B2B fintech is being put to the test.

The pandemic has heightened the need for simpler financial transactions and the need for businesses to move from legacy systems to more modern software. 

As many as 88 percent of incumbent financial institutions expect they’ll lose business to standalone fintech companies within the next five years. It seems B2B fintech businesses need to steel themselves for significant demand. 

Yes that’s good news, but it likely means B2B fintech companies will face a growing number of competitors soon too. Ecommerce companies, banks, and other financial institutions are looking to streamline complex international payments, cross-border sales, and reporting processes while growing revenues and keeping up with regulatory changes. 

B2B Fintechs Need to Build Trust

To gain an edge over competitors, many B2B fintech companies are getting serious about investing in their reputation among buyers, prospects, and partners. One way of nurturing a young company’s reputation is thought leadership. Surveys have even shown that as much as 88% of people believe good thought leadership can advance business goals. Thought leadership pieces can be anything from articles to whitepapers, webinars, and even reports. 

Here are four ways B2B fintechs can go from thought laggards to thought leaders.

1. Find Out What Your Audience Wants

Fintech is complex. Content geared towards CFOs, bank CTOs and ecommerce leaders will obviously differ from content meant for the average fintech consumer. 

Research your audience to understand: 

  • how much they understand about the topic 
  • their short and long-term business goals
  • if they value text, audio, or video content
  • who their internal and external stakeholders are
  • what kind of data is most valuable to them 
  • and which experts and research sources they respect.

Understanding how your audience thinks makes it easier to deliver a content strategy and ensure engagement is maximized.

There are many things that make B2B content different from content made for a consumer audience. C-suite leaders may prefer case studies and opinion pieces rather than simple blog articles, meaning you will need to invest in detailed research and expert commentary. Most of the time, these leaders will be looking for guidance on what to do rather than a snapshot of an industry situation.

Marketers on the importance of the different qualities of thought leaders. Screenshot: Orbit Media/Mantis Research/Survey Monkey.

Marketers on the importance of the different qualities of thought leaders. Screenshot: Orbit Media/Mantis Research/Survey Monkey.

2. Explain Relevant Buyer Topics

Create practical content buyers can use. Fintech, fortunately, has no shortage of talking points available for use. For example, the rising usage of alternative payment methods is a phenomenon that is reshaping ecommerce and B2B purchasing. 

Be sure content tackling industry issues and buyer interests is backed by rigorous research. Whenever possible, statements should be backed by statistics and quotations from reputable expert sources. This lets readers know your organization has a depth of knowledge and respect for the subject matter and audience.

3. Avoid Overpromoting Your Products

Thought leadership is a long game — in truth, releasing articles, reports, and whitepapers will not contribute to email sign-ups, website traffic, media mentions, backlinks, or customer relationships right away. To be effective, your goal must be offering useful, practical advice to your target audience, rather than creating profit. In the world of B2B content, this is a principle experienced ghostwriters will push for. Readers who feel content was only made for promotion will discredit your insights immediately, no matter how well-researched. 

Avoid the temptation to focus only on the company’s objectives, as it is an all too common mistake for many marketers. Remember: the ultimate goal of thought leadership is to spark a conversation, not to chase conversion. This is hard to do, especially if your approval process involves people from beyond the marketing discipline. But push for it: if you can achieve this, your fintech will already be ahead of many of your competitors whose content talks like content and walks like content, but is actually the same old traditional sales pitch. 

4. Use Search Terms Wisely

Aside from considering relevancy, another easy way to decide what topics to tackle is to go over what fintech-related keywords pick up the most traffic. Try starting out with a few key seed topics then plugging them into Google to see the autocomplete suggestions and recommended searches. 

Don’t be a slave to SEO — some of the best thought leadership issues might have low search volumes. But content with the right keywords will be better picked up by Google’s algorithm, diverting a greater amount of traffic to your content and in turn, your company. 

Is Thought Leadership Right for Your Fintech?

Fintech thought leadership takes time and expertise, but those who do it well will be able to build a positive reputation with prospects, partners, and customers. By establishing your fintech as a thought leader, you’re showing your company can be trusted to deliver what are often complex and expensive financial products.