The financial services sector has the reputation for being the most complex and long-winded industry in the world. And while, over the last decade, it has motioned towards simplifying its processes and language, there is still clearly more work to be done. The use of jargon is still widespread and the level of trust is as low as ever. It is a vast arena, socially and politically charged, prone to constant change, easily unnerved and often a minefield for people to negotiate. With so many competing voices, everything soon turns to white noise for the consumer. However, the financial services sector doesn’t have to be grey and complicated. Engaging, clear and concise financial services copywriting can bring numbers to life.
While you might think it’s important to focus on your credentials and establish your authority, the reader is more interested in what you can do to help them. While financial jargon has its place in B2B financial copywriting (where your audience would have a level of financial knowledge), it only serves to build confusion, concern and mistrust in a B2C audience. Therefore, communications should be short and to the point, jargon-free wherever possible, empathetic and relatable. Take time to understand their financial goals and pain-points. Ask yourself ‘does my company have a brand personality and tone of voice’, ‘what am I writing about’, ‘who am I writing it for’ and ‘what do I want them to do with the information’?
You will often be communicating large amounts of information to a variety of different audiences (sometimes all at once), so before you can effectively convey your message, you must decide on a clear and consistent voice that can be adapted and reflected throughout your communications – website to factsheet, email to annual report. In each, you must strike a balance between the technical and the creative, connecting with the reader on a human level, empathising with their financial goals and pain-points and engaging them with words that explain and persuade in equal measure. Fail to do so and your competitors are just a click away.
For three decades, I’ve provided B2C and B2B financial copywriting to help companies connect with their customers, employees, investors and other stakeholders. Some of the areas I have worked in include personal banking, online banks, investment banks, building societies, accounting firms, mortgage brokers, asset managers, independent financial advisors, currency traders, cryptocurrency platforms, credit card companies and pension providers.