Boost your bottom line with these data-driven tips to engage financial institution customers on their preferred channels.
By Suzy Buglewicz, Senior Writer
According to The Financial Brand, most banks plan to increase content as part of their digital engagement strategy this year.1 As part of our financial marketing services, we advise clients that to stand out from the competition and increase digital customer engagement, you’ll need to do more than post a blog on your website. Content that truly engages and builds loyalty must be data-driven and provide an experience that creates value for customers from the top of the funnel to the bottom, starting with brand awareness.
Digital Engagement Strategies for Success in Financial Marketing
Today’s consumers want to interact with their bank when and where it’s convenient — whether that’s in person, online or through mobile channels. And while the in-branch visit can offer a personal touch, providing meaningful content outside your physical location gives your organization endless opportunity to increase digital engagement by meeting customers where they are, when they choose to engage.
As consumers spend more time on their digital devices, providing valuable and engaging content within that environment is crucial for success. The tips and tactics below can help leverage your content to increase digital engagement — by creating relevant information and delivering it on your customers’ preferred channels.
Start by Knowing What Content Your Financial Customers Want
You might assume that because of their life stage, younger audiences want to learn more about basic money management and less about home equity loans. But how can you be sure? A survey can be an effective way to identify exactly what types of content your customers want from you. Better than merely guessing, a survey can provide fact-based insights, allowing you to refine your content strategy to deliver more relevant content to the right audience — and ultimately drive the kind of engagement that boosts your organization’s performance long term.
Surveys provide a budget-friendly way to gather information about your customers’ specific interests — and help ensure the value-added content you’re providing is what they’re looking for. Learn how a Ready2Go Financial Content Survey can help you increase digital engagement.
Once you’ve identified your customers’ primary topics of interest, follow the tips and tactics below to increase digital engagement using your content. You’ll enhance brand awareness, boost acquisition and retention — and stay one step ahead of your competitors.
Create a financial content engagement strategy.
Use the information you’ve gleaned about your customers’ preferred topics of interest to guide your content strategy. By identifying relevant content topics of interest for your different audience segments, your organization will be better equipped to provide targeted content that your customers want to consume.
Focus content on the customer, not your financial institution.
To create engaging value-added digital content, keep the focus on the customer, not your organization’s products and services. Finances can feel complicated to consumers, and banks can take advantage of this opportunity to create content that answers a question or fills a consumer need. Positioning your bank as a trusted resource for accessible, educational information helps customers make smart decisions — and gain your trust.
Include an online preference center in your content engagement strategy.
Another effective way to increase digital engagement is by creating a preference center to let customers tell you what types of information they want to receive from you, how often and on which channels. Offer a list of channels to select, such as email, direct mail and mobile. Include topic areas of interest as well as preferred frequency, like weekly or monthly. Make sure customers can easily access your preference center by including links on emails, your website and even in your bank’s mobile app.
Distribute digital content in multiple formats …
Your customers consume content in different ways: Some prefer articles, while others relate better to visual content. Consider which formats make the most sense for your content — and your customers. In addition to blogs and articles, include video, infographics, social media and interactive tools like quizzes and calculators that provide personalized information to help customers make better financial decisions. Consider creating a library of on-demand webinars that dive deeper into more complex financial topics such as estate planning, college financing and investing.
… and on the appropriate channels.
It’s just as important to maintain a consistent presence across platforms, ensuring that every interaction with your brand and your content is a positive, user-friendly experience. Remember to include in-app, mobile platforms and mobile messaging to reach customers who are already using your app.
Align Content with Data to Boost Your Digital Engagement Strategy
Digital technology, along with consumer engagement trends in the financial services industry, has created more opportunities than ever for businesses to connect with consumers. By tracking and analyzing customer data, whether from surveys, transactions or other customer feedback, your financial institution can better predict customer needs and create personalized and targeted content that helps make informed recommendations, including a next-best action to take.
The tips and best practices below can help you leverage data and content to increase digital engagement.
Map content to your financial customer personas and audience segments.
Using data to identify audience segments lets you not only personalize content, but also deliver the content to the right person at the right time. For example, a customer that recently changed jobs may be looking for information about IRA rollovers. Or newlyweds might want information about mortgages or managing finances jointly.
A major Midwestern bank asked CCG to create and deploy a content survey for its customers to determine which finance topics, financial products and services were of greatest interest to each of their seven audience segments. Although the bank felt they understood their customers’ preferences, they wanted to be sure. The survey confirmed, for example, that a key older audience segment showed an unexpectedly strong interest in income tax topics. And while one segment wanted to know about improving their credit scores, another segment was more interested in simply understanding credit scores.
The survey also identified general finance topics that appealed to all of the bank’s audience segments. This information allowed the bank to more efficiently and effectively plan and implement their digital content marketing strategy.
Use data to predict an upcoming life stage or a specific need.
Recognize where and when to use content to engage with customers during different life stages — as well as throughout the purchase journey. Try this tactic: After creating content that addresses a customer’s concerns and questions, take it to the next step by recommending relevant products and services, including personalized offers. For example, a couple who recently bought a bigger house to accommodate a growing family may also be ready to start a college savings program for their children.
Let customer data guide your digital content campaigns.
Analyzing data can also help your financial services marketing team create and deliver digital content that moves customers through the funnel. For example, leverage data and content to create a more personalized customer onboarding campaign. Or, use digital content as part of a trigger campaign based on recent transactions.
Achieving Digital Engagement Success with Financial Content
To keep your financial institution ahead of the competition, it’s more important than ever to reach potential and current customers through the platforms and channels that are already part of their daily lives. Using content to increase digital engagement involves understanding who your customers are and what they want. Customer content surveys, other data sets and technology tools can help you get there. While it may require a bit more effort upfront, understanding what your customers want from you yields greater potential for stronger digital engagement — and a more positive impact for your organization.
To use content to increase your customers’ digital engagement, it’s essential to meet your customers where they are in the digital world. CCG’s financial marketing experts have more than 40 years of experience growing customer relationships through content strategy and creation, as well as segmentation, personalization and data analytics. Our financial marketing solutions also include email development, coding, deployment and testing.
1 “5 Resolutions for Digital Banking Success in 2018,” The Financial Brand, posted Jan. 2, 2018, https://thefinancialbrand.com/69411/resolutions-digital-banking-success-strategies-goals-trends/, accessed on Jan. 8, 2018