Online marketing of financial services is no guessing game. Like accountants and financial analysts, smart digital marketers know how to dive into the numbers to interpret data and uncover trends. When they do, sometimes what they find is remarkable.
Most marketers don’t get to spend as much time as they’d like analyzing data. Luckily, many marketing experts are happy to share their findings and offer unique insights. We’ve compiled some of the most surprising statistics here, along with recommendations from experienced marketers. How should statistical data shape strategies for marketing financial services? Here are ten key takeaways:
1. Financial Digital Marketing 101: Banks Need to Backlink
SEO continues to affect how experts are marketing financial services. According to Coco Jeannine, Digital Marketing Specialist at Inseev Interactive, backlinking is more important than ever before.
“We all know backlinking is an important part of online marketing of financial services. However, one recent study by Matthew Barby really drove this point home for me. In it, I learned that the number of backlinks a page has and its position in Google search results seem directly related. Those with more linking domains appeared higher in results. In fact, pages ranking #1 had an average of 168% more linking domains than those ranking #5.”
“Therefore, we can conclude that earning links from multiple domains is essential to SEO efforts. In order for financial brands to rank higher, they not only need a high amount of links, but a variety of different links from different domains. Link building is no longer an “option” when it comes to financial marketing solutions. It’s necessary. Even better is if these links are from keyword-driven anchor text.”
2. Digital Marketing for Financial Services Can’t Ignore 600 Million Users
“As marketers shape their strategies, there’s one social media statistic that can’t be ignored,” says Cruz Buchanan, Digital Marketing Strategist for Venta Marketing.
“This statistic is that Instagram recently crested the 600 million user mark.”
Online marketing of financial services on Instagram should focus on unique and compelling images. “Gather your content early and in abundance,” advises Buchanan. “Take real pictures that represent your financial brand and share them in ways your users will enjoy. Keep your eye on financial marketing leaders to see which of their posts gain the most engagement. Do your research with hashtagging and posting consistency, and then test away.”
3. Financial Services Marketing Through Reviews
Bryan Clayton, CEO of GreenPal, says he was surprised to discover that 84% of people trust an online review as much as a recommendation from a friend. “I had a feeling that that number was high,” he says, “But I had no idea it was as high as 84%!”
“Once we learned this, we began to focus more on gaining reviews from satisfied customers on sites such as Yelp, Google+, and Facebook. A positive customer experience can have unlimited value for online marketing of financial services. However, negative reviews can haunt brands for years to come.”
Powerful online marketing of financial services should keep these facts in mind. Encourage valued clients and local customers to share their thoughts online. Monitor Facebook pages for local bank branches. Use Google Alerts to find new reviews online—and to resolve any issues quickly. Negative reviews are opportunities to engage consumers and provide excellent customer service.
4. Growth Outpaces Production of Video Assets
Within a year, experts estimate that the number of digital video viewers will climb to 2.15 billion. “Growth of digital viewing is increasing at a slower rate than in previous years. However, it still offers a massive audience and marketing opportunity for brands,” says Kent Lewis, President and Founder of Anvil.
“Unfortunately, many brands have yet to fully harness the ease of video capture via phones, GoPros and drones,” says Lewis. “Instead, they rely on more expensive (and limited) means of production. We see a big opportunity to train our clients to think about video capture, production and distribution across multiple channels (website, social, ads) and formats (gifs, animation, etc.).”
If there isn’t room in your financial services marketing budget for an entire video production crew, you can still use video in other ways. Take Lewis’s advice and think outside the box. Add a video tutorial of your new banking app to your website. Share a gif on social media to wish your customers a happy holiday. Add a short animation to the press release announcing your latest wealth management tool. There are plenty of ways to utilize video in online marketing of financial services—and to reach those 2.15 billion viewers!
5. Response Rates in Online Marketing of Financial Services
“Only one in eight social media messages to brands are responded to within three days,” says Jitesh Keswani, CEO of e-Intelligence.in. “With social media and mobile use becoming a larger part of customers’ lives, this is an alarming signal for financial brands.”
“It’s vital that your financial brand keeps consistent and transparent communication with customers,” advises Keswani. “Marketers should take two things from this statistic. First, ignoring customers is a big mistake. Your competition is waiting for your brand to make just one mistake so they can steal your customer. You should also never keep a customer waiting on social media.”
“If a customer posts a message on the brand’s Facebook page, that notification is visible on their timeline. This means their friends and family can see it as well. Often, a feeling of embarrassment develops if their concerns are ignored. You’d be surprised how quickly that embarrassment can turn into brand frustration and loss of business. So, the key to building strong, lasting customer relationships is to be attentive to customer’s messages on social media and respond to them as soon as possible.”
6. Social Responsibility in Digital Financial Services Marketing
“According to a Good.Must.Grow. report, 64% of American adults made purchases from socially responsible companies in the past year. Moreover, 26% avoided making a purchase because a company was not socially responsible,” says B2B Content Marketer Shayla Price.
“Financial marketing experts must identify social priorities affecting their target audiences. Then, develop partnerships with communities to address how their companies can be part of the solution. Some financial brands may want to donate to charities. Others choose to sponsor local events. Whichever path you take, remember that authenticity and customer collaboration are vital to corporate social responsibility.”
Also, remember to share your efforts with your social networks so your customers and prospects stay connected to the causes you support. You never know when a positive viral moment will occur for your brand.
7. Boosting Digital Conversion with the One Hour Mark
Pratik Shah, Director of Marketing at Grin discovered an interesting statistic on conversion rates. “Abandonment emails sent after one hour boost conversion,” says Shah. “Usually, digital marketers send email reminders to cart-abandoners quickly—usually within 30 minutes. But data shows that there’s a 100% jump in conversions when follow-up emails are sent after an hour. Marketers should put this on their to-do list: experiment with timing emails to see if the “one hour mark” really is a hidden sweet spot.”
Online marketing of financial services is unique in that there often isn’t a physical product for consumers to add to their carts. However, the one-hour-mark concept can be used in trigger marketing campaigns or for services like banking apps and financial consulting. Try some A/B testing with your emails and compare your results.
8. Local Digital Marketing for Financial Services
Pratik Shah also shares this statistic on local marketing: 72% of consumers who did a local search visited a store within five miles.
In Shah’s words, “Ranking in local search results is incredibly important. Brands must have an optimized, local-SEO friendly, attractive web presence that calls out to customers to visit their location.” Bank branches, credit unions, insurance offices and more should all make local search results a priority of digital marketing for financial services.
9. The Cost of Conversion in Financial Services Marketing
“For every $92 spent acquiring customers, only $1 is spent converting them,” says Bob Clary, Director of Online Engagement for Intellibright. “This plainly shows that marketers are hyper-focused on gaining new customers but improving the conversion point is rarely a priority.”
“The problem may come from a disconnection between marketing and e-commerce departments. Often, the marketing team identifies leads while e-commerce converts them. Not to mention, marketing often gets a larger budget to do it. This disparity might also come from a lack of understanding of the importance of website conversion in the process of acquiring new customers,” says Clary.
How are you budgeting between converting and marketing financial services? “If marketers look at their typical acquisition process, they’ll notice something interesting. Small investments in conversion optimization can drive down acquisition cost by turning website leads into customers!”
One of the easiest ways to drive down conversion costs is through trigger marketing campaigns. Specific events can automatically trigger targeted email or direct mail marketing messages to consumers. These targeted messages provide the exact information needed to help that specific consumer cross the conversion threshold.
See how automated marketing can improve conversion rates.
10. Optimizing Financial Digital Marketing for Shrinking Attention Spans
We couldn’t complete this list of statistics without sharing the fact that surprised us the most. According to a study by Microsoft Corp., most consumers have an attention span of eight seconds. We’ve grown even less attentive since 2000, when the average attention span was 12 seconds long. We knew attention spans were shrinking, but had no idea we were falling behind goldfish, which can apparently stay focused for nine.
What does this mean for marketers? Capturing attention is now more important than ever. Moreover, marketers need to create ads, landing pages and other marketing materials that consumers can grasp quickly. Brand image needs to be rock-solid so consumers recognize financial brands within seconds. After all, what good is making a great impression if consumers can’t remember your name?
To ensure brand compliance while creating marketing collateral that speaks to local audiences, financial marketers rely on Brand Marketing Centers from BlueSky ETO. We engineer each unique Brand Marketing Center around the needs and goals of that specific brand. Want to see how a Brand Marketing Center can improve how you execute digital marketing for financial services? Get your free brand consultation today.
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