When you search “business planning resources US,” Google serves up pages and pages of results without a single bank website. When you search “business planning resources New Zealand,” ANZ BizHub is No. 3 on page 1. Page rank is everything if you want to increase your online sales. So how did ANZ Bank get such a high page rank while the others didn’t rank at all? Content. They provide content to answer consumers’ banking questions. In April 2013, ANZ worked with The Small Business Company to implement a content strategy that would help them become No. 1 in customer satisfaction and growth among retail bankers (pretty lofty goal). Today, that content strategy has helped the bank dramatically increase total online sales of its business products, and online sales of small business startup packages has more than tripled. Ben Green, Marketing Manager, Business Banking at ANZ, says they believed helpful content could differentiate them from their competitors, engage their customers, demonstrate their expertise and help boost search traffic. He says they invested in content because that is what people are searching for. “People don’t go out looking for ads, they’re looking for content,” he says. They’re looking for answers to problems or information to help them make decisions. “That’s not to say that advertising doesn’t work – of course it does – but content provides them with answers and helps them warm to your brand,” adds Green. ANZ still invests in traditional advertising, but Green says that their content strategy has helped them have conversations with their customers that they might not otherwise have had. For instance, when a customer contacts ANZ with a question – either online or at the branch – the new online content gives the customer service staff somewhere to direct the customer for additional advice and support. Here are some lessons they’ve learned: Today’s consumers are looking for products and solutions online – you need to be there and offer meaningful information that drives them to action. Keep your content fresh. Market your content on social and through email campaigns, newsletters, staff recommendations, etc. Think about what the customer wants/needs and provide it. Measure, adjust, measure. And finally, vigorously protect the customer experience. Glen Senior, the CEO of The Small Business Company, says there’s no reason to create thousands of pieces of content when 10 great ones will do. He suggests that you have a gatekeeper – an editor – to keep the site free of any content that doesn’t support your content strategy.