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Episode 11 - Don't Blame the Platform if Your Digital Ads Aren't Working

Meredith Olmstead
January 5, 2022

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Podcast Episode 11: The FI GROW team discusses how Community Banks and Credit Unions should design their Ad strategies when it comes to different social media and PPC advertising platforms. It's important for your Financial Institution to understand how all the different platforms work together - here's why!

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Transcription:

Have you ever been talking about something that's really useful and thought, "That's a great idea, let's hit record so we can share this with everyone?” If you're looking for best practices for your bank or credit union, join us while we talk all things sales, marketing, and strategy for financial institutions. Let's make it happen with FI GROW Solutions.

Meredith Olmstead:

Hi, there it's Meredith Olmstead here with FI GROW Solutions. We are a marketing agency that works with financial institutions. I am the Founder and CEO. I'm here with our Digital Ads Manager, Ida Burr, and we were just having a great conversation about social media and pay-per-click ads and we wanted to hit record and share some of what we were talking about. Specifically, we were talking about not blaming the digital ads platform if something isn't working. We want to unpack that a little bit because Ida's made some really strong points about the purpose behind social media ads and pay-per-click ads on Google and they kind of have to really different purposes, like big picture, and so we wanted to talk about that for financial institutions specifically so that you all understand the big picture behind those kinds of ads.

Meredith Olmstead:

So in general, we first were talking about social media ads and we were talking about the fact that they're really, really good for awareness kinds of ads. They're great at showcasing your credit union or your community bank; the purpose behind the institution, potentially some of the people who work there and really personalizing your brand. That's really, really important with social media. But Ida, what are they not good at?

Ida Burr:

So with social media, especially with financial institutions, you're not going to see conversions. A lot of the time our clients will try to compare themselves to eCommerce type sites versus financial institutions. The odds of you getting somebody to apply for a checking account or starting a mortgage application while they're scrolling through Facebook on their cell phone isn't very likely, but again, it's a great way to get in front of these new potential customers and members and show them if you have a special rate going on or what the credit union or community bank difference really is all about.

Meredith Olmstead:

Okay, got it. So you're really looking for a brand awareness, you're looking for a little bit more impressions and engagement with people, but less about driving traffic to a conversion asset or to an Apply Now button on a website so much. And we're also seeing, just so everybody is also aware, with social media, organic social media is basically dead. It's basically gone. So if you're not using social media ads as a financial institution and you are spending time posting on those platforms, you need to make sure that you get your ad strategy together, which is one of the reasons why we're talking about this today. Okay, so great. We know that we really are in it for building awareness, for staying top of mind with existing customers and potential new customers when you're in social media. What about pay-per-click? So what is the bigger picture of pay-per-click? Is it about brand awareness or is it about something else?

Ida Burr:

Pay-per-click is definitely where you're going to see the most amount of conversion. You really focus these ads on, well, these campaigns on your keyword strategy, so you're looking for people who are currently searching for the product or service you offer. This is where we do suggest clients spend most of their money because we do see conversion there and it does cost more. And another thing that clients do, again, is try to compare their cost per conversion to an average cost per conversion for Google pay-per-click, but you really need to think about the lifetime value of a new member versus somebody who goes onto a website once and makes one purchase.

Meredith Olmstead:

Gotcha.

Ida Burr:

Obviously, there's going to be a different cost there, but it's hard to not compare yourself to ecommerce type sites, but it is really important to kind of keep that top of mind when looking at your overall cost.

Meredith Olmstead:

Yeah. I mean, that makes sense. If somebody's coming in and converting on a mortgage application, the lifetime value of that mortgage customer is really going to be high, so paying $40 or $50 for that conversion is probably really well justified; whereas, if they were buying something that was much less valuable, it wouldn't be as good a return on investment or an ROI. Tell me a little bit more, tell us a little bit more about some of these other mistakes that people make on social and on pay-per-click that kind of make them blame the platform. They say the platform isn't working, it's not working. What do sometimes as people do like on social, for example, that will keep them from finding success with social ads?

Ida Burr:

The number one thing for social ads that I would suggest not doing is not depending on behavior and interest targeting. Facebook does give you the option to target people who have an interest in cars, but they don't really explain to you what that means or if they're in market for a loan. The way I like to look at it is most financial institutions are already limited by location because they have specific areas you have to live in, in order to be a for membership, so constricting that even more and making that audience even smaller based off of Facebook's idea of what they're interested in doesn't really make sense.

Meredith Olmstead:

Gotcha.

Ida Burr:

You want to keep that audience as big as possible. I mean, if you think about it anyways, most people have a car, most people buy a house at some point in their life, most people have a credit card and a checking account and all these things that a financial institution offers, so targeting by interest doesn't really make... it makes a negative impact on your campaign.

Meredith Olmstead:

Gotcha. And is that the same with pay-per-click? Are they not supposed to be targeting by interest on Google with Google Ads?

Ida Burr:

Google Ads also gives you the option to do that, but we do not suggest doing that. What you should really be doing with pay-per-click is focusing on your keyword strategy. I mean, if somebody's searching auto loan rates near me, it's a pretty safe bet they're looking for an auto loan regardless of what Google thinks they're interested in at the time, so I like to keep the keyword strategy, number one, and I do not include any kind of interest targeting with those either.

Meredith Olmstead:

Okay. All right, that makes sense. And then also retargeting, I mean, we didn't talk about that yet, but especially with social media, you do, in addition to geographic targeting, you'll also retarget known customers or people who have been to websites and that can help shrink the audience a little bit, but make it a little bit more personalized and a little bit more relevant, correct?

Ida Burr:

Yes, absolutely. It's just another great touchpoint you could have with members as well and customers if... Less and less people go into the branch nowadays. Being able to show your current offers and show your current promotions going on in a different way, again, just a great way to get in front of them and build more awareness of your new products and services.

Meredith Olmstead:

Yeah. And social is great for personalizing the brand, for humanizing things, bringing forward member or customer stories and staff profiles, so that's another great way to kind of highlight some of what is the differentiators for different financial institutions for sure. Awesome. Well, thanks so much, Ida, for this conversation. I'm glad we hit record. If you all are interested in learning more, we have some great courses on figrow.com in our FI Growth Academy. Ida's done a number of courses on social media ads and pay-per-click ads. So if you're interested in those, please visit us. And otherwise, just get out there and let's Make It Happen.

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