No business is more money-oriented than a bank. On a basic level, banks charge more interest on money they lend out than the interest they pay on money coming in. Banks also own all of the assets that they finance by way of mortgages and auto loans, making them major wealth holders in the economy. To effectively market their services to society, banks need to differentiate their products and tailor their messages accordingly.
The intense rivalry among banks and financial institutions means that the customer has choices in terms of savings and checking accounts, home loans, automobile loans, range of credit card services offered, and the comfort and convenience factor. A bank’s most powerful weapon is its marketing message. Provided a bank caters to customers on their terms, in a polite, respectful, and dignified way, that bank is already at the front of the line when it comes to customer selection.
Banks are using social media like other e-commerce businesses today
Like so many other e-commerce operations, banks rely heavily on social media services to promote their products and services to clients. Social media is also a great way to restructure a bank’s operations away from the ‘distant’ institutional-style of banking that existed before. Clients are averse to the use of social media for strong-arm sales tactics.
People like to engage, interact, and immerse themselves in a social media experience that adds value to daily interactions.
According to statistics collected from Carlisle & Gallagher, some 87% of clients find bank social media services to be boring, unhelpful, or annoying. This begs the question: How do banks employ the use of social media to maximum effect? Fortunately, banks can market their services to clients and avoid many of the pitfalls that will land them in hot water, by doing the following:
Don’t post marketing messages infrequently
Have an actionable plan for negative consumer feedback
Talk to customers in their language – not in banking gobbledygook
Post different messages across different social media platforms (G +, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc.)
Avoid vanity publishing – nobody wants to read about how great a bank thinks it is
These are a few of the ways that banks can really take the lead when it comes to marketing their message effectively to customers. Oftentimes, companies wrongly believe that excessive self-promotion will be lapped up by everyone that comes across that content – on the contrary. A bank will serve its interests best by prioritizing its customers with a customer-centric approach.
Word-of-mouth referrals can do wonders for a bank’s business, especially with the exponential marketing ability in the social media realm. A bank that promotes itself by helping in a community initiative will garner significant fanfare from members of that community which will then translate into higher retention, acquisition, and maintenance of clients.
Blogs and customer feedback on site
Blogs are extremely useful ways for banks to bridge that gap between themselves and mainstream society. By posting useful financial articles, savings advice, credit advice and related data, banks can truly connect with their customers. Marketing is about far more than running a YouTube pre-roll, a TV commercial, or a banner on the Internet. It’s about the on-site experience that allows clients to feel connected to their bank or financial institution. Blogs are fantastic mediums for driving traffic, views, monthly active users and converting browsers into customers. Blogs can also be connected to the bank’s social media profiles to create an all-encompassing experience.
Of course, for a blog to be effective, the CTA (call to action) must be strong, and the marketing message must resonate with the end-user. Subtle elements like the user experience, colours, message consistency, and the how well the brand resonates with the user are paramount. It has been proven that video-related content is the most effective means of marketing to customers. This holds true with existing clients as well as new clients. The audio-visual effects of marketing messages are far more beneficial than dry text, or simple images.
Shezagary has been a Project Strategist since 2009 and also involved in the launching of startups and tech companies in New York for over 5 years. She has keen interest in writing her own experiences about business plans and upcoming business supporting technologies. You can also follow her on Twitter @shezagary