By Doug WilberBanks that do not adapt to the digital world are leaving opportunities on the table. Organic social media is a great way to build a brand and awareness, but that is only a fraction of the potential that lies in fully integrated digital marketing. Banks that utilize omnichannel marketing create a seamless experience regardless of where leads are engaged and wherever they are in the buyer’s journey.
Omnichannel bank marketing is the future—bank marketers meeting people on the channel of their choice, and that means investing in social media. Most customers do not operate off a singular social channel. Rather, financial institutions win when they provide a seamless experience to customers across multiple social platforms in order to maximize their social marketing strategies.
Organic social media is great for creating awareness, but institutions need to be more purposeful in content engagement, consideration, and conversion stages. Rates are not what drive customers to change their financial institution. Emotions are more likely to be the impetus. This is why personalization in digital bank marketing is such a necessity.
There are four crucial steps to take to avoid falling behind the curve while answering the question: What does omnichannel marketing look like for banks?
1. Use paid advertising to engage your audience
Organic content is the foundation of a good social selling marketing strategy, but algorithms will often work against you. Paid social media advertising ensures your content makes it in front of the right eyes.
There is another benefit to going the paid route: Organic reach is often limited to those who are already aware of your institution in some capacity. Paid advertising lets you reach previously untapped audiences and guide them toward the top of your marketing funnel.
To increase your chances of success, use intelligent targeting to focus your ads on the customer’s specific needs. Paid advertising allows for extremely specific targeting, which should be factored into your strategy. Ads for first-time homebuyer mortgages should be in front of those 20- and 30-somethings looking into housing, while retirement ads are better off with the 55+ crowd. The best marketing in the world won’t work if it’s at the wrong time in the wrong place. Identify where in the funnel customers are and target them (on their preferred platform!) with paid advertisements tailor-made to their current need.
2. Guide the audience’s next steps
Social media marketing is just a singular step in a larger walk, so make sure you leave breadcrumbs for leads to follow. Social reach means little if you’re not actually creating conversions. Regardless of whether you use organic posts or paid, don’t forget to include some form of landing page to guide readers back to your brand’s website. There should be no “digital dead ends” in your social strategy. Every piece of the puzzle should connect your audience to another way to engage.
When deciding what landing page to use, curate the page to the post. If your advisor is posting about retirement funds, link to a specific ebook on the subject. Gated content will educate the customer while also providing you with the information needed to start nurturing a lead. It’s a win-win situation.
3. Retarget to convert and retain
Once customers have engaged with your institution, retain that data to inform future interactions, i.e., use retargeting to your advantage by connecting with consumers based on previous engagements. Sometimes, customers may need a nudge to close the conversion. Make sure your marketing allows for that. The right CRM tools will guide retargeting efforts by notifying customers ripe for retargeting. They can also automate messages to send out to your audience, such as email drip campaigns, making sure you reach out at just the right time.
Even after you’ve converted a lead, don’t stop nurturing. The customer journey is cyclical, and new customers will eventually become brand ambassadors in their own right if you give them an experience warranting it. You’ll retain loyal customers and potentially gain references through them.
4. Use technology to scale
Omnichannel marketing addresses the customer’s individual needs during each step of the journey. But undertaking personalization for every customer is a Herculean task, so it needs to be automated and streamlined. This can be more basic, such as setting up newsletters to nurture leads that are automatically sent out at regular intervals, but it doesn’t have to be. The right tools can create connections between your digital marketing strategies and CRM records and automatically keep each other updated.
You also need to consider regulatory compliance with social media posts. A proper social media manager should screen posts for you, flagging any that may contain non-compliant content. Social selling relies on empowering intermediaries to connect with customers directly, so having a good management software in place to oversee all this activity is essential. Technology allows for omnichannel marketing in banks of all sizes. The more tasks you can automate, the more time you allow for higher-level responsibilities.
Omnichannel marketing is a highly effective strategy, but only if it’s implemented wisely. By using technology to their advantage, banks can target a multitude of audiences, allowing for greater reach and more conversions. Effectively utilizing paid ads and understanding how omnichannel allows for more personalized messaging will keep your bank ahead of competitors.
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.