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How to Set an Effective Digital Marketing Budget for Your Bank

Eric Sivertsen


The internet is the modern-day wild west—with so many different ways to allocate your limited marketing funds, deciding which digital elements your bank or credit union should include in your budget can be a tall order. Luckily, we know a thing or two about digital marketing, and we're here to help you sort through the noise.

Read on for some key digital marketing considerations for your FI's 2019 budget.

Social Media


Since Facebook changed its algorithm almost a year ago, organic reach through the platform has shrunk. This means that, in order to maintain your Facebook presence (and you want to maintain your Facebook presence), your brand will need to spend more money to engage with paid media on the popular social network. Going into 2019, your institution may want to consider increasing its social advertising spend in order to extend beyond just organic reach.


Instagram recently began testing promoted stories, which allow business pages to broadcast their stories to more users with a few clicks. The change will certainly make Instagram advertising a more viable source of conversions for banks in 2019. So, if your institution has already put work into your Instagram presence, adding money to your budget for promoted stories may be a wise move.

Additionally—with this year's launch of IGTV—more social-savvy FIs may want to consider investing resources into an expert-led series answering common banking questions. These questions could cover mortgages for first-time homebuyers, account-management tips for those nearing retirement and everything in between. Answering questions like these before banking customers ever walk through your doors positions your institution as an expert on these topics and demonstrates value to potential customers or members—thus increasing the chances that they stop into one of your branches. 


When compared to the social behemoths of Facebook and Instagram, these sites are relatively small. That being said, Twitter and Pinterest collectively have more than a half billion monthly active users. Weighing these two realities, we would suggest maintaining an active organic presence on the two platforms while focusing social spend on the larger social networks.

READ: 3 Things Your Bank or Credit Union Should Be Doing on Snapchat



Ranking for organic search terms is incredibly important for banks and credit unions wishing to drive more traffic to their websites. According to SparkToro, ranking organically gets roughly 20 times more traffic than pay-per-click efforts. Knowing this, it's clear that investing in search-engine optimization (SEO) remains incredibly important for FIs the world over. Check out our blog, 5 SEO Mistakes Your Bank or Credit Union is Probably Making, to see what you can do on your own to step up your SEO game.


Gartner predicts that, by the year 2020, 75% of US households will have smart speakers. Some generous predictions indicate that as much as 50 percent of all online searches will be voice searches in that same year. The fact of the matter is that voice search is here, and financial institutions would be wise to prepare for the wave now so they don't get caught playing catch-up over the next few years. To prepare, smart institutions should begin optimizing their content for voice search by integrating targeted long-tail keywords into their websites, blogs and social content. 


Website Optimization

This year, Google began rolling out mobile-first indexing, meaning that the massive search engine will now rank and optimize all websites based on their mobile versions. What does this mean for bank marketers? It means that, if your website is not optimized for mobile users, your SEO may take a sizable hit. Following the roll-out of mobile-first indexing, it's more important than ever that banks budget for mobile website optimization. For more general website navigation insights, check out our blog, Website Navigation Tips for Your Bank or Credit Union.

READ: 5 Website Considerations That Bolster Your Business's Online Prowess


A recent study from Cisco predicts that, globally, 82% of business and consumer IP traffic will be video traffic by 2022. This staggering statistic, coupled with the fact that, according to HubSpot, mobile video usage has increased by nearly 10 million daily viewing minutes in the last two years, demonstrates that the importance of mobile video marketing is big and getting bigger. To capitalize on this, financial institutions should set aside funds to create interesting video content and broadcast that content on their social platforms—where their followers can easily watch and share it.

There's a lot to think about when it comes to your bank's digital marketing strategy but, by budgeting to appropriately take advantage of some of these trends, your institution is sure to see a boost in the returns on your digital efforts. As always, if you have questions on how to juggle all the elements of your digital strategy, drop us a line to see how we can help.

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