The fintech start-up counting on content to make the complex simple

Reitigh knew the right content would help explain exactly what it does to its target audience, but as a small company whose experience lay in numbers not words it decided to work with specialists, writes Sophy Buckley

Focusing on your strengths is a key to success. And Reitigh, a software company set up by risk-assessing actuaries, certainly took this onboard when it decided to use external writers rather than rely on in-house skills for its content marketing.

“Most of us are actuaries. We’re used to crafting numbers, not so much words,” admits Darragh Pelly, Reitigh chief strategy officer and co-founder. “We were looking for help structuring our message and writing readable, understandable copy.”

Reitigh provides software that allows financial services companies – banks, insurers and asset managers – to automate reports for regulators, auditors and customers (among others) in a sector facing constant change. This software is designed to bring order, pace and automation to financial and regulatory reporting as well as data processing.

“The people we help are just trying to do their day job – which already takes up all their time – and then a whole load of changes land on their desk. This might be regulatory or market or internal changes. They don’t have time to adapt their systems to all this constant change. They face an ever-greater burden with shorter timescales. They need automation. Our low-code software sorts them out,” he explains.

Content vital to opportunity

Reitigh’s is a complex world of nuance and subtleties in data access and flow. Getting that across to potential clients is critical to success. As a relatively young company, full of technical experience and knowledge but not that well known in the market, in mid-2020 it decided to trust specialists in content marketing to explain what it does and spread the word to a wider audience. “We started with one agency and got pieces into the financial press. But we found the people writing for us just didn’t fully understand what we did and the places where the articles were published were not very reader friendly. A friend of a friend recommended FirstWord. And they hit the road running,” Pelly says.

With a stable full of writers who have spent years writing for a global business audience at top-tier publications such as The Financial Times, Daily Telegraph, BBC and Wall Street Journal, FirstWord was able to supply business journalism specialists who were up to speed in technology, too.

“It’s important to work with people who have sector knowledge, are great at writing and have a financial services background,” says Pelly. He said working with FirstWord was a welcome break, freeing up his time and that of the Reitigh senior team to train new staff – since 2020 the company has more than trebled in size from six to 20 – and drive further growth.

“We wanted to be able to talk to a writer not that close to the problems we’re solving, but who understands them. And we wanted readable, relatable copy. That’s what we got straight away with FirstWord,” he says.

While FirstWord often helps its clients find topics ripe for content, Reitigh prefers to do this itself. “We’re driving the content now. We spend a lot of time thinking about what we want to say and then discuss it with FirstWord. It’s a broad subject matter. Very nuanced. We take the time to go through it. To get a 1,000-word article or series of articles takes time to think through. FirstWord helps, but before we even talk to them we need to know what we want to say.”

This process has resulted in a series of articles articulating Reitigh’s services and the benefits they bring to clients. Topics have included how embracing and adapting to change can give financial services companies a competitive edge, why adding a low-code data hub can be a more flexible way to transfer and share data for insurers and how creating a central data hub can help ensure compliance with the new IFRS 17 accounting rules.

Getting the message right

Working within a highly regulated industry means the sales pitch has to be spot on. There is no room for misinterpretation or misrepresentation. Pelly admits, though, that briefing often turns out to be a bit of a brain dump; FirstWord simplifies and streamlines the key messages to write up a compelling and engaging article. “They can achieve this faster than we could,” he explains. “They also remove the jargon and acronyms, and make it a good, easy read.”

FirstWord has also encouraged Reitigh to move away from thinking just about the written word into other forms of content, starting with short videos such as this one which explains in little over a minute how the company translates complexity into opportunity. “It started with thought leadership, but we’ve progressed to video explainers,” he says. Pelly supplements this content with pieces created in-house, including news items about awards, hirings, vacancies, charitable activities and questions about sector change, as well as republishing pieces by third parties that he thinks relevant to his audience. These might include precis for regulatory white papers or industry briefings.

Currently, he is publishing all this content almost exclusively on LinkedIn, where it has helped grow the company’s followers from 600 to more than 1,200. He also puts it in the news section on its website.

“We monitor comments to see which pieces are good and know from experience that the articles are getting to the right audience. People tell us when we meet that they’ve seen stuff and we’ve made sales from that,” he says, noting that the sales cycle can be quite long – three to six months, even 18. “We’ve only been doing this a relatively short time. We know it helps spread the word and shows our company is growing, is dynamic and it illustrates what we do.”

No surprise, then, that he’s hoping to expand his content remit. “We want to hold round tables, find use cases, do more articles in more digestible formats. Videos, infographics, animation, product explainers,” he says. One drawback to date has been getting clients to agree to be mentioned, something he’s been working on.

“I can see we’re getting to the point where I don’t have to ring up a lead and say we can solve your problems, but instead they’ll be knocking on my door saying I’ve read what you do and you can help us,” he says. Not bad for a young company whose specialisation is numbers, not words.