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FI GROW 2
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Episode 35 - Target a New Region or Audience for your Bank or Credit Union with Paid Ads

Meredith Olmstead
September 14, 2022

Screen Shot 2021-09-15 at 10.14.13 AM

We focus on how to use pay per click ads to drive reach and engagement in new markets or regions for financial institutions. Important steps you'll want to follow: 

  • Create a whole new campaign, only targeting the new area to collect accurate market data.
  • The initial goal of your campaign should be to build brand awareness for your bank or credit union, and not to push your products.
  • Consider display ads with eye catching visuals that resonate with potential customers.

Tune-in for more PPC best practices to reach customers in new areas!

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Transcription:

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, CEO and founder of FI GROW Solutions. We are a digital marketing and sales consulting agency, and we work exclusively with banks and credit unions. And I am here with our digital ads manager, Ida Burr. Say hi Ida.

Ida Burr

Hey everyone.

Meredith Olmstead

And Ida and I were just having a really great conversation about a couple of clients of ours recently who have been trying to break into new markets for various different reasons. One of them was trying to get in front of some competitor customers where a branch location was closing in that area. So you see sometimes with smaller regional institutions, if they know that a competitor's local branch is closing or relocating, they may want to try to get some information about their products and services in front of those customers or of those audiences.

And so Ida and I were just talking about it. We were having a great conversation about what we needed to know and how to set up these kinds of campaigns to really target new markets or new areas or regions for banks or credit unions. And so I was like, let's push record on this and talk about it a little bit more. So really you can do it with digital ads. You can do it with social media ads. You can do it with pay per click ads, display ads. But what we really wanted to focus on today was really how to use pay per click ads, specifically, to drive reach and engagement in new markets or regions for financial institutions. And so we wanted to talk about pay per click specifically. And so Ida, what's the first step really that an institution needs to take when they're trying to accomplish something like this.

Ida Burr

So the first thing I like to suggest to our clients when they have a new area that they want to target, instead of just adding new locations to the existing campaigns, I want to make a whole new campaign and target only that new area. And that just helps us really see how much engagement we're getting from them, how many results, is the cost significantly higher or lower, or just keeping those results separate so we can look at them a little more critically than the existing areas that there's already plenty of brand awareness, and they have a big following in that area. So I really like to pull it out, create a whole new campaign, only targeting the new area. And this you can do if you have an entire county that you're targeting, or if you have a radius around a specific zip code. I think it's 10 or 15 mile radius you can do around a zip code or an address.

Meredith Olmstead

And then the other thing we were talking about was really specifically not trying to push out a specific product or service. Because a lot of times when you're trying to get into a new market, really what you need to get in front of people is just knowing that your bank or credit union is there. So a lot of times people are out there and they'll be searching things like bank near me, or best bank close by, or you may have some people that are looking specifically for a checking account potentially, or an auto loan. And so some of those you might add in down the road, but when you're really just trying to start a brand new area, and start building what we call brand awareness in that area, is you want to focus more on more general banking terms.

Ida Burr

Yeah, absolutely. A lot of our clients have big product pushes throughout the year. It's Q2, we're really focusing on mortgage or we're focusing on this. I wouldn't necessarily target that new area with those specific campaigns. I like to call these campaigns credit union bank. And the keywords are really around people who are actively searching for a new financial institution, whether they're switching or they're looking to open up their first checking account. But targeting keywords, like banks near me, banks in this area, use the actual area.

Meredith Olmstead

The name of the city or the county.

Ida Burr

Yes.

Meredith Olmstead

That region.

Ida Burr

Exactly. And then even open a check in account online, or how to open a checking account online, or credit unions that offer online account opening, things like that that show intent, they're actively searching for a new financial institution.

Meredith Olmstead

It's funny too, because we were talking about this, and this is one of the reasons why it was important to maybe mention this is when you're building brand awareness, we tend to, when we're doing product specific kinds of digital ads, we stay away from display ads because they tend to be high impression, low conversion. So there's not a lot of bang for your buck. You pay for eyeballs on display ads that pop up around your internet experience, but it doesn't usually lead to new applications, new leads coming in. But when you're trying to break into a new region or a new market completely, this is when sometimes we'll say, "Hey, let's also add in a display campaign." So why would we add in a display campaign along with your regular search term, Google ads?

Ida Burr

Yes. So display campaigns are significantly less expensive than the search campaigns. So in this case, I think it's worth it to have a campaign going for 5 or $6 a day. It doesn't have to be a ton. And again, it's just to bring awareness of your financial institution to this new area. If you can include some kind of new offer like new members get $100 when they open a checking account or something like that. But this will help you down the line as people start searching, they've seen your display ads in the past and your name pops up, it's going to just create that like, oh, I've heard of them. Are they new to the area? Or they're familiar.

Meredith Olmstead

And you can target based on if people are regularly in the area, or recently in the area, or live and work in the area, correct?

Ida Burr

Yes. So there's three different levels you could target. We use the targeting that has presence behind it. So you can target people who are interested in an area. So that would be like they're in Texas, but they're Googling bank in Massachusetts, and just them typing in Massachusetts, that shows interest in the area and you could show up for that. So we do target only presence. They're living in or frequently in that area so that would be they're working there.

Meredith Olmstead

Yeah. And then the other thing is we always like to try to point ads obviously to a very specific, like a landing page or a specific website page that matches the language that was in your search, the ads that we're showing on search. And when we were talking about this as well, when you're trying to build awareness in a new area, it's great even if you're trying to get them to actually apply for a specific product or service, if you can do some kind of lead capture on that website page, that's great because you can send those leads more information about your institution. And so that definitely helps, like you can nurture them with future emails, with future offers, with other content that keeps your brand, builds your brand up to the top of their mind eventually.

Ida Burr

Absolutely.

Meredith Olmstead

And then the last thing I guess we were talking about is how long do they run a separate campaign? So say you've got a new county or a new town that you really want to push out into. How long would you have a totally separate campaign for that area before you would merge it into the rest of your paid ads strategy?

Ida Burr

Yeah, I mean, I think this ultimately comes down to how quickly people kind of catch onto it. So I would say at least six months, make sure that you are building up that awareness, and you are getting members in that area that your name is becoming a little bit more known. And then you can start adding them into your existing campaigns.

Meredith Olmstead

So that region, that zip code or whatever, you move it into your audiences, that are larger audiences that are kind of targeting all of the different branch locations potentially, or however you've got your targeting set up. Okay, cool.

Ida Burr

Yep.

Meredith Olmstead

Awesome. Well, that's a lot of really good information when you're trying to push into a new area. We have a lot of other great podcasts on our website. So visit us at figrow.com and you can learn a lot more about digital ads there. We have lots of different topics that we talk about as well as credit union and bank marketing and sales in general. So would love to have you visit us. And so in the meantime, let's get out there and make it happen.

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