Digital marketing for financial services can be a tough nut to crack.
In this age of TikTok, Instagram, and Skip Now buttons, having the right digital marketing strategies can make all the difference in where your financial services company stands in a crowded digital marketplace, how it attracts new customers, and whether or not it keeps its existing customers happy.
Easier said than done, right?
It’s a delicate balance. Too much of your brand presence can irritate potential customers and too little runs the risk of your financial organization being looked over completely.
But don’t fret. If you’re in financial services and you need to beef up your digital marketing game, then we’ve got you covered.
In this blog, we’re prepared a checklist of key elements that can help you develop effective digital marketing campaigns to attract and retain your audience, stand out from your competitors, and grow your business.
Step 1: Define Your Brand Identity
Defining your brand identity is one of those things that always sounds simpler than it is.
How do you define your brand identity? We like to start from the beginning. Asking yourself this one simple question is a great place to start:
Who are you?
Who the heck are you?
And who are the people you’re trying to reach for that matter because you need to know your target audience’s needs, values, and preferences if you want to position your company as their go-to over your competitors.
It’s the most important thing, so don’t be afraid to take some time to nail that down!
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Who are you as a financial services provider?
- What are your values?
- What do you want to sound like when you speak to your customers?
- What’s your position on the issues your customers care about?
- What is your unique selling point? If you’re not sure, think about what sets you apart from your direct competitors (emphasis on direct).
These questions apply to both B2C and B2B financial services marketing efforts. Once you define who your target audience is, what they want, and who you are to them, then just keep it consistent.
You want your tone of voice and your messaging to become a part of you, just like your logo, your color scheme, your fonts, and your typography. It should be unique enough that when a potential customer sees your brochure or reads that ad, they automatically recognize you without seeing your name.
Step 2. Develop a Content Strategy
Now that you know who you are and what your customers want you to be for them, it’s time to develop a content strategy.
Think about your goals.
Do you want to attract those GenZers who are banking for the first time? Become the go-to FinTech app for a specific market? Improve consumer engagement for more conversions? Increase awareness of your brand?
Whatever your goals are, your content marketing material needs to match to help you achieve those goals.
Carve out a strong brand voice (think Wendy’s witty Twitter feed, Nike’s inspirational voice, Old Spice’s quirky commercials). Your brand voice will inform the audience that you attract, so think hard on this front. Establish what you want to sound like, and create a content style guide. It doesn’t have to be fifty-pages long (like ours), but just a few pages that tells your content team exactly what to emulate.
After this, make yourself a content calendar and launch your content on a regular basis.
Do you have a copywriter? If you don’t, you really should. Have your writers crank out some educational content like How-to blogs, engaging social media posts, and e-books to improve the customer experience and make difficult and complex topics like mutual funds, investing, and retirement planning more easy to digest.
Position yourself as an expert in your field by creating thought leadership content for other players in your space. Share your genius, show your colleagues why what you do is working best for your customers. This could look like educational LinkedIn content. Remember, "educational doesn’t have to mean boring.
If you have a full creative team, you can expand on written content and create more insightful pieces by making cool slideshows, videos, or animations.
Cover any topic you’d like; investing, budgeting, life insurance, retirement planning, risk management, even case studies and testimonials … the world is your oyster, friend.
If you can keep your content helpful, consistent, and valuable while keeping it fun (no one likes boring content) potential customers are sure to take notice and you increase the odds of not only standing out in your market, but also engaging those on-the-fence customers once and for all.
Step 3. Optimize Your Website
In the digital age we live in, an effective website design is absolutely vital to your success.
No matter if your potential customers find you through an email, a social media ad, or via word of mouth, they’re all sure to do one thing:
They’re gonna visit your website.
This is a huge chance at a positive first impression so make sure your company’s website is doing its job.
Check out your web design. Is it appealing? Free of garish colors or hard-to-read fonts? You don’t want that thing looking like a Geocities site from 1996.
Make sure your website is clean, easy to navigate, compatible with mobile devices, and that everything your potential customer might need to find is clearly marked and thoughtfully located. Contact information, help menus, application forms, calls to action, they need to be easy to locate, easy to action on, and easy to fill out.
Be sure your website is SSL encrypted, too. If you want your customers to trust you with their finances, their savings, and their information, they have to be reassured. We recommend having prominently displayed trust seals (Norton-secured, BBB-accredited, etc.) on your homepage where they can be spotted right away for peace of mind. Especially when digital banking bandits make the news just about every other day.
Step 4. Leverage Social Media
These days, everyone is living on social media.
Not just those potential customers, but your competitors too.
If you want to reach your target audience before someone else can swoop in and beat you to them, then you’ve got to not only get to them first but get to them in a meaningful way.
Having someone manage your social media is an excellent way to get this done. It’s perfect for building brand awareness, launching you out of the competitive pool where everyone sounds the same, and engaging directly with your audience in fun and meaningful ways.
Use those socials!
Live webinars via LinkedIn or Instagram can be an excellent way to answer those GenZer’s most pressing financial questions, generate leads, and position yourself as a friendly expert in the space (that alone will make you stand out).
That human touch and extra effort might be all you need to tip the scales your way and win over another loyal customer.
And let’s face it, being personable and relatable is something that financial services companies struggle with in general.
Any way to positively engage with your customers while also sharing your expertise and showing them why you’re great at what you do, is going to help.
As a bonus, not only is social media marketing great for reaching customers, it’s also an equally great way to find that ideal teammate you’ve been searching for and find driven new employees for your company.
Step 5. Build Trust
This tends to be a biggie in the financial services industry and for good reason. You hear it all the time; banks failing, stocks falling to new lows, sensitive data being leaked. It’s a scary financial world out there, unfortunately.
Customers want to protect themselves, so that means if a customer feels that they can’t trust your company with their money, their future, and their sensitive data, then you can pretty much kiss their business goodbye.
You can generate as many leads as you want, send out as many emails as you can, but the bottom line is …
If you seem sketchy, then that lead is wasted and that customer is going to take their business elsewhere.
Make it a point to be as trustworthy as possible.
Keep your customer service top-notch. Happy customers that are taken care of feel safer and are more inclined to stay with you.
Use your website’s content to educate them as best you can and guide them toward informed decisions that benefit them and not just you.
When it comes to their sensitive information, be sure to provide your customers with the best data security you can get. Encrypt your website, put up trust seals, and do everything you can to reassure your customers that their data is safe in your hands.
This can follow you outside of the business world as well. Remember those values you decided on in Step 1?
Match them with action.
Give to charity, support a cause, and be sure to promote diversity and inclusion within your own company.
All of this goes a long way toward positioning you as not just a faceless bank or investment firm, but as a personable and friendly provider that really cares about its employees and its clients.
Step 6. Personalize Your Content
Whether you’re a commercial bank, an investment bank, a financial advisory firm, or a FinTech SaaS app provider, one thing you can do to set yourself apart from your competition is to personalize your content.
Sure, it’s an extra step, but it’s an extra step that is definitely worth the effort. And it’s not as hard as it seems.
Personalization is just a little added touch, some subtle changes to your social media or email marketing content that help your audience feel like this was made especially for them and not a scattershot “send to the masses” deal that so many companies use.
It can be as easy as adding your recipient’s time zone when sending out content or adding a dynamic first-name tag ( Hi, Joe! Thanks for taking the time to fill out our survey!) to your email introductions.
Studies have shown that emails with personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened than those without. That’s 26% more people who will take that necessary first step toward a conversion just because they saw their name in the subject line!
You can also adjust your web page SEO (search engine optimization) strategy. By having local SEO landing pages written for specific cities or regions and using local terminology familiar to the area, your reader is much more likely to feel like this content is for them, not just generic content intended for a mass audience.
You can create industry-specific landing pages for your audience as well. Looking to land some potential small business owners looking for that first loan? A landing page that speaks directly to their needs will help.
Trying to attract new investors? Consider creating landing pages that speak directly to their goals and needs, like retirement planning, college saving plans, or responsible investment opportunities.
This personalized, more targeted approach is much more likely to help you connect to potential leads and increase the likelihood of converting them into loyal clients. There is plenty more to this approach to targeting leads, especially if you’re tying into an Account-Based Marketing or Account-Based Experience campaign.
Gee, that all sounds so complicated …
It does. We need a nap just thinking about it.
But it doesn’t have to be as complicated as it seems. Sure, there is a lot that your company has to buckle down and figure out together, but there are some burdens that can be lightened.
That’s right up our alley.
Let our experienced Creative Directors take the reins from you. You tell them what you need, and our talented Creatives can get it done. Your Creative Director can even brainstorm through all these steps with you to decide which to tackle first.
So, if you’re ready to make your mark in your industry, then we’re ready to help you get there.
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It’s Time to Create
Now that you have a goal in mind, all that’s left is to see it through!
The right marketing strategies are essential for your financial services company to remain competitive, build up awareness, convert leads, and drive your business’s growth.
So, let’s get out there and make it happen! We’re ready when you are.
What’s on your company’s digital marketing checklist?