What turns eager readers of your fintech blog into eye-rollers, sending them clicking away from your website faster than you can say “blockchain?”
Here’s a hint… it’s the textual equivalent of empty calories, filling up space without providing any real nourishment or insight.
I’m talking about fluff.
In the world of fintech and financial services, as innovators and thought leaders compete to make their mark, the quality of content has emerged as a decisive factor in carving out a distinguished space in the industry.
It’s not just about what you say, but how you say it.
Content that is crisp, concise, and to the point stands out, pulling readers in and keeping them hooked. But how can you ensure that your content cuts through the noise, delivering value without drowning in a sea of words?
Welcome to the art of cutting the fluff, a skill that can transform your fintech writing from mundane to magnetic.
What Is Fluff in Writing?
Fluff or “filler content” refers to unnecessary words or content that lacks value. It’s the enemy of powerful writing.
It’s forgettable, boring, and frustrating. Worst of all, it obscures the purpose of your content.
Want to learn how to make a Greek salad? What you need is an ingredient list and instructions. What you definitely don’t need is a long-winded description of the author’s vacation to Athens.
Fluff in writing is any prose that does not add value to the central topic at hand. In fact, it can easily remove value.
Because the fintech industry is a complex one, it can be difficult to identify fluff as you produce content. Fluff in fintech writing might be:
- Technical jargon that’s too complicated for your audience to understand.
- Opinions that aren’t relevant to the aim of the article.
- Information that diverts a reader’s attention from the core topic.
For example, here’s a fluffy explanation of neobanking:
Neobanking is the agile technological infrastructure and digitally native business model disrupting the conventional banking sector by offering a gamut of customer-centric financial services, seamlessly integrated through intuitive mobile applications.
Now, let try without the fluff:
Neobanking is a new way of banking that gives more people easier access to financial services, via personalized technology and mobile apps.
Simple and to the point—that’s all you need.
Why Fluff Is Bad for Your Fintech Business
Frustrated readers are disengaged readers.
One of the primary objectives of content marketing is to craft content that captivates and retains users on your website, facilitating a deeper connection and fostering trust.
Fluff, however, acts as a deterrent, escalating bounce rates and substantially undermining your content marketing efforts. It can lead to a fragmented user experience, where the core message of a content asset or campaign gets lost amidst redundant/boring/meaningless information, causing confusion and mistrust.
A visitor who encounters fluff is more likely to leave your website with a negative perception, associating your brand with a lack of clarity and precision. This not only affects their experience but can potentially stop them from engaging with your brand in the future.
If your audience gains nothing from your content, your brand will lose credibility. After all, why should people trust a brand that doesn’t write with clarity and with concision?
Here’s the hard truth: they shouldn’t.
Strategies for Eliminating Fluff in Fintech Writing
Eliminating fluff will take some practice.
It’s not just about trimming excess words; it’s about fostering a culture of transparency and trust.
Now that we understand the pitfalls of including fluff in your fintech content, let’s look at some strategies that can help you spot and eradicate fluff, ensuring your fintech content is powerful, impactful, and leaves readers wanting more.
By keeping these strategies in mind, you’ll be well on your way to crafting fintech content that is not only free of fluff but also more compelling and engaging.
1. Create Detailed Content Outlines
Diving into the creation of a fintech blog article without a well-structured outline is akin to navigating uncharted waters without a map.
A detailed content outline serves as a blueprint, helping you (or your writers) organize your thoughts systematically and ensuring a logical flow of ideas throughout your piece. In the fast-evolving fintech landscape, where topics can be intricate and multifaceted, having a clear outline is key.
Begin by identifying the core message or insight you wish to convey through your content.
Once established, break it down into sub-points or sections, each addressing different facets or perspectives related to the main theme. This approach not only helps in maintaining a coherent structure but also aids in avoiding redundancy, as you can clearly see where each piece of information fits in the grand scheme of your article.
A well-crafted outline also facilitates a smoother writing process, saving you time and effort in the long run.
It allows for a focused approach, where you can allocate adequate space and emphasis to each section, ensuring a balanced and comprehensive coverage of the topic at hand.
Additionally, it acts as a buffer against deviations, helping you stay on track and cover what needs to be said, where and when it needs to be said. No less, and certainly no more.
2. Capture Attention With a Great Intro
You have about 15 seconds to grab a reader’s attention. As such, your intro must hook them in.
At the very beginning of your article, you need to entice your reader and get them excited to continue. And yet, if you say a whole lot of nothing, or if you say something that makes readers yawn, they will bounce.
To craft an introduction that resonates, start with a striking statement or a provocative question that sparks curiosity (much like we did at the start of this article). It’s essential to establish the relevance of your content early on, showcasing how your brand’s narrative aligns with the interests or needs of your target audience.
Offering a sneak peek into the unique perspectives or data you’re about to share can also be a great tactic to entice readers further.
A great intro serves as a roadmap, guiding readers into the heart of your content with a clear indication of what to expect. It sets the tone for the ensuing discourse, fostering an environment of engagement and anticipation. Thus, spend time honing your intro to not just attract but also retain your readers, encouraging them to venture deeper into the nuanced world of fintech that you are about to unfold.
The goal should be to strike the right balance between being catchy while getting straight to the point.
Check out this great guide from Neil Patel to learn more.
3. Keep Paragraphs and Sentences Short
Repeat after me: less is more.
Keeping your paragraphs and sentences short is not just a stylistic choice, but a strategy to enhance readability and retain reader interest. Long, winding sentences can often lose readers in their complexity, causing them to disengage from your content.
Short paragraphs and sentences, on the other hand, create a brisk reading pace, facilitating easier comprehension and assimilation of the information being conveyed.
They allow for a cleaner and more organized presentation of ideas, where each sentence serves a clear purpose, and each paragraph focuses on a singular, cohesive point.
Concise writing promotes clarity, helping to prevent misunderstandings or misinterpretations. It encourages writers to distill their thoughts to the most essential elements, removing unnecessary fluff and fostering a direct, straightforward communication style.
When in doubt, don’t ramble on!
Our general rule of thumb here at CSTMR is that each paragraph should have a maximum of five visual lines.
4. Avoid Industry Jargon
Fintech is known for buzzwords and obscure terminology.
It can be tempting to sprinkle your content with industry jargon, assuming it adds a layer of professionalism and expertise. However, excessive use of jargon can often act as a barrier, alienating readers who may not be familiar with the terminology and making your content less accessible to a broader audience.
Steering clear of jargon means adopting a language that is inclusive, welcoming both novices and experts to engage with your content without feeling overwhelmed or excluded.
It’s about striking a balance where you convey complex information in a manner that is straightforward yet not oversimplified, fostering a community of informed and engaged readers.
Avoiding jargon also allows for clearer communication.
It encourages you to break down complex concepts into understandable nuggets of information, promoting better understanding and retention among your readers. It can also help in building trust with your audience, as they appreciate the effort taken to make the content comprehensible and relatable.
As you craft your fintech content, aim to create a jargon-free zone where information flows freely and is accessible to all. Remember, your goal is to enlighten, not to confuse.
As an example, here are common terms in the fintech industry that your audience may not be familiar with:
- Alternative financing: funding outside of the traditional finance system.
- Underbanked/unbanked: sectors or people who have limited access to banking services, or none at all.
- P2P lending: peer-to-peer lending, or social lending, refers to lending without an intermediary; the lender loans money directly to a borrower.
- KYC: an acronym for Know Your Customer, a process for authenticating users to fight fraud.
We recommend that you create your own list of industry-specific terms and easy-to-understand definitions to help improve your content efforts. If you work in a niche where you have no other option but to use industry jargon, look to create a term glossary on your website or blog that you can direct readers to.
5. Don’t State the Obvious
One common pitfall that content creators fall into is stating the obvious, which not only dilutes the impact of the core message but also diminishes the perceived value of the content.
Avoiding obvious statements means steering clear of generalized observations and assertions that most of your audience would already know.
It’s about respecting your readers’ time and intelligence by offering them content that is both substantial and thought-provoking.
Instead of stating well-known facts or overused industry jargon, focus on providing unique insights, in-depth analyses, or untapped viewpoints that can stimulate discussion and reflection among your readers.
Additionally, stating the obvious can sometimes border on patronizing, which could alienate your readers rather than draw them in.
It’s vital to find a balance between providing necessary context and avoiding over-explanation. A good practice is to assume a reasonable level of knowledge and understanding from your audience, and build your content from that baseline.
You can’t go wrong with implementing the five strategies we discussed above to hone your fintech writing. To further refine your approach and craft content that truly resonates, here are three more strategies to keep at the forefront of your content production workflow.
Minimize the Use of Adjectives and Adverbs
While descriptive words can sometimes add color to your writing, an overreliance on adjectives and adverbs can make your content seem overwrought and complicated. Strive for simplicity and clarity, choosing nouns and verbs that are strong enough to stand alone without the need for embellishment. Stephen King says it himself: “the road to hell is paved with adverbs.”
Don’t Be Redundant
Saying the same thing twice not only lengthens your content unnecessarily but also dilutes the impact of your message. Be concise and avoid repeating the same ideas or points in different words. This strategy not only streamlines your content but also reinforces your message by presenting it in a clear, uncluttered manner.
Embrace the Active Voice…Sometimes
While the passive voice isn’t always incorrect, it can often make your writing seem detached and impersonal. Where possible, opt for the active voice to create a more direct and engaging narrative. Active voice fosters a stronger connection with the reader, making your content more dynamic and vibrant.
Say Goodbye to Fluff With CSTMR
When it comes to fintech content marketing, every word counts.
To rise above the noise in today’s competitive industry, you need to tell a story that is both enriching and captivating.
As you develop your next piece of fintech content, we urge you to embrace the strategies outlined above with open arms. Implement them, refine them, and watch as your content transforms from a mere collection of words to a powerhouse of insights and information.
Your readers are seeking substance over volume, value over verbosity.
The journey to fluff-free content is one of continuous learning and evolution. Your readers will not only appreciate the newfound clarity and depth in your content, but they will also find themselves gravitating towards your brand, fostering a community of engaged and informed enthusiasts.
Embarking on this path doesn’t mean you have to go it alone.
At CSTMR, we are ready to help you develop content that resonates deeply with your audience. Are you interested in elevating your fintech content to new heights? Reach out to us today, and let’s build your brand’s story together.