The challenges

Unsurprisingly for financial services, the challenge for Barclays was how to respond to a lack of consumer trust in the wake of the 2008 financial crash and the 2012 Libor scandal.

When the organisation reflected on how to improve both itself and the wider industry, the question was ‘what do we want to become famous for?’

Barclays knew that it would be a risk to bury its head in the sand, but also shouting about everything it was doing to regain trust could also come across as disingenuous.

Avoiding the two ends of this scale, the brand wanted to use video to build a story and communications strategy that was longer term.

How could the organisation help people? Where might it engage with people?

In 2012, Barclays had to decide on how to make this investment in video.

The case for change

Mark discussed the expectations of digital consumers, which he characterised as interaction, transparency, ease and availability.

Part of the challenge in meeting consumer needs was to become agile enough to create content for many different scenarios.

Alongside this agility, the team rebuilt its content strategy focused around the reaffirmed purposes and values of the firm. These values come partly from the brand’s Quaker roots and encompass respect, integrity, service excellence and stewardship.

Ashok Vaswani, Barclays CEO, has been variously quoted on the digital revolution, describing how ’…every revolution has a social cost, and our role is to make sure that we take everyone forward and leave no-one behind on this journey.’

With this in mind, Mark detailed exactly how video would be aligned to the brand’s purpose and objective.

A three-pronged strategy

Brand – rebuilding reputation through hero content

Barclays’ brand strategy revolved around human interest stories.

The Digital Eagle programme trained more than 8,000 staff to assist customers with digital technology

The scheme was designed to support digitally engaged customers, encouraging them to ask for advice on the use of their own digital devices, such as how to make video calls to their relatives.

Barclays captured one of these personal stories in a video that was seeded on social media and with some TV placements over the festive period.

This hero content was designed to show how Barclays is helping customers, without having to focus on product messaging.

Editorial – responding to everyday topical themes 

Producing editorial style content on a campaign basis also became a priority.

A weekly editorial board process involves taking data from across Barclays (such as social search data, complaint data, etc) and ascertaining what issues customers are interested in.

A topical and engaging example is shown below – a video about fraud prevention, which was a big topic at the time of creation and had seen a large spike in searches.

Without paid-for promotion, the video achieved 10m views across various platforms and was picked up by the BBC and The Telegraph.

Attract and retain – deepening customer and client relationships

The third prong of Barclays’ video content strategy is to create one-to-one, personalised video.

For example, during current account on-boarding, Barclays used to send customers lots of literature, but now sends an email with a personalised video.

The video uses the customer’s name throughout to grab their attention and convey important information.

What Barclays learned 

Mark finished with some neat points detailing what the team learned about video content strategy during this transformation.

It’s important to:  

  • listen,
  • drive two-way conversation through video,
  • be innovative and planned,
  • think video across all marketing,
  • and hardwire activities into business Purpose, Values and Objectives.