Developing a strong social media marketing campaign has become table stakes for most community financial institutions, but the challenge is, how to balance that with other digital marketing priorities.
And while it may seem relatively easy to assign a twenty-something in the office to the task, it has become more complicated than sending out pictures of your tellers or a group of employees picking up trash by the side of a local highway.
The shifting sands of social media are more complex than they appear. And simply posting across the major platforms – Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter – isn’t a strategy.
The fact is, the mile wide, inch deep strategy to social media marketing isn’t effective any longer – if it ever was.
Digital Marketing: Rifle Rather Than Shotgun
And working on search engine optimization (SEO) has also changed significantly. Google is premier arbiter of SEO when it comes to natural search – and many of the rules that make up its algorithm change constantly, as does its approach to ad delivery.
For example, in the past, when you searched for say, ‘auto loans’ you would get banks and neobanks that placed high on those phrases based on the content on their sites as well as the number of people that visited and shopped.
Now, Google has introduced the ‘carousel’ for financial terms, which adds images for a number of products/businesses at the top of the page that you can scroll through. This is a significantly different approach and requires a new way to use SEO.
Has your digital marketing team adapted?
Community financial institutions are challenged by far more than these issues, so many times they end up using their previous strategies to solve these new challenges.
Pick Your Social Media with Data
The same can be said of social media as well. It’s fine to ‘plant your flag’ across all social media platforms. But are you really raising your brand awareness or developing leads with your target audience? Compiling this data should be the top priority of your social media manager.
That way, you can focus your attention on what is working for your financial institution and begin testing marketing messaging with those platforms and followers to create measurable positive results.
While digital marketing is the key to keeping community financial institutions strong, that tech shouldn’t overpower the key attribute of community banks and credit unions – their strong connection to their communities and the people in them.
Finding platforms that can deliver on both the efficiencies of new technologies while keeping the uniqueness of human-centered banking are powerful tools for your business and create much greater connection with your customers.
Make sure your digital marketing team knows your goals and understands the values you want to highlight. While your customers or members might not visit your branches like they used to, they should still feel like they are valued as human beings and not account balances.
The way to do that may have shifted to more tech-based solutions but you should see this as an opportunity extend your message of community across new media and leverage new technology to create a more personalized experience.
Contact us if you would like to hear what some of our clients are doing to meet the challenges of connecting with the digital consumer.