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February 4, 2020

The digital space is dynamic and exciting, and it’s where every CMO and CCO thinks their brand needs to be. Often, “be more digital” is where the thought ends. Without understanding the real power behind digital and how your financial services customers interact digitally, being “more digital” means little.

In the financial services industry, getting the most from your digital strategy means recruiting the experts, focusing on elements that are best aligned with your brand and audiences, and knowing how to interpret relevant metrics.

Call on the experts

The first step to integrating a solid digital strategy is to enlist experts, such as digital content and channel specialists. These professionals not only understand how current platforms perform and align with your financial services brand, but they also track up-and-coming channels and changes to existing algorithms that could impact how your brand engages its audiences in the future. As a result, they should be able to not only assist with immediate, short-term campaigns to raise awareness but contribute meaningfully to long-term strategies that build a well-defined brand.

Digital specialists are critical to a brand’s overarching marketing strategy, but they are equally essential in the day-to-day activities that support it. Such experts can create content — whether copy, images or videos — that is tailored to resonate with audiences and optimized for search engines; select the optimal communication channels to make an impact; and capitalize on analytical tools and resources to interpret metrics and results.

Be selective about platforms

Digital platforms are always evolving and growing. It may be tempting to take a shotgun approach to ensure that your financial services brand is everywhere, but that strategy takes valuable resources from the platforms that are best suited to your needs. Don’t try a platform simply because your brand hasn’t been there.

Instead, consider where and how your target audiences — your customers, prospects and stakeholders — are seeking financial information and advice. Which social channels, proprietary channels and third-party or media sites are they visiting?

For financial services in the B2B world, establishing influence on platforms like LinkedIn is critical, but it doesn’t just happen. An engagement strategy must be prescriptive and deliberate. In addition to considering the science behind SEO for tagging and keywords, any content must be relevant to key audiences.

Financial services competing in the B2C space may want to consider moving beyond “selling” to educating. Campaigns promoting financial literacy, for instance, can add value to the customer experience and elevate a brand. And digital experts can help here as well. Not only can they provide guidance about which digital assets — podcasts, online articles, webinars, infographics, original video content, etc. — will resonate, engage and drive action, but they can identify the social media channels best suited to ensuring that the assets are consumed by the intended audiences.

Measure your results

Finally, a critical component of any digital strategy is measurement and reporting. It is not enough to say that your brand is in the digital space; you need to show that your digital strategy is creating value.

Early on, establish quantifiable key performance indicators that tie to your organization’s goals and objectives. Digital specialists can help identify KPIs that are most relevant, and they can interpret metrics so that you can communicate them clearly to the C-suite. Provide context around data and results relating to engagement, followers, conversions, etc., so that the executives’ heads are swimming with your good news, not just buzzwords.

Invest in planning

Planning a solid digital strategy takes time and expertise, but the investment in the effort can provide a compelling return for your brand.

If you're interested in learning about other ways to make impactful changes in 2020, check out my top six financial marketing resolutions.

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