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We partnered with the North Carolina Bankers Association on a 4-part marketing seminar to give bank marketers valuable insights for acquiring new customers during times of change. Learn more about our panelist’s top tips for developing your bank’s digital strategy.
Thank-you to everyone who attended our virtual marketing seminar Winning New Customers in Times of Change with the North Carolina Banker’s Association. Finding the right marketing tactics to suit your bank’s digital strategy can be a challenge, especially when your budget is limited, and competition is fierce. In this four-part series, bank marketers learned how to make the best of their resources and craft digital journeys that engage and convert more customers.
A special thanks to Brianna Reeder, AVP, Director of Communications & Professional Development of the NCB for hosting this seminar for their members, as well as our knowledgeable panelists for providing their insights on developing a successful digital strategy:
- Maureen Flaherty, SVP, Chief Marketing Officer – Kennebunk Savings
- James Roy, Senior Vice President of Digital Marketing – People’s United Bank
- Booshan Rengachari, Founder – Finzly
- Mary Coleman, Director of Advertising and PR – Extraco Consulting
- Liz McIntyre, Director of Social Media & PR, and Vice President of Marketing – Renasant Bank
- Andrew Kraemer, Personal Finance Writer and Founder – WalletSquirrel.com
- Amy Tabash, Director, Sales and Strategic Partnerships – WebPals
- Lauren Greutman, Debt Free Life Coach – LaurenGreutman.com
- Megan Hryndza, Co-Founder – Mighty Deposits
- Matthew Entringer, Digital Media Manager- UMB
- Joshua Kopac, Director of Sales – Prodege
- Nicky Senyard, Chief Executive Office – Fintel Connect
Session 1– The Customer Journey in Banking
Our panelists discuss strategies and tactics to optimize the customer journey and draw in high-value customers online. Normal, everyday transactions have moved to the online space, specifically in three main areas: deposits, payments, and lending.
Since customers are seeking easy-to-use, secure platforms to manage their transactions autonomously online, our panelists agree that a seamless customer experience is a key factor in any bank’s growth strategy. Here are some of their main tips:
- Leverage your strengths and carefully consider all options for a digital strategy. Take the first step that makes sense for your bank and your customers.
- Identify and reduce as many friction points as possible to minimize customer drop-off.
- Align the design of your messaging with the channel of delivery: short, casual messages for social channels, longer email messages that outline pertinent details for the customer, etc. Value is created when your brand delivers the right message at the right time, using the right channel.
- Ensure you can easily access the metrics you need to identify any trouble spots and continuously improve your customer’s journey. It is important to meet the customer where they are and create trust, and to test your digital operations to learn what works best for them.
Session 2 – Financial Product Marketing: Choosing Digital Channels to Acquire New Customers
In the online ecosystem, there are many different verticals that can drive new customers, including search engine optimization (SEO) and content marketing, social media marketing, paid search, email marketing, and affiliate partnerships. Here are some important points made by our panelists:
- Dedicate time to defining and applying an SEO strategy. It is a long-haul tactic but is worth the investment when customers arrive at your bank organically.
- Create new and fresh content as much as possible and tap into current events or trending topics to grow your organic search results.
- Ensure that all content you create includes relevant keywords from your keyword strategy.
- Social platforms are not all alike and serve different purposes: choose the platform that drives the greatest impact for your specific customer demographics.
- Be careful with paid search and watch your spend carefully. If you’ve never ventured into it, apply it as a supportive channel to your organic strategy.
- Email marketing is the easiest to control and allows you to make your messaging personal and specific. Track the data with your email campaigns and make adjustments as needed.
- Affiliate marketing drives between 30-40% of customer acquisitions in the financial space, and networks that specialize in financial services can drive greater value for your bank.
Session 3 – How to Partner with Publishers and Influencers, Both Big and Small
Partnering with affiliates and influencers leads to higher ROI since brands can work with them on a performance basis, paying only for new customers rather than for brand exposure or awareness. By promoting the brand’s products through compelling content, these types of marketers allow brands to reach their niche audience.
When developing a successful partnership with influencers and affiliates, our panelists recommend that banks:
- Tune into social conversations online. It can be helpful to see where and how customers are interacting with your brand and then find which influencer channels might work best.
- Partner with smaller influencers to acquire high value customers. Smaller influencers have a very close connection with their audience. Target influencers that are in the financial space that you believe would be well suited to support your brand.
- Talk to influencers about your compliance requirements. While most of the top financial influencers understand compliance regulations, transparency is key to them adhering to the requirements.
- Share data with influencers to ensure that campaigns are meeting the desired goal. Data can help grow the campaign and identify what can be improved upon.
- Take advantage of your partner’s audience’s feedback on your products and services. You can use that feedback to develop or make changes to your digital strategy.
Session 4 – Key Metrics for a Successful Digital Strategy
Data and tracking are essential to perfecting a digital marketing strategy, and selecting the right key performance indicators (KPIs) are crucial to measuring the success of reaching goals. They suggest that banks consider the following questions when determining campaign metrics:
- What are you trying to accomplish?
- How are you measuring success?
- Are your systems in place to give the right reporting?
- Who is managing the campaigns?
Apart from determining your KPIs, our panelists also share some important considerations for managing metrics:
- Streamline your systems so that data is easily accessible. If you are working with influencers, ensure that they are also shown key data points.
- Customer lifetime value is an important metric – aside from optimizing for transactions, your long-term goal should be optimizing for a healthy customer relationship.
- Put yourself in the shoes of the user. Take the customer journey yourself to identify potential pain points.
- Be proactive rather than reactive. Test your campaigns and utilize feedback. Real-time data allows you to make quicker decisions.
- When looking at your data landscape, begin with the end in mind. Figure out what you want your outcome to be and work forward from there.
To wrap up, we asked our panelists: If they could go back in time and give advice to their younger selves regarding digital marketing, what would they say? Here are their responses:
- Know that it is okay to fail and make mistakes. Digital campaigns involve trial and error, but you will learn a lot as you grow your strategy.
- There are many helpful resources available to help you. Attend webinars or training sessions and reach out to your network for advice.
- It takes time to learn all the different online platforms (social media, email, paid search, etc). Choose the ones that you feel work best with your audience and start there. You can always make changes.
- Just get started. There is no better time than now to start developing your digital strategy.
- Internal collaboration is important. Make sure that you have effective communication with your internal and compliance teams before getting started.
- Have a desire to learn about things that are beyond your business. Look at what competitors are doing as well as what your target audience is doing.
- Have good external partners. Working with good influencers/affiliates will lead to high ROI.
- Make sure that there is support and trust within your internal and external relationships.
Learn more about influencer marketing strategies and how to enhance your bank marketing strategy through partnerships and follow us on LinkedIn to keep up with the latest in affiliate marketing for financial services.