• Vivien Chew

Going about Financial Services Content

It might come as a no-brainer at times, for a call-out to visualise social media contents. The Malaysian habit of content consumption is after all heavily focused on the desire to be entertained. Therefore, we find the advice all the more pertinent when it comes to financial services campaigns.

Often times, financial services campaigns tend to result in campaign performances slightly below the average benchmark. There appears to be a drop between 1% - 2.5% of financial services campaigns in comparison with the industry’s standard benchmark - upon reviewing Nuffnang's activations within the sector for the Year 2019.

So, why are Financial Service Campaign Engagement Rates Performing Lower?

For most services campaigns, it lacks a visual element which most social media platforms (ie. Instagram, YouTube) are heavily reliant on. Hence, this presents itself as a struggle for financial services clients and KOLs to engage with the audience (thereby, directly affecting the engagement rate). The crux of the struggle is; how can the content help the audience visualise a service that is intangible? To overcome this, social media contents are recommended to feature stronger creative direction and also consider deliverables/social platforms that are more suitable for the audience to digest information.

Specifically, within the financial services sector, there is also a disconnect between the service and the audience (the product being intangible) in driving the audience to 'convert' upon viewing and engaging with KOLs' contents. For example, a promotion of products such as fixed deposits that require most audiences to physically go to offsite bank locations to learn more and to sign up, are risking the loss of potential customers in the time between online to offline conversion.

However, we are not telling you all hope is lost!

There are perhaps a few factors that we have observed to have helped generate good results for some financial sector campaigns:


When the audience is served content containing too much information, they experience a sort of fatigue which means that they will lose focus on the content despite the KOL delivering it. Hence, it is important to keep the content digestible and concise (yet still impactful for the brand/campaign messaging) while retaining its entertainment value.

We refer here to a sample with a content lead by Aedy Ashraf in collaboration with CIMB ClicksApp Malaysia. It consists of a full-length video hosted on CIMB's YouTube Channel and a snippet of Aedy's full-length content shared on his own platform.

The posting on Aedy's social media platform was direct to include a concise messaging on the service USP or objective - here being to educate the audience on the updated features on the CIMB ClicksApp with just a single tap. The post-production colour edit with the KOL's single tap hand action helped to drive the audience's visualisation of the ease of using the updated CIMB ClicksApp. Despite being an 'out-right' ad content, that initial 15seconds of content was clear to inform the audience of the campaign's messaging and driving audience to the longer-form content. This utilisation of short-to-long form content is also in line with YouTube's Hero-Hub-Hygiene/Help content strategy.

However, a potential downfall from this content strategy is that it requires lengthy pre-production and storyboarding planning before the content can be produced. A groundwork often overlooked but is crucial in ensuring that all parties are aligned to ensure each bit of the information to-be-communicated is assisting the audience to visualise the service. It would require campaigns to have an extended lead time (we're talking about 2-3weeks more) and also the support of a creative team to help with storyboarding and brand/campaign messaging integration. While the former requires the brands and agencies to begin campaign planning earlier, the later is a matter which Nuffnang and RTV Malaysia are both able to support and assist with.


Consider the delivery platform & optimize the content format. For visual-centric platforms such as Instagram, include aspects that would assist to visualize the service for the audience to make it digestible. Let's be honest, it is hard enough to be excited about our fixed deposit returns or which insurance provider would best serve us when we are old and gray, the least we could do is to help make content interesting in hopes that when the day comes for the audience to consider, the content and its messaging sticks.

Surely, we are all too familiar with Jenn Chia's content. Here, we have her collaboration with HSBC Malaysia to help us observe the impact of matching content styles when delivering campaign messaging.

This light-hearted direction was able to visualise the credit card subscription, even when it is intangible (well, at least beyond showing the credit card itself). It brought to ‘life’ what a consumer could do with their credit card subscriptions and all the benefit that goes with it (ie. go for a shopping spree and get cash back). It also helped that the content included an engagement feature with the audience, where there was a 'personal' giveaway to a single lucky follower worth the cashback value from the credit card announced during the second half of the content - a seemingly insignificant success marker which helped us to identify exactly how engaged were the audiences until the end of the content.

There are many factors to consider aside from the above: increasing the number of KOLs engaged to increase the possibility to capture more relevant audience, implementation of omnichannels - to name a few. However, our main takeaway here is to always keep in mind to work with KOLs to visualise financial services products for the audience. Do that, and we are at least on the right track towards a successful campaign.