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People are increasingly relying on their financial institutions for financial advice and education. According to JD Power, 78% of consumers are interested in getting financial advice or guidance from their financial institution.
To meet this need in a way that drives customer loyalty and satisfaction, and also leads to deposit growth, banks and credit unions need to do two things: improve their content marketing skills and develop rich customer personalities. This article provides practical guides to help financial institutions do both and deliver great content to the right audience at the right time.
The four foundations of an effective content marketing program
1. Strategy first. The most effective content marketing programs start with a strategy. Start by setting your content goals, whether you want to focus on brand loyalty, increase brand awareness, or promote a product.
Then it’s important to ask important questions, including:
- Who is your target audience?
- What are your financial challenges and goals?
- What are the best marketing channels to reach them?
- What are the main actions you should take?
- Which key metrics measure the impact and effectiveness of your content?
When you understand the answers to these questions, you can develop a focused, effective, and customer-centric content marketing strategy.
2. Develop a plan. Have an editorial calendar and plan for content development and curation. Typically, editorial calendars are developed quarterly to allow subject flexibility based on industry and market changes. Many calendars also design schedules that assign dates to each of the key phases of content development: research, creation, subject matter review, legal and compliance approval.
An editorial calendar can help you and your teams stay connected as you build your financial literacy resources.
3. Collect inputs. Consider all resources for content development. The cashiers in your branches and in the call center know exactly what is important for the customers. Check with your call center to understand the types of questions they are asking, and see if you can customize your messages to proactively answer their questions – and potentially reduce call volume.
4. Reuse and reuse. Think about how new content can be used. If you’re writing an email, can parts of it be used for a blog post? Do you have a library of articles or educational materials on your website?
Consider reusing this information and incorporating it into social media posts that link to your website.
You can also convert articles into individual emails or monthly e-newsletters. This is an effective way to leverage your content across multiple channels and touchpoints.
Why do you need customer personalities?
Personas can help you target the right audience with the right message through the right channels at the right time on the way to purchase.
One effective way to advance your marketing and communication strategies is to develop large customer personalities. Personas are proxy representations of your customer base and / or target prospects that you want to attract. Personas are based on knowledge from qualitative and quantitative data.
Analysis of this data reveals the types of accounts your consumers use, their financial habits, goals, and ways to better serve them. These insights can then be used to personalize your marketing and communications for potential customers with similar characteristics.
3 Ways Personas Are Improving Financial Institution Marketing
1. Boost deposit and loan growth with personalized messaging
Millennials are a key example of why personas and personalized messages are essential. Millennials are currently between 24 and 31 years old – and have different financial needs depending on their age and stage of life.
Younger Millennials may have recently graduated from college or are starting their careers while trying to build their credit and manage their student loan debt at the same time. Financial products and services that are likely to resonate with them include credit cards, consolidated loans, and retirement accounts – very different from older millennials.
Consumers who fall into the older millennial bracket are likely more established in their careers and focused on their growing families. Maybe they want to buy or improve their home. Possibly they are expanding their emergency savings, the education of their children or the pension funds. The financial accounts your bank or credit union should promote with the older millennia are home loans, IRAs, 529 college savings plans, and other savings accounts.
If you treat millennials as a broad cohort with “one-size-fits-all” news, you are missing out on the opportunity to attract certain subsegments. Marketers using personas can drive deposit and loan growth by providing people with the right products and financial solutions based on their stage of life.
2. Maximize your return on investment
As marketers, we have a variety of channels through which we can reach our prospects and customers, with certain marketing channels being more effective than others depending on the segment.
During the persona development process, you uncover targeted insights and traits to drive engagement and conversions in the right channels by customer segment – and to maximize the return on your marketing investments.
Digital marketing is the most effective channel to leverage your personas and get the maximum return on your investment. Using the demographic and behavioral insights of your personas, you can create similar audiences and target people with similar characteristics and profiles as your current customer base.
Create different campaigns with personalized messages, landing pages and calls to action to optimize your conversion rates in all persona segments. You can get massive and instant analytics from these highly addressable channels to see how well your campaigns are performing, and then quickly refine the message.
Traditional media channels such as direct mail, radio and billboard – – Realize the value of personas through similar traits and broader profiles. Due to the wide range of these tactics and the limited personalized targeting capabilities, it is important to identify similar demographic and behavioral characteristics in all of your personas and use them to inform your messages.
3. Improve retention and satisfaction
Once you have a new consumer, it is important to communicate with them regularly. Using the demographic and product information collected during account opening and matched against your personas, you can customize your onboarding communications to highlight additional products and services that are most interesting.
Use the personas to highlight online and mobile banking services that are most relevant to that person.
What you can do
Develop a personalized newsletter based on your personas to keep your consumers engaged and educated. If you don’t have the budget or resources to create different versions, you can reorder content based on audience segment and their unique personas.
These ongoing communications and targeted, personalized messages show that you are committed to consumers’ financial success with the products and services they need to manage, save and invest their money. This also increases satisfaction and loyalty.
Let’s work together
We recognize that your priority list and the changes you need to make change frequently. Bluespire is happy to help you develop a structured game plan to orchestrate your content strategy and develop personas to reach the right audience with the right message at the right time. Make an appointment today.