5 key strategies to maximize your institution’s reach and marketing impact
In the age of digital transformation, financial institutions face both challenges and opportunities when it comes to staying on top of their game. The financial space is becoming increasingly crowded with the emergence of digitally focused banks, fintech companies and cryptocurrencies.
Differentiating your brand from its competitors, especially in an industry as crowded as financial services, is paramount. Whether it’s engaging social media tactics, eye-catching content, or great customer service, financial organizations need to do everything they can to stand out with potential consumers and retain current consumers.
Based on their experience working with banks, credit unions, and other financial organizations, Saltwater Collective’s team of marketers have put together five actionable pieces of information to strengthen your financial marketing strategy:
- Define and differentiate your brand identity
- Know your audience
- Embrace digital transformation
- Educate your audience
- Prioritize customer service
1. Define and differentiate your brand identity
Before you can secure a place in the crowded banking industry, you need to figure out who your brand is and what makes it different. Standing out is really about looking at what your brand stands for.
The key to standing out in a crowded industry is to bring out your brand identity, which makes your financial organization unique and to integrate it into everything you do: your products, services and messages should be consistent and showcase. your personality and your values.
“. and helps you stand out a bit more.
The strongest brand identities will clearly differentiate your organization. “Some small banks seem to have a really good idea of what makes them really different,” says Mike “Sully” Sullivan, vice president of creative services at Saltwater. “If a bank doesn’t know this, then there is an inherent challenge.”
It’s important to remember that your brand identity isn’t always seen by your audience the way you think it is.
There is a critical distinction between who you think you are and how your audience perceives you and it’s up to you to make sure these two are in sync.
There’s no better way to understand your customers’ perceptions than to ask them directly through brand research and surveys. This work can reveal potential disconnections between your brand and public perception.
Once you understand and identify these opportunities, you can address them by changing your content and branding approach and conducting ongoing surveys to track progress.
2. Know your audience
Before you can successfully reach your audience, you need to fully understand them. “It’s not enough to know what makes you different,” Sullivan says. “You have to find the best way to convey this to your target audience. “
Once you know your audience perfectly, what motivates them, what motivates them, and when and where you have the opportunity to reach them, only then will you be able to connect with them.
It may look different to different audiences. Sullivan says, “Targeting your audience is always tricky because your tactics are so demographic. You’re going to reach 22 differently from how you would reach 62. Understanding this distinction and striving to target different audiences rather than implementing a one-size-fits-all approach is essential to effectively connecting with your audience.
In addition, Parsons stresses that looking back on the past year is critical to understanding what people went through, how consumer trends may have changed, identify new trends, and then start early to build your plan for it. Next year. “The sooner you start planning,” she says, “the sooner you start exploring the data and figuring out why things are working one way or another, giving you better information and better lessons to develop. solid and strategic future goals.
This is another place where brand research and audience polls can provide essential information to inform your strategies.
3. Embrace digital transformation
It is important that financial institutions stay on top of digital trends and do their best to embrace digital transformation so that they can not only keep up, but also stay ahead of the curve. This includes implementing new digital tools and digitizing the way you reach your target audiences.
“The digital transformation is accompanied by a change in consumption habits towards a more digitally native world, so banks must offer multi-channel plans to ensure they can reach them everywhere,” notes Tish Mallory, media strategist at Saltwater Collective.
While going digital can pose some challenges, it also offers plenty of opportunities to be more personal with your customers and to personalize certain tools, services and products. This digital personalization can take many forms. For example, a digital tool that more and more companies are using on their websites to connect with users is the chatbot.
“When you create a chatbot,” Parsons explains, “you create a character. You develop something very personal for the brand and something the consumer can relate to. Chatbot personalities from all brands are somehow tied to the organization.
In addition to being able to connect more with users, the chatbot tool allows brands to present their identity and personality in a new way by personifying their brand as an “responder” in this chatbot scenario.
Digital Branding Tool:
Chatbots can bring your brand to life and allow you to communicate directly with consumers faster and more effectively.
In addition to connecting with consumers, digital tools also offer a new opportunity to target your audience and gain deeper insight into your performance through data and information that is not readily available through traditional channels. You can further customize who you want to target, how you want to target them, and the products and services people may need depending on where they are in their customer journey.
Leveraging targeting through digital tools gives you more opportunities to cross-sell your products and deepen the relationship with your customers.
4. Educate your audience
Speaking of deepening the connection with your customers, financial institutions have a unique opportunity to produce and share educational content that offers incredible value. Many of your clients are probably not fully literate about financial jargon, tools and services.
Additionally, when delivering digital tools and enhancements, a certain segment of your audience may not initially or naturally be comfortable with how best to use them. This offers your brand the opportunity to educate and support, enhancing the customer experience and building loyalty and trust with your audience.
You can differentiate yourself from your competition by delivering educational content, blogging, hosting seminars and webinars, sharing expert videos, and tapping into the expertise of your employees. Educational content that develops financial literacy can be a sales tool and gives you the opportunity to connect with your customers and showcase your personality through the content you produce.
Spreading your financial education content on your social media channels is also an opportunity to connect more with your one-on-one customers and ensure that your social channels are active and engaged.
This type of content not only helps your customers navigate their financial journey better, but also helps build trust between your brand and your customers. Financial education content should come from thought leaders within your institution. It is important that banks and credit unions be the face of what they offer. And when developing educational content, be sure to authentically present your brand’s personality to connect more with the consumer.
Make sure that you use your own employees and leaders in the educational content you share to foster the relationship and trust between your brand and your customers, old and new.
5. Prioritize customer service
Whatever new digital tools you implement, nothing will have as much impact as a good service. Customer service should be a priority across all channels and in every customer interaction. Providing strong customer service allows you to foster a positive and trusting relationship between your brand and your customers. Customer service is the cornerstone of maintaining a loyal customer base.
“It’s really about accessibility,” says Parsons. “You need to be accessible to your customers by answering the phone, not putting people on hold, not leaving or forwarding calls, and being responsive on social media, especially if customers have questions or concerns. leave comments. “
Being engaged and interactive with people on all digital touchpoints is very important in developing a strong relationship with your customers.
Key points to remember
Now is the time to put these ideas into practice. Here are some practical tips you can take to immediately improve your marketing efforts:
- Define your brand identity and what you stand for to differentiate yourself in the financial industry.
- Conduct market research and consumer surveys to find out your audience and how you can reach them.
- Embrace digital transformation to take advantage of tools and tactics to personalize and personalize your customers’ experience.
- Educate your audience using educational content marketing to establish yourself as a thought leader in the financial industry.
- And finally, practice great customer service in everything you do to build customer trust and loyalty.