When establishing the brand of a business, trust is always an important component. And there is no industry where that is more true than in finance.
LearnVest, a company that teaches people how to manage their finances, positioned itself as a trustworthy and knowledgable service using a strategy that combined innovative content marketing with top-quality articles.
While at Harvard Business School, LearnVest’s founder, Alexa von Tobel, had a fortuitous but dismaying epiphany. She realized how unprepared she was to face even the most basic aspects of managing her personal finances.
High-schools, Ivy League Colleges, and even some of the country’s premiere MBA programs are missing a rudimentary course on how to handle money. And while many go to business school to learn how to properly write a business plan and how to master operational management, there is one thing that really drives the desire to get an MBA: learning how to run a company.
With this seed of an idea, von Tobel became an MBA dropout. In 2009, she founded a startup that was acquired for $250 million in just 6 years.
The Content Marketing
Though von Tobel’s idea did fill a needed service, she wasn’t the only one offering that service at the time. 2009 was the height of the recession, and while people did not want to think about money, there was a great impetus to learn how to manage money as efficiently as possible.
The largest competitor that got its start at around the same time (and is still successful today) is Mint.com. Mint jumped into the business by helping consumers manage their personal finances directly through an app that linked to customers’ bank accounts.
While the New York Times was wondering if you could trust an online company with your financial information in 2010, LearnVest was busy showing its customers that it could be trusted for advice on all things financial.
Knowing the Target Audience
LearnVest had a concrete idea of the audience it was seeking to reach. In 2009, it went after Millennial women. And while it has since expanded to create a platform that targets both men and women, it is still a Millennial-focused company.
Confining its target audience to women allowed LearnVest to create an authentic, branded voice, one that enabled women in their 20s and 30s to find financial security and by learning all the ins and outs of personal money management. Instead of using complex financial industry jargon, LearnVest chose words and phrases with that its audience would find familiar. It created a voice that was relatable to its audience.
Limited Audience, Unlimited Platforms
While initially limiting their target audience to a subsection of the overall population (professional women were just entering or had recently entered the workforce), LearnVest did not limit itself on where it displayed its content.
The company used a newsletter as their signature platform for content dispersal, but it also established a strong social media presence from the beginning.
Wherever its target demographic was likely to turn for financial information–from Forbes to Huffington Post–LearnVest was there. By showcasing itself on these platforms, LearnVest effectively promoted itself as a trusted industry expert in financial management.
The Quality of Content: Education is Useful Information
And there’s the key. In positioning itself as an industry expert, LearnVest made sure that the service they offered was worthy of being tried. No matter how successfully content strategy targets the right audience or finds the correct platform placement, if it’s not backed up by quality, relevant content, it will fall flat. And in that sense, LearnVest always delivered.
Using knowledge of their audience, the company targeted its content strategy where it would be most appealing and accessible to their customers. And once customers were engaged, they found information that helped them to understand personal finance management.
About the author
A freelance writer and content strategist for the last eight years, Alexandra M is a highly skilled writer, editor, proofreader and researcher. From an educational background based in English literature and poetry, she brings a deep understanding of the artistic use of language at its most basic level. Experience in overcoming research obstacles such as language, censorship and bureaucracies, has prepared her to tackle any inquiry with creativity and depth. Drawing on a breadth of personal and professional experience, she uses original thinking to apply these skills to produce and write creative, corporate and technical materials. When editing, her attention to detail combined with a quick grasp of overall coherency allows her to respect the author’s voice and intention while steering a work toward its best possible form.