July 1, 2021

4 ways to reach a larger social media audience

Gone are the days of sharing helpful, compliant content organically from your bank’s social media profile and seeing significant reach and engagement.

Social media platforms today frequently update their algorithms to make branded content less visible. In January, for example, Facebook announced algorithmic changes to filter every post through integrity filters, a multifaceted scoring system and even a contextual pass.

You might be wondering whether social media is even worth the try anymore in the broader scope of marketing efforts. The answer is a resounding yes. Your prospects and customers are still on social media, perhaps more than ever before. For example, 86 percent of Baby Boomers use social media daily. That’s only 3 percentage points less than Gen Z. With physical banking on a downward trend, banks have to meet people where they are if they want to continue making connections and building relationships.

The following steps can help financial services provider skirt tricky algorithms to get in front of the right audiences:

Don’t avoid organic altogether: Organic social media is still an important jumping-off point, and a key asset to help your brand cut through is your employees. Research from LinkedIn shows that employees have 10 times the following on LinkedIn compared to their employers and that employee posts on LinkedIn create twice the engagement. When employees share with and engage customers and prospects from individual accounts, they humanize the brand beyond brand profiles alone — in the eyes of audiences and algorithms.

Social media algorithms favor people and person-to-person conversation. Because more engagement means greater algorithmic scoring, you can bet that the more people who engage with an employee post, the more social media users will see that post in their feeds.

Pay to play: Of course, one of the biggest advantages of organic social media is that it’s free — but paid advertising doesn’t take a huge investment, either, and the returns can be well worth the initial spend and effort. Consider, for instance, pulling back your marketing budget from traditional out-of-home advertising tactics that have lost their impact as people stay home and reallocating the spend toward paid social efforts.

Paid ads actually help you optimize your advertising budget more than organic alone because you can target them. You can build a targeting strategy based on your ideal persona’s demographics, activities, interests, etc. — which means you can make better-informed decisions about what content to share with whom. Audiences will appreciate the posts’ relevance, and bank associates will appreciate knowing that social media outreach efforts aren’t wasted on the wrong audience.

Provide value with content: While great content isn’t the only thing you need for success today, it is still a crucial factor because it serves as a helpful resource for audiences. Think beyond promotion when creating and distributing ad content. Consider how to create real value.

Content should both highlight your expertise and help educate readers. Guidebooks, blog posts and videos are among many valuable content tools. And you don’t have to limit a post to include only one of them. Instead, link to a landing page on your website from a social media ad. Viewers will go to the page that houses all the relevant, valuable content they want.

What’s more, if you include form fields requesting visitor information in return for downloading some of that content, you’ll get valuable consumer data in your hands that can help you drive more conversions.

Think strategically about retargeting:  To further optimize your approach for even greater ROI, consider retargeted advertising. This means serving social media advertisements to people you know already engage with your website, social media pages or content.

Don’t just retarget campaigns to every person who has ever shown interest in your brand, however. This approach is likely too broad to create much impact, especially when customers today are all about personalization. Instead, divide your audience into segments and create specific campaigns for each.

For example, people who visited your blog might be more receptive to more educational content, while those who visited your contact page might be closer to conversion and ready to hop into a conversation with your sales team. Even in retargeting, precision is the name of the game.

The bottom line is: If your bank’s social media strategy is only organic, you won’t see enough ROI to justify your time and effort. But if you level up with employees, paid advertising and valuable content, you can optimize your efforts beyond what even the best organic strategy would allow to overcome algorithmic roadblocks and get in front of exactly the right people.

This article was originally published on BAI.org.

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July 1, 2021

4 ways to reach a larger social media audience

Gone are the days of sharing helpful, compliant content organically from your bank’s social media profile and seeing significant reach and engagement.

Social media platforms today frequently update their algorithms to make branded content less visible. In January, for example, Facebook announced algorithmic changes to filter every post through integrity filters, a multifaceted scoring system and even a contextual pass.

You might be wondering whether social media is even worth the try anymore in the broader scope of marketing efforts. The answer is a resounding yes. Your prospects and customers are still on social media, perhaps more than ever before. For example, 86 percent of Baby Boomers use social media daily. That’s only 3 percentage points less than Gen Z. With physical banking on a downward trend, banks have to meet people where they are if they want to continue making connections and building relationships.

The following steps can help financial services provider skirt tricky algorithms to get in front of the right audiences:

Don’t avoid organic altogether: Organic social media is still an important jumping-off point, and a key asset to help your brand cut through is your employees. Research from LinkedIn shows that employees have 10 times the following on LinkedIn compared to their employers and that employee posts on LinkedIn create twice the engagement. When employees share with and engage customers and prospects from individual accounts, they humanize the brand beyond brand profiles alone — in the eyes of audiences and algorithms.

Social media algorithms favor people and person-to-person conversation. Because more engagement means greater algorithmic scoring, you can bet that the more people who engage with an employee post, the more social media users will see that post in their feeds.

Pay to play: Of course, one of the biggest advantages of organic social media is that it’s free — but paid advertising doesn’t take a huge investment, either, and the returns can be well worth the initial spend and effort. Consider, for instance, pulling back your marketing budget from traditional out-of-home advertising tactics that have lost their impact as people stay home and reallocating the spend toward paid social efforts.

Paid ads actually help you optimize your advertising budget more than organic alone because you can target them. You can build a targeting strategy based on your ideal persona’s demographics, activities, interests, etc. — which means you can make better-informed decisions about what content to share with whom. Audiences will appreciate the posts’ relevance, and bank associates will appreciate knowing that social media outreach efforts aren’t wasted on the wrong audience.

Provide value with content: While great content isn’t the only thing you need for success today, it is still a crucial factor because it serves as a helpful resource for audiences. Think beyond promotion when creating and distributing ad content. Consider how to create real value.

Content should both highlight your expertise and help educate readers. Guidebooks, blog posts and videos are among many valuable content tools. And you don’t have to limit a post to include only one of them. Instead, link to a landing page on your website from a social media ad. Viewers will go to the page that houses all the relevant, valuable content they want.

What’s more, if you include form fields requesting visitor information in return for downloading some of that content, you’ll get valuable consumer data in your hands that can help you drive more conversions.

Think strategically about retargeting:  To further optimize your approach for even greater ROI, consider retargeted advertising. This means serving social media advertisements to people you know already engage with your website, social media pages or content.

Don’t just retarget campaigns to every person who has ever shown interest in your brand, however. This approach is likely too broad to create much impact, especially when customers today are all about personalization. Instead, divide your audience into segments and create specific campaigns for each.

For example, people who visited your blog might be more receptive to more educational content, while those who visited your contact page might be closer to conversion and ready to hop into a conversation with your sales team. Even in retargeting, precision is the name of the game.

The bottom line is: If your bank’s social media strategy is only organic, you won’t see enough ROI to justify your time and effort. But if you level up with employees, paid advertising and valuable content, you can optimize your efforts beyond what even the best organic strategy would allow to overcome algorithmic roadblocks and get in front of exactly the right people.

This article was originally published on BAI.org.

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How Denim Social Works With Agency Partners to Create Consistent,Compliant Digital Marketing for Financial Services

Many financial institutions partner with outside agencies to create digital marketing experiences. They hire agencies to do what they do best: build connections to customers in creative ways. Even with this support, however, financial services marketers still have to ensure every piece of digital marketing stays compliant and distribute those pieces to their brand, branch, and employee feeds.

That’s where Denim Social fits into the picture — not as a replacement for agencies you’re already working with, but as a tool to boost their efforts. Financial institutions can turn to Denim Social to work with agency partners to activate more effective, efficient, and compliant social media marketing strategies. When agencies can rely on our compliance and management platform to cover the logistics behind social media marketing, they can focus all of their energy on crafting impactful campaigns. And financial institutions can get more out of their marketing dollars.

Here’s how we can work with agency partners to support financial institutions’ social media strategies and digital marketing efforts:

1. Curated Content for Social Media

So you’ve hired an agency to craft your social media marketing strategy and write attention-grabbing, interest-piquing posts. But not all of your social media posts should be new content. Your brand and employees should also share relevant news or helpful guides from other reliable sources.

You don’t need to task your agency partners with curating existing material Denim Social can free up their time to focus on creating new campaigns with our curated content support.​ Our integration with content curation industry leader UpContent brings relevant, curated articles directly to the Denim Social platform, so marketers or agencies don’t have to be responsible for sourcing every post. That means a lot, especially for financial institutions running social selling campaigns where hundreds or even thousands of employees post brand-related content.

2. Social Media Compliance Tools

The last thing any digital marketing agency wants is to create content that will land your brand in regulatory trouble. But financial institution marketers understand that even one noncompliant post could be a big problem. Denim Social can serve as the compliance checkpoint between the content an agency creates and the public, ensuring no posts go live that shouldn’t.

Our platform offers keyword and phrase filtering to bring any creative copy with potentially noncompliant messaging to your attention — before it goes live. What’s more, automated approval workflows can streamline agencies’ communication with financial institution marketers, compliance teams, and other stakeholders to get the proper sign-off on every post with ease. Marketers also know they must record every social post and interaction in case they get audited by regulatory agencies, but agency partners shouldn’t have to focus their efforts on administrative tasks and record-keeping. That’s where Denim Social can help with automatic archiving tools to get tedious tasks out of the way and let agencies do what they do best. 

3. Paid Social Media Management
Denim Social can work with agencies to deliver the best possible results for paid social media advertising. Our proprietary social media ads manager automatically optimizes ads’ performance and consolidates all social media platforms into one easily accessible dashboard for a one-stop shop.

When agencies can efficiently manage and optimize ads, they can easily scale campaigns at the brand, location, and advisor level. And when agencies can scale further and deliver more results, financial institutions get more bang for their agency buck.

4. Accurate, Data-Driven Results

Financial institution leaders need data to inform the smartest and most impactful decisions when determining where to allocate their marketing budgets. So agencies must provide that data to prove their worth beyond vanity metrics alone. Denim Social can help by clearly connecting social media campaigns to real business results.


For example, agency partners can easily create landing pages for each campaign using our Landing Page Builder. From there, they can incorporate landing page links into the social media marketing strategy and track analytics to see how many prospects followed the digital journey from social post to landing page to getting in touch to learn more. Essentially, social media can drive conversions — which translates to more profit for your institution. And Denim Social can help provide the analytics agencies need to prove it.

Successful digital marketing for financial services has to cover a lot of bases. It must be relevant, consistent, and compliant. Few financial institutions can do all of that on their own — and even their agency partners can use a hand to create more efficient and effective campaigns. That’s whereDenim Social fits into the mix. We don’t replace agencies: We support them in creating the strongest possible social media marketing strategies for financial institutions.

Retail banks in the U.S. are facing a major customer attrition challenges. According to a recent Bain report, customers make as many as 55 percent of financial-related purchases from their primary bank’s competitors. While primary banks may be able to retain customers’ savings and checking accounts, the report suggests that they’re likely losing out on lucrative sales when it comes to loans, credit cards and investments.

Considering that almost one-third of those who defected from their primary bank did so in response to a direct offer from a competitor, wise marketers will up their customer engagement and outreach efforts to retain more customers. Affordability of products is the top reason for customer defection, which marketers may not have much say in, but it isn’t the only contributing factor. Digitization has also been a major catalyst. Namely, the strong digital products and experiences that some banks offer—and others do not.

Bank marketers who can jump onboard the digitization train to meet customers where they are with engaging, valuable messaging will be much more likely to keep customers coming back again and again for each of their financial needs. The following strategies can help:

1. Put the human element front and center

Traditional banks have an innate advantage over digital direct banks: The human touch. Leveraging this benefit, especially when it comes to increasingly digital customer interactions, can lead to measurable improvements in customer retention.

One way to ensure the human touch remains part of every customer touchpoint is to focus on personalization. A February Insurance Thought Leadership piece revealed that 72 percent of people ignore marketing that’s not highly personalized. So targeting relevant content to the right recipients is essential, especially when digitization can easily strip the human element out of an interaction. Personalizing messaging and services to be relevant and valuable to the specific needs of each customer can bring the human element into focus even in a digital world.

One way to create more relevant, personalized outreach is to practice social selling, or leveraging a bank’s employees on social media. People can relate more to other people than they can to big brand names. When your employees are the ones getting in front of customers virtually, it humanizes the digital customer experience and sets the stage for trusting and loyal relationships to come. What’s more, employees also tend to have further reach and engagement on brand-related social posts than brand pages alone, so they can expand the impact of your messaging exponentially.

2. Create digital pathways to human interactions

When considering how to anchor all digital marketing for financial services around the human element, keep in mind that every pathway should connect prospects and customers directly to a human.

For example, a social media post from an employee could include a link to a landing page on your website where visitors can learn more valuable information on the topic of the post. On that landing page, you can include valuable content, such as a guidebook, behind an information request form. When users submit their names and email addresses, they will receive the content and your sales team members can reach out to them directly with a human-centric, personalized outreach approach.

When prospects and customers know they’re just an email or phone call away from a real person at your organization, they’re likely to turn to you instead of an impersonal digital direct bank for their next financial need.

3. Focus on customer retention just as much as acquisition

Bringing in new prospects gets a lot of attention from financial services marketers, sometimes at the expense of retaining current ones. But focusing on customer retention and continuously improving the digital customer experience will help secure more revenue when it comes to additional services such as loans and credit cards.

Listen to the needs of customers and keep refining your personalization tactics to meet their needs. Every time you get in front of a current customer with relevant, valuable messaging or content, you help build trust in that relationship and increase the chances of that customer coming to you for whatever service they need next.

It’s true that people will always be drawn to brands that offer more affordable products and services. But money isn’t the only reason people look outside of their primary bank to fulfill their financial needs. Banks that differentiate by focusing on digitization alongside the human element will find that it’s easier to keep current customers from looking for greener pastures.

This was originally published on ABA Bank Marketing.

Financial institutions of all sizes have realized the value of social media and digital marketing to reach prospects and customers today. Modern data and analytics make it possible to track the impact of your efforts, but it can be difficult to see how your institution compares to others when it comes to digital strategy.

That’s why Denim Social teamed up with researchers from Washington University in St. Louis to analyze more than 150,000 social media posts from financial institutions. We used the findings in our 2020 Social Media Benchmark Report for Financial Services to answer the question: How are we doing on social media?

Keep reading for a rundown of our most telling findings and insights from 2020 that can help you optimize your social media marketing strategies in 2021 and beyond.

The Best Social Media Platforms for Marketing Financial Services

First, let’s dive into where financial services marketers are putting their attention online. Then, we’ll look at how marketers can strengthen strategies across these platforms to make more connections and drive business goals.

Facebook: The first social stop for financial services providers

Facebook is the most popular social platform for financial services institutions with 82% of those surveyed active on the platform. Yet most institutions still have room to further optimize their Facebook social media strategies. More on that later.

Other platforms that go underutilized but deserve more attention are LinkedIn,Twitter, and Instagram. You don’t have to be on all of these platforms to have a strong and holistic approach, but you should have a working knowledge of each one to make the best-informed decisions about where and how to reach prospects and customers online.

LinkedIn: A winning social avenue for smaller financial services organizations

According to our research, fewer than two-thirds of banks, insurance companies, credit unions, and similar entities consider LinkedIn as a marketing vehicle.But LinkedIn can help brands, especially smaller ones, boost their visibility and foster more connections. Personnel at smaller financial services organizations tend to form closer relationships with clients, and LinkedIn is an excellent avenue for sourcing customers, making inroads with them, and maintaining strong connections throughout the relationship.

The first step to setting up a LinkedIn account is to create a brand profile.Then, encourage employees to share brand-related content on their own channels with a strategy known as social selling. Putting human faces behind your content can help you built trust and connections. Consider working with your executive team to develop a social media engagement calendar to guide brand and employee posts.

Twitter: Ideal for financial institutions ready for a fast-paced, hashtag-heavy forum

Only about 36% of financial institution marketers are using Twitter on a regular basis. Many worry about staying in line with important compliance regulations on such a fast-paced platform. With the right tools and approach, however, financial institutions can see great benefit from focusing more on Twitter, especially when it comes to sharing more newsworthy items. Twitter is where many people go to learn about what’s happening in the world in real time.

Banks and other financial brands can use automated software to conduct social listening for specific hashtags. This can show you what trends and discussions are hot in the industry and among customers so you can weigh in. Social media management software can also help streamline review and approvals processes for brand-related tweets, so marketers can rest easy knowing every post that goes live will be compliant.

Instagram: The unsung social media platform for financial brands

Many financial institutions lack any kind of Instagram marketing strategy because they aren’t sure Instagram holds relevance. It does, especially for brands looking to reach younger customers. The platform is popular amongGeneration Z and Millennial users, and about four-fifths of Instagrammers follow a favorite brand. This means it’s an ideal place to get in front of younger audiences looking to learn how to attain and grow wealth.

Remember the importance of paid advertising as you plan your Instagram marketing strategy. Posting organically to your brand's Instagram feed is still important — and DenimSocial can help you do it compliantly with our new Instagram publishing, monitoring, and analytics features. But organic posts tend to have low reach because they only show up in the feeds of those who follow the brand.

With paid advertising, however, you can target ads to land in front of exactly the right people — even if they're not following you. Instagram ads also allow you to include a direct call to action in the post, giving viewers a clear path to learning more about your brand. Denim Social's platform helps marketers create ads at scale, both for the brand and individual advisors. Targeting ads to Instagram users in advisor's geographical areas can help build local connections.

Best Practices Across All Platforms

As we analyzed thousands of social media posts from financial institutions, we pinpointed a few growth opportunities across posts on all platforms. Whether you’re looking to revamp your current strategy or get started on one of the platforms above altogether, keep these two major tips in mind:

1. Audit your posts for self-promotion.

One of the biggest areas for improvement involves the content institutions share and post on social media. Our research shows that one-third of financial institution social media posts are about companies' offerings, but users don't appreciate being bombarded with promotional posts; about half will unfollow a brand on social media if they do too much self-promotion.

If you’re feeling that your credit union, insurance company, or bank social media posts have fallen into self-absorption, don’t despair. Instead, create more opportunities to provide value to and foster connection with your audience with a couple of modern financial services marketing strategies:

Let employees be the voice behind the brand. Consumers want to hear from real people — not big brand names — on social media. Enable and encourage employees to share brand-related content with their own networks. This is social selling, and it aims to set the foundation for greater trust and stronger connections by putting real human faces behind branded posts. You’ll expand your reach while humanizing your brand. Of course, having many employees posting about the brand raises some compliance concerns, but a comprehensive social media management software like Denim Social’s can help you keep everything within bounds by automating approval workflows, housing pre-approved content, and more.

Provide value with educational content. A recent report from the National Financial Educators Council found that a quarter of American adults surveyed said they had no source for financial advice. That's a huge opportunity for your team to step in and be the resources your audience needs. Create and share valuable resources like how-to videos, online pamphlets, easy-to-use calculators, and step-by-step guides. This approach puts the focus on prospects and customers rather than the brand, but it also showcases the brand’s financial expertise and eagerness to help. You’ll become a trusted source for audience members looking to become smarter money managers.

2. Practice strategic linking.

Another major stumbling block we uncovered in our analysis has to do with linking in social media posts. Approximately 80% of financial organizations don't include any links in their posts, which means most are missing huge opportunities to drive more conversions.

Think about it: Someone visits your social media page. Your latest content is about the future of mortgage rates. But you don’t add a link to your own institution’s mortgage rates or other information. So what’s your curious reader going to do? They might Google the topic and end upon a competitor’s website.

Don’t let this happen. Instead, include the following three types of links:

External links: For every six posts you schedule, try to make four informational and evergreen. These posts should include links to trustworthy, non-competing sites with informative and educational resources.

Landing page links: Landing pages can be a valuable part of your internal website real estate. They allow you to gather personal information from visitors in exchange for something like an exclusive whitepaper download. Make sure 1 in every 6 social media posts contains a landing page link. If you don’t have landing pages on your website and aren’t sure how to start making them, check out our easy landing-page builder — no coding or website design experience required.

Owned content links: This is where tactful and strategic promotion can come into play. On social posts that don’t include external or landing-page links, include links to relevant on-site content. These could be blog posts, videos, or service offering pages. Just make sure the content on the link matches up with the tone and focus of the post. For instance, you wouldn’t want to post about home improvement loans and include a link to an article about 401(k)plans.

Social media is the name of the game in marketing for financial services — and most organizations already know that.But how do your strategies measure up to the competition? Are you on the right platforms and sharing the right types of posts to reach your target audience, provide value, and ultimately drive more conversions? Dive further into our 2020 Social Media Benchmark Report for Financial Services and request a custom report today to answer those questions and optimize your social media strategy for the future.

As the fintech industry has grown in recent years, more and more banks have partnered with these companies to enhance the digital customer experience. Fintech firms have the digital expertise banks need, but these nascent partnerships will require more thoughtful strategizing to deliver effective solutions.

So far, only 6 percent of banks reported seeing more than 5 percent improvement in reducing customer churn with their fintech partnerships, according to a 2021 Cornerstone Advisors report. And nearly 40 percent said they’ve seen no changes at all. This is likely not for lack of trying or skill from either side. Fintech companies can still bring great value to the table, so the answer isn’t for banks to eschew formal partnerships for good. Instead, banks just need to align with fintech partners on driving specific value.

Banks eager to improve their relationships with fintech partners and realize the full potential of bank and fintech collaboration can start by taking a few structured measures.

1. Be transparent about your problems.

First and foremost, banks must seek out fintech partnerships to solve specific problems. Without the core alignment around what a bank needs from a fintech partner, goals can be vague and impossible to reach. The more open banks are about the challenges they’re looking to solve, the more their fintech partners can understand how to deliver a solution. Perform an assessment of your current state of operations to identify specific challenges and the gaps in the way of overcoming them. Then, find a fintech company ready to fill that gap.

One example of excellent alignment in a bank and fintech collaboration is Bank of America and Zelle. Bank of America realized that it needed to focus on its digital payment capabilities as customers were using less cash. With that goal out in the open, it was able to partner with a fintech company that could offer a specific solution to make peer-to-peer transactions easy for customers to do in a mobile app. In the first quarter of 2020, Zelle powered more than 102 million transactions totaling $27 billion for Bank of America customers.

2. Get an internal fintech advocate on board.

Having the right person in the C-suite leading the way in a fintech partnership can make a big difference for a bank. Assign a fintech advocate to devote the attention and resources necessary to help the partnership deliver on expectations. Ideally, a dedicated fintech representative in the bank can serve to educate the fintech provider about the needs of the bank and learn the ins and outs of the fintech solution to relay to the rest of the internal team. Each give-and-take discussion will foster greater alignment and keep the relationship on track. The ultimate objective is to merge the bank and the fintech partner’s goals so that everyone is working toward the same end.

3. Put a premium on the customer experience.

Creating a strong digital customer experience isn’t a one-and-done investment. It involves continuously listening in to how customers behave online over time and adapting your digital strategies on an ongoing basis in response. It’s a long-game investment of time and resources, but it’s worth the effort: Accenture research suggests that nearly half of the banking public would stay loyal to a bank that offered a stellar customer experience. And considering that the 2019 FIS Performance Against Customer Expectations report noted 35 percent of people want to replace their plastic banking cards with digital apps, that experience will be largely digital now and into the future. Leverage fintech partners to improve the digital environment by personalizing experiences based on customer needs as they change over time.

4. Keep tabs on the employee experience, too.

Getting employees on board with your fintech partnership from the beginning will be essential in helping the solution reach its fullest potential. Digitization can be a scary word for traditional bankers who fear job loss to automation and other emerging technologies. This is where a fintech partner can step in to design robust workshops and other educational sessions to show employees how fintech can help them do their jobs more efficiently and provide greater value to customers. The more your employees get onboard for digital transformation, the more innovative thinking and growth you’ll see into the future.

The rise of fintech isn’t slowing down. But banks can leverage the digital expertise of this sector to provide more value to customers. Align objectives, get the buy-in of internal stakeholders and keep a sharp focus on bettering the digital customer experience. And you’ll see your bank and fintech partnership fuel exceptional, tangible results.

This article was originally published in ABA Bank Marketing.

How to Increase Engagement With Decreased Self-Promotion on Financial Institution Social Media Pages

If your financial institution’s social media pages consist primarily of posts that directly promote your business, products, and services, it’s time to rethink your strategy. Social media should not be a one-way channel for self-promotion like a billboard or radio advertisement. Nearly half of social media users will unfollow a brand if they do too much self-promotion on social media, and only 19% trust social media advertisements.

Still, about 30% of all posts on financial institution social media pages are about the companies themselves. It’s time for banks, insurance companies, and other financial services companies to recognize that social media engagement is built through maintaining two-way communication. Posts that provide real value to prospects and customers will start that dialogue.

Ask, “What will a follower get out of this post?” If you can’t easily identify the value, it’s likely too promotional.Here’s how you can shift the focus:

1. Use employees as your delivery channel.

Followers are more likely to engage with an actual human than a big brand name. Let your employees carry the voice of the brand on social media by sharing brand-related content on their own profiles with their own networks. With larger networks and more engagement opportunities, employees can expand the brand’s reach exponentially. What’s more, putting real human faces behind the brand voice can humanize the brand and help build more trust with followers.

In the example below, loan officer Andrea Kling posted an informative video about preapproval letters from her personalFacebook profile to share with her networks. The valuable resource opens opportunities for engagement without screaming the company name. Users who want to know more can simply leave a comment or send Andrea a message.

2. Share educational content.

Another key aspect of Andrea’s post is that it provides education to the reader. In a survey of more than 1,000 American adults, 25% said they had no one to turn to for financial advice. When a financial services company and its employees share relevant education resources, they establish themselves as go-to sources for guidance —establishing their expertise and building trust through social media at the same time.

Commerce Bank exemplified this well in their post during graduation season by sharing an article about financial tips for new graduates. The bank saw an educational opportunity for a specific audience and addressed it with a helpful, relevant resource.

3. Include links in promotional posts.

Some posts will be inherently promotional, even when you are providing educational content. The key is to ensure there is still value for readers, and an excellent way to do that is with strategic linking. Include links in your social posts that lead readers back to places on your website where they can get more of the information they need.

Look at how AnnieMac Home Mortgage shared a link to a construction loan guide on its Facebook Page. The post explains a bit of the value of construction loans in one sentence, then includes a call to action for the reader to follow the link to read more. The link goes to a helpful guidebook on construction home loans. 

When considering your linking strategy, landing pages are also an excellent move. These pages house valuable resources, such as the construction loan guidebook, behind an information request form. Visitors submit their name and email address to receive the download, and you get their contact information right in your hands. Then, you can engage in targeted outreach to prospects you know are already interested in the service.

A solid social media strategy for financial services balances promotion with value. Put the human element front and center, focus on educating your followers, and develop a strategic linking strategy to limit self-promotion and prioritize the needs of your audience. For more information on how to shift your focus on social media, download the Denim 2020 Benchmark report.

When it comes to connecting with consumers all over the world, where should you turn? Social media. Denim Social CEO, Doug Wilber, joins Sue Woodard on the Fresh Takes by Total Expert podcast to shine a light on the power of social media and utilizing it to nurture customer relationships. Doug answers the million-dollar question, “How does your brand connect with consumers on social media?”

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GUIDES

4 ways to reach a larger social media audience

Gone are the days of sharing helpful, compliant content organically from your bank’s social media profile and seeing significant reach and engagement.

Social media platforms today frequently update their algorithms to make branded content less visible. In January, for example, Facebook announced algorithmic changes to filter every post through integrity filters, a multifaceted scoring system and even a contextual pass.

You might be wondering whether social media is even worth the try anymore in the broader scope of marketing efforts. The answer is a resounding yes. Your prospects and customers are still on social media, perhaps more than ever before. For example, 86 percent of Baby Boomers use social media daily. That’s only 3 percentage points less than Gen Z. With physical banking on a downward trend, banks have to meet people where they are if they want to continue making connections and building relationships.

The following steps can help financial services provider skirt tricky algorithms to get in front of the right audiences:

Don’t avoid organic altogether: Organic social media is still an important jumping-off point, and a key asset to help your brand cut through is your employees. Research from LinkedIn shows that employees have 10 times the following on LinkedIn compared to their employers and that employee posts on LinkedIn create twice the engagement. When employees share with and engage customers and prospects from individual accounts, they humanize the brand beyond brand profiles alone — in the eyes of audiences and algorithms.

Social media algorithms favor people and person-to-person conversation. Because more engagement means greater algorithmic scoring, you can bet that the more people who engage with an employee post, the more social media users will see that post in their feeds.

Pay to play: Of course, one of the biggest advantages of organic social media is that it’s free — but paid advertising doesn’t take a huge investment, either, and the returns can be well worth the initial spend and effort. Consider, for instance, pulling back your marketing budget from traditional out-of-home advertising tactics that have lost their impact as people stay home and reallocating the spend toward paid social efforts.

Paid ads actually help you optimize your advertising budget more than organic alone because you can target them. You can build a targeting strategy based on your ideal persona’s demographics, activities, interests, etc. — which means you can make better-informed decisions about what content to share with whom. Audiences will appreciate the posts’ relevance, and bank associates will appreciate knowing that social media outreach efforts aren’t wasted on the wrong audience.

Provide value with content: While great content isn’t the only thing you need for success today, it is still a crucial factor because it serves as a helpful resource for audiences. Think beyond promotion when creating and distributing ad content. Consider how to create real value.

Content should both highlight your expertise and help educate readers. Guidebooks, blog posts and videos are among many valuable content tools. And you don’t have to limit a post to include only one of them. Instead, link to a landing page on your website from a social media ad. Viewers will go to the page that houses all the relevant, valuable content they want.

What’s more, if you include form fields requesting visitor information in return for downloading some of that content, you’ll get valuable consumer data in your hands that can help you drive more conversions.

Think strategically about retargeting:  To further optimize your approach for even greater ROI, consider retargeted advertising. This means serving social media advertisements to people you know already engage with your website, social media pages or content.

Don’t just retarget campaigns to every person who has ever shown interest in your brand, however. This approach is likely too broad to create much impact, especially when customers today are all about personalization. Instead, divide your audience into segments and create specific campaigns for each.

For example, people who visited your blog might be more receptive to more educational content, while those who visited your contact page might be closer to conversion and ready to hop into a conversation with your sales team. Even in retargeting, precision is the name of the game.

The bottom line is: If your bank’s social media strategy is only organic, you won’t see enough ROI to justify your time and effort. But if you level up with employees, paid advertising and valuable content, you can optimize your efforts beyond what even the best organic strategy would allow to overcome algorithmic roadblocks and get in front of exactly the right people.

This article was originally published on BAI.org.

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ALL GUIDES:

Find out how more than 400 financial institutions across asset classes, geographies, and more used social media in 2020 to effectively support their business objectives. We’ve also outlined key trends to inform your social media future.

As mortgage demand surges to historic highs, home purchase and refinance markets remain hot. This is excellent news for loan officers, but it also means the environment is more competitive than ever.

So how can marketers ensure that their loan officers stand out? The answer is social media.

Read this guidebook from Denim Social to learn how you can help your loan officers build strong relationships, stand out from the crowd and win more business using social media.

Download this guidebook to learn how 3 mortgage lenders are using social media to:

  • Position themselves in a place the community is already looking ... their social media
  • Empower loan officers to engage in local conversations
  • Turn their institution's loan officers into the voice of their brand
  • Build trust within the community

Every Mortgage Marketer Should Ask Themselves

Compliance is complicated, but don’t let it stop your lending team from making the most of social media. Think you’re ready to start social selling? Ask yourself these five questions!

Download this guidebook to learn how marketers are using social media to:

  • Drive business with the lowest digital spend compared to traditional media
  • Position employees as thought-leaders while leveraging their collective reach of their social media presence
  • Ultimately, build trust with their communities and customers that translates to positive business results

Download this guidebook to learn how marketers are using social media to:

  • Drive business with the lowest digital spend compared to traditional media
  • Position employees as thought-leaders while leveraging their collective reach of their social media presence
  • Ultimately, build trust with their communities and customers that translates to positive business results

Read this guide if you’re asking yourself:

  • Is my social media policy current and comprehensive?
  • How do I ensure social media compliance during M&A?
  • What do I need to consider for direct messaging compliance?

In this guide we will help you think about your all important social media policy and thoughtfully consider how changes in social media tech and even your bank’s structure may impact compliance.

How 6 Financial Marketers Are Creating Value in Social Media

Ever wonder what everyone else is doing in social media? We talked to six leading financial marketers about how they’re succeeding today and planning for the next big thing.

Get their insights on strengthening your social strategies, unlocking the power of employee networks and creating next-level content that drives engagement.

Which roles do you fill when building your bank's marketing dream team? This guide will show you the following:

  • Who does what
  • The right structure to execute strategy
  • How compliance software can help

Enjoy!

ABA Study: The Current State of Social Media

See what nearly 430 bank marketers had to say when asked questions such as:

  • Is it important to equip your sales personnel with social media accounts?
  • Does your bank measure the impact of your social media use?
  • Download this guidebook to learn how marketers are using social media to:

    • Drive business with the lowest digital spend compared to traditional media
    • Position employees as thought-leaders while leveraging their collective reach of their social media presence
    • Ultimately, build trust with their communities and customers that translates to positive business results

    Every Financial Services Marketer Should Ask Themselves

    Compliance is complicated, but don’t let it stop your lending team from making the most of social media. Think you’re ready to start social selling? Ask yourself these five questions!

    Stronger Customer Relationships on Instagram

    Financial Services companies should be marketing and advertising on Instagram. We break down why, and help you create a strategy to reach new customers- while continuing to build trust in your brand.

    COVID-19 & Bank Social Media

    Times are different and how you connect with customers and potential customers has changed drastically. In a socially distant world, learn to still build lasting relationships.

    Download and learn the guiding principles for using social media to serve both your customers and communities in the midst of a pandemic.

    GUIDES

    4 ways to reach a larger social media audience

    Gone are the days of sharing helpful, compliant content organically from your bank’s social media profile and seeing significant reach and engagement.

    Social media platforms today frequently update their algorithms to make branded content less visible. In January, for example, Facebook announced algorithmic changes to filter every post through integrity filters, a multifaceted scoring system and even a contextual pass.

    You might be wondering whether social media is even worth the try anymore in the broader scope of marketing efforts. The answer is a resounding yes. Your prospects and customers are still on social media, perhaps more than ever before. For example, 86 percent of Baby Boomers use social media daily. That’s only 3 percentage points less than Gen Z. With physical banking on a downward trend, banks have to meet people where they are if they want to continue making connections and building relationships.

    The following steps can help financial services provider skirt tricky algorithms to get in front of the right audiences:

    Don’t avoid organic altogether: Organic social media is still an important jumping-off point, and a key asset to help your brand cut through is your employees. Research from LinkedIn shows that employees have 10 times the following on LinkedIn compared to their employers and that employee posts on LinkedIn create twice the engagement. When employees share with and engage customers and prospects from individual accounts, they humanize the brand beyond brand profiles alone — in the eyes of audiences and algorithms.

    Social media algorithms favor people and person-to-person conversation. Because more engagement means greater algorithmic scoring, you can bet that the more people who engage with an employee post, the more social media users will see that post in their feeds.

    Pay to play: Of course, one of the biggest advantages of organic social media is that it’s free — but paid advertising doesn’t take a huge investment, either, and the returns can be well worth the initial spend and effort. Consider, for instance, pulling back your marketing budget from traditional out-of-home advertising tactics that have lost their impact as people stay home and reallocating the spend toward paid social efforts.

    Paid ads actually help you optimize your advertising budget more than organic alone because you can target them. You can build a targeting strategy based on your ideal persona’s demographics, activities, interests, etc. — which means you can make better-informed decisions about what content to share with whom. Audiences will appreciate the posts’ relevance, and bank associates will appreciate knowing that social media outreach efforts aren’t wasted on the wrong audience.

    Provide value with content: While great content isn’t the only thing you need for success today, it is still a crucial factor because it serves as a helpful resource for audiences. Think beyond promotion when creating and distributing ad content. Consider how to create real value.

    Content should both highlight your expertise and help educate readers. Guidebooks, blog posts and videos are among many valuable content tools. And you don’t have to limit a post to include only one of them. Instead, link to a landing page on your website from a social media ad. Viewers will go to the page that houses all the relevant, valuable content they want.

    What’s more, if you include form fields requesting visitor information in return for downloading some of that content, you’ll get valuable consumer data in your hands that can help you drive more conversions.

    Think strategically about retargeting:  To further optimize your approach for even greater ROI, consider retargeted advertising. This means serving social media advertisements to people you know already engage with your website, social media pages or content.

    Don’t just retarget campaigns to every person who has ever shown interest in your brand, however. This approach is likely too broad to create much impact, especially when customers today are all about personalization. Instead, divide your audience into segments and create specific campaigns for each.

    For example, people who visited your blog might be more receptive to more educational content, while those who visited your contact page might be closer to conversion and ready to hop into a conversation with your sales team. Even in retargeting, precision is the name of the game.

    The bottom line is: If your bank’s social media strategy is only organic, you won’t see enough ROI to justify your time and effort. But if you level up with employees, paid advertising and valuable content, you can optimize your efforts beyond what even the best organic strategy would allow to overcome algorithmic roadblocks and get in front of exactly the right people.

    This article was originally published on BAI.org.

    Download the Guide

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    ALL GUIDES:

    Find out how more than 400 financial institutions across asset classes, geographies, and more used social media in 2020 to effectively support their business objectives. We’ve also outlined key trends to inform your social media future.

    As mortgage demand surges to historic highs, home purchase and refinance markets remain hot. This is excellent news for loan officers, but it also means the environment is more competitive than ever.

    So how can marketers ensure that their loan officers stand out? The answer is social media.

    Read this guidebook from Denim Social to learn how you can help your loan officers build strong relationships, stand out from the crowd and win more business using social media.

    Download this guidebook to learn how 3 mortgage lenders are using social media to:

    • Position themselves in a place the community is already looking ... their social media
    • Empower loan officers to engage in local conversations
    • Turn their institution's loan officers into the voice of their brand
    • Build trust within the community

    Every Mortgage Marketer Should Ask Themselves

    Compliance is complicated, but don’t let it stop your lending team from making the most of social media. Think you’re ready to start social selling? Ask yourself these five questions!

    Download this guidebook to learn how marketers are using social media to:

    • Drive business with the lowest digital spend compared to traditional media
    • Position employees as thought-leaders while leveraging their collective reach of their social media presence
    • Ultimately, build trust with their communities and customers that translates to positive business results

    Download this guidebook to learn how marketers are using social media to:

    • Drive business with the lowest digital spend compared to traditional media
    • Position employees as thought-leaders while leveraging their collective reach of their social media presence
    • Ultimately, build trust with their communities and customers that translates to positive business results

    Read this guide if you’re asking yourself:

    • Is my social media policy current and comprehensive?
    • How do I ensure social media compliance during M&A?
    • What do I need to consider for direct messaging compliance?

    In this guide we will help you think about your all important social media policy and thoughtfully consider how changes in social media tech and even your bank’s structure may impact compliance.

    How 6 Financial Marketers Are Creating Value in Social Media

    Ever wonder what everyone else is doing in social media? We talked to six leading financial marketers about how they’re succeeding today and planning for the next big thing.

    Get their insights on strengthening your social strategies, unlocking the power of employee networks and creating next-level content that drives engagement.

    Which roles do you fill when building your bank's marketing dream team? This guide will show you the following:

    • Who does what
    • The right structure to execute strategy
    • How compliance software can help

    Enjoy!

    ABA Study: The Current State of Social Media

    See what nearly 430 bank marketers had to say when asked questions such as:

  • Is it important to equip your sales personnel with social media accounts?
  • Does your bank measure the impact of your social media use?
  • Download this guidebook to learn how marketers are using social media to:

    • Drive business with the lowest digital spend compared to traditional media
    • Position employees as thought-leaders while leveraging their collective reach of their social media presence
    • Ultimately, build trust with their communities and customers that translates to positive business results

    Every Financial Services Marketer Should Ask Themselves

    Compliance is complicated, but don’t let it stop your lending team from making the most of social media. Think you’re ready to start social selling? Ask yourself these five questions!

    Stronger Customer Relationships on Instagram

    Financial Services companies should be marketing and advertising on Instagram. We break down why, and help you create a strategy to reach new customers- while continuing to build trust in your brand.

    COVID-19 & Bank Social Media

    Times are different and how you connect with customers and potential customers has changed drastically. In a socially distant world, learn to still build lasting relationships.

    Download and learn the guiding principles for using social media to serve both your customers and communities in the midst of a pandemic.

    RESOURCES

    NEWS
    July 1, 2021

    4 ways to reach a larger social media audience

    Gone are the days of sharing helpful, compliant content organically from your bank’s social media profile and seeing significant reach and engagement.

    Social media platforms today frequently update their algorithms to make branded content less visible. In January, for example, Facebook announced algorithmic changes to filter every post through integrity filters, a multifaceted scoring system and even a contextual pass.

    You might be wondering whether social media is even worth the try anymore in the broader scope of marketing efforts. The answer is a resounding yes. Your prospects and customers are still on social media, perhaps more than ever before. For example, 86 percent of Baby Boomers use social media daily. That’s only 3 percentage points less than Gen Z. With physical banking on a downward trend, banks have to meet people where they are if they want to continue making connections and building relationships.

    The following steps can help financial services provider skirt tricky algorithms to get in front of the right audiences:

    Don’t avoid organic altogether: Organic social media is still an important jumping-off point, and a key asset to help your brand cut through is your employees. Research from LinkedIn shows that employees have 10 times the following on LinkedIn compared to their employers and that employee posts on LinkedIn create twice the engagement. When employees share with and engage customers and prospects from individual accounts, they humanize the brand beyond brand profiles alone — in the eyes of audiences and algorithms.

    Social media algorithms favor people and person-to-person conversation. Because more engagement means greater algorithmic scoring, you can bet that the more people who engage with an employee post, the more social media users will see that post in their feeds.

    Pay to play: Of course, one of the biggest advantages of organic social media is that it’s free — but paid advertising doesn’t take a huge investment, either, and the returns can be well worth the initial spend and effort. Consider, for instance, pulling back your marketing budget from traditional out-of-home advertising tactics that have lost their impact as people stay home and reallocating the spend toward paid social efforts.

    Paid ads actually help you optimize your advertising budget more than organic alone because you can target them. You can build a targeting strategy based on your ideal persona’s demographics, activities, interests, etc. — which means you can make better-informed decisions about what content to share with whom. Audiences will appreciate the posts’ relevance, and bank associates will appreciate knowing that social media outreach efforts aren’t wasted on the wrong audience.

    Provide value with content: While great content isn’t the only thing you need for success today, it is still a crucial factor because it serves as a helpful resource for audiences. Think beyond promotion when creating and distributing ad content. Consider how to create real value.

    Content should both highlight your expertise and help educate readers. Guidebooks, blog posts and videos are among many valuable content tools. And you don’t have to limit a post to include only one of them. Instead, link to a landing page on your website from a social media ad. Viewers will go to the page that houses all the relevant, valuable content they want.

    What’s more, if you include form fields requesting visitor information in return for downloading some of that content, you’ll get valuable consumer data in your hands that can help you drive more conversions.

    Think strategically about retargeting:  To further optimize your approach for even greater ROI, consider retargeted advertising. This means serving social media advertisements to people you know already engage with your website, social media pages or content.

    Don’t just retarget campaigns to every person who has ever shown interest in your brand, however. This approach is likely too broad to create much impact, especially when customers today are all about personalization. Instead, divide your audience into segments and create specific campaigns for each.

    For example, people who visited your blog might be more receptive to more educational content, while those who visited your contact page might be closer to conversion and ready to hop into a conversation with your sales team. Even in retargeting, precision is the name of the game.

    The bottom line is: If your bank’s social media strategy is only organic, you won’t see enough ROI to justify your time and effort. But if you level up with employees, paid advertising and valuable content, you can optimize your efforts beyond what even the best organic strategy would allow to overcome algorithmic roadblocks and get in front of exactly the right people.

    This article was originally published on BAI.org.

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    OTHER NEWS:

    Retail banks in the U.S. are facing a major customer attrition challenges. According to a recent Bain report, customers make as many as 55 percent of financial-related purchases from their primary bank’s competitors. While primary banks may be able to retain customers’ savings and checking accounts, the report suggests that they’re likely losing out on lucrative sales when it comes to loans, credit cards and investments.

    Considering that almost one-third of those who defected from their primary bank did so in response to a direct offer from a competitor, wise marketers will up their customer engagement and outreach efforts to retain more customers. Affordability of products is the top reason for customer defection, which marketers may not have much say in, but it isn’t the only contributing factor. Digitization has also been a major catalyst. Namely, the strong digital products and experiences that some banks offer—and others do not.

    Bank marketers who can jump onboard the digitization train to meet customers where they are with engaging, valuable messaging will be much more likely to keep customers coming back again and again for each of their financial needs. The following strategies can help:

    1. Put the human element front and center

    Traditional banks have an innate advantage over digital direct banks: The human touch. Leveraging this benefit, especially when it comes to increasingly digital customer interactions, can lead to measurable improvements in customer retention.

    One way to ensure the human touch remains part of every customer touchpoint is to focus on personalization. A February Insurance Thought Leadership piece revealed that 72 percent of people ignore marketing that’s not highly personalized. So targeting relevant content to the right recipients is essential, especially when digitization can easily strip the human element out of an interaction. Personalizing messaging and services to be relevant and valuable to the specific needs of each customer can bring the human element into focus even in a digital world.

    One way to create more relevant, personalized outreach is to practice social selling, or leveraging a bank’s employees on social media. People can relate more to other people than they can to big brand names. When your employees are the ones getting in front of customers virtually, it humanizes the digital customer experience and sets the stage for trusting and loyal relationships to come. What’s more, employees also tend to have further reach and engagement on brand-related social posts than brand pages alone, so they can expand the impact of your messaging exponentially.

    2. Create digital pathways to human interactions

    When considering how to anchor all digital marketing for financial services around the human element, keep in mind that every pathway should connect prospects and customers directly to a human.

    For example, a social media post from an employee could include a link to a landing page on your website where visitors can learn more valuable information on the topic of the post. On that landing page, you can include valuable content, such as a guidebook, behind an information request form. When users submit their names and email addresses, they will receive the content and your sales team members can reach out to them directly with a human-centric, personalized outreach approach.

    When prospects and customers know they’re just an email or phone call away from a real person at your organization, they’re likely to turn to you instead of an impersonal digital direct bank for their next financial need.

    3. Focus on customer retention just as much as acquisition

    Bringing in new prospects gets a lot of attention from financial services marketers, sometimes at the expense of retaining current ones. But focusing on customer retention and continuously improving the digital customer experience will help secure more revenue when it comes to additional services such as loans and credit cards.

    Listen to the needs of customers and keep refining your personalization tactics to meet their needs. Every time you get in front of a current customer with relevant, valuable messaging or content, you help build trust in that relationship and increase the chances of that customer coming to you for whatever service they need next.

    It’s true that people will always be drawn to brands that offer more affordable products and services. But money isn’t the only reason people look outside of their primary bank to fulfill their financial needs. Banks that differentiate by focusing on digitization alongside the human element will find that it’s easier to keep current customers from looking for greener pastures.

    This was originally published on ABA Bank Marketing.

    As the fintech industry has grown in recent years, more and more banks have partnered with these companies to enhance the digital customer experience. Fintech firms have the digital expertise banks need, but these nascent partnerships will require more thoughtful strategizing to deliver effective solutions.

    So far, only 6 percent of banks reported seeing more than 5 percent improvement in reducing customer churn with their fintech partnerships, according to a 2021 Cornerstone Advisors report. And nearly 40 percent said they’ve seen no changes at all. This is likely not for lack of trying or skill from either side. Fintech companies can still bring great value to the table, so the answer isn’t for banks to eschew formal partnerships for good. Instead, banks just need to align with fintech partners on driving specific value.

    Banks eager to improve their relationships with fintech partners and realize the full potential of bank and fintech collaboration can start by taking a few structured measures.

    1. Be transparent about your problems.

    First and foremost, banks must seek out fintech partnerships to solve specific problems. Without the core alignment around what a bank needs from a fintech partner, goals can be vague and impossible to reach. The more open banks are about the challenges they’re looking to solve, the more their fintech partners can understand how to deliver a solution. Perform an assessment of your current state of operations to identify specific challenges and the gaps in the way of overcoming them. Then, find a fintech company ready to fill that gap.

    One example of excellent alignment in a bank and fintech collaboration is Bank of America and Zelle. Bank of America realized that it needed to focus on its digital payment capabilities as customers were using less cash. With that goal out in the open, it was able to partner with a fintech company that could offer a specific solution to make peer-to-peer transactions easy for customers to do in a mobile app. In the first quarter of 2020, Zelle powered more than 102 million transactions totaling $27 billion for Bank of America customers.

    2. Get an internal fintech advocate on board.

    Having the right person in the C-suite leading the way in a fintech partnership can make a big difference for a bank. Assign a fintech advocate to devote the attention and resources necessary to help the partnership deliver on expectations. Ideally, a dedicated fintech representative in the bank can serve to educate the fintech provider about the needs of the bank and learn the ins and outs of the fintech solution to relay to the rest of the internal team. Each give-and-take discussion will foster greater alignment and keep the relationship on track. The ultimate objective is to merge the bank and the fintech partner’s goals so that everyone is working toward the same end.

    3. Put a premium on the customer experience.

    Creating a strong digital customer experience isn’t a one-and-done investment. It involves continuously listening in to how customers behave online over time and adapting your digital strategies on an ongoing basis in response. It’s a long-game investment of time and resources, but it’s worth the effort: Accenture research suggests that nearly half of the banking public would stay loyal to a bank that offered a stellar customer experience. And considering that the 2019 FIS Performance Against Customer Expectations report noted 35 percent of people want to replace their plastic banking cards with digital apps, that experience will be largely digital now and into the future. Leverage fintech partners to improve the digital environment by personalizing experiences based on customer needs as they change over time.

    4. Keep tabs on the employee experience, too.

    Getting employees on board with your fintech partnership from the beginning will be essential in helping the solution reach its fullest potential. Digitization can be a scary word for traditional bankers who fear job loss to automation and other emerging technologies. This is where a fintech partner can step in to design robust workshops and other educational sessions to show employees how fintech can help them do their jobs more efficiently and provide greater value to customers. The more your employees get onboard for digital transformation, the more innovative thinking and growth you’ll see into the future.

    The rise of fintech isn’t slowing down. But banks can leverage the digital expertise of this sector to provide more value to customers. Align objectives, get the buy-in of internal stakeholders and keep a sharp focus on bettering the digital customer experience. And you’ll see your bank and fintech partnership fuel exceptional, tangible results.

    This article was originally published in ABA Bank Marketing.

    The concept of “infrastructure” goes beyond its hotly debated political meanings. It applies to organizations as much as municipal structures and facilities. In fact, it’s a quite relevant subject for financial marketers to consider.

    That’s because the basic organizational structures needed to keep a financial institution competitive are rapidly transitioning from physical to digital. It’s a change accelerated by the pandemic, as has been well documented.

    What this means for financial marketers is that digital infrastructure demands more attention — and investment, and Marketing plays an essential role in this. If your customers are in the virtual world, you need the right tools and strategies to reach them there.

    Building Digital Marketing Infrastructure

    If your institution’s marketing efforts are pieced together with standalone technologies, you’re likely to need an upgrade. Marketers need to build strategies and digital business infrastructures that can speak to one another. Otherwise, digital marketing for financial institutions can become overly cumbersome and negatively impact both brand reach and interactions with the target audience.

    Look for technology solutions that integrate across social media management software, marketing automation tools, CRM, and even reviews and reputation management platforms. This will lead to systems that can help map and meet the needs of prospects across all stages of the customer acquisition journey — rather than simply buying tools for various purposes or touchpoints.

    Different World:
    Digital technology has made it much simpler to switch financial institutions than in the past. The barriers are almost nonexistent.

    Digital marketing in financial services is an essential element of digital business infrastructure. If your organization doesn’t reach consumers virtually and provide a strong digital customer experience, consumers are likely to turn to a provider that will. To ensure your organization has the digital infrastructure capable of building customer relationships and growing revenue, focus on the three investments in particular.

    Social Selling Strategy

    Most bank marketers recognize that an active social media presence is no longer optional, but posting from brand pages alone won’t entice many consumers to engage. With 69% of consumers today actively avoiding advertisements, according to Edelman, brands must rethink social media messaging with the human element in mind.

    A social selling strategy, when branded messaging comes from an organization’s individual employees, is the most effective form of social media marketing because people relate to other people more than to big brand names.

    Individual employees posting brand-related content on their own pages, however, can increase the risk of compliance missteps without the proper tools. Social media management software that allows marketers to have a holistic view of employee activity on social media can safeguard your brand reputation.

    Such tools can house digital libraries of preapproved content so employees can share ready-to-go posts with ease. Software can also automate the approvals process on new employee posts to ensure that no content ever goes live without proper review.

    Landing Page Builder

    Think of landing pages as your website’s personalized welcome mats. Rather than landing on the homepage and having to stumble around looking for the information they need (and people have little patience for this), prospects and customers can land right where the information is. For example, if a social media post or digital ad offers tips for first-time mortgage seekers, the message can include a link to a landing page on your website that houses more information about mortgages.

    You can gate guidebooks and other downloadable resources behind an information capture form on the landing page, prompting consumers to insert their name and email to receive the download. Considering that more than three-quarters of consumers are willing to provide their personal information in return for more personalized services, according to Accenture, landing pages are an excellent tool to provide relevant, valuable content to consumers while capturing data that can help you target outreach efforts to those who are most likely to convert.

    Few institutions have the resources available to create landing pages for each promotion, however. And most financial services marketers don’t have the coding or website design expertise to build whole web pages from scratch. That’s where “landing page builders” come in. Such platforms provide prebuilt, customizable templates that allow marketers to quickly and easily build landing pages at scale to capture valuable data while providing customers with more value.

    Onboarding Engagement Platform

    So you’ve created a suite of digital customer experiences and infrastructures to serve customers and capture prospects in a virtual world. Your tools offer remote deposit capture, peer-to-peer payments, rewards programs, financial education, and more. But what if people don’t use them?

    Sometimes, simply putting the options in front of them isn’t enough. Digital banking, though on the rise for some time, can still be a new concept for many. Even if someone is a regular user of mobile check capture, they may not grasp the concept of a digital wallet.

    You need to engage customers in an educational way to help them see the value in these tools and understand how to make the most of digital experiences. Onboarding engagement platforms can help your customers adapt to new products and allow you to get more from your digital investments.

    When someone opens a new account at your institution, for example, an onboarding engagement platform can walk them through the mobile app the first time they sign on, showing them where and how to deposit checks, transfer funds, redeem rewards, contact customer service, and more. Doing this strengthens the digital customer experience and builds trust along the way.

    This article was originally posted on The Financial Brand.

    Insurance companies have long viewed social media efforts in a brand marketing light, leveraging social media for creative messaging and building corporate recognition. This is still a worthwhile endeavor, but it’s time for insurance marketers to add another level to their social media strategies: performance marketing.

    Performance marketing focuses on social media as a conversion tool, driving lead generation and sales rather than vanity metrics alone. Instead of tracking a post’s comments or reach, marketers can track how many readers click through to customized landing pages, for instance.

    This switch can be challenging for stakeholders to understand and accept at first. Larger organizations may have separate marketing teams for different product lines supporting the overall brand.Within those teams, employees may have separate roles for organic and paid social media. For a successful performance marketing strategy, all teams need to share a vision and commitment to driving conversions through social media.Not every post has to convert readers into leads, but it should be part of the journey to getting them there.

    If you’re at the beginning of this cultural shift toward thinking about social media from a more performance-driven angle that puts conversion metrics front and center, try these techniques to move the conversation in the right direction:

    1. Prioritize internal team education.
    Digital marketing is constantly changing — and changing fast. Marketing leaders must give teams the opportunity, time, and space to learn about the latest trends, tools, and social media marketing strategies. The more extensive their knowledge, the more comfortable they’ll be applying out-of-the-box thinking to social media in general.

    One excellent resource is Facebook Blueprint, which offers free classes and certifications around marketing on Facebook. Be sure to complement dedicated social media training with analytics training to ensure that everyone knows how to measure the success of social media efforts. Google Analytics Academy is an excellent resource for getting a grip on basic analytics and then diving into more advanced learnings from there. These courses help everyone get on the same page and more fully understand the breadth of possibilities available onFacebook and other social media platforms. 

    2. Emphasize that everyone has a role to play.

    Regardless of title or job description, everyone in your organization should work toward the same sales goals and understand that both brand marketing and performance marketing are needed to achieve those objectives.

    Marketers should coordinate with all departments to ensure that everyone understands their roles and responsibilities when it comes to both building the brand and converting sales. When creating social media marketing campaigns, marketers should also seek out insights from the specific departments to which campaigns will be driving traffic in order to determine the right content, messaging, and metrics for each campaign.

    What’s more, agents who are also sharing branded content on social media should understand how their efforts intertwine with other content to lead users down the sales funnel and closer to conversions. By including all stakeholders in the performance marketing strategy, marketers can help everyone view themselves as extensions of the sales team and increase the focus on driving conversions.

    3. Combine social branding with tactical messaging.

    Every social media marketing campaign should be cohesive, featuring consistent themes, verbiage, and images. Plus, all the promises made in branding copy should be highlighted in more tactical performance marketing content. In essence, the brand messaging sets the tone, and the performance messaging closes the deal by delivering on the promises.

    How does this work? Let’s say your insurance company has launched a social media branding campaign highlighting how easy it is to work with your business instead of with your competitors. The performance marketing aspect of the campaign includes a white paper that outlines your specific value propositions and client testimonials to back them up. You link to the whitepaper landing page from the social media branding campaign posts, viewers input their contact information into a form on the landing page to download the whitepaper, and your sales team gets direct access to primed leads. Brand and performance marketing work together to drive sales.

    Social media is harder than it was only a decade ago. Platforms have changed their algorithms to make organic content less visible, and social media marketing strategies that rely only on brand messaging and vanity metrics alone won’t cut through the noise. Instead, financial marketers need to use performance marketing efforts that offer real, tangible value to drive sales.

    This was originally published in PropertyCasualty 360.

    As mortgage demand soars to historic heights, it's good news for loan officers, but it also means the environment is more competitive than ever. Denim Social's CEO, Doug Wilber, joins the American Bankers Association to talk about how banks can use social media support loan officer success and close more deals.

    When it comes to connecting with consumers all over the world, where should you turn? Social media. Denim Social CEO, Doug Wilber, joins Sue Woodard on the Fresh Takes by Total Expert podcast to shine a light on the power of social media and utilizing it to nurture customer relationships. Doug answers the million-dollar question, “How does your brand connect with consumers on social media?”

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    July 1, 2021

    4 ways to reach a larger social media audience

    Gone are the days of sharing helpful, compliant content organically from your bank’s social media profile and seeing significant reach and engagement.

    Social media platforms today frequently update their algorithms to make branded content less visible. In January, for example, Facebook announced algorithmic changes to filter every post through integrity filters, a multifaceted scoring system and even a contextual pass.

    You might be wondering whether social media is even worth the try anymore in the broader scope of marketing efforts. The answer is a resounding yes. Your prospects and customers are still on social media, perhaps more than ever before. For example, 86 percent of Baby Boomers use social media daily. That’s only 3 percentage points less than Gen Z. With physical banking on a downward trend, banks have to meet people where they are if they want to continue making connections and building relationships.

    The following steps can help financial services provider skirt tricky algorithms to get in front of the right audiences:

    Don’t avoid organic altogether: Organic social media is still an important jumping-off point, and a key asset to help your brand cut through is your employees. Research from LinkedIn shows that employees have 10 times the following on LinkedIn compared to their employers and that employee posts on LinkedIn create twice the engagement. When employees share with and engage customers and prospects from individual accounts, they humanize the brand beyond brand profiles alone — in the eyes of audiences and algorithms.

    Social media algorithms favor people and person-to-person conversation. Because more engagement means greater algorithmic scoring, you can bet that the more people who engage with an employee post, the more social media users will see that post in their feeds.

    Pay to play: Of course, one of the biggest advantages of organic social media is that it’s free — but paid advertising doesn’t take a huge investment, either, and the returns can be well worth the initial spend and effort. Consider, for instance, pulling back your marketing budget from traditional out-of-home advertising tactics that have lost their impact as people stay home and reallocating the spend toward paid social efforts.

    Paid ads actually help you optimize your advertising budget more than organic alone because you can target them. You can build a targeting strategy based on your ideal persona’s demographics, activities, interests, etc. — which means you can make better-informed decisions about what content to share with whom. Audiences will appreciate the posts’ relevance, and bank associates will appreciate knowing that social media outreach efforts aren’t wasted on the wrong audience.

    Provide value with content: While great content isn’t the only thing you need for success today, it is still a crucial factor because it serves as a helpful resource for audiences. Think beyond promotion when creating and distributing ad content. Consider how to create real value.

    Content should both highlight your expertise and help educate readers. Guidebooks, blog posts and videos are among many valuable content tools. And you don’t have to limit a post to include only one of them. Instead, link to a landing page on your website from a social media ad. Viewers will go to the page that houses all the relevant, valuable content they want.

    What’s more, if you include form fields requesting visitor information in return for downloading some of that content, you’ll get valuable consumer data in your hands that can help you drive more conversions.

    Think strategically about retargeting:  To further optimize your approach for even greater ROI, consider retargeted advertising. This means serving social media advertisements to people you know already engage with your website, social media pages or content.

    Don’t just retarget campaigns to every person who has ever shown interest in your brand, however. This approach is likely too broad to create much impact, especially when customers today are all about personalization. Instead, divide your audience into segments and create specific campaigns for each.

    For example, people who visited your blog might be more receptive to more educational content, while those who visited your contact page might be closer to conversion and ready to hop into a conversation with your sales team. Even in retargeting, precision is the name of the game.

    The bottom line is: If your bank’s social media strategy is only organic, you won’t see enough ROI to justify your time and effort. But if you level up with employees, paid advertising and valuable content, you can optimize your efforts beyond what even the best organic strategy would allow to overcome algorithmic roadblocks and get in front of exactly the right people.

    This article was originally published on BAI.org.

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    In an environment that is increasingly digital, home lending is a golden opportunity to build customer relationships that span decades. Maintaining human connection doesn’t require lenders to turn their backs on tech; in fact, the right tech can help deliver a more personalized experience for borrowers. In this webinar with Sales Boomerang, we talk with industry leaders about humanizing the mortgage customer experience by using technology to curate content and create opportunities that are highly valuable, relevant, and timely.



    How Denim Social Works With Agency Partners to Create Consistent,Compliant Digital Marketing for Financial Services

    Many financial institutions partner with outside agencies to create digital marketing experiences. They hire agencies to do what they do best: build connections to customers in creative ways. Even with this support, however, financial services marketers still have to ensure every piece of digital marketing stays compliant and distribute those pieces to their brand, branch, and employee feeds.

    That’s where Denim Social fits into the picture — not as a replacement for agencies you’re already working with, but as a tool to boost their efforts. Financial institutions can turn to Denim Social to work with agency partners to activate more effective, efficient, and compliant social media marketing strategies. When agencies can rely on our compliance and management platform to cover the logistics behind social media marketing, they can focus all of their energy on crafting impactful campaigns. And financial institutions can get more out of their marketing dollars.

    Here’s how we can work with agency partners to support financial institutions’ social media strategies and digital marketing efforts:

    1. Curated Content for Social Media

    So you’ve hired an agency to craft your social media marketing strategy and write attention-grabbing, interest-piquing posts. But not all of your social media posts should be new content. Your brand and employees should also share relevant news or helpful guides from other reliable sources.

    You don’t need to task your agency partners with curating existing material Denim Social can free up their time to focus on creating new campaigns with our curated content support.​ Our integration with content curation industry leader UpContent brings relevant, curated articles directly to the Denim Social platform, so marketers or agencies don’t have to be responsible for sourcing every post. That means a lot, especially for financial institutions running social selling campaigns where hundreds or even thousands of employees post brand-related content.

    2. Social Media Compliance Tools

    The last thing any digital marketing agency wants is to create content that will land your brand in regulatory trouble. But financial institution marketers understand that even one noncompliant post could be a big problem. Denim Social can serve as the compliance checkpoint between the content an agency creates and the public, ensuring no posts go live that shouldn’t.

    Our platform offers keyword and phrase filtering to bring any creative copy with potentially noncompliant messaging to your attention — before it goes live. What’s more, automated approval workflows can streamline agencies’ communication with financial institution marketers, compliance teams, and other stakeholders to get the proper sign-off on every post with ease. Marketers also know they must record every social post and interaction in case they get audited by regulatory agencies, but agency partners shouldn’t have to focus their efforts on administrative tasks and record-keeping. That’s where Denim Social can help with automatic archiving tools to get tedious tasks out of the way and let agencies do what they do best. 

    3. Paid Social Media Management
    Denim Social can work with agencies to deliver the best possible results for paid social media advertising. Our proprietary social media ads manager automatically optimizes ads’ performance and consolidates all social media platforms into one easily accessible dashboard for a one-stop shop.

    When agencies can efficiently manage and optimize ads, they can easily scale campaigns at the brand, location, and advisor level. And when agencies can scale further and deliver more results, financial institutions get more bang for their agency buck.

    4. Accurate, Data-Driven Results

    Financial institution leaders need data to inform the smartest and most impactful decisions when determining where to allocate their marketing budgets. So agencies must provide that data to prove their worth beyond vanity metrics alone. Denim Social can help by clearly connecting social media campaigns to real business results.


    For example, agency partners can easily create landing pages for each campaign using our Landing Page Builder. From there, they can incorporate landing page links into the social media marketing strategy and track analytics to see how many prospects followed the digital journey from social post to landing page to getting in touch to learn more. Essentially, social media can drive conversions — which translates to more profit for your institution. And Denim Social can help provide the analytics agencies need to prove it.

    Successful digital marketing for financial services has to cover a lot of bases. It must be relevant, consistent, and compliant. Few financial institutions can do all of that on their own — and even their agency partners can use a hand to create more efficient and effective campaigns. That’s whereDenim Social fits into the mix. We don’t replace agencies: We support them in creating the strongest possible social media marketing strategies for financial institutions.

    Did you know that 50% of Instagram users become more interested in a brand when they see an ad for it? Brands are using social media advertising to drive awareness for their products and services among highly targeted audiences -- and they’re hitting business goals doing it. Want to learn how to get started with social media advertising? Watch our webinar “Elevate Your Social Strategy with Paid Advertising”  to find out how to easily get started with social media ads.

    Retail banks in the U.S. are facing a major customer attrition challenges. According to a recent Bain report, customers make as many as 55 percent of financial-related purchases from their primary bank’s competitors. While primary banks may be able to retain customers’ savings and checking accounts, the report suggests that they’re likely losing out on lucrative sales when it comes to loans, credit cards and investments.

    Considering that almost one-third of those who defected from their primary bank did so in response to a direct offer from a competitor, wise marketers will up their customer engagement and outreach efforts to retain more customers. Affordability of products is the top reason for customer defection, which marketers may not have much say in, but it isn’t the only contributing factor. Digitization has also been a major catalyst. Namely, the strong digital products and experiences that some banks offer—and others do not.

    Bank marketers who can jump onboard the digitization train to meet customers where they are with engaging, valuable messaging will be much more likely to keep customers coming back again and again for each of their financial needs. The following strategies can help:

    1. Put the human element front and center

    Traditional banks have an innate advantage over digital direct banks: The human touch. Leveraging this benefit, especially when it comes to increasingly digital customer interactions, can lead to measurable improvements in customer retention.

    One way to ensure the human touch remains part of every customer touchpoint is to focus on personalization. A February Insurance Thought Leadership piece revealed that 72 percent of people ignore marketing that’s not highly personalized. So targeting relevant content to the right recipients is essential, especially when digitization can easily strip the human element out of an interaction. Personalizing messaging and services to be relevant and valuable to the specific needs of each customer can bring the human element into focus even in a digital world.

    One way to create more relevant, personalized outreach is to practice social selling, or leveraging a bank’s employees on social media. People can relate more to other people than they can to big brand names. When your employees are the ones getting in front of customers virtually, it humanizes the digital customer experience and sets the stage for trusting and loyal relationships to come. What’s more, employees also tend to have further reach and engagement on brand-related social posts than brand pages alone, so they can expand the impact of your messaging exponentially.

    2. Create digital pathways to human interactions

    When considering how to anchor all digital marketing for financial services around the human element, keep in mind that every pathway should connect prospects and customers directly to a human.

    For example, a social media post from an employee could include a link to a landing page on your website where visitors can learn more valuable information on the topic of the post. On that landing page, you can include valuable content, such as a guidebook, behind an information request form. When users submit their names and email addresses, they will receive the content and your sales team members can reach out to them directly with a human-centric, personalized outreach approach.

    When prospects and customers know they’re just an email or phone call away from a real person at your organization, they’re likely to turn to you instead of an impersonal digital direct bank for their next financial need.

    3. Focus on customer retention just as much as acquisition

    Bringing in new prospects gets a lot of attention from financial services marketers, sometimes at the expense of retaining current ones. But focusing on customer retention and continuously improving the digital customer experience will help secure more revenue when it comes to additional services such as loans and credit cards.

    Listen to the needs of customers and keep refining your personalization tactics to meet their needs. Every time you get in front of a current customer with relevant, valuable messaging or content, you help build trust in that relationship and increase the chances of that customer coming to you for whatever service they need next.

    It’s true that people will always be drawn to brands that offer more affordable products and services. But money isn’t the only reason people look outside of their primary bank to fulfill their financial needs. Banks that differentiate by focusing on digitization alongside the human element will find that it’s easier to keep current customers from looking for greener pastures.

    This was originally published on ABA Bank Marketing.

    If you want your business' content to reach consumers, having a presence on Instagram is a given. It is, after all, the second most popular social media platform behind Facebook. But to make the most of your Instagram Page -- to attract and engage visitors, drive them to your website, and convert them into leads (and, eventually, customers) -- you need to optimize your Instagram presence. Get all the info you need to get started with Instagram fundamentals.

    Financial Services companies should be marketing and advertising on Instagram, but the Denim Social 2020 Social Media Benchmark Report for Financial Services shows less than 40% of institutions have adopted the platform. If you're considering starting an Instagram page, consider these basics for setting up your business profile.

    Download the infographic

    Looking for more guidance on Instagram? Check out our guide, Stronger Customer Relationships on Instagram.


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