Table of Contents
With the rapid increase of technology in almost every sphere of our lives, the competition is getting fierce, especially with regard to financial institutions and services. There is a need to think out of the box and come up with creative marketing and execution of digital services in the financial sector if they intend to get more exposure and visibility. Financial institutions are in terrible need of digital marketing to stay ahead of the competition.
Introduction – Digital marketing for financial services/process of marketing of financial services
The primary goal behind digital marketing for financial services is to improve customer engagement and win their trust. It is essential to implement digital strategies to gain more visibility and reach more potential customers. To make this work, financial institutions have begun allocating a portion of their budget solely for digital marketing across various channels.
Financial institutions are leveraging omnichannel marketing for a wider consumer reach. As you would have noticed that we are getting more email and SMS alerts from financial companies. Companies reach out to prospective consumers with targeted campaigns and ads that align with their lifestyle and increase the conversion rate.
Facts you need to know
With around 77% of people using mobile payments, this sector needs to be explored using the right marketing campaigns.
A report by Digital Banking suggests that in 2017, 34% of financial institutions allocated 50% of their budget to traditional media, and 15% of organizations allocated more than half of their budget to online media. This indicates that financial institutions are evolving and making the most of the opportunities.
Most organizations are utilizing the leading social media channels such as Facebook and YouTube as their digital partners. Segmented and omnichannel marketing is favoured to run the campaigns for digital marketing for financial services. As per a report by Mintel, companies like American Express and Chase prefer Facebook as their digital partner, whereas Citi and Discover prefer YouTube.
It is no surprise that millennials and Gen Zs account for the largest workforce in the corporate world.
According to a report by Accenture, about 84% of millennials are ecstatic to use digital services for their respective banks or financial institutions.
Digital marketing for financial services
Three key aspects
- Consumer Experience and Engagement
- Leveraging omnichannel marketing
- Entering new markets with a broader reach
To achieve these goals and excel, financial institutions can use digital marketing strategies to their advantage in the following ways –
Create a user-friendly interface via multi-channel marketing
Multi-channel marketing helps reach more customers and engage with them on multiple platforms. The financial institutions employing an omnichannel strategy must ensure that the user experience is seamless and uniform across all channels. For a frictionless UI, website design should adhere to functionality that engages users and make them come back for more. Also, websites should offer easy navigation across mobile platforms as well without any lags.
Financial organizations are increasingly adopting modern innovations like chatbots for an immersive user experience. All these features propel customers to spread positive word of mouth for your brand
One of the surest ways to improve business growth is prioritizing content creation and optimizing it to grab customer attention. Content marketing is usually overlooked, but a well-crafted content plan can help customers understand the nitwits of financial services. Not only will it help generate more leads, but customers will feel entrusted to your brand and will bring in more referrals.
Make sure that you set clear goals while planning content creation. Think of detailed and informative articles about financial services offered by your brand. Use multimedia and customization techniques to reach the targeted audience. Analyze the blog traffic to understand your readers better and then develop relevant content that resonates with your audience.
With laptops and tablets becoming redundant, mobile-based digital marketing will help financial marketers reach more customers. It is crucial that the content – whether audio or video-is well optimized for mobile platforms as well. Mobile-based marketing is proven to be highly effective in garnering customer attention and influence their purchase decisions.
Focus on Personalization
Personalization is everywhere. It is the buzzword that increases customer engagement and improves customer retention in the long run. About 77% of customers respond well to personalized messages in some ways to cater to their individual needs.
In terms of financial marketing, personalization can be used to –
– Offer tailored recommendations
– offer highly personalized services to the customers that align with their specific needs
Personalized campaigns can be designed by studying various customer profiles and then optimizing them as per demographics, customer shopping behavior, past purchases, and more to improve customer engagement and their overall experience. Personalization is helpful to build a more loyal customer base. By sharing personalized recommendations, you can influence customer’s shopping decisions. When customers feel that their needs are met, they stay loyal to the brand and eventually become brand advocates.
SEO is Search Engine Optimization. SEO helps financial marketers to pivot in the direction of growth by acquiring prospective customers. This can be achieved by planning for local SEO strategies that make it easy for customers to discover your brand online. Financial brands can also utilize Pay-Per-Click ads along with SEO to generate leads and gain visibility. It is crucial to optimize the SEO for local customers to stay on top of the results.
Successful digital marketing for financial services should include on-page and off-page SEO optimization. Make sure that the information stays uniform across multiple locations. Optimizing with the right keywords and building backlinks can help your web page get maximum hits. Using advanced SEO tactics and PPC strategies, you can improve your webpage ranking, which eventually improves conversion rate and revenue.
Video content is becoming a huge thing in recent times. With video marketing, financial brands can gain more attention and increase user engagement with customers. Informative videos can be used as a tool to educate the customers and generate leads. It is easier to relate to video or graphic content than text-based content.
The possibilities are endless with video marketing as it relies on a low-cost model that generates good output. Also, video analytics can be used to optimize future campaigns and create highly engaging content.
While creating video content, make sure that it’s interactive and people leave their comments or come back for more. Use infographics, doodles, pictures, etc., to make it more engaging. You can also tell inspiring financial stories to connect with the audience.
Social media marketing
Today, almost everyone is on social media. A social media presence is a must for brand awareness and growth. This applies to financial institutions as well. Running simple promotional ads on social media such as Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter can have a massive impact. It means that customers get easy access to your brand and vice versa. With such fierce competition out there, social media presence is highly recommended.
It is a pragmatic tool to reach more potential customers while establishing a credible brand presence and generating substantial leads. Engaging, meaningful, and creative social media ads can give your brand a competitive edge and connect more people with your brand; some of them may convert into valuable customers.
Make use of social media quizzes and contests to drive engagement. Make sure to post fresh and relevant content every day that aligns with your customers.
Engage with customers
Engagement is the key to boosting business growth in today’s hyperconnected world. Millennials and Gen Zs prefer brands that post unique and engaging content on social media platforms. Financial marketers can engage with customers through superior customer service as well.
All these strategies impact customer relationships with your brand. Going beyond the transactional relationship makes your customers feel special, which converts them into brand loyalists. Therefore, it is crucial to engage with them and make them feel like you have their back consistently.
Positive customer reviews
Customer reviews can make or break a brand’s image. If your customer leaves a positive review, it means that they are happy with the services and trust your brand significantly. When new or prospective customers read such positive reviews or feedback, they are more likely to feel positive while doing business with your brand. New customers are often reluctant to try an unknown brand. This is where reviews help them influence their purchase decision and steer them to press that BUY button.
Make sure that you are trying to resolve customer problems and provide exceptional customer service in general. If there’s a negative review, make sure to turn it around into a positive one.
Developing marketing strategies for financial services means considering a range of elements which include:
- Your organization’s goals & objectives
- Target markets
- New & emerging markets
- Your organization’s strengths & weaknesses
- Resources available
However, no matter what your goals or the financial services you provide, effective financial marketing strategies can help you to focus on efforts so that you can better reach targets and goals.
The 5 Most Effective process of marketing of financial services are:
- Customer Outreach
- Self-Service and Digitization
- Social Media
- Automation and Big-Data
- Digital Storytelling
These process of marketing of financial services are a good place to start for many marketing strategies for banks and financial institutions.
1. Customer Outreach
Customer outreach is one of the oldest and simplest marketing strategies for banks and financial institutions to adopt. However, it’s also one of the most effective. Customer outreach is quite simply the concept of reaching out to customers to fill existing needs surrounding education, awareness, and help. This scales to a small organization in the form of free consultations and webinars and to larger ones in the form of financial education such as debt management programs or financial education in schools.
A carefully formulated financial marketing strategy takes the services and features you are trying to sell and other marketing campaigns into consideration. For example, if you know that students are going back to school, you could focus customer outreach around programs for teaching college students to manage money on their own, towards saving for college, or budgeting to save up for a car. If you know your geographic area has a large percentage of seniors, you could create free financial education programs teaching seniors to use digital banking and about online security. These programs would, in turn, promote savings accounts, digital solutions, and even your bank through awareness and increased consumer trust.
2. Self-Service and Digitization
Setting up and promoting digitized financial products and customer service or experience portals that enable customers to sign up for services online, change products and services online, and view their information without going into a branch is an effective and increasingly necessary trend for financial organizations. However, it is not a marketing strategy that applies to every organization, as you may not sell products only services.
3. Social Media
81% of the United States population is on a social media account and many use social for up to 4-5 hours per day. Your smart and consistent use of one or more social media platforms is a valuable financial marketing strategy that you cannot afford to ignore. Millennials, Generation Z, and even Baby Boomers use social media platforms to connect with brands, learn from peers, and follow current events and news. Maintaining a steady presence on one or more sites with a strategy in place to offer value to followers will help you to build brand trust, create marketing opportunities, and grow your customer base.
Many financial and banking organizations use social media to connect with consumers for the purpose of building trust. For example, by showing that real people work at banks and in financial services, showcasing customers and success stories, and delivering customer service. For example, financial organizations can typically cut the cost of customer service by over 70% by switching from phone to social media. A good social media marketing strategy requires smart use of storytelling, content, and creative humor as well as consistency and the willingness to offer value for the customer rather than the bank. However, it is well worth the effort in terms of building trust, awareness, and relationships with consumers in their space.
4. Automation and Big Data
Most financial organizations have more data than they know what to do with, but that is quickly changing. Today, customer experience platforms and automation tools make it easier than ever to utilize and apply data as part of your marketing strategy for financial services. For example, big data can tell you who is saving up for a big purchase and most likely to need pre-approval for a loan, big data can help you identify and offer services before or after they are needed, it can help you to target specific customers for additional customer service or digital financial education, and can help you to cut down on needed customer service.
For example, JP Morgan uses bots to respond to internal IT access requests, cutting the need for 40 full-time employees, and speeding up the process. Other banks are using automation to tailor services, offer more specific or personalized solutions, and to create custom data and dashboards for customers in ways that would have been prohibitively expensive without automation.
5. Digital Storytelling
Storytelling is still one of the most effective marketing mediums, whether on social media, video, ads, or cross-channel platforms extending into the real world. Here, your marketing strategy should encompass telling a story that captures interest and evokes emotion to interest, excite, and move the viewer. Here, your goal is to create relatable and shareable content which can educate, entertain, or help the reader in some way – and hopefully manage all three at once.
No matter what your financial organization does, digital media opens up a wide range of creative marketing ideas, tactics and strategies you can take. However, you shouldn’t focus on just one or try to incorporate everything. Instead, create a single, broader financial marketing strategy so that each element adds to and builds on the rest, adding value to your organization.
These process of marketing of financial services are a good place to start for many marketing strategies for banks and financial institutions.