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If there’s something that beats predictions, it’s learnings. And this year came with many learnings and changes in the industry. The inevitable cookie-less future, iOS changes in consumer privacy, the increasingly turbulent economy, and the Twitter debacle are all elements that undeniably impact next year’s plans. With uncertainty at the forefront, the wisest decision is to build on the learnings—as that is the only thing we have some control over.
After 14 conferences, and many webinars, we dive into the most relevant tips we heard from the experts and from our own team of experts. So, let’s explore the top four learnings from 2022 and our resolutions for 2023:
1. It is important to stay top of mind – and top of the search results
Focus on being where your customers are searching, by using all the tools marketing has to offer. This past November, we collaborated with a group of banking associations to create a Lead Gen Bootcamp for Bank Leaders. In this program, we learned from experts about the importance of landing pages, scaling customer referrals through influencer marketing, optimizing a campaign strategy with tracking and analytics, and last but not least, maximizing paid search traffic.
Anthony Costanzo, Chief Operating Officer and Head of Analytics at Cage Point, an analytics-focused media agency, explained some strategies to drive customer acquisition in financial services through paid search.
Constanzo stressed the importance of being listed on the first results page by including paid search in your strategy. As he explained, “if you’re not on the first page, you don’t exist.” Think about how many times you have clicked the page-two results on Google. Probably not many.
Another way of staying top of mind is with partnerships. The affiliate channel helps you partner with high-ranking third-party websites or outlets that feature your products, increasing the chances of appearing on the first results page. In addition, this channel allows you to reach different audiences with a targeted message.
Are you on the first page of search results? Include paid search strategies in your marketing strategy with various formats—think YouTube and Maps, both part of the Google ecosystem, to drive new customer acquisition. Add influencer partnerships to help you get a spot on that first results page; think about affiliates that share the same values as your brand and partner with them to create original quality content.
2. Pay Attention to Content and its Engagement
American Bankers Association put together the Bank Marketing Conference in September last year. The three-day program showcased key leaders from the industry who shared relevant insights to apply to your marketing strategy.
One of the key learnings was about content—actually, Costanzo also discussed this in the above-mentioned session. In short: content is King, but engagement is its Queen.
Since its last update, Google is considered a primarily intent-based multiplatform—not primarily keyword based anymore. This means that, in order to deploy an effective search strategy, you need to know why a customer is searching for a particular thing and what they’re really looking for.
Finding your voice in a crowded space will allow you to interact better with your audience. Eric Cook, from The LinkedBanker, recommends having a well-rounded view of your target customer and building your content around that person when navigating these overpopulated channels (i.e., their intent).
Partnering with content creators that can speak about your product in a real, human way is key; as Google would say “create quality content for people by people” —and don’t make it all about the SEO ranking.
Find your target consumer. Understand who that person is, their pain points, and what they are looking. This will allow you to cater your content creation to encourage meaningful action. Do your SERP research around the relevant topics for your business and, based on that, create quality content that responds to your audience’s intent. Partnering with content creators can help you short-cut these steps to succeed.
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3. Understand Your Data and Use It as a Powerful Tool to Improve Your Strategy
If there’s a word we keep hearing time and time again, it is data. Why? Because there are still financial brands learning how to demonstrate the impact that marketing has on their growth.
Effective decision-making works on consistent measurement and monitoring of your data; this allows marketers to build direction, using the results they get from their campaigns to make decisions and revisit strategies as needed.
The key is to know what metrics to watch and how to measure them. To prove value, marketers need to move beyond vanity metrics or “vanilytics” and find their sources of truth.
Learn about the metrics that truly impact your bottom line and be consistent when monitoring them–forget about likes, impressions, and followers. Take a look at this article our CRO, Alana Levine, put together for The Financial Brand that shows the five essential metrics to prove your marketing strategy works.
4. Make the Most of Your Spend with Partner Marketing
Staying top of mind and reinforcing your positioning will be more critical than ever in 2023, so brands need to step up their marketing strategies and make the most of their marketing budget.
How much are you willing to pay for a new customer? One of the most powerful sources of new deposit generation is partner marketing, a digital channel that currently drives up to 40% of new deposit growth for the big banks and works on a CPA model.
The digital world offers many alternatives for acquiring new consumers, and this channel is a powerful lower-funnel tactic that provides the biggest bang for your marketing budget as you pay only for the results you get—think about it as an always-on deposit engine.
Determine which efforts will generate the highest value for your brand and focus on the channels that drive results, such as partner marketing. Understanding the cost of customer acquisition is critical to succeeding.
Based on our learnings and experience, 2023 will be a year to showcase your brand’s value, whether it is through diversifying your channels, refining your content, or allocating your budget in the right place. Don’t be afraid to experiment and test; this can lead you to learn more about your audience and their behavior as well as understand where your money works the best in the funnel.
If you’re looking for opportunities to maximize the impact of your marketing strategy and want to discuss next steps, contact us. Our team of experts will be thrilled to help you exceed your goals this 2023.