Cut through the complexities of stringent regulations and let your financial brand truly stand out on social media. We’ve collated six key strategies to ace this process.
Offline investors, constituting over 50% of the investing community, routinely gather information online before they dive into investment decisions. Concurrently, RRD’s research has shown that over half of consumers have been introduced to new brands, products, or services through word-of-mouth and social media in the previous year.
These facts serve to highlight the immense potential social media holds for financial services brands aiming to draw in customers and foster enduring growth. However, harnessing this potential requires skillful utilization of these platforms.
The scope of marketing in financial services is often constricted, owing in part to conventional advertising tactics, and primarily due to stringent regulatory constraints that must be observed.
Fortunately, social media advertising equips finance brands with the ability to consistently engage prospects and convert them into customers, all while staying within regulatory guidelines.
In this piece, we will explore six invaluable tips to refine your social advertising campaigns, enabling you to make a deep and lasting impact with your marketing efforts.
the Obstacles in Financial Services Marketing
Promoting financial services isn’t quite as straightforward as marketing consumer goods like cosmetics or clothing. Such products typically carry an innate appeal that’s often absent in the realm of finance, making it a uniquely challenging field to sell in.
Financial services and products can be perceived as bland and uninspiring, making the task of persuading consumers to invest in them a considerable challenge.
Adding to this complexity, the finance sector is replete with specialized terminology. This industry jargon can be difficult to translate into a language that the average social media user, with a notoriously short attention span, can easily digest. No disrespect to the social media users, we’re all in this together!
Financial services marketing is also hindered by an array of regulatory requirements and compliance obligations. These limitations can constrain creativity and prevent competition on a level playing field with other industries.
Moreover, consumers tend to invest in products that offer tangible value. It’s relatively straightforward to demonstrate the value of a waterproof watch, for example, as its benefit is immediately obvious. Financial services, on the other hand, often deliver results over an extended period, and sometimes those results may not be discernible at all, making it difficult to convince potential customers of their worth.
An apparent hesitation towards marketing automation among established financial firms presents another hurdle. Traditional methods and legacy strategies can only achieve so much in a fast-paced, digital world.
Lastly, a significant aspect of e-commerce, regardless of the sector, hinges on trust—a factor the finance industry has been grappling with since the 2008 recession. Even years later, customer skepticism remains a challenge for financial service providers as they strive to rebuild trust and kickstart their sales cycle.
Understanding these obstacles is the first step towards overcoming them. With this in mind, let’s delve into some strategies to elevate your advertising game, regardless of these inherent challenges.
Revamping Social Advertising for Financial Services Brands
The emergence of Fintech companies has significantly shifted the marketing landscape for financial service providers. In response to this disruption, it’s essential for these brands to rise to the occasion, adapt to evolving market dynamics, and craft strategies that respond effectively to the shifting needs of contemporary consumers.
The following are some insightful tips to help you develop an innovative advertising strategy capable of securing notable victories (and potential customers) for your finance brand:
Dive Deep into Audience Research
Approximately 42% of financial service marketers express that pinpointing the correct audience is a primary challenge. The accuracy of your audience persona directly impacts the efficacy of your advertising campaign.
The data on your audience will inform all subsequent decisions. Therefore, it’s essential to base your customer profile on precise and accurate data. This pertains even to social media ad campaigns, which require specific demographic data like age, gender, and location to effectively serve ads to the right audience.
Consider a scenario where your target audience is a 25-year-old freelancer in New Jersey, but inaccurate audience research leads you to select a 40-year-old corporate employee in New York. In this instance, even perfectly crafted Facebook ads may fall flat.
So, kickstart your campaign by identifying key demographic information about your target audience, such as age, gender, and location. Social media platforms can provide a wealth of this information. Also, endeavor to understand their interests and challenges so you can create messages that resonate with them.
Collect this information through direct engagement like surveys or study your competitors’ target audience and strategies, extracting vital data points from their approach.
Strategically Select Your Platform
If your target demographic frequents a particular fast food chain, would you advertise at its competitor? Certainly not. The same logic applies to social media advertising.
As social advertising involves a cost, it’s crucial to ensure your ads reach the right audience, generating tangible value for your financial brand. This requires identifying the social platform where your target customers are most active.
For instance, if your target audience comprises married millennial women, Pinterest might be your best bet. Conversely, to reach Gen Z, you might want to concentrate on Snapchat, TikTok, and Instagram.
In addition to identifying your audience’s preferred platform, also consider the type of content they consume on that platform. Are they using TikTok for educational ‘how-to’ videos? Or are they using Instagram to discover new brands? Tailor your content to the preferences of your audience for maximum impact.
Leverage the Power of Influencer Marketing
In its infancy, influencer marketing was overlooked by many. Today, it’s a multi-billion dollar industry transforming how brands connect with their audiences. For financial services providers, there’s often hesitation around influencer marketing, as they perceive their target audience to predominantly be older generations.
However, with Gen Z representing over 40% of global consumers, and a surprising 34% of them gaining personal finance knowledge through platforms like TikTok and YouTube, it’s clear there’s significant potential in this market. The optimal way to tap into this demographic is through social media and, more specifically, influencer marketing.
This strategy is particularly vital for finance brands aiming to reach younger, tech-savvy audiences – the primary demographic influenced by social media influencers. When selecting an influencer, it’s crucial to choose someone with an understanding of the financial industry, capable of decoding complex jargon for a broader audience.
Ensure that the influencer’s audience aligns with your ideal customer persona. Also, focus on long-term collaborations instead of one-off campaigns, as trust-building is paramount. Financial services saw a 14% surge in trust factor in 2020, the highest in several years. Consumers are slowly rebuilding their trust in financial institutions, and selecting the right influencers for enduring campaigns can help reinforce this trust.
Strategically Test to Boost Ad Performance
Imagine preparing dinner for esteemed guests; wouldn’t you taste the dishes before serving them? The same concept applies to your ads.
The fundamental objective of your ads is to resonate with the audience once they’re launched. To ensure they effectively serve their purpose, preliminary testing is essential.
With financial services constituting over 14% of online advertising expenditure, it is evident that financial brands make substantial investments in ads. To ensure every dollar is well-spent, testing your ads is paramount.
Ad testing involves creating different versions of the same ad and gauging which one performs best. This provides insights into the effectiveness of your ad concepts and helps identify areas needing improvement.
For instance, while your ad graphic may be appealing, the copy might not resonate with the audience. By tweaking the copy before rolling out the ad on a broader scale, you ensure a more significant impact.
Prepare at least three variations of each ad to collect sufficient data to inform your decisions. For detailed insights, try changing only one element of the ad at a time. If multiple elements are altered simultaneously, the results might become confusing.
For instance, if your ad variant yielded a high click-through rate, but both the headline copy and background graphic were changed, it would be unclear which modification contributed to the improvement. Therefore, change only one element per test.
After running your ads for a while, analyze the performance of each variant and use these insights to guide your future ad creative decisions.
Consistently Uphold Your Brand Identity
Trust is a significant factor in any industry, but it carries added weight in the financial sector. Studies show that 61% of individuals are reluctant to engage with financial brands unfamiliar to them.
It’s essential to develop your brand and maintain its consistency, ensuring recognizable elements in all business operations. Consider PayPal; how readily would you identify it by its signature colors? Likely, your answer would be affirmative.
Have you noticed Payoneer’s unwavering adherence to its characteristic color palette?
Customers place their trust in recognizable brands, not generic businesses. Consequently, it’s essential to uphold your brand’s identity in creating and launching social media ad campaigns. If your ad creatives diverge from your standard branding, your recognition may be compromised.
Recognition isn’t the only benefit of consistent branding; research shows it can boost revenue by up to 33%, demonstrating its direct impact on your bottom line.
Identify and maintain your brand’s tone, color scheme, and personality when creating your social media ads. Consistent branding helps you stand out in a crowded marketplace, where customer attention is a precious commodity.
Emphasize High-Quality Visual Content
The competition for attention on social media is intense, and people tend to consume content in bite-sized chunks. No one has the time or patience to trudge through dull walls of text.
Our brains process visual content quicker and easier, making it a powerful tool in the world of social media advertising. Therefore, it’s imperative to prioritize the incorporation of high-quality visual content in your ads.
However, merely including visuals isn’t enough. Given the brisk pace of social media, your ad might have a fleeting window—possibly only 10 seconds—to make a meaningful impact. Therefore, it’s crucial to design visuals that are not only visually appealing and memorable but also capable of conveying your message swiftly and efficiently.
The role of social media advertisements is crucial for financial brands seeking to expand in today’s dynamic marketing landscape. Notwithstanding the challenges that accompany marketing financial services, it’s essential to devise strategies capable of taking your brand to the appropriate audience, conveying the right message, and adding value to your brand.
The tactics outlined in this discussion can help you kick-start your journey with modern advertising methodologies and ensure your competitiveness in the swift-moving financial marketing sphere.
But, before putting all these strategies into action, bear in mind one crucial aspect: maintaining transparency is paramount. Trust is already a rare asset in the realm of financial services marketing, and it’s something you can’t afford to deplete further.
Hence, ensure maximum transparency in your offerings, educate your audience, and communicate in a language they comprehend via a platform they cherish.