A Cruel Summer for Forex Brokers – Guest Editorial
The following is a guest post by Charlotte Day – Creative Director at leading electronic trading industry content marketing agency Contentworks.
Summer! The perfect time to sit back, relax and watch the flowers grow – right? Well, not if you’re a forex broker. This year has been a rather tough ride for the forex sector so far and with regulatory bodies on high alert, it seems the warmer season could be just as turbulent.
So what’s been going on and how can you make the most of the following months? Let’s recap a few of the issues that have been keeping many awake at night.
- MiFID II – welcoming 2018 with a regulatory bang
The year got off to a panic-induced start with the implementation of MiFID II, which came into force on 3 January 2018. The wide-reaching and unforgiving set of rules designed to govern investment intermediaries and the trading of financial instruments in the European Union affected brokers in many ways. From increased transparency to ‘data unbundling’ which prevented brokers from sending out research for free – MiFID II had a large effect on customer handling and marketing in particular.
Sure, we’ve all had time to get used to the regulations by now but it doesn’t mean this first year will be at all easy as companies grapple with the finer details and get used to new practices.
- Crypto, ICO related ad bans – a spanner in the works
One minute you’re using Google Adwords and posting to social media. The next, you’re staring finance-related ad bans in the face from social giants such as Facebook, Instagram, Google, Twitter, Snapchat, MailChimp and more. As more and more companies jumped on the regulation bandwagon in a bid to prevent unlawful advertising from ICO scammers and such like, it’s fair to say that forex brokers were left in a bit of a muddle as they struggled to revamp their marketing plans.
- GDPR – because you didn’t have enough to think about
Everyone knows about GDPR! Why? Well, because inboxes across the globe have been filling up with ‘data permission’ and ‘usage requests’ from companies desperate to keep their clientele on mailing lists. As a broker, you’ve probably spent the past few months contacting those who use your services to inform them of the new ‘data transparency’ rules. You’ve probably also realised that tactics such as retargeting fake email lists on Facebook are now a big no-no.
There certainly has been (and still is) a lot to think about, but as the summer months arrive, let’s turn away from any negatives and think about how the forex sector can use the summer months affectively.
- What can be done? A whole lot!
The regulatory changes all seemed to come at once, so it’s no wonder that the finance sector is wondering how to progress. The good news is, despite the restrictions, there’s still plenty that can be done and growing your brand, improving your online reputation and avoiding the wrath of formidable regulators all comes down to generating superb content. Indeed, content is no longer King but Emperor.
- The need for authenticity amid fake news
Having discussed this in depth on the speaker’s panel at the recent iFX EXPO in Limassol Cyprus, we can’t reinforce enough the need for authentic content amid fake news. So much of what we read is untrue, fabricated and ridiculous and the finance sector have undoubtedly contributed to this wave of falsities – think fake profiles, fake testimonials, made-up quotes, PR material that is not genuine.
Therefore, it’s more important than ever to cleanse the industry and to work hard to improve the authenticity of your brand. This can be done by:
Going Live! Live video is a great way to give consumers a behind-the-scenes look at your company and to introduce key players such as CEOs, CTOs and other team leaders. The more you put a face to your brand, the more you can build trust amid an audience who may be somewhat fretful or fearful of certain financial products amidst negative stories, scams or fake news.
Focusing on video marketing. You don’t always have to go live. Video marketing is an excellent way to go back to basics and describe more complex products in a clear and concise way. Indeed, research has shown that a well-scripted video can not only increase leads by 66% and brand awareness by 54% but it can also boost sales and reduce consumer confusion. Producing high quality video can help launch your brand if you’re a start-up and ramp things up a notch if you’re established.
Marketing real USPs. Consumers are becoming more and more suspicious and rightly so. They don’t want to read a bunch of fake USPs only to discover you can’t deliver specific services or promises. For this reason, it’s crucial to focus on what you’re good at and what sets you apart from the competition.
- And what about those ad bans?
There’s really no need to panic. Sure, you can’t go around using buzzwords like ICOs and cryptocurrencies on social sites any more, but as only ads are banned you can still use fabulous content to attract your audience. It’s all about thinking outside of the box by:
Interacting on social sites like Reddit and Telegram where large crypto and ICO communities are formed. It’s perfectly possible to build a social presence without being overly promotional.
Becoming a thought-leader and posting high-quality content to social platforms like LinkedIn.
Embracing the art of storytelling. It’s not all about sales, sales and more sales. Taking people on a journey and giving them a reason to believe in your business is a great way to strengthen your brand’s identity and to gain a loyal following.
Keeping GDPR at the forefront of your mind. Since the Cambridge Analytica scandal, people are very aware that their data has been misused. Therefore, making all your policies clear will again make your content and business mission authentic.
If you’re looking to implement a marketing strategy that’s fully compliant and does wonders for your reputation, contact the Contentworks team today. Our writers are fully clued up on all the latest regulatory changes and will help you to navigate the red tape in style.