Marketers face their own particular challenges when it comes to digital marketing for financial services
It’s not exactly considered the sexiest of industries but digital marketing for financial services is a necessity – your customers are living in a digital world, so that’s where you need to be as well. The question is, how do you compete as a finance firm against influencers, funny viral videos, memes? How do you engage your audience and keep them interested?
It can sometimes be difficult to know where to start, so, in this blog post, I’m going to share my top tips for financial services digital marketing.
Before you get started with digital marketing though, make sure that your firm is in compliance with any online promotion laws; whether there are special regulations for running a contest on social media or for data collection, it’s always best to check and protect yourself.
And now, let’s get into those tips:
Have a plan
Particularly for financial services digital marketing, where your online customer journeys are crucial to success, it pays to have a plan to tie together your digital marketing goals, objectives and activity.
The RACE Framework is a practical framework designed for marketers to manage and improve digital marketing. Ultimately, it’s about using a data-driven approach, applying web analytics and recommended best practices to get more commercial value from your investments in digital marketing.
RACE is customer-centric, focussing on the customer journey through Reach, Act, Convert and Engage (after your all-important planning phase!). That's why it's our number one recommended go-to planning framework for all marketers planning their digital marketing for financial services, and more!
You can find out more about the RACE Framework and other strategic marketing tools, proven to boost ROI from digital marketing, in our dedicated RACE Practical Digital Strategy Learning Path.
RACE Practical Digital Strategy Learning Path
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Leverage social listening and monitoring
Social listening is an incredibly powerful tool that can bring a lot of value to your business. there are multiple ways that you can use it to your advantage, such as:
- Learning more about your audience: social media provides a wealth of interesting data about your customers - not in an invasive way but rather more about their needs and interests as a whole, and other relevant information like where they spend most of their time online, what channels they prefer, and what kinds of content they like. This then helps you choose the right social network and shows you how you can better engage your audience through content
- For customer service: it’s no secret – or much of a surprise – that finance brands tend to get quite a bit of hateful commentary on social media, and a lot of customer service issues. Even when you post something completely unrelated to your firm or financial services in general, you could still easily get a customer service issue like below with Barclays UK on their Facebook Page:
While you’re going to catch these comments with your social media management tool, it’s quite likely that people are talking about your brand and complaining about it even if they’re not tagging you in their posts or tagging you incorrectly.
But just because you don’t see these mentions, that doesn’t mean they don’t exist – and, in fact, could potentially be damaging your reputation. Social listening allows you to catch any mention of your brand as soon as it happens so that you can respond as soon as possible.
It’s not all business communications, all the time
Every company has its own set of brand guidelines – some more serious, others cheekier – but it’s important to remember that a very big part of communication is keeping your customers engaged.
Whether that's being occasionally funny, or getting a little personal, or sharing some behind-the-scenes shots, it’s completely up to you and your guidelines what’s appropriate and what isn’t.
For example, on the American Express Instagram account you’ll often see photos of delicious meals:
Or, they take pictures of American Express cards and beautiful places all over the world:
Use these types of communications to help humanize your brand and to entertain your followers; for example:
- Behind the scenes images and videos from your offices, events, company meals, and so on
- Images of foods, drinks, etc. from a company meeting, event, or lunch
- Photos of beautiful landscapes or sceneries
- Memes that are relevant to the finance industry
- Photos and videos of participating in fun Internet challenges
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Get personal: leverage your customers for awesome digital marketing for financial services
Earlier, we covered types of content that aren’t exactly business-related, but oh-so-popular on social media.
But what about when you need to get a little more serious? It can’t be all fun all the time, but it can also be difficult to come up with engaging digital marketing that is relevant to financial services.
Plus, you want to be able to promote your business too. One of the ways you can do this is to tell a story – in this case, a story about your customers:
- Take a photo of your customers or what they achieved (like a new home, for example) and then write a text update – or a short blog post – where you share their (preferably happy) story
- Take a video of your customers talking about their story; for example, how they are saving money or how your business helped them, and so on
- Create a series: alternatively, you can even build a whole series of images and videos following some of your customers. For example, it could be their journey to saving enough money for a particular project they want
These types of content will help humanize your brand and will show your fans and followers how your company can help them to improve their life and their lifestyle.
Benchmarking your content marketing
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Digital marketing for your financial services business
The financial services industry definitely has its challenges when it comes to digital marketing, like trying to keep things interesting and fun and dealing with negative comments and customer service issues 24/7. But, by utilizing digital marketing effectively you have unprecedented opportunities to connect with your audience in a more meaningful way, engage them, and grow their trust in your business.