When it comes to marketing, financial institutions typically fall into one of two camps: either they ignore the growing importance of digital marketing or they completely drop their traditional campaigns to go entirely digital.
But in order to have an effective marketing strategy, you actually need to utilize tactics from both schools of thought.
I’m going to show you how to successfully leverage digital and traditional marketing together in your financial institution so that you can grow your client base and expand services for current clients.
Why Do Financial Institutions Need Both Digital and Traditional Marketing?
Most financial institutions are beginning to understand the importance of digital marketing channels. But in this rush to modernize your strategy, it’s important to retain at least part of your traditional marketing.
In fact, a recent study indicated that the top five trusted ad formats for consumers are through traditional media like print, television, and direct mail. And for financial institutions, whose reputations have taken a hit since the onset of the Great Recession, it’s vital that you position yourself as trustworthy.
It makes sense when you think about it: anyone with a laptop and credit card can create an online ad through Google, but it takes a lot more infrastructure and money to pull off a traditional marketing campaign. It seems as though consumers appreciate the investment, because it’s more likely that the advertiser is a legitimate company and not just a scam.
So while people spend more and more time on their smartphones and computers, it’s still wise to invest a portion of your budget in traditional forums.
Understanding Where Your Customer Segments Spend Their Time
How do you know the best way to breakdown your marketing budget? It depends on your financial institution's clients, both current and potential. Market research plays a huge role in determining the best way to balance digital and traditional marketing.
You need to know where your audience finds information on financial services, how they research their options, and how they then make a decision on which to purchase or sign up for. From there, you can determine what type of clients you want to cater to and how to reach them.
Targeting Demographic Groups with Hyper-Specific Ads
One of the best things about banking with a community FI is the personalized service, right? So it makes sense to extend that personalization to your marketing strategy. Once you’ve gotten to know your demographics in greater detail, it’s time to hone in on how you can help them achieve their financial goals.
Research shows that people are generally receptive to personalized advertising. This is especially true for two demographics: Millennials and parents with their children still at home. These markets can be a great place to start with a targeted campaign.
Here’s an example of an ad by Northpointe Bank in Michigan targeting older Millennials who are looking for a mortgage:
Notice that the main focus is the image and tagline, but that Northpointe also instills a bit of that extra trust by placing a small award logo in the lower right hand corner. This image was used on a landing page with a home loan inquiry form, but could easily be translated into a targeted mail ad as well.
Co-branding your direct mail with your website design provides a cohesive look, immediate visual recognition, and trust that the lead has arrived at the correct webpage.
Differentiating Your Financial Institution's Personality
In addition to hyper-targeting distinct client segments, your financial institution should also strive to showcase its personality. Consumers today, particularly younger adults, are extremely driven by values. While traditional marketing campaigns like a radio spot or television ad increase your name recognition, your digital channels should piggy back on these generalized ads to provide a unique distinction.
Social media in particular is a great way to demonstrate your values. Showcase local nonprofits that your FI supports and post pictures from various branches in addition to pushing financial products and services.
There’s a renewed desire for local businesses and community organizations these days, which is a huge opportunity for financial institutions. The right social media campaign can tap into this and grab the attention of potential clients while increasing brand loyalty from current clients.
Avidia Bank in Hudson, Massachusetts does a great job of this on their Facebook page, particularly in terms of leveraging digital media to promote their traditional campaigns. For example, here’s a post advertising a free coffee event at a local commuter rail station:
They’re still taking the time to send staff out into the public for an old-fashioned meet and greet, but they’re reaching a much wider audience by promoting it over Facebook. Even if a customer can’t make the event, just being aware of it can still build loyalty.
Here’s another great example from Avidia. For National Dog Day, they published a collage of employees’ pets, then promoted their sponsorship ad for a local humane society’s annual event.
And one final example post from Avidia is a regular feature called “Meet the Team.” Each week they showcase a different employee on Facebook.
It’s interesting content for followers, but also encourages a personal interaction with the featured employee when customers come into that branch location. Again, Avidia does a fantastic job of using online forums to foster in-person connections with their customer base. Clients know and trust the people of this financial institution because they’re constantly promoting themselves as a community organization and that’s what differentiates them from the competition.
Integrating Digital Media Into Traditional Campaigns
If your traditional marketing strategies are working for you, but you want to grow your online presence, there are a few easy fixes. Just a couple of tweaks or additions to your physical campaigns can shift a static ad into an interactive online conversation.
Here’s how to do it:
First, add your social media accounts to all print ads. If you have television or radio ads, add a quick line saying where people can follow you. Make all of your account names the same so you can easily be found across multiple social channels.
For a specific campaign, like a limited time offer or a new product you’re providing, create a landing page and include the URL in your traditional marketing.
This ad from FirstState Bank provides a personal story about how a couple got a nontraditional home loan through this financial institution. Not only does the print ad include an easy-to-remember URL, it even contains a QR code that recipients can scan with their smartphone to be automatically redirected to the relevant page.
ING Vysya in India created a clever traditional and hybrid ad campaign by providing a step stool at their ATMs. On the step stool was information and online links for kid-friendly savings accounts.
That’s definitely a great way to build a future pipeline of loyal customers by grabbing their attention when they’re young.
Enhancing Digital Forms with Traditional Follow-up
Data collection is huge right now, but it’s useless information if you don’t do anything with it. Find ways to incorporate gated content on your website that requires the visitor’s name, email address, and phone number (and maybe even a few other pieces of information). Once you receive that information, have a financial advisor or other staff member follow up with each person to promote products that could be useful to them.
Say your financial institution pulled together a short e-book called, “How to Prepare for Retirement in 10 Easy Steps.” Once you start to get downloads from either current customers or prospects, you can follow up with them about retirement-specific products like IRAs.
Bank of Internet doesn’t require that website visitors enter personal information in order to access resources, but they do have a comprehensive capture form in order to get a mortgage quote — embedded directly into their First Time Homebuyer’s Guide page.
So while visitors aren’t forced to provide their personal information, there’s certainly a fair amount of temptation, especially with the chance to get an automatic mortgage rate quote.
Elevating Events with Digital Interactions
We briefly saw a way to do this with Avidia Bank in Massachusetts. But not only can you promote an event through your social media channels, you can also use digital marketing to increase attendance and maximize engagement.
Create an official “event” through your Facebook page to automatically invite all of your followers. Run a contest for sharing the event with friends. Put it on Twitter with a hashtag, then follow up afterwards with photos so people can tag themselves and their friends.
Capital Credit Union in Dublin hosts a monthly prize drawing event with the chance to win a new car. The event is not only published on Facebook, but also promoted aftewards with various follow ups.
Here’s an example of a past event:
Notice that 65 people were interested in attending — not bad for a single event hosted by a community financial institutions.
After the event took place, Capital Credit Union posted a video montage with photos from the drawing.
The video received 670 views and also plugged the next month’s drawing to get people excited.
This type of content is fun for members to share on their own Facebook page, especially when they’re featured in such a positive way. It’s a perfect way to get current members to recommend your financial institution to their own friends and family. You really can’t buy those results, and it’s a great example of digital and traditional marketing methods working hand in hand.
Are You Ready for an Expert to Guide You Through 21st Century Marketing?
I get it — there are a lot of nuances involved with crafting the perfect marketing strategy to effectively reach all of your demographics within your financial institution and it can feel overwhelming at times.
But there are tools you can use to truly unlock incredible the potential to grow your business exponentially.
To get you started, I’ve given you tons of creative ideas that you can implement today. But if you still want an expert to truly dive into the details and find the best motivators for your customers, then I’m here to help.
Marketing for the modern financial institution is still being figured out every single day. Become a leader in your industry by spearheading a fully integrated strategy to catapult your brand and maximize your leads.
Email me anytime at [email protected] or call me at 540-218-5198.