We live in a time where your target audience can find you at a click of a button. Not even the most sales-heavy businesses need to depend on cold calling and outbound measures to make. that. sale.
The first impression starts online, so strong branding and a professional, credible website are crucial for creating a lasting impression. This, however, can only take you so far.
Today’s digital landscape is crowded and competitive.
Without a solid lead generation engine and thought-out customer nurturing journeys, you may miss an opportunity to engage your prospects in the first place, or they may lose interest over time. This is why it’s important to consider inbound marketing; a strategy that not only involves lead generation tactics but utilises all marketing avenues and channels including content marketing, public relations, social media, email marketing, SEO, and SEM.
In this article, we will go through the ins and outs of a successful digital marketing strategy for a financial services business. We will help you:
In order to break through the noise, it’s important to stand out from your competitors and explicitly communicate your unique value proposition (UVP) to your target audience.
As Simon Sinek stated in his now-famous September 2010, New York conference, all good businesses will start with why, then how, and finally what. He called it the ‘Golden Circle’.
He encouraged us to ponder these questions:
Answering these questions will help you get clear on your unique value proposition and your market positioning. Being crystal clear on your purpose and knowing exactly what makes you different from your competitors will make it a lot easier to draft compelling marketing messages.
While some parts of your brand messaging will remain the same over time, it’s important to view your brand as a living organism.
2020 was a year of increased scrutiny for brands and key public figures as exemplified by the Black Lives Matter and the Me Too movement. In 2021, we saw the Australian economy shift from survival mode back into growth mode, and the pressure for brands to have a voice in social issues is growing.
Being out of touch with community standards has ultimately been the downfall for many Australian business leaders and so it’s never been more important to have a finger on the pulse and to know if there are any gaps between how you communicate your brand values and what the community expects from your business.
At BlueChip we see social consciousness as a fundamental part of any brand or communication strategy. Overlooking this aspect of the strategy poses a massive reputational risk to a business, big enough to remove the possibility of significant growth.
Having good awareness of your competitors and their value propositions is important to keep you ahead of the game. Reviewing your own strategy, messaging, and conducting regular competitor analysis every 6-12 months will help you determine where you stand in the market and what is required to get you where you need to be.
Who are your business’s buyer personas? And how well do you know them?
Buyer personas are semi-fictional representations of your ideal clients – people you enjoy working for. Developed from your customer data and secondary or primary research, buyer personas can help you refocus your time on qualified prospects and give guidance on product development to suit their needs.
As a result, you'll be able to attract the right visitors, leads, and customers to your business who won’t just return but may become your business’ biggest advocates.
More specifically, having a deep understanding of your buyer persona(s) is critical to driving content creation, product development, sales follow-up, and really anything that relates to customer acquisition and retention.
Once you understand your buyer personas you can map out their buyer journeys. It’s important to understand what matters to them and what information they are looking for at each stage of the journey, so that you can hit them with the right messaging at the right time, using the right channels.
Your buyer persona’s buyer’s journey has 5 stages:
Use our ultimate blog template for financial services to start creating content for your business’s buyer personas.
The marketing funnel is way of breaking down your customer or buyer journey from the awareness stage (learning about your company) to the purchase stage (when they are ready to buy your product or service).
The overarching strategy should be a clear sentence that anyone can understand. It should be based on a core insight, and this can be done by collecting information and data on your audience, channels, and products.
To cover all stages of the funnel, implementing both traditional and digital marketing play important roles in the marketing funnel, including OOH, PR, TV and radio, email marketing, paid search, organic search, website development, marketing automation, display advertising, content marketing, and social media.
Watch this video ‘Why you should invest in digital marketing during a recession’, where BlueChip’s CEO Danielle Stitt outlines 4 steps of how to plan a successful integrated digital marketing plan.
With the growth of digital marketing and the ease of access to data, expectations on proving ROI on your marketing efforts are increasing. This is important to keep in mind when pitching for marketing budget to implement your strategy. Depending on the channel and your ability to gather data and prove ROI, you might have to add some education to your plan of attack.
A digital marketing strategy is used to achieve commercial goals and is ideally an integrated plan that operates across a multitude of digital channels to target your audience with creative formats working together to drive towards a single or set of objectives.
So, what do the objectives look like? Well, they fall under a set of common categories:
To create digital marketing goals, they will need to follow the SMART rule. Keep them:
BlueChip Communication helps clients define their marketing problems clearly and develop an integrated marketing blueprint to address them.
Competitor analysis is key to understand your market positioning, how your business compares to your competitors, what your strengths and weaknesses are, and what makes you different. While a competitor analysis will assist you when developing or updating your brand messaging and UVP, it will also help you understand where they put their marketing dollars (and where you might want to put yours).
Often we get stuck doing what we’ve always done, even when it is not serving us or helping us reach our goals and objectives. That’s why it’s crucial to analyse your own business and marketing activities and benchmark them against your competition.
Conducting an audit on your current marketing activities, channels, resources, and tools is important to gain a better understanding of whether they’re driving results for your firm or whether it’s an extra cost to the business. It will help you to understand your company's strengths and weaknesses and highlight what can you improve on.
Things to look at include:
Content is king - it’s an amazing way to help grow your audience, generate leads and turn them into conversions. Good, valuable content will educate your audience, earn their trust and enhance your business.
Content can come in many different forms, from videos to pictures, to blogs and white papers. Examples of content that work especially well for financial services in our experience include educational pieces that can help to build trust, webinars to talk directly to your clients, and Q&As to reveal that you are a source of knowledge.
But before you can jump into content creation, you’ll need to develop a content marketing strategy to understand what messages you're going to deliver. BlueChip's Thought Leadership Blueprint is a 7-step guide to help financial services experts articulate and communicate new perspectives effectively.
For most financial services, the people you want to talk to are time-poor, senior, and smart. Many get pitched ‘thought leadership’ daily. Here’s how to create thought leadership that cuts through the noise.
Carden Calder, BlueChip’s Communications MD has produced a ‘7 Step Profile Planner’ to help you plan and produce content that will help you become recognised and respected for your ideas in the financial services sector.
You may already have a content strategy in place but it’s not delivering the results you’ve been hoping for. Check out the ‘Top 3 mistakes financial services are making’ when it comes to content creation. Content that works well includes educational pieces that can help to build trust, webinars to talk directly to your clients, Q&As to reveal that you are a source of knowledge, educational blogs, sponsored content, and contributed articles.
Part of your content strategy is to know which channels you will use to distribute and promote your content.
Do you often find you’re producing all this great content, but the traffic figures keep disappointing you? Often, we dilute our resources and get less bang for our buck by spreading us to thin across too much content creation. A better approach would be to focus on a few key content pieces and squeeze as much value out of them as you can through distribution and by atomizing your content.
BlueChip has developed ‘A complete guide to content distribution for financial services’ to help you plan your content strategy, and how to best use the key channels for your audience. It covers the three media channels of digital marketing – Paid, Owned, Earned, what each of them are, the benefits to you, and how they can all work together.
But let’s break it down a little more by looking at some of the channels that are out there:
It’s always been said that sales and marketing go hand in hand. Marketing supports both pre and post-sales - it upholds the brand, drives awareness, and generates leads, and once prospects have become customers marketing helps with nurturing and retention. It’s a great relationship that can be extremely powerful when used to its full capability. In our E-Book, we walk you through the ‘Top 30 actionable lead generation tips for financial services’.
How do you best manage high-quality leads and keep their interest? Marketing automation helps companies achieve greater efficiencies, cost reductions, and personalised customer experiences. It allows us to do more with less by introducing smart workflows and removing redundant tasks in current processes. It helps free up more time to focus on critical business matters or focus on your business's growth projects. Simply put, learning how to best take advantage of marketing automation can allow you to live the four-hour marketing dream.
But beyond saving time and money, it can also deliver real results (if executed correctly!). With more sales-ready leads in an automated system, you'll be able to meet (or exceed) those revenue targets.
Once your customer base is growing, the next challenge becomes how to drive customer loyalty instead of customer churn. Luckily, there are some proven ways financial services can keep pace with customer expectations in order to retain them.
Like all digital marketing aspects, customer retention will need a strategy and that strategy should include a strong customer journey.
Investing in a CRM system is the easiest way to make magic happen. It keeps all your data under one roof and allows you to segment your database and build out your customer journeys - so that you can stay in touch with them, listen to them, and send personalised messages that will boost engagement.
As we all know, marketing can be time-consuming, and implementing your strategy is not always easy.
To get your marketing engine running smoothly, the first step is to get clear on where the bottlenecks are or where you don’t have the appropriate skills in-house. Once you know the gaps, you’ll be able to see if you need to look at upskilling staff members or perhaps bring in someone from the outside to help make things happen.
Whether you need help to objectively review and rethink your strategy or can’t seem to get things out the door, outsourcing can be a good option.
If outsourcing is the solution, choosing the right PR or marketing agency is important. Here’s are the things to consider in order to make the best choice for your firm.