The banking landscape is changing. Fast.
Gone are the days where financial institutions served as a one-stop-shop for customers; a place where members went for all their banking needs, from checking accounts to auto loans.
Instead, banking today has become more commoditized. Consumers no longer have a relationship with one financial institution and are shopping around at each life stage. This means the institution they use for their student loans is likely different from the one they use for their savings account, which might just be different from the one they use for a business loan or mortgage loan, and so on.
The introduction of online banks in the marketplace has only made this landscape more competitive, thereby making consumers very much “up for grabs” at during every major financial decision in their lives. So, how do you make sure your institution doesn’t get left behind during the decision-making process?
Rethink your content strategy
The key to attracting customers is to develop content that’s relevant to your target audience and that relates to the context of their current situation. Bank of America has done this very well—while many financial institutions attempt to market their products and services to fit into certain life stages, BoA recently flipped the switch by turning the life stages of its customers into products with its new “Family Life Banking Program.”
By repackaging the content surrounding each of its existing mass market products in this way, the bank presents a simple and cohesive way for customers at various ages and life stages to think about their finances, starting with teenagers.
Click on the “Teens” tab and you’re taken to a landing page that speaks directly to those in this stage of life, where visitors can opt to learn more about managing money earned from their first job, buying their first car, or setting themselves up for financial success in college and beyond.
By creating a content strategy that’s less about the products or services you’re trying to sell and more about the customers themselves, you’ll be able to showcase your value as an advisor when it comes to helping them accomplish their financial goals and, in turn, earn the trust you’ll need to create long-standing relationships. Just be sure this strategy is incorporated across all types of content you’re creating, from your social posts to paid advertisements.
Invest in Paid Search Marketing
In a world where search dominates our everyday, your company’s ranking on search engines is crucial for generating leads and being top of mind for your prospects.
According to author and influencer Jeff Bullas, the first ranking position in search results receives nearly half of all click-through traffic (42%), with the second position receiving just 12% of traffic, and so on. Overall, the first page of results receive almost 90% of all click-through traffic, meaning that if you’re not at least on the first page of the search engine, you’re unlikely to get the clicks you need to succeed.
One way to increase your ranking on search is by optimizing your website content using the right keywords and design, which can help drive more traffic and increase exposure for your institution. However, organic search engine optimization takes time, and no matter how optimized your content is for the search engines, you won’t start to see results right away. For instant results, you can instead invest in paid search.
Paid search marketing allows businesses to advertise within the sponsored listings of a search engine (or a partner site) by paying either each time your ad is clicked (known as pay per click) or displayed (known as CPM or cost per thousand), or when a phone call is made (known as pay per call).
Digital ads allow you to generate more qualified leads by targeting your specific buyer personas so that you’re reaching the right people in their time of need, when they’re most likely to find your products/services or content helpful and engaging. This not only helps your business reinforce its presence and improve brand recognition within specific searches, but ensures that the business appears for the specific keywords or phrases your prospects might be using, such as “student loan refinancing,” or “credit unions near me.”
Not only that—paid search provides measurable results. It allows you to clearly measure every aspect of your ad campaign, including the number of clicks, the cost per click, and how many sales are coming from these clicks so that you can make better use of your ad budget and find ways to improve your results over time.
Related article: The Future of Search Engine Marketing
Cultivate relationships with customers and prospects
An effective marketing strategy is all about reaching the right people, through the right medium, at the right time—using relevant content, of course (if you haven’t figured it out already, your content is crucial to your overall marketing strategy). But, being able to attract people to your institution isn’t enough to keep them banking with you long term.
Creating one-on-one relationships with your customers—or potential customers—is crucial to earning their loyalty. However, to earn their loyalty, you must first earn their trust. You can do this by engaging with them using conversational tools—such as email or chat bots—and providing them with some sort of value during the conversation. Maybe the value you provide is something as simple as showing them where to find information on your website that will help them solve a problem. Or, for those who aren’t quite ready for a direct conversation, perhaps your website offers some sort of downloadable content that empowers them to learn more, on their own.
Once you’ve built trust through engagement, you must continue to act as an empathetic advisor and expert in order to earn their loyalty. This will allow you to develop meaningful relationships that will power your company’s growth by keeping you top of mind when your customers or prospects are making major financial decisions, creating more opportunity for you sell your products and services to them down the line.
Don’t get left behind! Get in touch with us to learn more about how you can improve your marketing strategy at firstname.lastname@example.org.