By Doug WilberIgnoring the digital experience is not an option for banks. Retail branch visits were down even before COVID-19, and that trend has rapidly accelerated. Banks with strong digital infrastructures before the pandemic have had an easier time navigating a new normal with limited in-person customer interaction, but those that have been slower to modernize their approach still have much to gain from jumping into action. To speed ahead of competitors and grow into the future, digitizing now is a must.
Merely investing in more technology will not help you get a leg up when all of your competitors are doing the same thing. To stand out, you must remember that the financial services industry has always been rooted in relationship-building, and digitization will not change that. Focus on creating digital experiences for your prospects and customers that build trust and set the stage for strengthened relationships.
But how do you build trust and relationships without meeting face to face? While consumers today might be more digital than ever, they do still want things to feel personal. Building a personalized digital experience with the human element centered is key, and the best place to start doing it is on social media. Relevant content can serve as an entry point into a digital journey that starts by engaging prospects and leads to sales conversions.
Here are a few ways to get your prospects’ attention on social media and deliver the tailored digital journeys they want and expect today:
Enable associates to practice social selling. People trust people over brands. In fact, only 34 percent of consumers say they trust the brands they buy or use. Put your people center stage by making individual associates the face of your company on social media. Loan officers and financial advisors participating actively on social can improve sales and expand the brand’s reach.
Marketing teams can make it easy for associates to share high-quality, compliant content by storing and organizing preapproved posts in a digital library. Loan officers and advisors can access the library to get everything they need to participate in the brand’s social media strategy, and marketers can rest easy knowing associates are sharing compliant content.
Create paid social media advertising campaigns. Getting associates to post organically is a start, but the content they share is only as good as the distribution plan behind it. Social platforms regularly update their algorithms, and some of those changes make branded content less visible. However, putting some of your advertising budget behind paid social media campaigns can help ensure the content breaks through.
Marketers can target paid ads to land with exactly the right demographic in exactly the right place. For example, suppose mortgage loan officers want to help young adults in the area buy their first homes. In that case, marketers can create educational content for loan officers to share and target the posts to get in front of recent graduates in a particular region. Audience members will appreciate the highly relevant content and be more likely to engage further to learn more.
Take a step closer to conversion with landing pages. Now that you have your audience’s attention, it’s time to lead them further into the digital journey. Marketers can create a customized post-click experience for each social media campaign by creating landing pages on the company website. The right platform will allow marketers to build landing page templates once, then add personalized and localized associate attributes (such as an advisor’s name, address and photo) at scale. Each associate can link to a landing page in his or her social posts to lead viewers further into a customized digital experience on the company website.
Landing pages offer banks a closer look into consumer data. Social media can show you vanity metrics such as likes and shares, but this doesn’t give you the data you need to measure conversion and tweak your strategy to drive results. Landing page analytics can show your team real-time traffic, lead form submission data, and conversion results. With that data on hand, teams can also see which website visitors bounce from a page without taking action. Marketers can use that information to enable strategic social media ad retargeting to keep leads interested and engaged.
For banks, the challenge of creating sustained growth lies in meeting consumers where they are in the digital sphere—and using those interactions to drive trust, build relationships and ultimately close sales. Banks that empower employees to actively engage on social media, land the right content with the right audiences and lead customers further into a personalized digital experience will rise above the competition and thrive well into the future.
Doug Wilber is the CEO of Denim Social, a social media management software company that provides tools to empower marketers in regulated industries to manage organic social media content and paid social media advertising on one platform.