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How to Create Better Content For Your Bank With Storytelling

Digital Marketing

How to Create Better Content For Your Bank With Storytelling

Eric Cook by Eric Cook

Chief Digital Strategist

Contact author Full biography

Full biography

Eric considers himself a “recovering banker” of 15 years, who for the past eleven years has focused his efforts as a digital strategist, helping his clients (mostly community banks) better understand and leverage the power of the Internet as a strategic business tool. An award-winning web designer with WSI, the world’s largest digital agency network, Eric is a two-time contributing author to the best-selling book Digital Minds – 12 Things Every Business Needs to Know About Digital Marketing. Consistently rated in the top five digital marketing books on Amazon, the book is in its second edition and available in three languages.

A sought-after, nationally-recognized speaker in the financial services industry, Eric is a member of the National Speakers Association and loves sharing his knowledge to help educate and inspire others. He is the co-creator of a weekly webinar show called Free Webinar Wednesdays, founder of the Banker Education Series webinar series, and serves as a faculty member at several banking schools around the country where he teaches bankers about digital strategy, online marketing and social media. He is a WSI Certified LinkedIn Professional and holds undergraduate degrees in business administration and psychology. While working full-time as a community banker, Eric earned his MBA and completed the three-year Graduate School of Banking program in Madison, WI in 2003.

Professionally, Eric helps his clients in all areas of digital marketing, which includes mobile-responsive web development, search engine marketing and optimization, social media strategies, e-mail communication, and “big-picture” digital strategic planning. He’s the co-founder of, a service created to help businesses understand their risk when it comes to operating in today’s digital world. When he’s not helping his clients succeed online, he can typically be found on one of his many bicycles training for his next mountain bike/triathlon race or spending time with his wife and two (very spoiled) golden retrievers.



These days, it can feel like building visibility for your bank is a hamster wheel of trial and error. In an era where ad-blockers run wild and everyone largely ignores organic search results beyond the top three results in a SERP, creating content that captures your audience’s attention might feel impossible.

The solution may not lie in the number of sponsored ads you post or the time of day you release content. Perhaps all your bank needs is a good story. Exploring the narrative aspects of your marketing strategy and crafting intentional storylines may unlock a new world of advertising for your brand. Read on to learn how to harness the power of the pen (or the keyboard) in your next campaign.

Character Selection

A key feature of a well-crafted story is a collection of characters that feel three-dimensional and relatable. Your bank can become a character in much the same way. Before writing any plot points, start by discovering who and what your bank is. Where do you come from? What do you stand for? How does your bank’s mission statement manifest itself in the day-to-day workings of your organization?

Heroes and Sidekicks

Every worthwhile tale has protagonists that make readers cheer and cry along with them. At first glance, you may feel motivated to make your bank the hero, championing the average consumer in the face of a confusing and constantly fluctuating financial market. Though that approach may passively strengthen your bank’s image, a client is more likely to engage if they can imagine themselves as the hero, supported by your bank services.

You are framing your customer as a superhero and your bank as their trusted guide. The client is already powerful by themselves — powerful enough to choose your bank — but you can make that power much more potent by acting as their trusted sidekick or extraordinary device.

Strengthen Your Structure

Once you’ve established your setting and characters, it’s time to get into the nitty-gritty of writing your bank’s story. It can be helpful to follow a formula that positions your audience as the winners by using your bank. Our favorite model goes like this:

  1. Establish where you are right now. What do the audience members see in their everyday life? What do they already have, and what do they want? In this portion, it is essential to note the stakes of their situation and how important it is for the characters to achieve their ultimate goals.
  2. Introduce a problem. Consumers turn to banks for many kinds of financial and personal issues. Choosing common situations for your story can help your content reach wider audiences.
  3. Craft a solution utilizing your brand. Whatever situation your customers may be in, they can solve it with the help of your bank. Remember to frame it as the customer becoming the victor thanks to the speed, skill, resources, etc. that your bank provides once they become a customer.

Examples of Effective Brand Storytelling

For further explanation, let’s dive into a few examples of content ideas that utilize the storytelling formula:

  • A Community Bank wants to resonate with new banking customers and show the value they offer to the community. The bank constructs a story about their ideal customer, who is tired of paying rent and wants to build equity in a home of their own. The bank becomes the trusted partner and guide on this journey, helping the hero (customer) attain the goal of home ownership.

This narrative is compelling for a few different reasons. The community bank’s potential customer has a dilemma (paying rent) and a desire (owning a new home), with the stakes of failing to attain home ownership. The problem is that the customer doesn’t have confidence in their ability to finance a home purchase. By showing potential customers how the community bank can enable this goal, they solve the problem and give the story a happy ending.

  • A small business is ready to expand its operations and wants to build an addition to give them more room to grow. The small business isn’t sure that a bank will finance the loan, because the lender may not have confidence in the business and its future success, or the business may worry that its collateral isn’t enough. The Community Bank positions itself as a trusted partner that wants local businesses to succeed and takes the time to understand how the expansion will help the business grow. This personal connection helps the business achieve its goal of building the addition to enable future growth.

The dilemma for the small business is wanting to finance a building addition, but being unsure if a lender will approve the loan. The community bank becomes the tool that moves the hero, the small business, into the position they wish to occupy. Solving problems for your clients makes you the solution in the hero’s quest each client is traveling.


We understand that your bank is not just a brick-and-mortar building. It’s an integral part of your community with a life all its own. Bringing out the story behind your bank (and how it helps the community and the people who live and work in it) can help create content that carries meaning with your audience and allows your message to stick.

Would you like help becoming the author of your next story? Contact us today for more information about how our marketing strategies can help you achieve your goals (and tell a good story in the process).


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