At a time when finance is on everyone’s mind, the industry would do well to step up its efforts to reach consumers with thoughtful educational content and contextual targeting to rebuild trust.

The markets this past week have captured the public imagination. GameStop was not on my personal radar, but after speaking to a couple of pals who were very willing to make a bet thanks to forums, I find myself once again kicking myself for not being as plugged into the open discussions boards that created this unique situation. How long this will go on remains to be seen.

One thing hasn’t changed, however: the finance space is a complicated one for newcomers. From a customer standpoint, deciphering products mentioned by colleagues and friends over Zoom hangouts or across Twitter feeds can be daunting. Education and simplification of knowledge is key, particularly when introducing new customers to the space.

As we move towards a “cookieless” 2021, advertisers are increasingly realizing the importance of content and contextual relevance to capture users’ attention at important moments of intent. This moment of intent could be: considering reading an article about how to prepare a great meal at home for dinner that night, researching razors that cost a dollar, or choosing a new makeup thanks to an influencer’s guidance. Delivering relevant, informative content to win new customers works.

Financial institutions are still catching up to this concept. This has been proven again this past week: readers made quick decisions based on information with intent. Instead of being shared by financial institutions, informative content was shared by fellow users amongst each other, offering the advice that they should purchase GME, AMC stock, or Dogecoin (as in Woof, Woof) to make some fast bucks.

We find ourselves at a turning point: the intersection between accessible financial products and increased mass-market retail consumers is at an all-time high. The line between the everyday curious trader and boutique hedge fund advisors is blurring.

Now that we have everyone’s attention, it’s a unique moment of awareness in the wider public consciousness. Financial institutions are in a position to play some of their best hands. Some can act immediately to inform users of their focus around sustainable investment (like Bank of the West), share unique tidbits on how to safely withdraw funds from retirement products, and offer advice for managing 401Ks and budgets during times of uncertainty.

Storytelling can simplify complicated concepts like ETFs, market trading, company valuations, and even cryptocurrency. With proper explanation, consumers can find the most attractive option that suits personal or family financial goals. Sure, this kind of information is not for everyone, but capturing users when they are already in that mindset makes sense.

It’s time for finance brands to go hell for leather to capture the attention of the most captive audience in recent history to begin building long standing relationships and rebuilding trust. Deliver stories as a trusted advisor providing knowledge. Distribute articles that are relevant to market conditions. These guarantee a higher likelihood of trust and ultimately conversion of new clients.

Informative content coupled with context is the solution.