The financial services industry is a bedrock of the global economy, underpinning sectors ranging from green energy to real estate. It only continues to grow in importance and change in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Here at Conductor, we regularly dive into search data and highlight key trends that can inform not only organic marketing but also overall digital strategy for organizations in the industry.
Our latest report assesses the current trends across the banking/credit, lending, investments, and financial technology (fintech) categories. To do this, we conducted exhaustive keyword research in order to explore topics that have seen significant increases in demand year-over-year.
Banking & Credit: Retail banking and credit cards are tied to the travel industry
In the credit card industry, companies like Citi and Wells Fargo introduced new simplified cash-back credit cards in 2021, resulting in a surge of branded search interest. This corporate strategy may be in part due to lingering concerns about COVID-related travel restrictions. However, consumer behavior is shifting back to flexible points-based rewards structures as travel has rebounded from the pandemic. The term “best travel rewards credit card,” for instance, increased by nearly 200% since 2020. Credit card companies should use search data to ensure their business strategy aligns with shifting consumer needs.
Loans: Personal loans for bad credit are a key topic.
In the lending space, demand for business loans soared in 2021. Federally-backed loan forgiveness programs created a significant amount of search interest as businesses sought information about available capital, especially as some federal small business support programs ended in 2021. Small agile lenders managed to beat out large established banks for this valuable traffic by creating content that spoke in the voice of the customer. On the B2C side, consumer lending dropped off slightly in 2021, possibly due to increased savings thanks to the pandemic. There are still some bright spots for consumer lenders: student and wedding loans displayed spiking demand last year.
Investments: Retirement accounts are being linked to cryptocurrency
Through all the disruptions to the investment industry in 2021, calculator content is still king. This is especially true as millennials are both getting into investing and leaving their jobs in record numbers, and they are looking to inform themselves about the latest trends. This is reflected by people searching for 401k alternatives and retirement calculators at record rates in 2021 compared to 2020. Interestingly, search data also reflects that people want to integrate cryptocurrency assets into their retirement accounts. This will be a space to watch in 2022 and beyond.
Fintech: Online banking, mobile payment, and crypto platforms are the norm
2021 was another watershed year for cutting edge fintech. Between a continued shift towards online banking, innovations in mobile payments, and the steady rise of cryptocurrency, the year saw a tremendous amount of change. The space is changing so fast that search trends are volatile, tracking the boom/bust cycle of meme coins and crypto exchanges. Mobile payment was also a key fintech trend in 2021, as searches for digital and mobile wallets surged. This will be an important content focus going forward, especially as the 46% of retailers that still cannot accommodate mobile paying customers begins to modernize.
Who is owning the market for these different trending topics?
This is just a sampling: the full report is full of valuable insights on the latest trends in the finance industry going into 2022.
- Discover the top performing domains overall and by subtopic.
- Learn about the types of content that perform well in order to inform your own content marketing strategy.
- Correlate the latest developments in the financial services sector with trends in organic search data.
Download the full report today to stay on top of the latest in financial services.