If you’re running a fintech business, you’re in fine company: the capital is a teeming, thriving, verb-ing hub of financial and technological activity. Of course, this can also make it very hard to stand out.
But not impossible.
With strategic PR efforts, you can get yourself known and liked by your target audience. This won’t necessarily make them any more inclined buy from you – you’ll need inbound marketing for that – but it’ll help you earn credibility, build your reputation, and get your business’ name in the right places. Being a known quantity, after all, is better than being an unknown quantity.
So how do you get known?
Here are five PR tips for London Fintech Week (and, obviously, beyond. They’ll work after London Fintech Week.).
1. Know your customer’s problem – and how and why to solve it
Many fintech companies are genuinely as innovative as they say they are, but they don’t communicate it to the customer effectively; to their target audience, they look like an iteration on an existing formula, or (worse), don’t appear to solve any tangible problem.
Now, you obviously have a USP. But how do you communicate it?
Venmo keeps it simple: its corporate motto is ‘Share Payments’, and that’s more or less what it does. Xero goes a little more abstract with ‘Beautiful Accounting Software’. Now that says a great many things, but what’s most important is what it doesn’t say: that accounting software is ugly, cumbersome, and needlessly complex – or at least, it’s often perceived that way. Xero’s corporate motto contains an unspoken promise of simplicity and ease for a function that’s often time-consuming, frustrating, and opaque. More than anything, it conveys a clear understanding of the issue that’s most important to its target audience.
Tech companies, in general, like to position themselves as Disruptors of the Status Quo, arriving on a winged horse to correct the grave mistakes of the past. Sometimes this can work; sometimes it’s too grossly inaccurate to properly land; sometimes it can actively piss off people you need to work with.
So if slagging off conventional financial services works for you – and if what you’re offering is better – go for it. Many cryptocurrencies have been built on exactly this premise. If, however, your product’s appeal is couched in making existing processes or systems run more smoothly, then it’s probably worth taking a more conciliatory tone.
Ripple, for example, is designed to make payment settlement easier, not to replace existing payment settlement systems, so its marketing and PR have naturally positioned it as complementary to – rather than antagonistic towards – banks. By contrast, some digital P2P lenders have found themselves eating crow after eventually partnering with the institutional investors they promised to ‘disrupt’.
There’s an unfortunate assumption in some circles that disruption is synonymous with annoying people. It really, really, doesn’t have to be.
3. Talk about more than just fintech
Every business owner likes to talk about its little corner of the market, and it’s not hard to see why: after all, it’s the corner they know best. Certainly, there are opportunities to talk about who you are, what you do, and why your offering is important.
But good PR isn’t confined to a bubble. There are a whole range of issues outside of your particular niche, and if your expertise or insight can contribute something to the conversation, use it. Political, economic, and cultural angles are the engines of most major media outlets. If there’s a bigger discussion to be had, try to join it – if not drive it.
4. Don’t neglect trade media
But while major outlets are important, don’t neglect smaller trade and business media. Not all coverage can be national coverage, and not all mainstream readers will be interested in your product or service. Trade publications are often the first place people (including national newspaper journalists) will go to read about the most interesting players in the market. If you’re targeting the financial advice industry, a piece in Wealth Management Today may be more effective than a piece in The Guardian. The trade press is also generally more amenable to product or service specific coverage: getting under the hood of new technology is often part of their remit.
5. Be social
Fintech is a crowded market place, so use social media to give your company a voice. It’s the perfect platform to give your company some personality and to let people know what you’re up to (eg. If you’re attending London Fintech Week). Your social profile could also be the key to securing press coverage, as journalists will often look on twitter to see if people are who they say they are and to see if they have interesting opinions and insights. With apps like Tweetdeck and Hootsuite, you can schedule posts in advance so you don’t always have to remember to tweet in the moment.
Are you attending London Fintech Week? We’ll see you there! In the meantime, get in touch to discuss your fintech PR needs.