This year has been a wild ride. Our dreams of visiting Europe, or even visiting family and friends interstate for the holidays, may be on hold – but our business goals are still in full play, and so are our marketing plans. The sector has changed drastically in the past 12 months. We’re seeing companies having real conversations on social media, personalizing experiences, and reinventing themselves as real people behind a screen.
It’s been a year of experimenting with new digital marketing strategies to reach your target audience and start generating new leads online. There’s never been a better time to have a little fun with your financial marketing strategy.
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Content, content, content
Content marketing is a beautiful thing, and a great way to drive people to your website. Whether you’re starting a conversation, doing a giveaway, or sharing an educational video, content marketing can create valuable relationships with your audience.
It’s no secret that finance is probably not everyone’s first language. That’s why it’s crucial to educate prospects about what your products and services can do for them. Everyone has that one website that they go to for information. Our goal is to make YOUR website everyone’s first stop. Giving yourself a credible and trustworthy reputation is worth it in the long run because people are always learning.
But it’s not just your audience that you have to convince about your credibility. Google is always prioritizing websites and social media channels by targeted keywords. If you’re posting quality content but only posting once a month, Google probably won’t give you a good ranking. This is why creating a quality content marketing calendar may be beneficial.
Break it down into bite-sized chunks, use fun analogies, experiment with creative media, and take customers along for the ride. Mapping out your content for the month on all channels will help you stay ahead of the game, plan for upcoming national or industry trends, and give yourself the time to tailor everything to fit your brand. Remember, the people you’re targeting are not experts, so take the time to connect with your audience on a human level and explain why you’re different.
The power of influencers
Before you reject the idea of using influencers for financial marketing, get the image of Kim Kardashian, Justin Bieber, or Taylor Swift out of your head. We would never do that to you.
Influencer marketing has taken the world by storm. Whether you know it or not, you have been exposed to influencer marketing ever since you were a child. Remember that big man with the red suit who made Coca-Cola look magical? That’s right, Santa Claus is the original influencer. Following the release of Santa in their 1995 holiday campaign, Coca-Cola’s net income increased from $708 million to $802 million, compared to 1994, while the New York Times reports that revenue rose 9.7%. It’s not that companies couldn’t vouch for their products themselves, it’s just that families trusted the big guy in the red suit.
It turns out it’s not about what the message is saying, it’s about who is saying it. This is a great opportunity to think outside the square and try something new.
According to a recent study conducted by the McCarthy Group, most millennials trust their relationships on social media for information more than most news sources. Who are they looking to find their right home? The right baby products? The right home decor? Whoever that is, that is your influencer. If a rapper like Snoop Dog can attract 50,000 new users in just one week to make Klarna, a Swedish bank app, into Europe’s largest fintech product… then the possibilities are truly endless. How can you use this technique in your business?
Capitalize on digital storytelling
Stories stick. Historically, when it comes to financial marketing, we’ve found that many firms play it safe and stay a little on the stiff side. The ads they run are usually text-heavy and cover topics that people without a basic background in finance wouldn’t even begin to comprehend. Storytelling is one of the most powerful ways to reach your audiences – this can include videos, blogs, reviews, testimonials, and can be as serious or as silly as you like.
A popular idea for most financial small businesses would be to feature customers who have been loyal or have an influential story tying them to you. 82% of Gen Z would be more trusting of a company if they use people who are customers according to Business Wire.
If someone has an established connection with your small business, they will sit through that 15-second ad you have on YouTube or anywhere else. Specifically, 58% of young people according to a study from Defy. A great example of this is Amazon’s “Meet” ads, which feature short stories from people throughout the entire company like warehouse workers, truck drivers, and packagers. These people share uplifting and inspiring stories about their time at the company to make customers feel emotionally invested.
These stories are examples of ways that digital storytelling can evoke strong emotions, create a lasting memory, and give your small business a human persona. They’re short enough to share on social channels and websites, all the while being shareable and accessible, which will help set you apart from the competition and create a lasting impression. And remember, it’s okay to use a little humor to set your brand apart.
Strategize on social media
Social media is such a powerful tool in today’s world. People of all ages are using it to connect with companies and brands that resonate with them and people who influence them. It’s even becoming a part of our daily routines – according to the Pew Research Center, 74% of users are on Facebook and 63% on Instagram daily, making them incredibly powerful platforms when it comes to financial marketing.
Making sure your business is a part of the global conversation happening online can help you reach an audience broader than you ever thought possible. The fact that a small financial business in the middle of nowhere Indiana can be seen online just as easily as a million-dollar Wall Street company is one of the many beautiful facets of social media.
A strong social media strategy isn’t usually built overnight. It takes genuine content marketing, an engaging brand personality, and creative approaches to campaign. Giving yourself the tools you need to make this happen will pay off in the long run. Implementing a social media strategy means you can enter a whole new ball game. It’s time to have a little fun with your audience and surprise them with something new.
Make finance easy-breezy
Millennials and Gen Z consumers expect convenience and accessibility. Their time is quite literally (your) money. To be fair, companies and services have no excuse to not be progressing with the times – I mean, these days even little kids running lemonade stands are accepting cashless payments with Square. Times are seriously changing.
We’re entering the age of automation, which means digitizing the entire process and having everything you need with a touch of the button. With streamlined paths to purchases and easy access to business contact information, people are making purchasing decisions in the blink of an eye. A great website is a big factor in this. How long does it take from placing something in your digital card to getting a confirmation email? If it takes longer to checkout than it does for a Keurig to fill up your mug, you’ll need to take a second look.
Digitizing your processes isn’t always a walk in the park. Finance companies like SaleCycle are finding that they have the highest digital abandonment rates – reaching up to 75%, according to Forbes. It’s important to keep the process simple and avoid any confusing steps. You can also streamline processes by automating things like form fill, adding progress indicators, and looking into mobile apps. User experience is critical, so focus on your audience and what they need from you as a business, and let your brand personality shine as you guide them through the process.
Want help with a financial marketing strategy? Let’s connect.