Branded Content

How value-led content can help finance brands become more human

Note: Verizon Media is now known as Yahoo.

Consumers seek out brands who aren't afraid to communicate their values in an authentic way. Content that leads with emotion and tells a compelling story can dramatically influence audience perception—we're all human, after all.

In the extremely complex financial services industry, time-strapped consumers want to engage with thought leadership and dialogue that's delivered in a transparent way. Firms that can convey their opinions, worldviews, passions, and interests will earn trust and break through in a cluttered content landscape. That's why having a content marketing strategy in place is crucial to reach consumers at natural touch points along their decision-making journey.

Verizon Media tested the impact of different types of creative on the finance consumer based on over five years worth of ad effectiveness research. This study establishes marketing best practices to build loyalty, trust, and consideration with customers.

We found that campaigns that are inspiring, high-quality, and relatable have the biggest impact for finance brands, influencing +16% higher affinity, +16% purchase intent, and +72% message association than any other format.

These findings led to the development of the "Difference Maker 100" campaign for financial services company TIAA. The integrated marketing program showcases TIAA's values through the amazing stories of the people it serves, in celebration of the firm's centennial anniversary. TIAA partnered with RYOT Studio & HuffPost (Verizon Media) to launch a custom, branded content program, consumer activation, and a microsite featuring inspiring stories of non-profit employees making an impact across the world.

The campaign inspired more than 4,000 submissions from people nominating a difference maker in their community, easily surpassing the original goal of 1,000 submissions. The microsite hosted a series of docu-style videos produced by RYOT Studio that brought nominee stories to life, driving awareness of the TIAA brand and engagement in the program.

Verizon Media and TIAA also created invaluable connections across their web and social platforms, including an interactive quiz that invited visitors to discover their inner difference maker. The 100 chosen honorees were featured in a branded HuffPost editorial series and awarded with $10k grants from TIAA.

The campaign was a perfect example of the impact of creating positive experiences delivered through unique and engaging content formats. As a result, TIAA's brand affinity was lifted by 140% and brand consideration increased by 35%. The campaign was also named a finalist in the Digiday Content Marketing Awards.

For finance companies looking to reach customers and inspire brand love, TIAA's Difference Maker 100 shows how the right digital partner can drive value for both brands and society.

Verizon Media offers sponsorships and custom and branded content to help finance brands lead with values to cut through. With engaging formats, professionally-generated content, and the audience you're looking for, Verizon Media and RYOT Studio make sure your brand's story isn't just well-told, it's also well-heard.

"The TIAA Difference Maker 100 program helped us celebrate our heritage with a renewed commitment to our values and the people we serve. Our year-long partnership with RYOT Studio and Verizon Media enabled us to authentically build more personal and relevant connections with our key audiences and further differentiate our brand." — Mark Elliot, CMO, TIAA

Reach out to your Verizon Media representative or contact us for more information on our content marketing for advertisers.

More insights

Premium Integrations

8 tips to reach the always-online shopping generations

Ads that are relevant and personal have the power to reach Gen-Z and Millenials who shop online. Read more to get tips from Yahoo.


Case study: how The Home Depot AR ads lit up the holidays

The Home Depot is the world's largest home improvement retailer and they partnered with Verizon Media to create a one-of-a-kind AR digital holiday campaign that dazzled.

Native Ads

Case study: making Australia a top travel destination