B2B fintech brand building and the power of reputation

Rich Went

17 June 2020

Fintech is big. The global fintech market is expected to reach nearly $310 billion by 2022, with a predicted compound annual growth rate of around 25 percent. This is still small when compared to the global financial services market but shows the opportunity for innovative, fast growth firms.

It is also a crowded market. Discounting larger players and incumbents, there were 8,775 fintech startups recorded in North America in February 2020, with 7,385 recorded in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, and 4,765 in the Asia Pacific region. Amongst so much competition, the challenge becomes how to differentiate.

Earning your place in the market

Incumbent brands can rely on longevity and market presence. They are good at what they do, have years – if not decades – of experience in serving financial services. They have the market share and client list to back this up.

Fast-growth, innovative challengers have a harder job – they need to convince banks to buy into their disruptive or evolved approach. This requires education and persuasion. The quickest, most effective and scalable way to achieve this is through earned media.

Earned media builds reputations. It places you at the center of the conversation, establishes credibility, and has an impact on the sales pipeline.

Positive media coverage builds credibility. In the eyes of customers, it’s a third-party endorsement, showing that the fintech is worth consideration, and that its products and viewpoints have weight in the marketplace. Media coverage provides a powerful tool for brands, especially for those at early and fast-growth stages, so long as it is both intelligently informed and strategic in approach.

Brands can map specific themes and topics to resonate with customers at important stages of the sales funnel.

At an awareness stage, this is talking to the wider market. For prospects at consideration stages, secure coverage on the benefits of your approach versus competitors. And for prospects at decision level, coverage should place them as a trusted adviser, explaining how the fintech would solve pain points.

But don’t let earned coverage lie dormant. Salespeople should refer to it. Social channels should keep celebrating it, as should your website. Consider supporting this effort with some paid social budget placed behind articles that can target and resonate with specific personas or prospects to ensure your earned endorsements reach the audiences who need to see them.

Harnessing the voice of the customer

Broadcasting a brand’s voice through earned media is crucial to achieving credibility. Another powerful tool in earning the trust and attention of prospects is in using the voice of your own customers.

B2B fintech brands often exist to solve very particular problems. Their customer base will often all share the same pain points. A delighted client that has undertaken the journey to solving this problem is a powerful endorsement that will ring true for many prospects.

As with media coverage, customer stories should be shared across many different channels. Written case studies have a role and a place, but filmed case studies convey more, and add a human perspective to the customer and problem.

Brands should consider different ways to tell these stories, and different ways to disseminate them. Bite-sized content can be used to draw visitors in or encourage return visits to a website. Longer-form content provides greater information to considering prospects. Detailed, data-driven (if possible) content helps reassure and convince those about to decide.

Converting endorsements into results

For early-stage and fast growth fintechs, awareness is oxygen.
Endorsements from third parties showcase a brand and relates it to its customer base. It differentiates them in crowded marketplace.

Brands need to create a smooth-running machinery to build and maintain this level of awareness and ensure this has a real impact in sales.

Finastra provide us with a great example of this. The team were able generate momentum by producing content for top-tier developer titles. Using in-house technical experts, they were able to gain third party endorsement through earned media and establish expertise in-front of the right audience. You can read the full case study here.

If any of this resonates, or if you would simply like to know more, please get in touch.