Highly regulated industries face many challenges when it comes to reaching their target audience. Industries such as financial services, insurance, law and healthcare have a variety of rules and regulations when it comes to marketing to their consumers – particularly where personal or financial information is concerned. There are definite repercussions when it comes to non-compliance. It isn’t just bad publicity for your brand, it can also be costly. Failure to comply can result in heavy fines.
In-house marketers often struggle to keep up with the fast pace of today’s marketing initiatives. Adapting to dynamic digital marketing can be slow and challenging within regulated industries. However, we know that there is value in having a clever digital marketing strategy and it is worth the extra effort.
The low cost and great efficiency of LinkedIn Marketing, eNewsletter campaigns and social media, are obvious business benefits. However due to “perceived” barriers most businesses in regulated industries aren’t doing digital marketing. This presents a golden opportunity to be progressive and own the social space before competitors catch on, which inevitably they will.
Typically, professionals within these industries have extensive expertise in their field. This knowledge imparted in layman’s language is valuable, interesting and meaningful to their network. For example, interpreting new legislation in the legal world, or providing useful budgeting tips in the finance advisory sector is a great way to provide solutions to your connections and position yourself as industry experts. This content is readily available and, if crafted well, is high quality and low risk.
Here are some quick tips to consider when embarking on digital marketing within a regulated environment. These tips will assist in delivering successful campaigns, building brand awareness and setting your business up as the go-to-firm.
Know your rules and regulations
Marketers working in a regulated industry need to know what they can and can’t do, this is critical. It is important that the marketing team and management have a thorough understanding of the regulatory body’s requirements, minimising reliance on the legal team.
You are not giving advice
One of the biggest fears I hear is the concern around “appearing to give advice”. Often LinkedIn Marketing is sharing knowledge already in the public domain. Alternatively, you are sharing approved “new” content that has been reviewed and approved by the business. LinkedIn Marketing is also the perfect channel for an organisation to share event information, the organisation's EVP (employee value proposition) and other announcements. This relates back to my earlier point that you are the industry expert, you have knowledge at your fingertips that if translated into layman’s language can be really beneficial to your audience – solving their problems.
Reviewing time, takes time
“New” Content takes time to create, for all the obvious reasons – copywriting, editing / reviewing and sign-off from the different stakeholder departments. It is critical that you factor extra time into your content calendar. Be very clear on the role your legal department play. Create a smooth internal process whereby content is approved by management, and legal if there is any doubt.
Don’t underestimate Personalisation
When it comes to eNewsletter campaigns (EDM's) think personalisation. Just because an email campaign is compliant with regulations doesn’t mean it has to be impersonal. There are ways to deliver communications that people want without invading their privacy or breaking the rules. With marketing automation, marketers can create brand and regulatory-compliant templates for email, landing pages, and social media and use personalisation to customise them by target audience. Again, make sure you know your rules.
If you know your rules and regulations, you can still be creative and dynamic with your digital marketing strategy. Consistent and intelligent LinkedIn Marketing is a sure-fire way to communicate your deep expertise and area of specialisation to your target audience. Overlay this with a personalised EDM campaign and an intuitive and vibrant website and you have instantly brought your highly regulated organisation into the modern marketing age.
Lucy Bingle has 20 years marketing experience and is a LinkedIn Marketing Expert. She is passionate about helping individuals and companies succeed in amplifying their brand, reaching their target audience and growing their business.