In this time of global uncertainty, social distancing, and remote work, financial service providers have had to focus on building trust and connecting with their customers more than ever before. This has been challenging for financial services firms since there’s been a shift away from in-person interactions.
In fact, consumers made five years of progress in digital adoption in just eight weeks over these months during the pandemic. And consumer sentiment surveys confirm the shift toward digital is only going to continue.
As consumers spend more time online—searching for guidance and support—digital marketing content has become key to connecting with financial service customers. For CMOs, the focus must be on increasing engagement while keeping the customer top-of-mind. And how your financial services company shows up and connects with your customer will impact your brand’s reputation for years to come.
Connecting with Financial Service Customers Through Digital Marketing
What does connecting with customers look like for financial services firms? Consumers choose to associate with brands they trust, and building that trust requires consistent and relevant engagement. Digital marketing is the key to achieving that engagement.
Digital marketing has proven to be a cost-effective way to increase the sales funnel, nurture leads, educate prospects, and empower customers while building long-term brand value. Just be sure you recognize that, as a financial service provider, you must implement digital marketing strategies that engage multiple generations of customers. And they each respond to different types of engagement. For example:
- Generation Z is starting to consume more financial services content via social media apps like TikTok and Instagram.
- 27% of millennials say they’ve never visited a bank branch, preferring to only use online services. Millennials respond to having access to mobile apps and will interact with a wide range of social media.
- Baby Boomers are embracing both social media and mobile applications like never before. It’s been realized that they respond well to emails and Facebook marketing.
So, how can your institution adjust to connect with your financial services customer?
4 Digital Marketing Strategies to Connect with Financial Service Customers
Industry leaders are stepping up their digital marketing strategies to meet their customers’ needs in ways that truly add value. Here are four strategies to help you stand out and connect with your target customers.
1. Enhance Content with Personalized Messaging
Your financial services customers have access to a plethora of information online about managing personal finances alongside products and services to help them out. The only way to keep a competitive edge is to differentiate your brand with personalized messaging for your target audience.
AI-based personalization can increase sales by 10% or more, but only 6% of financial institutions have deployed advanced personalization technology. Take advantage of the vast amount of customer data and analytics that you have access to through tools—such as your CRM software—and use it to track customer behavior online. Then, breakdown customer preferences at a granular level. The goal is to get as personal as possible by offering the right digital marketing content, products, and services—all at the right time.
2. Redesign the Customer Journey for Increased Engagement
Nearly 80% of consumers view their relationship with their financial services provider as purely transactional and not advice-based. This is not good for your brand if you are looking to truly connect with your customers. It’s important to take a look at your current customer journey and find ways to meet your customers where they are now. Turn your website and digital channels into an ecosystem that puts the customer experience at the forefront and makes it better at every level. You can do this by considering engagement strategies that other industries have made standard. These strategies include…
- Become an overall financial resource: Use digital tools and channels to address your customer’s pain points in the easiest and most straightforward way possible.
- Take advantage of mobile banking tools/apps,
- Launch financial training programs,
- Educate consumers through blogs, videos, and podcasts,
- Utilize interactive content such as digital calculators.
- Embrace the hybrid customer experience: Find the balance between digital channels and in-person interactions to develop an emotional connection to your customers. After all, while 61% of consumers start with digital channels, 58% of them end up in a bank branch.
3. Go Beyond Traditional Omnichannel Digital Marketing.
While 76% of banks and credit unions feel that their digital customer experience strategy is “rock solid,” only 16% of customers are satisfied. Financial services CMOs need to rethink how their digital media can be used across a larger set of channels. The key is to gain customer feedback on their expectations and needs, and then adjust accordingly.
There are many emerging digital marketing strategies to consider:
- Embrace voice interfaces: Take advantage of tools like Alexa Skills to provide your customers with answers to simple questions like “How much is my next mortgage payment?” Capital One did this effectively.
- Consider video-conferencing and new social media: Embrace more ways of connecting with your financial services customers at home and across a wider range of channels. Start two-way conversations about loans on Zoom or walk a customer through the mobile app in a video.
4. Implement a local SEO strategy to engage customers nearby.
Your customers have rediscovered the importance of local companies. And your financial services brand can take advantage of this by using digital marketing to reach out to nearby customers and develop a more local presence.
84% of respondents to a special Edelman Trust Barometer report said they expected or hoped brands would use social channels to “facilitate a sense of community and offer social support.” The key is to highlight your brand within your local community and ensure your business shows up in local SEO.
To optimize for local SEO:
- Deliver messages and advertisements tailored to different neighborhoods and delivered through well-established community networks and localized SEO.
- Optimize your Google My Business profile and take advantage of the “Ask a Question” button to engage with customers directly.
- Support other local business or community centers through online fundraising, digital content partnerships, and by joining local marketplaces and forums.
Financial Service Customers Are Ready to Connect With You!
Financial service customers are ready and willing to connect with you, but you have to meet them where they are instead of expecting them to come to you. The good news is that since your customers are online, there are many ways to connect with them through digital marketing.
CMOs need to systematically monitor indicators and trends to keep up with the time and give your financial services company a chance to shine. This means they need resources and tools to use digital marketing effectively. Don’t try to do it all on your own, or you’ll put your marketing team at a disadvantage.
Mindtap is a digital marketing consultancy with expertise in the financial services industry. We can help you come up with and execute a focused and relevant digital marketing strategy that connects your business to your customers better than ever before. Find out how we can empower your team to deliver seamless, customized, and world-class digital experiences that put your customers first.