The 2019 Financial Services Social Media Content Study is Here!
April 30, 2019
Find out what content engages clients at the highest rates across the financial services industry – wealth, life, P&C and mortgage.
Hearsay Summit kicks off today and we are thrilled to share a hot-off-the-presses copy of our 2nd annual Financial Services Social Media Content Study with all attendees! The most comprehensive report of its kind, it analyzes the popularity and effectiveness of various types of content across our clients’ social media programs.
We’re in the trenches with clients every day so it’s amazing to take a step back and look at the big picture benchmark numbers. As they say, data doesn’t lie. And the data in our study is based on 110,150 financial services professionals at 32 U.S. firms across four lines of business – Life Insurance, Property and Casualty Insurance (P&C), Wealth Management and new to this year’s study, Mortgage. The study this year reflects the industry’s progress as organizations across the financial services spectrum both experimented with and refined their programs.
Here are some results that stood out to me personally and, in my view, warrant a deeper discussion:
Marketing and Sales Alignment Increases
In a noticeable shift from last year’s report, the gap between content suggested by corporate marketing and published by sales professionals significantly narrowed. Overall, we’re looking at numbers shifting from a 9%-19% span in 2018 to a 3%-8% span in 2019. This indicates that marketing and sales teams are working together more closely and that their alignment has led to more cohesive, balanced social media programs with better results overall.
Published Content and Engagement Rates are Rising
Customer engagement jumped nearly 7 points, from 37.8% last year to 44.7% this year, demonstrating that as social media programs continue to mature, advisors/agents become more comfortable using various channels. This suggests that programs as a whole are becoming savvier on social channels and learning how to leverage quality, well-rounded content that appeals to target audiences while working in concert with overall corporate objectives.
Lifestyle Posts are Still Most Popular – and Still Underutilized
We found, once again, that Content fell into three standard categories: corporate content, industry content, and lifestyle content. This year, we also expanded our study to include two hybrid categories: corporate-industry and corporate-lifestyle. Lifestyle posts yielded a remarkable 85.5% rate of engagement, nearly 2x the rate found in the 2018 study (and it was already the type of content with the highest engagement!). But while engagement for lifestyle content shot up, the percentage of corporate-suggested and advisor/agent-published lifestyle content went down.
The numbers have spoken: consumers appreciate authentic content, with a less overt sales or sales-adjacent message. Although neither marketing nor the field seems to want to rely too heavily on lifestyle content, it’s time to rethink that strategy. Lifestyle content can be a highly strategic tool for driving top of funnel leads to engage with the other types of content that will move them toward a purchase.
Corporate Content is Favored by Marketing and Advisors/Agents
Corporate messaging led the way in both marketing-suggested and advisor/agent-published posts, with 34.6% of suggested content and 29.2% of published content containing a corporate focus. Corporate and industry content were recommended and published at high rates, helping to grow brand trust and establish advisors’ voice and credibility.
Hybrid Content is the Future
Hybrid content allows organizations to establish brand trust while taking a soft-sell approach, providing more flexibility for the field and enormous opportunity in this space. In the first year tracking these content categories, corporate-industry and corporate-lifestyle content combined to garner a respectable 24.3% of suggested content and 33% of published content. These numbers should take off in the next few years as teams adopt more sophisticated content plans.
Because no line of business operates exactly the same, Hearsay also examined how social media was used specifically in Life Insurance, P&C Insurance, Wealth Management, and Mortgage.
To get the deep dive results in your industry and everything discussed above, download the full 2019 Financial Services Social Media Content Study here.