2015-09-18_16-49-59.jpgLike so many other industries, the financial services industry is overflowing with terrible, brand-centric content and every day it is only getting worse. Companies are churning out content at an unprecedented rate and sadly, their customers and prospects are just tuning most of it out as the noise that it is.


Even companies who claim to understand content marketing seem to be demonstrating content failures on a consistent basis. Rather than producing information tools or resources that bring value to the lives of their consumers, they seem to be unable to stop themselves from making every piece into a product or brand advertisement.


Not the case for the marketers over at John Hancock as demonstrated by their Life Comes Next campaign. If you haven’t seen it, go check it out. We’ll wait.


Ah, you’re back. Great! What did you think? There are so many things to love about this campaign. Let’s take a look at a few.


The biggest reason for this being a great example of fantastic content marketing is that the content is entirely about the customer. In an incredibly creative way, they take real life concerns that everyone has to deal with (in one way or another) and address them. It’s real, it’s human and truly hits people on an emotional level.


Also, although each of the scenarios have a financial aspect to them (which John Hancock can help people with by the way), they don’t dwell on the finances. Nor do they ever mention a John Hancock product or service. They focus on the customer and how it feels to be going through each situation. They recognize that these situations have a strong emotional aspect to them and makes people think about it.


The next thing I love about the campaign is that it checks-off another important check box for good content marketing and that is making the content engaging. This content is highly engaging on multiple levels. First, the obvious. The format is video. As most of us know, video is the best format for creating engaging content.


More importantly however, through this campaign, they are able to own the second screen. They do this by showing the first part of the video in a TV commercial, which tells viewers to visit the website to see how the scenario ended. John Hancock did this because they understand the statistics around people watching TV with their phones or tablets in hand.

And of course, the nature of the videos in terms of showing the first part, which compels you to watch not just one but all of the potential outcomes is pure brilliance. I’ve watched every single one. I had to!


The last thing I love about the campaign that I’ll mention here is that it’s a true, cross-channel campaign. They’ve integrated this campaign into email, social, web, print, TV and events and they orchestrated it so that each channel flows naturally into the next. That sounds a lot like modern marketing to me.


Again, the reason why this campaign is such a success is that it is customer-centric. The content doesn’t talk about investment vehicles, or financial performance or any John Hancock products or services. It talks about the very things that their customers and prospects care about. That’s great content marketing!


Do you have a great example of content marketing brilliance in financial services? I have a few more that I’ll share but I’d love to hear about yours.