Providing Lead Generation Through Digital Marketing

By John Oxford

Picking up where we left off in our last column, with the explosive growth of consumer digital banking and the reemergence of business relationship banking—both due to COVID-19-related issues and the Paycheck Protection Program—the table is set for marketing to show real value to the C-suite and your bankers. That’s assuming you are not already there. So where and how can bank marketers capitalize on this opportunity to shine.

Let’s get straight to the point: lead generation through digital networking. Although markets are opening back up, things are still not the same. With this, the lack of networking opportunities, community events and general public gatherings really limit the personal networking opportunities of community bankers—many of whom have not yet embraced social media, email or digital networking tools. What a great opportunity to teach your bankers how to use social media as a sales tool. It may be painful at first, but once you build some content and show your bankers how to post and comment, value will emerge.

You have to have more than a presence. You have to be present. In teaching digital networking, posting one time or just having a profile rarely works and will more times than not fail. Marketers, who are usually pretty adept at social media, often take for granted that bankers, who spend their days managing business relationships, pricing loans, interacting with credit and attending networking events, often have not taken the time—or seen the need—to engage in social media. They are often scared to participate in social media as well because, let’s face it, there is plenty of danger in misspeaking or engaging in political activity online.

This is where you can, again, show them your value. In 2020, your bankers have largely lost their opportunities and abilities to human-network due to social distancing. Teach them to digital network. Start with the basics of setting up their profile, providing them compliance-approved content, and teach how to post, comment and interact. Teach them about boosting posts and tracking views.

If you are rolling your eyes right now, go look at your commercial bankers’ and community bank presidents’ social media profiles and digital footprints. I’ll bet there is a lot of clean-up to do. Check that: I know there is a lot of clean up to do. Update photos, titles and contacts, and if you have social media software, set up your tracking as well.

But it’s more than just social media. Help you bankers start a blog, vlog or a podcast. Make them experts in their field and community. Teach them how to run an email campaign within their own contacts. There are so many ways to teach digital networking to your bankers. And beyond teaching, create.

Putting my marketing money where my advice is, we recently launched a content campaign for our bankers called “Meet the Bankers.” And although we are moving slower than we wish in adding bankers due to being careful around doing video interviews because of social distancing, we have thus far pulled off nearly 50 banker interviews, providing each banker 15 to 20 pieces of content. We are also continuing to add our bankers as market travel and time allows.

From my experience with this project, if you want to see your bankers like you as a marketer, create nearly 750 pieces of content for them that is about them. All of which gives them useful tools and makes them comfortable as they go about their digital networking. To see examples, please check out our Meet the Bankers initiative. This is the catalogue of the content. We have sliced and diced the interviews, created sound files, still pics, drop quotes and much more out of what you will find here.

Here are three things to do right now to help your bankers: Provide lead generation through digital networking; teach them how to digital network; and create content for them as digital networking ammunition.

To hear more discussions around the topic of how marketers can help their bankers in moving to digital networking, listen to Josh Mabus of the Mabus Agency and me on this week’s episode of the Marketing Money Podcast.

John Oxford, director of marketing at Renasant Bank, and Josh Mabus, president of the Mabus Agency, are co-hosts of the Marketing Money Podcast.