To succeed as a business today, you need to engage your clients and prospects by creating quality, organic content.
© Digital Storyteller 2020
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© Digital Storyteller 2020
To succeed as a business today, you need to engage your clients and prospects by creating quality, organic content.
When it comes to digital marketing for financial services companies, many professionals believe they live in a very transactional world. These financial professionals, however, are under the wrong impression.
Most modern consumers today are looking for more than just a transactional service.
The financial services industry is a competitive and unique industry to market for. We know that those in the financial services industry navigate the difficult terrain of regulatory and compliance hurdles while seeking to successfully market their products and services.
So, here are a few insights into the importance of digital marketing for financial services companies, and why you should be marketing your financial services business right now.
Let’s be honest. Financial services aren’t always the sexiest arena to market.
How do you make commercial insurance appealing? What about wealth management? While challenging, it’s not impossible.
Learning how to market in the financial industry can be tricky, but before you market to your client, try BEING the client/prospect…
For example, if you were a prospective client visiting your site, Instagram, or other social channels, what would catch your eye off the bat? Would you be intrigued? More importantly, what would turn you off? Approach this exercise as if you’re a recruiter, looking for any reason to say NO about your own business.
This observation will help you look at your current strategy and identify its effectiveness. Be honest! By doing so, you will be able to understand the big picture of what your clients require to be loyal.
Effective digital marketing in the financial services industry is important as it ensures you not only attract new clients but also retain existing ones.
This step is arguably the most important. Oftentimes, people think of gaining clients as very transactional. This, however, is where businesses go wrong.
When it comes to digital marketing, your goal in the financial services industry is to build trust and a connection. Your objective is to establish a loyal client base.
Let’s consider banks for example. Unfortunately, according to research, “92 percent of millennials don’t trust banks.” Constant stories in the news of “data breaches, various crises, and financial institutions misdeeds” fuel the fire of distrust. Yeesh!
But of course, people, and millennials especially, only want to do business with financial companies they trust. And how could you blame them?
Financial institutions need to create trust with their consumers arguably more than any other institution. You are, after all, handling people’s money on some level.
It’s difficult to approach a consumer as a stranger and gain their trust. Here are some ways you might build trust with your clients and prospects:
The bottom line is that there needs to be a relationship between you and your client—an understanding of your clients’ needs before your market to them. Then, use your insights to inform your marketing material.
Who runs the world? Social media!
Instagram, Facebook, Twitter… These platforms are no longer just used for sharing photos with your friends. Companies are—and are expected to be—active on all social platforms today.
Social media is a great way to create strong brand awareness while connecting with current and potential clients.
Keep in mind that millennials and Generation Z (Gen Z) are becoming a larger portion of the population. They, as a whole, use social media more than older generations.
Capitalizing on cultivating a social media presence that targets younger generations will aid in negating the hesitations they feel about banks (and other financial institutions!)
Additionally, social media is a place where you can share the story of your brand. It can, and should be, a fun place! You could:
Trust us, your prospects are looking at your social channels, or lack thereof, waaaaayyy before they even decide to get in touch with you. Don’t rule yourself out as an option because of your limited social presence.
Read on to find out what social media platforms your business should be on.
Traditional marketing is outdated and just doesn’t cut it anymore.
Artificial intelligence (AI), intuitive customer relationship management systems (CRMs), analytics, email automation, chatbots… Technology is evolving more than ever before these days!
Financial service companies cannot afford to fall behind.
At Digital Storyteller, however, we recognize that you can’t just dive headfirst into the world of technology today. You must craft a clear strategy before adopting these new technologies.
An additional note: Your mobile site needs to mirror these wicked fast technological changes! This means it needs to be SEO optimized with a speedy loading time.
Did you know that if your site doesn’t load within three seconds, it’s likely your user will return to their search engine to find their information elsewhere? Yikes!
If you haven’t heard of the importance of content marketing, at least you know you’re in the right place! Earlier on, we talked about how 92% of millennials don’t trust banks, and this statistic extends beyond banks to many other financial institutions.
Content marketing is a great way to regain trust. Research shows that by educating customers, you gain client loyalty.
But what is content marketing? An effective content marketing strategy provides value to prospective customers through an assortment of “relevant articles, videos, podcasts, and other media,” either shared or created, according to the Content Marketing Institute.
If you’re an expert, then act like it! We understand that discussing financial information with businesses can be difficult, as these topics are typically kept private. As a company, however, you must gain your clients’ trust before you offer them a service.
Show them that you are an expert in your field!
Read on to learn how long it takes for content marketing to work.
People know that managing their finances will lead to their success, whether as an individual or a business—but very few know how to do it. Learn the language of your prospects and use that in your advertising to them.
As experts in the financial world, share your information and educate your clients to help them understand what they need to do to succeed.
When you partner with a financial services marketing agency, like us, you don’t have to rely on what limited internal resources you might have access to.
At Digital Storyteller, we have the team and tools to boost site traffic for your financial services business using a variety of digital marketing strategies.Need help crafting an effective marketing plan for your financial services company? Contact Digital Storyteller today to learn more!
We are not a one-size-fits-all society, nor are our websites. As our physical world becomes more aware of creating physical accessibility, we should also understand the importance of facilitating web accessibility as well.
As we spend more time surfing the web, learn more about how to increase inclusivity for people with disabilities. It’s just good practice, and it also benefits your company.
So you’re wondering what type of marketing you should implement for your business? Well, you’ve come to the right place.
The two biggest types of marketing are outsourced and in-house. Both want to promote your business to the best of their ability, but they have a few big differences. Learn more about the differences between outsourced and in-house marketing below!
So you want to market your business, but you’re not sure where to start?
We wanted to share our favorite resources that make us successful in our industry so you can be successful in yours.
When you think of marketing, what do you think of? For many, it’ll include billboards, that one realtor’s face on a bus stop, or the not-so random ads when you’re scrolling through Instagram.
It’s actually much more than that. Yes, paid ads have their time and place to increase your exposure, but let’s let you in on a little secret: there’s a better way to market yourself, and it’s not by relying on ads.
I know, shocking.
You See a Doctor Every Year, Shouldn’t Your Site? The same way that your own health sometimes requires a little TLC or a trip to the doctor’s office for extra attention, your site does too.
We’ve talked time and time again about the importance of content marketing and why consistently producing strong content is an ideal marketing strategy. That being said, we know it can be easier said than done.
Here are all our best tips on how to organize content.
In a world where we have varying options on how to engage with potential clients, reels open the door to adding your personal flair. From informational how-to videos like how to make your grandma’s top-secret cookie recipe to a silly clip on your opinion of this week’s Bachelor rose ceremony, the possibilities are endless.
When most people consider their brand’s success on social channels they jump immediately to wanting tons of likes, comments, and followers on their profiles. While these factors are important in many cases, there’s more to social media than these tracking measures.
As a B2B financial services company, you may be questioning whether having a social media presence matters for your marketing strategy. We’ll keep it pretty simple for you: It does.
Social media has become a critical part of any marketing strategy. Whether it be organic or paid, B2B or B2C, and so on, social media marketing plays an important role in strategizing for any business.
That being said, social media is constantly evolving and changing. While platforms are updated to best serve their users, it can make it complicated and challenging for marketers to keep up with. Luckily, we’re here to help.
One of the questions we get asked most commonly by new clients is, “Which social platforms should we be on?” Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, TikTok, the list goes on!
Deciding which platforms work best for your business is important to ensure that you delegate your time and resources towards a strategy that’s going to move the needle for your brand.
Here are the top four social media platforms that we believe all financial service companies should be on.
Often known as the “original” social media platform, Facebook has begun to drop slightly in usage and engagement. While this is the case overall, it still plays an important role and holds unique value in the world of social and business.
Facebook is approaching its 20th anniversary following its creation in February 2004.
In recent years, however, Facebook has become largely a pay-to-play platform. While paid ads aren’t necessarily mandatory for success on the platform, statistics show that putting a little money behind your Facebook strategy has the power to make a significant difference.
Facebook takes its in-house marketing one step further by providing real-world case studies of companies that have found marketing success on their platform. These various stories provide quotes, statistics, and examples from clients on how they successfully implemented strategies on the platform.
At Digital Storyteller, we have adopted similar strategies when working with Facebook. Each of our clients has a Facebook page to which we share organic content. We produce custom content weekly and share blog posts, visuals, infographics, videos, and more.
We pinpoint each client’s strongest posts and work with them one-on-one to set a realistic budget to boost posts. Following post boosts, we delve into reporting to assess the success of each given boost.
Facebook provides statistics on reach, clicks, cost per click, and engagement in a simplified easy to navigate manner that makes sharing reporting with our clients a breeze.
Bottom line: Make sure your business is on Facebook.
We’re going to give Instagram a nickname: “The social beast.” Since its launch in 2010, it’s amassed over 500 million users. Over 60% of users log in daily, averaging a total of 3.5 billion likes.
Instagram is a critical platform for businesses in addition to individuals. Nearly 49% of businesses have accounts on the platform.
Compared to its competitors, engagement with brands on Instagram is 10 times higher than on Facebook, 54 times higher than on Pinterest, and 84 times higher than on Twitter. Safe to say they’re doing pretty well!
But how can you tailor your Instagram account to your audience? Like Facebook, Instagram offers a pay-to-play option by boosting your posts to a relevant audience. That being said, this doesn’t hold quite as much power with Instagram as it does with Facebook.
But why? Instagram’s goal is to create organic experiences for its users. Its algorithm pays attention to what videos users watch, what they like, which hashtags and account types they follow, and what engagement types they utilize.
Based on these factors, Instagram creates an organic experience by boosting and promoting what they think a user is most likely to want to see.
Based on these features, it’s important that when using Instagram as a social media platform, you tailor it to your audience. One of the best ways that we’ve found to do this is by getting down to the nitty-gritty and creating buyer personas.
Imagine you’re selling cookbooks… Your target audience might be Jennifer. Jennifer is a married stay-at-home mother of three that loves following influencers that share new recipes and provide inspiration for her girl’s night dinner party. Jennifer is a perfect audience for this product.
Things might be different if Jennifer were a 12-year-old girl that uses Instagram to follow her favorite celebrities and learn the latest TikTok dances. Making sure that you identify and tailor to your ideal audience is critical to the success of your Instagram usage.
Read on to learn more about the ever-changing Instagram algorithm.
Another important aspect of Instagram usage for businesses is curating your bio and your feed in a way that represents your brand voice. Consistency is key when it comes to creating content that your audience genuinely wants to see. This starts with your bio.
Your bio is the first thing people see when they visit your account, essentially representing your virtual storefront. You have a short blurb—150 characters to be exact—to communicate who you are, and what you do, and ideally convince people to follow you and engage with your content.
While Instagram does not allow for direct linking in their captions or individual posts, they offer the opportunity to share one single link in your bio. Better use it wisely to make sure you’re directing traffic where you want it!
One helpful resource that we can’t commend enough is utilizing a link-building site such as those offered by Metricool or LinkTree. Both of these sites create the ability to provide users with multiple site links within one URL.
Having a well-curated Instagram “feed” or “grid” is also a huge advantage to developing a professional business Instagram account. As previously mentioned, consistency is key.
Whether it be utilizing personalized photos, brand colors, a common filter, or even a precise layout template, there is a multitude of options when it comes to how to set up your post grid.
Here’s an example of one of our client’s Instagram grids, Voit Real Estate Services.
Cool, right? Nice, clean, and cohesive.
Moreover, it’s a notable fact that about 40% of customers respond better to visual content than they do to written content. With this in mind, it’s no surprise why Instagram is a massive hub for marketing opportunities.
LinkedIn is a marketing MUST in the financial services industry.
LinkedIn differs from other social media platforms because it is more strongly based on personal and genuine connections. The “friend of a friend,” “we met at a conference,” or “Oh, I recognize that brand name” attitudes go a long way in today’s day and age.
The unique circumstances that we’ve experienced over the past two years as a result of the ongoing pandemic have further changed the name of the game when it comes to professional networking.
A survey conducted by LinkedIn themselves revealed that “B2B buyers are 5X more likely to engage with a professional via a warm introduction than via cold outreach.”
While cold outreach is a reality for many B2B businesses, LinkedIn offers these businesses the capabilities to connect with their audiences on a more personable level. Additionally, it allows for more accurate persona targeting.
In addition to serving as a virtual professional networking platform, LinkedIn has positioned itself as a leader in news delivery. The same survey previously mentioned also shares that 79% of small and medium businesses consider industry-specific news/articles to be the most valuable content shared on social media.
Social media platforms, LinkedIn in particular, have enabled users to identify the news sources and industries that they want to hear from specifically. Rather than opening up the morning paper and spending time sifting through the garbage that you’re not interested in, hop on your LinkedIn account in the morning to see what your followers have posted lately.
The people that users follow and engage with are often the sources that they want to hear from. Enabling users to deliberately identify the sources they want to see and eliminate (or simply just not follow) the ones that they don’t wish to see content from has turned LinkedIn into somewhat of a personalized news outlet.
Twitter is a great platform to keep your business’s personality alive.
While financial services companies more commonly target more professional and refined messaging, Twitter offers the opportunity to incorporate your brand’s voice more casually.
Being that Twitter only allows posts that contain up to 280 characters, you’ve got to figure out what you want to say and just SAY IT. Removing the fluff and the details is sometimes the best way to get across and be remembered for what’s important.
While starting your morning by reading the latest news articles or blog posts might be your favorite part of the day, sometimes all your consumers want is quick, simple facts. You’ve been there, right?
Adding a human element to your brand is made easy by the relaxed, casual voice most often shared on Twitter. Whether it be celebrating a holiday with a hashtag (#HappyWomensDay or #HappyEarthDay), often your company’s tweets don’t need to be as much of an event as full-blown in-depth content.
While writing a blog post or filming a video might take hours of prep, edits, and reviews, posting a one-line tweet may be an opportunity to simplify.
That being said, a successful Twitter strategy usually involves tweeting from five to 15 times daily. While each tweet in and of itself may be a simplified way to reach out to your audience, doing it more often is what’s going to help move the needle.
It’s often noted that it takes people an average of 11-13 touch points before a message truly breaks through. With that in mind, tweeting five to 15 times a day provides an opportunity to interact with your audience on various occasions.
Another important fact about Twitter for financial services companies, in particular, is the growing challenge of compliance with specific Twitter terms and conditions. The financial industry is highly regulated on social media.
Companies need to state clearly who they are, and what they do, clarify any risks or benefits, and provide full transparency about all of their services. GDPR is therefore not the only regulation that financial businesses need to obey.
Many other directives were implemented in banking industries in the last few years. Whilst not all of them have a direct impact on social media communication, some of the legal initiatives do.
Take a look at MiFID II, which is focused on refining consumer information and making it easier to understand.
You might be surprised to see this one on the list, but we couldn’t help but mention it: Pinterest!
Pinterest is an image sharing and social media platform with over 400 million monthly active users. These ‘pinners’ (so they’re called!) use the platform to find inspiration and ideas for their interests and hobbies.
At Digital Storyteller, we’ve recently started to grow our Pinterest account by sharing information on user-generated content, site audits, client management, organic marketing, and more!
Pinterest is awesome because you can link to specific URLs on your “pin,” which grabs a user’s attention through use of a photo.
For example, below is a ‘pin’ we posted when the news hit that Elon Musk decided to purchase twitter. This pin linked to our article titled, “What’s Going to Happen to Twitter?” Here, we provide more information on the subject.
Using Pinterest in this way builds your business’s credibility, and encourages users to come back to your page for inspiration or information.
So, give it a shot! Get your business Pinning.
When it comes to implementing an effective social media strategy for your business, there is much to be considered. Various platforms perform better or worse based on your business type, target audience, and intended involvement level.
If you’re looking for support in developing a social media strategy and don’t know where to start, reach out to our team of experts at Digital Storyteller.
With our specialization in the financial services industry, our experience and expertise is growing stronger every day. Call or contact us today for more information or to schedule your FREE brand storytelling session.
Once you’ve developed a solid digital marketing strategy, it’s important to consider how you’ll spread awareness of your efforts. Although organically sharing content to your social media channels and home site is essential, there are additional ways to spread the word about your company and its kick*ss marketing strategy.
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