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    8 Essentials to Include in Your Next Bank or Credit Union Marketing Plan

    8 Essentials to Include in Your Next Bank or Credit Union Marketing Plan

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    We are getting to the time of year when strategic planning takes place. As your executive team is mapping out goals and objectives for the years to come, here are a few key elements your marketing plan for the coming year needs to include.

    1. Include Larger Organizational Goals in Your Marketing Plan

    Marketing plans tend to be an afterthought in strategic planning sessions, but this doesn't have to be the case. Pushing for a seat at the executive table is a must for marketing, and making sure big picture goals and objectives are addressed in your marketing plans will help solidify this placement. 

    Consider account and loan growth goals as well as usage objectives when designing your next marketing plan. Rather than just impressions or clicks your goals need to focus on driving measurable bottom line revenue impacts.

    2. High Quality & Strategic Social Media Ads Have a Place in Every Marketing Plan

    Social ads provide huge value for the investment. The costs are low and they drive valuable engagement on platforms where your customers and potential new customers spend hours of their time each day. It's just silly not to utilize these marketing channels on a regular basis.

    We recommend tiered social campaigns that focus on engaging users with fun and entertaining content to 'warm up' the audience. Then follow these ads with more product and service related ad content. The strategy works well and drives costs down while sending traffic to valuable revenue-generating pages on your website.

    3. Google Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Ads Also Have a Place in Your Marketing Plan

    If you're trying to capture qualified digital traffic you should be using PPC ads as part of your strategy. They serve two purposes. First, they get your products and services in front of users when they are in-market for these items. That means when people are actively searching on Google your ads need to show up.

    PPC ads also drive high quality traffic to your website which helps drive increased domain authority over time. This will in-turn help drive organic search traffic to your website, which costs you nothing!

    Want to explore more topics? Visit our FI GROWTH Academy to see some of the best online courses for financial marketers. 

    4. Fresh or Re-Freshed Content to Drive Search Results

    One of the main factors that influences Google search results is the quality and recency of content. So it's not enough to have a static website that you don't update regularly. Rather, you need to be adding new content as often as possible, which is why we recommend blogging to our clients.

    But creating content is time consuming and can be expensive. This is why content needs to be included in your larger marketing plan. It will take resources to keep your website alive with new content, but it's worth the trouble to positively impact your search rankings.

    5. Regular & Consistent Email Strategy

    Believe it or not, one of the most under-utilized channels of communication by banks and credit unions is email marketing! We've found most of our clients were not emailing their customers and leads enough, so perhaps building this channel into a larger marketing strategy would help.

    We recommend weekly segmented emails to your prospects. Remember that only roughly 25% of marketing emails are ever even opened, so you have to send four emails in order to know just one is opened. Consistency is key to getting your message in front of your target audience.

    Don't be afraid to email a little more than you might have considered. Just keep an eye out for negative metrics like spam reports and unsubscribes. But as long as those numbers remain low you should continue to reach out to your lists more often via email!

    6. Creating a Digital Branch

    Turning your website into a fully functioning digital branch is no small task. But it is also not something you should plan for some time in the future. A full-service digital branch is a goal that every FI should undertake NOW.

    Your digital branch should offer everything someone can get when they visit a brick-and-mortar location... no excuses. It's time to dream bigger about delivering products and services in the digital space and get your online branch open 24/7/365.

    With live chat, video banking and robust online applications there's no reason you can't allow customers to do it all without ever walking into a branch location. Put this into your larger marketing plan and just MAKE IT HAPPEN!

    7. A Clear Path to Implement & Optimize Your Online Account Opening Process

    Building on the last item in our list, if your bank or credit union doesn't have online account opening yet, to put it simply, you are losing customers.

    Covid has accelerated the demand for digital banking services. But people no longer want to do much of what used to have to happen in person in the same ways. Instead, customers are looking for a streamlined and easy account opening process and they aren't willing to wait for your FI to catch up with the times. If you aren't offering online account opening the next FI on the Google search will be... the future is here and it's time to get with the program on this one.

    8. Robust Sales Follow-up for Digital Marketing Leads

    Digital marketing leads should be literally pouring in for your institutions, but what's the point of bringing in prospects if your team lacks sales follow-up? We recommend building a revenue team to deal with digital leads and include staff from all relevant departments to coordinate this sales follow-up.

    Some of these sales efforts can definitely be automated, but the fact is that people still like to buy from other people. Especially when products and services are complicated like those in financial services. So involving an actual person is key to closing new banking leads in the digital space.

    Want to explore more topics? Visit our FI GROWTH Academy to see some of the best online courses for financial marketers. 

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