Digital marketing trends for financial services in 2016

Amber Whiteman

11 May 2017

The use of digital marketing continues to rise in the financial services industry. In the past, banking institutions were traditionally slow to change. But with clients moving from traditional brick-and-mortar banking to online banking, many institutions are now changing their online behavior.

The financial services industry faces three critical challenges: promoting customer trust and advocacy, complying with extensive regulation compliance and capturing audiences with personalization and targeted content. To achieve competitive differentiation, banks are setting a clear digital strategy to overcome these obstacles and reach their goals.

These are four digital marketing trends shaping the financial services sector:

Building a strong presence online
Delivering an engaging and consistent social conversation can enhance the customer experience. The first step is getting the basics right. Banks must define a clear approach to digital experience online. They should take advantage of data insights to enable real-time contextual relevancy, contribute to the community and accelerate the customer journey. Social media can be one of the best places to connect with audiences in new, personalized and educational ways.

A firm understanding of regulations
The financial industry is one of the most regulated in the world and digital media channels can pose risks in terms of data security and the related legal threats. Despite the benefits of digital media, banks need to set up teams to keep informed on policies and to use these channels wisely to mitigate risks. For example, financial institutions can use these channels exclusively for handling customer queries, for managing social media compliantly while building genuine engagement, and for resolving issues on social networking sites. With this careful approach in mind, banks should continue to look ahead to future innovations and technology advances to strengthen security and regulation compliance online.

Real-time customer personalization
To remain 'front of mind' with clients, financial brands are avoiding the impersonal, big-box feel and focusing on a friendlier connection to their customers through social media. Banks can use digital data to monitor customer and market trends to provide value-driven, personalized messaging and tailor customer service to each individual client. By doing so, they can listen to their audience and engage with them in genuine two-way conversations.

Mobile-friendly apps
To thrive in the digital age it’s critical to


the customer experience online. The rapid growth in mobile use and the accessibility of social media through smartphones are providing banks with opportunities to connect with their clients. Across the world, financial institutions are investing heavily in mobile-friendly apps that make it easy for clients to conduct banking transactions while on the go.

With these key digital marketing trends in mind, financial services institutions can present a continuous rollout of mobile technologies to create deeper, interactive, real-world engagement with consumers.

1. The preferred formats for business insights among CXOs are feature-length articles and reports.

“CXOs need to think and act strategically” says Bruce Rogers, Chief Insights Officer of Forbes Media “which is why they more often opt for longer pieces that take them from hypothesis, through case studies, to conclusion, and are based on credible data.”

This demand from CXOs for longer-form content is something we can evidence with our own data.

In a recent lead generation campaign targeting a CXO audience, we A/B tested two different labels for the same long-form content asset: an ‘eBook’ vs. a ‘whitepaper’. Positioning the asset as a whitepaper (a typically longer, more detailed form of content) increased the conversion rate from 4.3% to 8.0%.

The perceived value of such content to a CXO audience is clear.

2. Don’t second guess CXO consumption habits.

The CXOs surveyed by Forbes and Deloitte were an eclectic bunch when it came to consuming long-form content. A huge 84% declared that they were likely to print a report to read offline, though 75% deemed themselves likely to consume via PC, 70% via tablet, and 59% via mobile.

There’s some double-counting at play here, but the message is clear: you need to deliver your content in a way that works for everyone.

When it comes to long-form content, aim for simplicity - and PDF files often work best. Theyre ideal for lead capture, they can be consumed online and offline, and they are easily shared with colleagues.

This is an area where we have plenty of experience, and plenty of data to back up our recommendations. If you need a helping hand with your lead generation or content marketing programmes – or would like to see examples of how we partner with our clients in these areas – please get in touch.