By Scott StellwagonYour bank’s website is optimized for an excellent user experience. You’ve written strong, unique content for every product page, and outfitted them with compelling calls-to-action. You’re ready to track traffic and conversions to give you actionable insights into your future marketing initiatives.
So, what’s next?
Now comes the challenge of bringing traffic to your website so that you can convert these visitors into banking customers. You are certain to earn some web traffic based on your brand name, existing customer base, and SEO efforts, but the time has come to enact some advanced digital marketing strategies to reach a wider audience. Here are three ways that you can connect to more digital customers:
1. Connect to customers with digital ads
For a price, digital ads allow your bank to quickly gain visibility at the top of search engine results pages or on other websites. Relevant ads will be shown to customers based on their search queries or interests, allowing you to market your products and services to a qualified audience. It’s quick to get started with digital advertising, and even a small budget can drive potential customers to your site.
Google and Bing ads: Google Ads is the largest provider of search advertising on the market, accounting for an estimated 65 percent of search ads on the market. Creating an account is a relatively simple process and you can get started with Google Ads here. If you want to reach an even wider audience, you can also sign up for Bing Ads which covers about 20 percent of the US digital advertising market. Bing, Microsoft’s search engine platform, is particularly useful for reaching an older audience, though it’s use is not advised to reach those under the age of 35.
If you want to learn more about how digital ads work, Google offers a free certification course and exam that will help prepare you to run ads on your own—and it’s all free. Check out their certification program here.
Location targeting: Digital advertising services such as Google Ads offer excellent geo-targeting options. This gives you the flexibility to easily break into a new market, push a product in a specific area, or even show ads around your competitor’s branches. You can choose to target by town/city, within a radius of a specified address determined by longitude/latitude coordinates. You can even customize these geo-targets across your digital ad campaigns, allowing you to promote certain products in some regions more aggressively.
2. Build customer lists through marketing automation
If your goal is to sell additional products and services to existing customers, then marketing automation may be the perfect tool for you. These services allow you to build lists based on existing customer data, and then use that data to market products to those customers through email. Many platforms also allow you to build customized landing pages for your marketing campaigns, so you can send customers to a page that is designed to convert.
For example, let’s say your bank wants to increase business deposit account openings. Leverage your existing business customers; build an email list based on your business loan customers who do not already have a checking account and use this as the basis for your campaign.
Next, create a chain of emails to send to the business customers you have identified, and landing pages to use for lead capture. Build an introductory email, with a follow-up scheduled to send a week or two later if recipients do not engage with the first email. This allows you to build an automation flow that collects leads for you over time. Many automation services offer features like lead scoring and CRMs to make it even easier for your sales team to close these leads.
There are a ton of marketing automation options out there, so be sure to research one that is right for your needs. Look for a tool that is easy to use and offers a suite of robust features that you can leverage.
3. Write engaging blog articles
Content still reigns supreme in the landscape of digital marketing and a blog is one of the most accessible ways to produce a steady stream of engaging content. If you’re new to blogging, read more about why your bank needs a blog and check out our tips for getting started. Adding content to your site is a simple way to attract more digital customers for a few reasons.
Blogs are a great way to add keyword-rich, unique content to your site that will help your SEO efforts in the long-term. You can promote these articles for free on social media. Or, put a small budget behind the post to get even more eyes on your content.
And they are evergreen resources that can attract customers for months, or even years.
Blogs are a great way to attract potential customers who may be searching for answers to their financial questions, seeking financial guidance from an expert, or simply researching the best banking products for their needs. Here are a few types of articles that will help you reach a diverse audience:
How-to: Write articles aimed at unbanked people who might have basic questions about banking and finances. This will help you sell your brand as a helpful and informative financial resource. Be sure to dive deep on these topics to give thorough answers, because this will help your articles rank in the organic search results more easily. This could include topics such as: “What is a bank routing number and how do I find mine?,” “How to balance a checkbook,” “The difference between a bank and a credit union,” and “How do bank loans work?”
Slice-of-life: These articles are aimed at customers during various stages of their lives. This content addresses financial questions and needs that may accompany different phases of your customers’ lives. These pieces will remain relevant to a niche audience and can be revisited later if the topic needs to be updated or expanded.
Here are a few potential topics: “Preparing your finances for your first child”; “How to teach your kids the value of saving and budgeting”; “Preparing your teen’s finances for college”; and “How to buy your first home.”
Product-focused: Lastly, you will want to produce some content that directly ties in with your products. This will help capture customers who are searching for answers tied to specific banking products. Topics might include: “Exploring the benefits of health savings accounts”; “5 Questions to ask a mortgage lender about the homebuying process”; “Home equity loans vs. HELOC”; and “How to build an emergency savings account.”
There are many strategies out there to help your bank reach a wider audience. If your marketing team needs additional support with these initiatives, consider outsourcing your digital marketing to an agency that has experience working with banks. Be sure to find an agency with a breadth of knowledge about various digital marketing strategies.
Scott Stellwagon is a digital analyst at BankBound, a marketing agency focused exclusively on growing local financial institutions.