How Finance Marketers Can Foster Brand Trust in 4 Simple Steps

Updated: Oct 18

The average consumer’s financial purchase journey has evolved. With technology catalysing the speed of communication and exchange of experiences, consumers are more equipped to make discerning choices and assessments of your brand.


In this digital age, consumers prefer to ‘pull’ information instead of having businesses ‘push’ it to them through traditional advertising and customer relations strategies. The modern consumer actively cuts through advertising, relying on search engines to discover products and online content to educate themselves about brands.


Amidst the influx of fake news and false advertising, companies must set themselves apart by managing their online reputation and securing brand trust. This is particularly true for personal financial products/services, where the consumers are more cautious about their purchase, as it involves a larger sum of money and affects their livelihood.


Here, we share a 4-step plan for personal finance businesses to build trust and credibility online to nudge prospects in their direction.

Step 1: Understand your buyer’s financial purchase journey


Mapping your buyer’s financial purchase journey is the first step to planning your marketing and customer service strategy.


Consider your purchase journey when making a financial purchase. Are you really convinced by a company’s flashy advertisement? Is price the only thing you consider? We doubt so too. As consumers, we’re using a variety of methods to actively seek out product information and experiences to make informed decisions.


We’ve identified 4 stages of the modern consumer’s financial purchase journey below.


Stage 1. Need Recognition: A prospect requires a financial product/service and is exposed to your financial product/service through a variety of channels. Forbes claims search engines are the leading channels that consumers use for product discovery, at 39%, far ahead of digital and brand advertising.


User searching for "Best Financial Product Singapore"

Stage 2. Information Search: Prospects search for more information and real user validation about your financial product/service.


User searching "Syfe Reviews" for more information

Stage 3. Product Evaluation through Social Proof and User Validation: Prospects read and compare user-generated content, as well as the businesses’ response. BrightLocal found that 97% of consumers that read reviews also read the company’s response to them.



Stage 4. Purchase: Prospects make a purchase decision



User deciding to make a purchase on Syfe's Product Page

Gain insight into your prospects' purchase decision-making journey and learn to optimise your Seedly Product Page to influence their purchase decision.


Step 2: Be active in Personal Finance Communities


We know that consumers get online to learn more about the business, yet digital advertising alone won’t cut it because buyers trust earned media and are convinced by social proof. This means that financial products/services need to be connected with their prospects and customers online.


Consumers want a different relationship with brands and crave a deeper interaction with the company and its customers. More than just discounts and swag, First Insight Inc found that product and service quality most heavily influences purchase decisions amongst 53% of consumers as compared to price at 38%.


Personal finance communities are a dynamic platform to build relationships with consumers, authenticating your brand messaging and improving your discoverability. Every interaction with your prospects and customers is an opportunity to nurture trust.


In a casual poll conducted during Facebook Summit 2021, 78% of marketers believe that conversations with consumers help to build trust, loyalty and generate leads.


Start a conversation with prospects by interacting with their discussions on personal finance platforms



Endowus responding to a prospect's question | Personal Finance Discussion SG Community


Consumers keenly observe a company’s online activities and are sensitive to a brand’s motivations. Rather than just being the occasional commenter or the profit-driven participator, businesses must actively contribute relevant and useful information to these communities and put the consumers first.


Being a part of a brand community isn’t solely a marketing or customer service strategy and instead, must be a business strategy to support all business goals.


Step 3: Increase User-Generated Content


With HubSpot reporting that 88% of people value user-generated content as highly as recommendations from family and friends, we see that everything circles back to authenticity and trustworthiness. Nielsen also reported that 92% of consumers trust non-paid media over other forms of advertising, with online reviews as the second most trusted source of information.


If it isn’t already obvious, user-generated content, motivated by the modern consumer’s need for social proof, strongly impacts a buyer’s purchasing decision.


Here's a simple way for financial products/services to grow user-generated content on personal finance communities.


Step 3.1: Nudge your customers to leave a review through a reviews collection practice


User receiving a reviews invitation email from OCBC 360 Account and leaving a review on their Seedly Product Page

But don’t just stop at amassing content. Looking ahead, financial products/services can also harness the power of user-generated content by proudly displaying them in marketing collaterals and other platforms.


Check out the characteristics of useful reviews and how you can collect them.


We present 2 ideas for you to repurpose user-generated content.


Idea 1: Embed reviews on your website


YouTrip embedding reviews and ratings on their website