How content helped build success and industry recognition for fintech start-up NetGuardians

NetGuardians uses a varied and informative content programme to boost its search rankings and start and nurture conversations with banks about its AI fraud-prevention solutions

When fintech start-up NetGuardians needed an efficient and cost-effective method to raise its profile and educate potential banking customers about its ground-breaking AI solutions for fraud prevention, the company decided the best way to do this on a small budget was by using content. Four years ago, it started working with FirstWord on white papers covering subjects including combatting financial crime in Asia and using technology to prevent digital banking fraud to demonstrate its expertise and generate leads in a conservative market with a long sales cycle.

The approach worked, with a 50 per cent jump in the number of visitors to its website in the first year, and NetGuardians now publishes high-quality blog posts, case studies and infographics as well as white papers on various aspects of combatting banking fraud as part of a varied content mix. The body of informative content it has built up has helped the company develop client relationships after the initial lead, significantly boost its Google ranking, win media coverage from banking industry publications and be named among the top 100 players in risk technology worldwide.

With the lack of in-person events and conferences over the past year due to Covid-19, email newsletters to share blog posts, white papers and company news have also become an increasingly important means of staying in touch with potential clients and partner companies, says Mine Fornerod, Director of Marketing Communications at NetGuardians.

“At first we had a huge focus on lead generation, and that is still the case, but over time and particularly recently, we have also seen how useful content is for lead nurturing,” she adds. “We have a rather long sales cycle and not all customers are ready to sign right away. We need to nurture them over time using insightful and useful content.”

Feeding Google

Potential customers in the banking world still come across the company via simple Google searches for fraud-prevention technology. The company has worked hard to maximise the opportunity this presents by fulfilling the search engine’s demand for content that meets its criteria of expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness (EAT).

In addition to publishing regular blog posts, NetGuardians has organised its white paper content into pillar pages dedicated to specific subjects, such as internal fraud carried out by bank staff or digital banking fraud.

“Pillar pages include all the information someone needs to know about that topic, and they help us to feed Google’s EAT principle,” says Fornerod. “It has helped our SEO to a remarkable degree – in keywords we are targeting with these pillar pages, we rank in the top first page of Google results in Switzerland.”

The majority of NetGuardians’ inbound leads now come from organic Google searches, she adds. Last year, for example, a major Taiwanese bank found the company on Google and became a client only a few months later.

External recognition

As a start-up, NetGuardians has also found that authoritative content offers a way to build its profile within the financial and risk technology sectors. It is named in the Chartis RiskTech 100 2021 and in 2020 was listed in Gartner’s Market Guide for Online Fraud Detection (one of only 11 companies worldwide ranked in the banking fraud category) and Forrester’s APAC Fraud Report. This year NetGuardians is also included as a category leader in the Chartis Enterprise Fraud Report.

“These are independent organisations and being recognised by them provides enormous trust in our industry,” says Fornerod. “Content is one of the factors that has helped us to demonstrate our expertise and capabilities.”

NetGuardians’ content has also helped it broaden its reach in other ways, with blog articles being shared by the major banking software companies it works with and media outlets using its white papers as a trusted source. With the volume of press releases and surveys sent to journalists, cutting through in this way as a small company is very difficult to achieve.

Showcase results

The kind of content clients and potential clients find most useful is constantly evolving and among different content campaigns this year one Fornerod wants to focus on is how NetGuardians’ algorithms can help banks detect more frauds without blocking genuine customer transactions at the same time. A jump in the number of people banking online as a result of the pandemic has been accompanied by an increase in scams and frauds. Reducing the number of false alerts in their fraud detection is a priority for banks to sustain customer experience and reduce operational losses.

“We have collected great success stories from our clients about the frauds they have caught with our AI technology and the tangible benefits they have achieved in terms of operational cost reductions,” she says. “As a next step in our content journey, we would like to share more of these stories with our audience.”

NetGuardians recently raised CHF17 million (£13.2 million) from investors and content will remain the foundation of the company’s marketing as it grows. “I cannot even imagine building a marketing strategy without it,” says Fornerod.