert talking about a new research report but incorporates interesting motion graphic animation to help tell the story.


In summary, the financial and professional services industries offer huge opportunities to create compelling video for content marketing. Customers and prospects want to be educated and informed about the world of business and making money. But audiences are sophisticated and used to well-made creative content from consumer goods companies.

It is no longer enough to plonk an expert in front of a camera and let them talk. Financial services firms have great stories to tell but need to think of creative and engaging ways to tell them.

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