Financial Services Marketing: Best Digital Practices Guide 2019
Financial services marketing is the action or business of promoting financial services to attract new customers and strengthen relationships with existing ones. Just like other types of marketing, it has evolved considerably over the past decade in response to the plethora of opportunities presented by digital technologies.
In this article, we introduce the top 7 best digital practices that all financial marketers should know about, and we also glimpse into the future of digital marketing for financial services to help you stay one step ahead of your competition.
Why Financial Institutions Need Financial Marketing?
The financial industry, which encompasses a wide range of businesses dealing with lending, investing, insuring, money management, and more, has always been a major contributor to the global economy. In the past, different financial institutions offered more or less the same services to the same customers, and they had little reason to worry about competition. Digital disruption has changed that.
An Accenture research found that 17 percent of industry players in 2017 entered the industry over the last 13 years. “These newcomers have grabbed one-third of revenue growth in Europe, and in markets like the U.K., the combination of high numbers of new entrants and material revenue migration indicates a high level of disruption already taking place,” stated Accenture.
The new players integrate technology into traditional financial services, changing the rules of the game by redefining product and service delivery. Customers, whose trust in financial institutions has never been lower, have developed an appetite for financial services that speak directly to their needs in a way that they are ready to hear, making financial services marketing one of the most important activities in the industry.
7 Best Financial Services Marketing Practices
The most effective financial services marketing practices in 2019 reflect the disruptive effect of fintech startups and the ongoing shift of focus of financial institutions from products to customers.
1. Build Trust
Fact: 92 percent of Millennials don’t trust banks at all.
All customers—and millennials in particular—want to do business with companies they consider to be trustworthy. However, companies in the financial industry are not perceived as trustworthy by the vast majority of millennials.
To improve this alarming statistic, financial companies need to learn how to market financial services to build social proof and promote values that speak directly to their customers. Younger generations want to see companies put their words into action, and they especially want companies to listen to their feedback and put it to good use.
2. Embrace Mobile
Fact: The average US adult spends 2 hours, 55 minutes per day on a smartphone in 2019, and about 90 percent of that time is spent in mobile applications.
A lot has been said and written about the importance of mobile marketing in 2019. Millions of Gen Z consumers have grown up with mobile devices and have gotten used to their immediacy and convenience. For financial institutions, mobile provides an excellent opportunity for personalized communication, user engagement, and immediate transactions.
A mobile-friendly website is a must, but that’s just the tip of the mobile iceberg. Financial companies can develop branded mobile apps that attract users by providing real value. A good example is Bank of America and its Face Retirement app, which visually demonstrating retirement to users and generated 8.8 million impressions on Facebook and Twitter.
3. Use Social Media
Fact: Social media platforms are used by one-in-three people in the world, and more than two-thirds of all internet users.
Nearly everyone is on social media today. From Facebook to Twitter to LinkedIn, social media sites have taken the world by storm, and it’s not just consumers who use them. Companies across all industries have been utilizing social media marketing to directly connect with customers and create brand awareness.
Social media marketing for financial services should revolve around meaningful content, consistency, storytelling, and willingness to provide value to customers. Humor is optional, but a positive attitude is a must. There’s no need to establish a presence on all major social media sites because it’s always better to focus on a smaller number of carefully selected targets.
4. Leverage Influencers
Fact: 89 percent say ROI from influencer marketing is comparable to or better than other marketing channels.
Social media influencers have turned out not to be the passing fad most marketing experts assumed them to be. Influencers can be extremely effective when it comes to targeting younger people, who are generally more inclined to listen to their peers than brands.
One way how fintech marketing can include influencers is awareness building. It turns out that only 24 percent of millennials claim to have a basic understanding of financial concepts, and most would much rather take financial advice from someone they follow on YouTube, Twitter, or Instagram than a large financial institution.
5. Produce Great Content
Fact: 72 percent of marketers have reported that content marketing has quantifiably improved prospect engagement.
“Getting the right message to [customers], the right piece of content, at the time when it’s on their mind is critical,” says Hoe Corriero, head of digital marketing at Merrill Lynch. Indeed, content marketing is one of the most powerful ways how financial companies can capture key audiences. It can be delivered through a variety of channels, including blogs, social media sites, and financial services apps, and take on many different forms, such as interviews, explainer articles, long features, and much more.
Content marketing efforts should start with research and end with a comprehensive content marketing plan for financial services. To keep customers coming back for more, make sure to publish new content regularly and frequently.
6. Master PPC Advertising
Fact: 92 percent of all adults use Google or other search engines.
Pay-per-click advertising remains an essential component of finance marketing because of its ability to micro-target consumers in a very cost-effective way. It can be used to boost the visibility of a website, promote new products and services, or increase brand awareness.
A PPC advertising campaign can extend across multiple platforms, including Google AdWords, Facebook Ads, Bing Ads, and several others. Mobile devices have made it possible to target ads to only appear to customers in a certain location, or set of locations, allowing marketers to make the most efficient use of their limited advertising budgets.
7. Partner with Financial Services Marketing Agency
Fact: More than 50 percent of banks either don’t measure ROI at all or measure it in less than 25 percent of their campaigns.
It turns out that most financial companies are not that good at financial services marketing. Not only are they not aware of the latest fintech marketing trends, such as financial apps and influencer marketing, but they often don’t even measure ROI at all.
Fortunately, there are full-cycle digital marketing agencies like ComboApp, which provides marketing services to financial institutions. ComboApp has a proven track record of helping financial companies develop and market mobile banking solutions that increase online transactions, encourage loyalty, and enable a better user experience, making it a great partner for those financial companies that would rather avoid making rookie mistakes and instantly outpace their competition.
Financial Services Marketing Trends 2020
Digital marketing for financial services is always evolving. In 2020, companies are expected to focus even more on customer-centric fintech marketing initiatives while leveraging cutting-edge technologies. Here are three trends that will influence digital marketing for financial services the most.
Personalization has been a top financial marketing trend for some time now, and it’s definitely not going away in 2020—quite the opposite. Artificial intelligence (AI) capable of extracting useful insights from massive collections of customer data is expected to usher in the era of hyper-personalization. Already, 33 percent of customers are ready to abandon a company if it’s unable to provide them with relevant content and services, making generalized communication a thing of the past.
2. Voice Search Optimization
By 2020, 50 percent of all search is expected to be done by voice. Financial marketers can’t afford to ignore such a high number, making now the right time to start incorporating voice search in their financial marketing strategies, if they haven’t done so already. Voice search optimization includes keyword research for voice search, structured data optimization, focus on using conversational, long-tail keyword phrases, and more.
Many financial companies are already using chatbots to answer frequently asked questions, but conversational chatbots can also become an important part of digital marketing for financial services. They can recommend specific financial products and services, collect customer data, and even sell directly without the requirement of some human touch. In 2020, chatbots will become even easier to create and implement, which will lead to more companies adopting them.
Digital marketing for financial services helps build trust with customers and promote specific financial services through customers’ preferred communication channels. When executed correctly, the return on investment of financial services marketing can be enormous, which is why it pays off to partner with a full-cycle digital marketing agency like ComboApp and not leave anything to chance.