The traditional approach for banks when marketing to their local community is to adopt a “feet on the street” method. This includes remaining active in local events and knocking on doors.
Being physically visible within your community is still an effective strategy but presents some complexities post pandemic. The following two tactics have consistently enhanced our clients’ approaches to increasing the number of new deposit accounts they win, especially in the current social distancing climate.
Tactic #1 – Local Facebook Ads
You’re probably doing some version of Facebook ads already, which means that you are on the right track. The following tips dissect a more in-depth approach that may help you fine-tune your strategy.
Facebook ads should support your traditional local efforts. It’s all about the culture you’re building inside your bank and the brand that you’re then pushing out publicly to the community.
Some banks will be better suited to specific audiences, so understanding your brand and company culture will help you find your place within the market and specifically the audience you should be serving. Assuming that your company already has an active presence on social media, Facebook ads will help amplify your brand’s awareness locally.
Benefit #1: Facebook Ads are Still Low Cost
These ads have always been cheaper than ads on other platforms and they typically have a wider reach. They are not intent based, which means that most people will happen upon them as they do other things. Therefore, you’ll need to add a lot of value to their experience to get them to stop scrolling and pay attention to your ad. Since these ads are low cost, you can run multiple versions of the same ad at any given time to experiment and optimize for best results.
Benefit #2: You Can Target Your Specific Audience
Facebook ads allow you to go after a niche audience and craft your message specifically to them, which in turn will allow you to gather necessary data to optimize further. If you want to reach local cross fitters, you can tailor messaging directly to them using a narrative that adds value to their world and is written in language they speak while working out.
Benefit #3: They Are Measurable
Here you can achieve a certain level of predictability, which you can’t get with the traditional “feet on the street” approach. It allows you to be hyper efficient with who you are reaching and productive with what you are asking them to do. It enables you to understand what’s working and what’s not very quickly. At the same time, you actually learn a lot from your audience, as you can gauge how each aspect of your ads resonate with them.
More about how to target a specific audience so you can win with Facebook ads:
Choose a specific niche, and make your messaging to that niche as specific and as relevant as possible. Being precise about who you want to target will make it easier to showcase how your brand can add value to their lives and offer solutions to real problems, which will translate into increased success.
For example, let’s say you go after moms who are managing money for their household. If you go after this specific niche, then the message needs to be specific to the burdens a mom might be facing and ways to relieve that stress with solutions that you provide. Your ad to an overworked mom should focus on adding value to their life and should be relevant enough to their burdens that you convey more than just a general understanding for their needs. Moreover, it should provide a solution that matches that need.
Your solution may be an enhanced experience for online banking or improvements in your mobile app. Whatever you elect to showcase, you should highlight its relevance to a specific burden that your niche may experience. For mothers, a last minute money transfer for a school event might be appropriate. Being in tune with what’s happening locally could be a good checkpoint to reach, like knowing the date that children go back to school. After which, creating specialized messages that reach the types of people these events would affect and highlighting solutions you have for their problems are both highly effective tactics for increasing deposits.
Pro Tip: Run Ad Campaigns, Not Just Boosted Posts
Boosted posts are great for reaching a broader audience and for building credibility within your respective communities. But with an ad campaign, you are given more targeting options with is going to allow you to spend your budget more wisely and learn more from your efforts.
With ads (over boosted posts) you can put out multiple posts and focus on the creative for A/B testing. This will allow you to test whether your audience is ready to give you more information and convert into the sales process or just request information while they are making up their mind.
Tactic 2 – Personalized Email Campaigns
Personalized email campaigns make a great addition to Facebook ads. When you run a Facebook Ad, you will want to drive leads to a place you can capture some initial information.
By doing this, you maximize the money you spent on Facebook by converting that attention into long term top of mind nurturing.
What better way to spend your marketing budget than to spend it only once? Once you run your ad campaign on Facebook and have captured new leads, you can immediately transition into nurturing those leads over time into new accounts. Maximizing your initial marketing spend saves you from having to pay again to continue to get in front of them. Personalized email campaigns are a great way to accomplish that.
Once you get leads into an email list, here are some proven ways to personalize your email campaigns for greatest success.
Method #1: Segmenting Your Audience Type
Depending on how your lead signed up, the list may already be segmented for you. If they are coming from multiple avenues, you may segment a list of business owners or moms. Of course, the message that you’re going to send to business owners is going to be different than the ones you’re sending to moms.
If you follow this approach for messaging all the way from Facebook Ad to an email nurturing campaign, you can really target a niche and add a lot of value along the way. Of course, this has to be authentic to your culture and your brand. It can’t be forced or it won’t work. The idea here is to continue to keep the message as specific as possible to the audience and solve their felt needs at all times.
Method #2: Personalized Messages from the CEO
We have seen this method work over and over for community bank CEOs. These are essentially emails from the CEO in their voice, talking about topics that make sense for a specific group of people. It could be focused on current customers, business owners, moms or anyone else. If you are not inclined to be publicly vocal, this could also come from an internal brand ambassador or any high ranking representative of the company.
Having an actual name and face behind who’s sending the email goes a long way and is more effective than the typical generic informational newsletter. This method is more about a person sending a personalized email to another person.
Method #3: Formulating Rhyme and Reason Within Your Messages
This can take shape in a lot of different ways. Keeping with the brand ambassador approach, to be even more targeted to a specific community, you might consider appointing a “branch mom” to send more personalized emails to your audience of moms who are leads and/or current customers. Having someone who is actually walking in their shoes each day goes a long way in building credibility with your brand. This can help nurture actual solutions to problems within your bank as well, because it creates a great space to discuss ideas and solutions.
Pro Tip: The great thing about emails is that you own the attention and the content. It’s up to you on how you are seen in front of your audience. Our recommendation, depending on the campaign, is typically no more than two a week, and no less than one every other week.
Something else to keep in mind is the variation of your messages. Don’t always talk about your products. Make it 90% value and 10% “marketing”. You want your audience to open your emails and take action. It takes time to build trust and habit around these actions.
There are plenty of other tactics that may also be effective for increasing your banks deposits, but we believe, based on our experience working with banks, that the two most effective marketing methods today are Facebook ads that flow to a personalized email campaign.