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Episode 16 - For Just a Few Dollars a Day Your FI Can Reach Thousands

Meredith Olmstead
February 16, 2022

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Podcast Episode 16: The FIGROW team discusses how your community bank or credit union can reach thousands of potential customers in your area, to build brand awareness, by investing a few dollars a day into engagement ads on social media.

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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, I'm Meredith Olmstead, the Founder and CEO of FI GROW Solutions. We are a marketing agency that works exclusively with banks and credit unions. And I am here talking with our Digital Ads Manager Ida Burr, say hi Ida.

Ida Burr:

Hi everyone.

Meredith Olmstead:

So we were just having a great conversation about how to reach thousands of people for a few dollars a day online. And Ida is the master at this because she runs all of our digital ads on Google, but she also runs amazingly inexpensive ads on Facebook and Instagram, or just social ads in general. And so we wanted to talk a little bit about in engagement ads. So Ida, what are engagement ads, you run them on Facebook, but they appear on Facebook or Instagram, so what are they exactly?

Ida Burr:

So these engagement ads are not related to products or services at all. We look at these kind of as way to build brand awareness. We like to use video for them, so you can use like any kind of funny gif that you find, but preferably they would be behind the scenes videos, it could be something that doesn't even contain anybody's face. It could be people cheering their ice coffee in the morning and it says, "Good morning everyone, we got this," or something like that. It doesn't have to be a whole production, but anything that's fun, engaging or useful, really, we can turn into an engagement ad.

Meredith Olmstead:

Okay, great. So, engagement ads, why are they important, I mean, if the point of ads online is to eventually drive new account opens or new loan applications, why are we running engagement ads when it comes to behind the scenes content, or something fun, or entertaining?

Ida Burr:

So, one of my biggest selling points for engagement ads is how cheap they are. It may sound like a waste of budget to be spending money on these types of things, but literally talking about $2 to $3 a day, tops, that's really all you need to spend. And like I said, it's a great way to build awareness, and not only are you building awareness of your bank or credit union, but you're also building an audience that you can retarget later down the line.

Meredith Olmstead:

Okay.

Ida Burr:

So it definitely helps a lot, especially with this iOS update that happened, we see a lot of our custom audiences are shrinking because people are opting out of the tracking, so this is a great way to build, I like to call it a warm audience of people, people who have interacted with you in the past.

Meredith Olmstead:

Okay. So even if it's fun and even if it's fun content, or engaging, or useful, or whatever, a video or something silly, they're starting to build up a tolerance or a familiarity with your brand that way. So basically they're going from a really cold audience online to a warm audience online. They may not be becoming ready, they're not ready yet for an application, like to say, apply now for a loan, but they might be ready to see more about your products or services in the near future, or maybe they might be ready to download an eBook about a checklist for going to buy a car at a dealership or something like that, that's Kind of what you envision?

Ida Burr:

Yeah.

Meredith Olmstead:

Okay, great. So the goal of these ads is brand awareness, you don't want to be trying to sell anything, and you don't even really need to measure conversions with engagement ads, right?

Ida Burr:

No, it will measure the result as engagement, and that's really the key. And engagement, reaching new people and building that audience of people who are interacting with your page.

Meredith Olmstead:

Okay. And that's called previously engaged users, right?

Ida Burr:

Yes. So when you're in the ads manager, you can create an audience of people who have engaged with your page in the past, however many days, I think it goes up to a year.

Meredith Olmstead:

Okay.

Ida Burr:

But creating this audience and then retargeting them with products and service ads, we've seen great success. The results are much less than just targeting a cold audience that has no idea who you are.

Meredith Olmstead:

When you say much less, you mean they cost less?

Ida Burr:

Yeah. The cost per result, so the cost per click will be lower and you see just more interaction with product and service type ads after engaging with them.

Meredith Olmstead:

Okay. Anything else people need to know when they're creating an engagement campaign or how often they should maybe put in new content or how much they should be spending?

Ida Burr:

So, one of the keys for these campaigns is updating them very frequently. I go in once a week and I completely recreate the campaign, by doing that, what you're doing is refreshing the audience that Facebook is selecting, so every time you create this audience, even if it's the same people, Facebook changes who they're showing the ad to based on their behavior. So if there's a hundred thousand people in this audience, they'll say, this 10% of this audience is more likely to interact with a post like this. So by recreating that campaign every single week, you're getting new people. And also you can even create engagement ads that exclude people that have engaged with your page-

Meredith Olmstead:

Oh, interesting.

Ida Burr:

... To make even more reach. So you're reaching people outside of the people you've interacted with in the past.

Meredith Olmstead:

Could you exclude a current customer list when you were running engagement ads if you wanted to?

Ida Burr:

Yes. So I usually have two different ad sets going in each campaign, I'll have the warmer audience, so the members, the engaged users, the website visitors, all those types of people at a very small budget because it's usually a much smaller audience, so that's usually a dollar or two. And then you can create another audience that excludes all your warmer audiences, but is everyone in your membership area.

Meredith Olmstead:

I gotcha. Okay. So I know we have clients that spend thousands and thousands of dollars a month, sometimes hundreds and hundreds of dollars a day on social and Google ads, so even for big audience or for big clients, you're still saying that, for about one to $4 a day, you can run successful engagement campaigns?

Ida Burr:

$4 a day tops.

Meredith Olmstead:

Wow.

Ida Burr:

Even if your budget is $5,000 a month, I would say $4 tops on these types of ads.

Meredith Olmstead:

Awesome. And the rest goes to your conversion driving ads, so your products and services?

Ida Burr:

Yes.

Meredith Olmstead:

Okay. Awesome. Well, thank you so much. Ida's been great. This is great tips for running engagement ads, and if you all want to learn more, please feel free to visit us at figrow.com, we have lots of great resources, we have own academy there that has more information about how to learn more about running social media and digital ads online for your banker credit union. We also have our blog there and lots of case studies, so we'd love to see you visit, and otherwise good luck and let's go make it happen.

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