Your marketing budget is a central component of your bank's growth strategy. The heightened brand awareness that comes from your marketing spend can lead to an increase in new-account acquisition and better cross-selling success. But for some reason, the marketing budget is often one of the first to get cut when the going gets tough.
Read on for five things that you should consider making room for in your bank's marketing budget.
According to Sprout Social, Facebook has more than 2 billion daily active users. (Hint—that's a lot of people.) Facebook's precise targeting tools combined with so many potential impressions make it the ideal platform to reach your future customers. Regardless of your organization's size, having a Facebook ad presence signals to users that your institution is one of their best options for financial services and reminds them that you can help them reach their financial goals. You can also target the users who are most likely to convert into customers so they see your messages on a more consistent basis.
One of the most common pitfalls of financial institutions is the usage of overused stock photos in marketing messages. Without proper curation, stock photos can come off as inauthentic—especially to younger audiences. To avoid drying out your brand with boring stock photos, consider hiring professionals to photograph your team, your building and some willing customers. If done right, you'll have a large pool of institution-specific images that you can use in your marketing. If you don't have the budget for a photoshoot, consider building out an image standards guide to ensure your stock selections match your brand voice and offer a unique brand positioning. Adding a branded flair to your images takes away potential rigidity and adds a personal touch.
If a picture is worth 1,000 words, then how many words is a moving picture worth? Video content, especially live video, has taken over the internet— and with good reason. Videos are engaging ways to efficiently communicate complex messages to current and potential customers. In fact, according to Target Marketing, your brain processes videos 60,000 times faster than text, which, frankly, makes the idea of communicating your messages through text alone seem practically prehistoric. While well-produced videos see higher user engagement, you can produce some video content simply by taking a video on your smartphone and uploading it to your site. Take a video of your bank president answering common banking questions, and send it out on social media. You'll be surprised with the engagement you see on the post.
Some people think that, in the modern age of social media, print marketing is an outdated way to reach new customers. While print marketing may not be the same as it once was, it still plays an important role in bank marketing and should be included in your budget. According to Marketing Tech, targeted direct mail boasts a 4.4 percent response rate compared to email's 0.12 percent response rate. Add in the fact that 79 percent of consumers act on direct mail immediately, and it becomes clear that there's still something special about print marketing in the digital age.
Being an independent, in-house marketing team can be tough. On top of managing the day-to-day needs of your branch, you also need to find the time to design and produce content to increase your SEO, post on social media to increase your brand awareness and develop a marketing strategy that puts your messaging in front of the proper people. Hiring outside marketing and advertising services frees up your time to focus on your institution's day-to-day needs—without increasing the size of your in-house team.