Fintech may sound like something from a sci-fi movie but it’s actually just two very normal words squished together into a fancy portmanteau. It stands for ‘financial tech’ and refers to the way businesses use technology to deliver their financial services.
The internet, for example, made banking ‘cool’ and enabled people to manage their finances on the go. Indeed, 40% of UK adults now use banking apps, with about 30 transactions taking place every second. The question is: how have innovative technology-based concepts become mainstream over the years? And, what makes change easier to accept?
Whitepapers, that’s what – lots and lots of whitepapers.
Fintech and Whitepapers: An Ideal Coupling
The fintech industry is growing at a rapid rate with around $20 billion invested in the industry back in 2016 – 66% more than was invested the previous year. It is big business, with whitepapers helping to normalise and explain innovative ideas that can at first seem daunting and unrealistic.
In case you’re not completely sure of the term, whitepapers offer an in-depth and authoritative report on a specific topic. They work well as part of an integrated content marketing strategy, so here are 3 things you need to know about fintech whitepapers.
- They are designed to educated and inform
Whitepapers are extremely popular within the fintech industry. This is because they help to explain often complex ideas in a clear way. Whitepapers are not overly promotional but instead discuss how a certain offering (such as a product, invention or service) can overcome a particular business/life problem or solve a certain challenge. They tend to be rather long in length (sometimes reaching 40,000 words) and are written in a less flashy style than other marketing materials.
- They prompt and promote innovative thinking
We live in a technology-led world where ideas are constantly evolving. The industry moves at an exciting rate with fintech whitepapers prompting and promoting innovative thinking. Essentially, whitepapers are the backbone of any content marketing strategy helping to communicate the unique values and concepts you can bring to the market. They provide a platform to voice thoughts and ideas and usually include a combination of the following:
- Background information
- An explanation of the technical features of a particular offering
- Highlights, tips and pointers surrounding a particular offering
- Informative problem/solution rhetoric
- They position companies as industry thought leaders
Whitepapers make companies credible. They position businesses as industry thought leaders by introducing new ideas to the market in a professional manner. The best application of a whitepaper is to prevent information that’s relevant to the reader. White whitepapers are ultimately written to move prospects through the sales funnel and they do so by using objective analysis and informative, multi-angle content.
Best and Worst Practices for Whitepapers
Whitepapers are often misunderstood, miswritten and misused. In order to have any authority at all, they must be written in a careful way, so let’s take at what you should and should not do:
- Produce informative and educational content that educates, not sells
- Help to solve a problem that’s relevant to the reader
- Produce content that’s up-to-date and timely
- Communicate clearly using statistically sound data and well-researched findings
- Adopt an authoritative tone and be confident in what you are saying
- Focus and refine your primary point of view and avoid flitting from topic to topic
- Break your content down into readable sections
- Use rehashed promotional material or copy and paste from your website
- Copy chunks from whitepapers that have already been published
- Include scattershot ideas or poorly researched perspectives
- Be overly promotional and forget to show the relevance and usefulness of your offering
- Provide promises, offer advice or give misleading information
- Forget about the rules and regulations which govern the finance industry
As you can see, there’s plenty to think about when writing fintech whitepapers, but it’s worth planning everything out properly to avoid a backlash and achieve the optimum results for your efforts.