January 25, 2022

Beat 'Em or Join 'Em: The rise of fintechs is prompting St. Louis banks to either adapt to emerging technologies or partner with the firms upending their industry

Community banks in 2022 could be staring down a moment that determines their future.

The emergence of financial technology upstarts — “fintechs” for short — is forcing small and mid-sized banks to evolve, leading industry watchers to the conclusion that only those who adapt will survive.

In this St. Louis Business Journal feature story, Denim Social's CEO, Doug Wilber, looks at the rise of fintech and the power of collaboration vs. competition in a quickly-evolving industry.

Full text article available on the St. Louis Business Journal.

RESOURCES

LEARN
January 25, 2022

Beat 'Em or Join 'Em: The rise of fintechs is prompting St. Louis banks to either adapt to emerging technologies or partner with the firms upending their industry

By
Denim Social

Community banks in 2022 could be staring down a moment that determines their future.

The emergence of financial technology upstarts — “fintechs” for short — is forcing small and mid-sized banks to evolve, leading industry watchers to the conclusion that only those who adapt will survive.

In this St. Louis Business Journal feature story, Denim Social's CEO, Doug Wilber, looks at the rise of fintech and the power of collaboration vs. competition in a quickly-evolving industry.

Full text article available on the St. Louis Business Journal.

Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest sent to your inbox.
Thank you for subscribing!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
SIMILAR POSTS:

Traditional bank leaders know that fintechs are quickly encroaching on target audiences and customers. They also know any chance of keeping up with digital competitors will depend on making fast and substantial progress toward digital transformation. Consumer demands for easy, accessible and convenient digital services will only increase.

While some fintechs certainly represent a threat for incumbent banks today, fintechs will also be part of the solution for getting and staying ahead. Many fintechs exist to help banks succeed in an evolving landscape. For bank leaders looking to get their institution to the next phase of digital transformation, building more valuable bank-fintech partnerships should be a priority.

Incumbent banks must find productive ways to collaborate with fintechs in partnerships to drive excellent digital customer experiences in financial services. The first step is looking inward to develop a clear understanding of your goals and provide the infrastructure fintechs will need to bring value.

Whether you’re in a less-than-ideal fintech partnership now or you’re looking for the next step toward a digital future, start with these questions to set your institution up for bank-fintech partnership success:

Do you have a capable liaison? Designate a digital transformation leader within your organization. This person should be an executive leader with excellent communication skills, a solid understanding of the organizations’ needs and goals, a forward-thinking approach and a passion for transformation.

This leader will serve as a co-development resource as your organization establishes its relationships with fintech partners. They should relay information about the bank’s expectations, requirements and goals to fintechs and learn the overall functionality of solutions to share in training with internal personnel.

What are you trying to fix? To effectively communicate your needs, your transformation leader will need a clear vision of each of the organization’s goals for fintech collaboration. One fintech won’t be able to achieve all your transformation goals, so consider multiple partnerships aimed at solving specific problems.

Review your current state and identify any obstacles in the way of creating better digital customer experiences before choosing partners. From there, seek vendors specifically designed to fill your gaps. As you evaluate your options, be transparent about your needs. Without a clear goals, fintech partners won’t be able to deliver clear results.

Will the solution increase value for customers? In a study examining how the pandemic altered banking consumer behavior, Accenture researchers suggest that nearly half of the banking public would stay loyal to a brand that offers a stellar customer experience. Considering that a 2019 FIS report found more than a third of consumers want to replace plastic banking cards with digital apps, an attractive banking experience is a digital one.

While you can count on customer expectations for convenient digital services to stay, the specifics of their needs will change over time. Improving digital experiences in financial services should never be a stagnant goal. Monitor how customers react to your digital solutions and share the data with your fintech partners. From there, refine the customer experience together to improve engagement, increase loyalty and drive growth.

Are your employees on board? For any fintech partnership to succeed, a bank will need its employees on board, especially those in customer-facing roles. These employees will be the ones educating customers about new tools and sharing the value of digital experience-enabling investments, so they need to believe in the power of digital transformation.

But be wary that new technology might set off alarm bells throughout your organization as many workers regard digitization as a death knell for job security. Combat such misconceptions from the beginning of the planning process by educating employees on how digital solutions will help create better customer experiences. Collaborate with fintech partners to develop workshops that clearly demonstrate how technology will support, not eliminate, jobs.

The future of financial services is digital. As consumers continue demanding better digital experiences, can your organization meet them with virtual access and convenience to leave a lasting impression? Bank-fintech partnerships based on clarity, transparency and value can help ensure the answer is always yes.

This article was originally published on BAI Banking Strategies.

Digital banking is here to stay. In one 2021 survey, 84 percent of banking customers polled said they plan to maintain the same level of digital banking services even after the pandemic subsides. This is both a challenge and an opportunity for traditional banks.

Though many bank leaders have likely eagerly awaited a strong return to the in-person branch model, the time has come to accept and adapt to the digital future of banking. The good news is that the key differentiating factor for traditional banks remains the same: human relationships with customers.

The challenge is that maintaining strong relationships in a digital environment can be difficult for traditional banks. And without strong anchoring relationships, banks miss out on valuable cross-selling opportunities and lose customers to competitors that offer better digital services. Customer defection can be costly, as it’s five to 25 times more expensive to acquire than retain customers—but increasing customer retention rates by a mere 5 percent can boost profits by 25 to 95 percent.

Banks that turn their focus toward strengthening digital customer experience can solidify relationships for the long term, secure more business with new and existing customers, and thrive well into the future.

How to create exceptional digital customer experience for the long haul

A recent study of the pandemic and ensuing digital acceleration in banking revealed two primary challenges for banks in delivering high-quality digital experiences: First, traditional banks tend to struggle to design meaningful and emotional experiences in digital ways. Second, they struggle to deliver those experiences impactfully due to internal and external digital transformation hurdles.

With these two challenges in mind, bank marketers can lead their organizations to success by first focusing on their teams’ willingness to evolve and openness to the larger concepts of digital transformation. Without widespread buy-in, even a million of the fanciest bells and whistles on the market won’t help a bank evolve to meet and exceed consumers’ digital expectations.

Marketers must ensure an overall understanding of these four digital transformation initiatives and how they can help improve digital customer experiences and strengthen human relationships:

1. Continual tool improvement and refinement. Most financial institutions likely accelerated the pace of their digital transformations when they could no longer meet with customers face-to-face. As in-person opportunities return, however, your team shouldn’t lose digital momentum. In fact, the primary goal behind digital transformation for 79 percent of respondents in one 2019 survey was to improve customer experience. You can’t improve experiences without continuous transformation efforts.

Gather data to show how customers are using your digital tools and continually evaluate how to improve your tools to create better and better experiences. Seeking strong and strategic partnerships with fintech vendors is an excellent way to stay on top of the latest innovations in technology and continue providing the best digital services.

2. Optimal onboarding. Your team and fintech partners might put a lot of time, money, and effort into building new and impressive digital widgets—but if your customers don’t know how to use them, they won’t bring any value. That’s why part of any bank’s digital transformation strategy should involve onboarding customers to ensure the adoption and use of new digital services.

If new account openers don’t engage within the first month of opening an account, they likely never will. Encourage frequent and continued engagement by clearly demonstrating the value customers can find in your digital services and tools. Provide convenient and accessible customer support to keep the value stream flowing without interruption.

3. Transferring relationships to digital. Preserving human connections in the virtual world can be a challenge for banks accustomed to old ways, but with the right approach, digitization can actually help banks build and maintain stronger relationships. That’s why, even before the pandemic, 72 percent of business leaders who responded to Harvard Business Review Analytics Services researchers said they expected the digital shift to create closer relationships with customers.

Take social media as one example. With an active social media presence, loan officers can keep up with past customers and even get new prospects’ attention. And with the right social media management tools, marketers can help loan officers pull off social selling campaigns at scale. Ensure that customers also have a direct line to access employees who can facilitate customer service so that they always have a resource to answer questions and guide them along the digital journey without a hitch.

4. Constant value with content and data. The more value a financial institution can offer, the less likely customer defection will be. Provide useful information to customers through frequent social media content, blog posts, landing pages and more. Use targeting strategies such as paid social media advertising and create personalized content based on data. The more relevant the information is to your customers’ specific needs, the more valuable it will be. Personalize landing pages and gate information behind contact submission forms. When visitors exchange their contact information for the content they need, you can reach out directly to primed leads to continue the conversation with human-to-human touchpoints.

No matter the state of the pandemic or brick-and-mortar banks, strong customer sentiment around digital banking is unlikely to wane. In fact, consumers are likely to expect better and better digital experiences from financial institutions as technology becomes an even bigger part of everyday life. Traditional banks that focus on creating exceptional digital customer experience based on human connection will thrive.

This article was originally published on ABA Bank Marketing.

Denim Social today announced it has completed a $5 million Series B round of financing with FINTOP Capital and partner, JAM FINTOP BankTech, an investment fund designed to help develop and accelerate technology adoption at community banks across the United States. The funds will support product development and drive significant marketing and sales expansion for the St. Louis-based SaaS provider.

Denim Social empowers marketers in regulated industries to build stronger customer relationships on social media with tools that manage organic content and paid advertising on one platform. Built for compliance, Denim Social is trusted by more than 250 institutions in banking, mortgage, insurance and wealth management.

“Financial institutions are rapidly accelerating their digital strategies in today’s environment and Denim Social can help them humanize their brand on social media, while staying compliant,” said Douglas Wilber, CEO of Denim Social. “With increasing demand for our solution, FINTOP’s and JAM FINTOP’s partnership will help us grow to meet the needs of future clients.”

With the Series B investment round, Denim Social is valued at $30 million. The new funding builds on a $4 million Series A round completed in 2020, led by Hermann Companies. Since then, the company has expanded its product offerings to include social media content curation and Instagram management.

“Denim Social has a compelling vision for a more connected digital future for financial institutions,” said Jared Winegrad, managing director at FINTOP and a member of JAM FINTOP Banktech’s investment committee. “We’re proud to support their growth and expansion strategy.”

Accompanying the round, Winegrad will join the Denim Social Board of Directors, which also includes Rick Holton, Jr. of Hermann Companies. Denim Social is quickly growing its team and hiring for a variety of sales, marketing and product development roles -- both remote and based in St. Louis.

The Denim Social Solution

Denim Social research shows the majority of financial institutions have not yet adopted all of the four major social media platforms. While most modern marketers see the opportunity in social media, they lack the resources to create content or are unwilling to take on the compliance risk.

“Our bank was looking for a social media management solution that would allow us to scale our social media strategy at the brand, branch and employee levels,” said Kelly Wiese, chief marketing officer at First Bank and Denim Social customer. “Denim Social not only offers the features we need to be successful, it’s the only fully compliant platform on the market.”

Denim Social can help financial institutions successfully scale conversion optimized campaigns across all social media channels, all while staying in compliance.



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.

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?”

From a platform that employers can use to test software development job candidates to software that aims to improve how companies deploy field services workers, software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies have made a splash in transforming workplaces in 2021.

Some of the largest employers had to adopt remote working this past year and have declared a willingness to keep some form of it even after the global pandemic subsides, prompting a renewed interest in software tools that can improve and even change business operations in a variety of industries.

With headquarter locations including San Francisco and St. Louis and Kissimmee, Fla., these startups show that not only does innovation happen anywhere, but that startup funding remains strong and good ideas don’t only happen within the largest tech giants.

#3 Denim Social

Top Executive: Douglas Wilber, CEO

Headquarters: St. Louis

Denim Social offers social media management and marketing automation software for highly-regulated industries such as banking, insurance and wealth management.

For these companies, compliance can get in the way of a consumer-oriented marketing campaign, according to Denim Social’s website. The company allows customers to schedule and plan social media content, curate industry-specific articles for audiences and learn about online audiences with analytic reports.

The company counts AWS, Twitter and Facebook among its partners.

The company was founded in 2020 through the merger of St. Louis-based Gremlin Social and Iowa-based Denim. The company also raised a $4 million Series A round of funding to increase marketing.

This list was originally published by CRN and the full list can be viewed here.

Connect & Convert on Social

Successfully scale conversion optimized campaigns across all social media channels with built-in compliance, publishing tools, and more.
Book a Demo
GUIDES

Beat 'Em or Join 'Em: The rise of fintechs is prompting St. Louis banks to either adapt to emerging technologies or partner with the firms upending their industry

Community banks in 2022 could be staring down a moment that determines their future.

The emergence of financial technology upstarts — “fintechs” for short — is forcing small and mid-sized banks to evolve, leading industry watchers to the conclusion that only those who adapt will survive.

In this St. Louis Business Journal feature story, Denim Social's CEO, Doug Wilber, looks at the rise of fintech and the power of collaboration vs. competition in a quickly-evolving industry.

Full text article available on the St. Louis Business Journal.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Download Guide
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
ALL GUIDES:

It’s no surprise that social media can help drive results for your mortgage business. In fact, the question for most marketers at mortgage lending institutions isn’t IF they should be doing more social media marketing - it’s HOW. Download to learn how to:

  • Scale your social selling program
  • Plan your content strategy
  • Train your loan officers

AnnieMac is one of the fastest-growing mortgage loan providers in the U.S., serving clients in 42 states. Learn how Denim Social helped their team to streamline its brand’s social media strategy and activate social selling for hundreds of loan officers in just four months.

Instant Download

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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!

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

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?
  • 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.

    Evolve Bank & Trust (“Evolve”) is an $700M+ asset institution with nearly 40 Home Loan Centers (HLC) and nearly 500 employees nationwide. See how Denim Social helped Evolve activate Home Loan Center Facebook pages over the course of just a few months.

    Download Here
    GUIDES

    Beat 'Em or Join 'Em: The rise of fintechs is prompting St. Louis banks to either adapt to emerging technologies or partner with the firms upending their industry

    Community banks in 2022 could be staring down a moment that determines their future.

    The emergence of financial technology upstarts — “fintechs” for short — is forcing small and mid-sized banks to evolve, leading industry watchers to the conclusion that only those who adapt will survive.

    In this St. Louis Business Journal feature story, Denim Social's CEO, Doug Wilber, looks at the rise of fintech and the power of collaboration vs. competition in a quickly-evolving industry.

    Full text article available on the St. Louis Business Journal.

    Download the Guide

    Thank you! Your submission has been received!
    Download Guide
    Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
    Download Guide
    ALL GUIDES:

    It’s no surprise that social media can help drive results for your mortgage business. In fact, the question for most marketers at mortgage lending institutions isn’t IF they should be doing more social media marketing - it’s HOW. Download to learn how to:

    • Scale your social selling program
    • Plan your content strategy
    • Train your loan officers

    AnnieMac is one of the fastest-growing mortgage loan providers in the U.S., serving clients in 42 states. Learn how Denim Social helped their team to streamline its brand’s social media strategy and activate social selling for hundreds of loan officers in just four months.

    Instant Download

    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.

    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

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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

    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!

    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

    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?
  • 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.

    Evolve Bank & Trust (“Evolve”) is an $700M+ asset institution with nearly 40 Home Loan Centers (HLC) and nearly 500 employees nationwide. See how Denim Social helped Evolve activate Home Loan Center Facebook pages over the course of just a few months.

    Download Here
    GUIDES

    Beat 'Em or Join 'Em: The rise of fintechs is prompting St. Louis banks to either adapt to emerging technologies or partner with the firms upending their industry

    Community banks in 2022 could be staring down a moment that determines their future.

    The emergence of financial technology upstarts — “fintechs” for short — is forcing small and mid-sized banks to evolve, leading industry watchers to the conclusion that only those who adapt will survive.

    In this St. Louis Business Journal feature story, Denim Social's CEO, Doug Wilber, looks at the rise of fintech and the power of collaboration vs. competition in a quickly-evolving industry.

    Full text article available on the St. Louis Business Journal.

    Download the Guide

    Thank you! Your submission has been received!
    Download Guide
    Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
    Download Guide
    ALL GUIDES:

    It’s no surprise that social media can help drive results for your mortgage business. In fact, the question for most marketers at mortgage lending institutions isn’t IF they should be doing more social media marketing - it’s HOW. Download to learn how to:

    • Scale your social selling program
    • Plan your content strategy
    • Train your loan officers

    AnnieMac is one of the fastest-growing mortgage loan providers in the U.S., serving clients in 42 states. Learn how Denim Social helped their team to streamline its brand’s social media strategy and activate social selling for hundreds of loan officers in just four months.

    Instant Download

    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.

    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

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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

    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!

    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

    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?
  • 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.

    Evolve Bank & Trust (“Evolve”) is an $700M+ asset institution with nearly 40 Home Loan Centers (HLC) and nearly 500 employees nationwide. See how Denim Social helped Evolve activate Home Loan Center Facebook pages over the course of just a few months.

    Download Here
    GUIDES

    Beat 'Em or Join 'Em: The rise of fintechs is prompting St. Louis banks to either adapt to emerging technologies or partner with the firms upending their industry

    Community banks in 2022 could be staring down a moment that determines their future.

    The emergence of financial technology upstarts — “fintechs” for short — is forcing small and mid-sized banks to evolve, leading industry watchers to the conclusion that only those who adapt will survive.

    In this St. Louis Business Journal feature story, Denim Social's CEO, Doug Wilber, looks at the rise of fintech and the power of collaboration vs. competition in a quickly-evolving industry.

    Full text article available on the St. Louis Business Journal.

    Download the Guide

    Thank you! Your submission has been received!
    Download Guide
    Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
    ALL GUIDES:

    It’s no surprise that social media can help drive results for your mortgage business. In fact, the question for most marketers at mortgage lending institutions isn’t IF they should be doing more social media marketing - it’s HOW. Download to learn how to:

    • Scale your social selling program
    • Plan your content strategy
    • Train your loan officers

    AnnieMac is one of the fastest-growing mortgage loan providers in the U.S., serving clients in 42 states. Learn how Denim Social helped their team to streamline its brand’s social media strategy and activate social selling for hundreds of loan officers in just four months.

    Instant Download

    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.

    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

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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

    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!

    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

    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?
  • 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.

    Evolve Bank & Trust (“Evolve”) is an $700M+ asset institution with nearly 40 Home Loan Centers (HLC) and nearly 500 employees nationwide. See how Denim Social helped Evolve activate Home Loan Center Facebook pages over the course of just a few months.

    Download Here

    RESOURCES

    NEWS
    January 25, 2022

    Beat 'Em or Join 'Em: The rise of fintechs is prompting St. Louis banks to either adapt to emerging technologies or partner with the firms upending their industry

    By
    Denim Social

    Community banks in 2022 could be staring down a moment that determines their future.

    The emergence of financial technology upstarts — “fintechs” for short — is forcing small and mid-sized banks to evolve, leading industry watchers to the conclusion that only those who adapt will survive.

    In this St. Louis Business Journal feature story, Denim Social's CEO, Doug Wilber, looks at the rise of fintech and the power of collaboration vs. competition in a quickly-evolving industry.

    Full text article available on the St. Louis Business Journal.

    Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest sent to your inbox.
    Thank you for subscribing!
    Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
    OTHER NEWS:

    Traditional bank leaders know that fintechs are quickly encroaching on target audiences and customers. They also know any chance of keeping up with digital competitors will depend on making fast and substantial progress toward digital transformation. Consumer demands for easy, accessible and convenient digital services will only increase.

    While some fintechs certainly represent a threat for incumbent banks today, fintechs will also be part of the solution for getting and staying ahead. Many fintechs exist to help banks succeed in an evolving landscape. For bank leaders looking to get their institution to the next phase of digital transformation, building more valuable bank-fintech partnerships should be a priority.

    Incumbent banks must find productive ways to collaborate with fintechs in partnerships to drive excellent digital customer experiences in financial services. The first step is looking inward to develop a clear understanding of your goals and provide the infrastructure fintechs will need to bring value.

    Whether you’re in a less-than-ideal fintech partnership now or you’re looking for the next step toward a digital future, start with these questions to set your institution up for bank-fintech partnership success:

    Do you have a capable liaison? Designate a digital transformation leader within your organization. This person should be an executive leader with excellent communication skills, a solid understanding of the organizations’ needs and goals, a forward-thinking approach and a passion for transformation.

    This leader will serve as a co-development resource as your organization establishes its relationships with fintech partners. They should relay information about the bank’s expectations, requirements and goals to fintechs and learn the overall functionality of solutions to share in training with internal personnel.

    What are you trying to fix? To effectively communicate your needs, your transformation leader will need a clear vision of each of the organization’s goals for fintech collaboration. One fintech won’t be able to achieve all your transformation goals, so consider multiple partnerships aimed at solving specific problems.

    Review your current state and identify any obstacles in the way of creating better digital customer experiences before choosing partners. From there, seek vendors specifically designed to fill your gaps. As you evaluate your options, be transparent about your needs. Without a clear goals, fintech partners won’t be able to deliver clear results.

    Will the solution increase value for customers? In a study examining how the pandemic altered banking consumer behavior, Accenture researchers suggest that nearly half of the banking public would stay loyal to a brand that offers a stellar customer experience. Considering that a 2019 FIS report found more than a third of consumers want to replace plastic banking cards with digital apps, an attractive banking experience is a digital one.

    While you can count on customer expectations for convenient digital services to stay, the specifics of their needs will change over time. Improving digital experiences in financial services should never be a stagnant goal. Monitor how customers react to your digital solutions and share the data with your fintech partners. From there, refine the customer experience together to improve engagement, increase loyalty and drive growth.

    Are your employees on board? For any fintech partnership to succeed, a bank will need its employees on board, especially those in customer-facing roles. These employees will be the ones educating customers about new tools and sharing the value of digital experience-enabling investments, so they need to believe in the power of digital transformation.

    But be wary that new technology might set off alarm bells throughout your organization as many workers regard digitization as a death knell for job security. Combat such misconceptions from the beginning of the planning process by educating employees on how digital solutions will help create better customer experiences. Collaborate with fintech partners to develop workshops that clearly demonstrate how technology will support, not eliminate, jobs.

    The future of financial services is digital. As consumers continue demanding better digital experiences, can your organization meet them with virtual access and convenience to leave a lasting impression? Bank-fintech partnerships based on clarity, transparency and value can help ensure the answer is always yes.

    This article was originally published on BAI Banking Strategies.

    The ice is melting and that can only mean one thing for those in the real estate business – spring buying season has arrived! Spring has long been a time for high inventory, but economic conditions make 2022 unique and perhaps more competitive than ever. And it’s not just buyers competing for homes, mortgage lenders need to work hard to stay competitive in a marketplace where everyone is feeling the heat.

    As we look to this year’s spring buying season, we see a two key factors impacting the marketplace:

    Supply is low and prices are up

    Prices are wild out there. Existing housing inventory remains historically low and supply chain challenges continue to put the squeeze on new home construction. With low supply, comes high demand and even higher prices. In fact, Zillow projects year-over-year rate of home price growth to peak at 21.6% in May.

    Rates are rising

    Despite some news-driven, short-term drops, mortgage rates are trending upward. After two years of historically low rates, with the Fed signaling, most predict rates will climb to around 4% this year. While still low, with rates rising, we could see buyers moving to lock-in at a lower rate.

    In an environment where MLOs can’t offer bargain-basement rates any longer, how do they stand out from the lending crowd? It’s about relationships. And the best way for a mortgage loan officer to stay in touch is social media.

    How important is staying top of mind with prospects? Consider this: 77% of borrowers move forward with the first lender they speak to when they’re looking for a loan. Showing up a prospect or existing clients’ social media feed can not only build trust, it can help MLOs close more deals.

    If you’re looking to make the most of social media at your mortgage institution, check out our guidebook, A Guide to Helping Mortgage Loan Officers Achieve Success with Social Media Marketing.

    Temps are soon to be on the rise, and so are interest rates. Combined with a hopeful end to the pandemic, the spring 2022 real estate market is hotter than ever. Mortgage loan officers are reaping the rewards of the fast-moving market, but they’re also seeing fierce competition. 

    So how does a loan officer stand out and catch the attention of homebuyers? Social media is the answer. Social media has already become an essential part of the mortgage lending business and consumers expect technology to be part of the homebuying process too. 

    Now is the time for financial institutions to unlock the power of loan officers on social media. Here’s where to start: 

    1. ACTIVATE LOAN OFFICERS ON SOCIAL MEDIA. Social is all about human connections and audiences pay more attention to individual people on social media than to brands. That’s why a social selling approach, in which individual loan officers share branded messages on their own social media profiles, is essential. Marketers might bristle at the idea of loan officers posting, but the right tools can keep individual postings on strategy, on brand and in compliance.
    1. DRIVE INTEREST WITH PAID SOCIAL MEDIA. We all remember the early days of social media when good organic content was all it took to breakthrough, but the platforms and algorithms have changed -- and your strategy should too. Luckily social media advertising is low budget and high return. Whether it’s proximity-based ads or amplifying posts from your loan officers, paid advertising can ensure your content is served to the right people at the right time.
    1. USE CONTENT TO EDUCATE AND ENGAGE. Your institution’s content is an opportunity for your loan officers to establish trust through social media. Arm them with articles, guidebooks, blog posts, and more to help educate audiences on the unique opportunities in today’s market and how they can save a lot of money.
    1. DRIVE CONVERSIONS WITH A POST-CLICK EXPERIENCE. Don’t create a digital dead end on social media. Instead, build landing pages on your website to correspond with each of your social campaigns and create forms to capture followers’ contact information in exchange for a download. This arms your loan officers with interested leads and the details they need to take the next step.
    2. MEASURE AND ANALYZE PERFORMANCE. Pay attention to how your content is performing. Make note of what grabs attention and engagement from your audience, and don't be afraid to change your content strategy based on what you observe. Give loan officers feedback on their network activity.

    With these strategies social media can help your loan officers stand out and stay competitive. Overwhelmed? Tools from Denim Social can help mortgage marketers maximize efficiency and stay compliant.



    Digital banking is here to stay. In one 2021 survey, 84 percent of banking customers polled said they plan to maintain the same level of digital banking services even after the pandemic subsides. This is both a challenge and an opportunity for traditional banks.

    Though many bank leaders have likely eagerly awaited a strong return to the in-person branch model, the time has come to accept and adapt to the digital future of banking. The good news is that the key differentiating factor for traditional banks remains the same: human relationships with customers.

    The challenge is that maintaining strong relationships in a digital environment can be difficult for traditional banks. And without strong anchoring relationships, banks miss out on valuable cross-selling opportunities and lose customers to competitors that offer better digital services. Customer defection can be costly, as it’s five to 25 times more expensive to acquire than retain customers—but increasing customer retention rates by a mere 5 percent can boost profits by 25 to 95 percent.

    Banks that turn their focus toward strengthening digital customer experience can solidify relationships for the long term, secure more business with new and existing customers, and thrive well into the future.

    How to create exceptional digital customer experience for the long haul

    A recent study of the pandemic and ensuing digital acceleration in banking revealed two primary challenges for banks in delivering high-quality digital experiences: First, traditional banks tend to struggle to design meaningful and emotional experiences in digital ways. Second, they struggle to deliver those experiences impactfully due to internal and external digital transformation hurdles.

    With these two challenges in mind, bank marketers can lead their organizations to success by first focusing on their teams’ willingness to evolve and openness to the larger concepts of digital transformation. Without widespread buy-in, even a million of the fanciest bells and whistles on the market won’t help a bank evolve to meet and exceed consumers’ digital expectations.

    Marketers must ensure an overall understanding of these four digital transformation initiatives and how they can help improve digital customer experiences and strengthen human relationships:

    1. Continual tool improvement and refinement. Most financial institutions likely accelerated the pace of their digital transformations when they could no longer meet with customers face-to-face. As in-person opportunities return, however, your team shouldn’t lose digital momentum. In fact, the primary goal behind digital transformation for 79 percent of respondents in one 2019 survey was to improve customer experience. You can’t improve experiences without continuous transformation efforts.

    Gather data to show how customers are using your digital tools and continually evaluate how to improve your tools to create better and better experiences. Seeking strong and strategic partnerships with fintech vendors is an excellent way to stay on top of the latest innovations in technology and continue providing the best digital services.

    2. Optimal onboarding. Your team and fintech partners might put a lot of time, money, and effort into building new and impressive digital widgets—but if your customers don’t know how to use them, they won’t bring any value. That’s why part of any bank’s digital transformation strategy should involve onboarding customers to ensure the adoption and use of new digital services.

    If new account openers don’t engage within the first month of opening an account, they likely never will. Encourage frequent and continued engagement by clearly demonstrating the value customers can find in your digital services and tools. Provide convenient and accessible customer support to keep the value stream flowing without interruption.

    3. Transferring relationships to digital. Preserving human connections in the virtual world can be a challenge for banks accustomed to old ways, but with the right approach, digitization can actually help banks build and maintain stronger relationships. That’s why, even before the pandemic, 72 percent of business leaders who responded to Harvard Business Review Analytics Services researchers said they expected the digital shift to create closer relationships with customers.

    Take social media as one example. With an active social media presence, loan officers can keep up with past customers and even get new prospects’ attention. And with the right social media management tools, marketers can help loan officers pull off social selling campaigns at scale. Ensure that customers also have a direct line to access employees who can facilitate customer service so that they always have a resource to answer questions and guide them along the digital journey without a hitch.

    4. Constant value with content and data. The more value a financial institution can offer, the less likely customer defection will be. Provide useful information to customers through frequent social media content, blog posts, landing pages and more. Use targeting strategies such as paid social media advertising and create personalized content based on data. The more relevant the information is to your customers’ specific needs, the more valuable it will be. Personalize landing pages and gate information behind contact submission forms. When visitors exchange their contact information for the content they need, you can reach out directly to primed leads to continue the conversation with human-to-human touchpoints.

    No matter the state of the pandemic or brick-and-mortar banks, strong customer sentiment around digital banking is unlikely to wane. In fact, consumers are likely to expect better and better digital experiences from financial institutions as technology becomes an even bigger part of everyday life. Traditional banks that focus on creating exceptional digital customer experience based on human connection will thrive.

    This article was originally published on ABA Bank Marketing.

    Financial institutions face a number of hurdles in digital marketing, including lack of digital-first strategy, higher brand purpose, and the tendency to “dabble in digital.” Social media compliance for financial institutions is also a pressing issue, with the nuances of regulatory constraints demanding strict scrutiny over all electronic communication.

    But unless a financial institution has significant scale, it’s unlikely to have the in-house talent and resources needed to build successful digital marketing strategies and solutions from the ground up. Instead, financial institutions need qualified and attentive fintech partners who understand their challenges and bring pointed solutions to their problems. According to a recent Cornerstone Advisors report, however, many aren’t succeeding in finding such partners. The report predicts that financial institution boards will soon tire of not seeing adequate results from fintech vendors. So what’s the problem?

    As The Financial Brand article linked above noted, financial marketers at organizations of all sizes “crave assistance” to help them navigate problems and achieve successful digital marketing strategies. They need fintechs with dedicated customer success teams to offer specific expertise and a customized approach to reach their digital marketing goals.  

    Ensuring Digital Marketing Success in the Banking Industry

    Denim Social’s approach is consultative and collaborative from the start. Our customer success team works with every partner to create unique pathways to success, and our platform itself was designed from the ground up to meet a specific need for compliance in the heavily regulated financial services industry.  

    With the following steps, Denim Social tailors service to help each client develop successful digital marketing strategies:

    1. Customize onboarding and workflow setups.

    Onboarding is an important part of starting any new relationship with a vendor. To help you reach your goals, your partner must first thoroughly understand what those goals are and the pain points that prevent you from reaching them. At Denim Social, our customer success team digs in to understand each client’s unique goals and challenges.

    Financial institutions also have different workflows and processes to account for with digital marketing software. For example, those in charge of signing off on social media posts before they go live could vary greatly from one organization to another. Denim Social’s platform allows clients to build automated approval workflows to ensure every post is compliant and aligned with brand messaging before it goes live, and our customer success team helps customize those workflows to get in front of exactly the right people at the right time.  

    2. Drive software adoption across the organization.

    If employees don’t use new software, there’s little chance your financial institution will see a high return on your technology investment. One of the most critical pieces of the software adoption puzzle is earning buy-in from employees. Denim Social helps marketers learn how to communicate the “what’s in it for me” knowledge to help get and keep teams on board to use new tools. We provide messaging, emails, tool kits, and more to drive software adoption within financial institutions.

    3. Evaluate performance and strategy consistently.

    Financial institution leaders need to know how their digital marketing strategies compare to competing institutions, so they require consistent performance evaluation and strategy consultation based on analytics. Regularly scheduled executive business reviews that go over all the metrics tied to their success plan and guidance working toward those outcomes are a must.

    At Denim Social, our experts help financial institutions identify strategies to arrive at stated priorities, provide best practices for executing on goals, and offer industry-relevant comparisons to get a read on the business landscape. All of that is backed by performance analytics.

    4. Provide training for the whole team.

    Social selling, or the practice of having loan officers, financial advisors, and other employees connect with audiences through their own professional social media accounts, is an excellent way to humanize financial brands and expand reach. But it does require training these employees on how to work with your marketing team to develop and share posts. Digital marketing fintech platforms can make this collaboration easier, but not without properly setting employees up for success first.

    That’s why Denim Social’s customer success team is dedicated to training your people to succeed on the platform. For smaller clients, we can provide this training directly to employees. For larger enterprise clients, we can educate leaders on how to hold trainings within their own teams. We also just launched our Academy to help marketers get certified on the platform and share that knowledge throughout their organizations.

    5. Curate custom content.

    Even with proper training on digital marketing platforms, curating the right content to share can still be an intimidating part for marketing teams and employees. What information are your customers looking for? What will pique their interest and drive them to connect further with your brand?

    At Denim Social, our dedicated team builds in-depth and ongoing relationships with clients to understand what content is most important to them and resonates best with their audiences. Our platform also integrates with UpContent, a content curation industry leader, to add relevant articles from trusted third-party sources to client content libraries. This way, marketers or employees are never empty-handed when it comes to valuable content.

    The rise of fintech is impossible to deny, but not every fintech partnership will be an asset to your company. Seek vendors like Denim Social that dig in to understand your needs, customize solutions, and track progress along the way. To learn more about our customer success team and consultative approach, get in touch today.

    By now most financial institutions recognize the power of social media. And with good reason, more than half of consumers report using social media to discover new brands. Savvy marketers are expanding both their organic and paid social media strategies. In fact, 91% say they’re planning to increase their social media spending in the next three years. Change happens fast in the social media sphere, so what should financial marketers look for this year?

    We’re drilling down into each network to look at social media trends to watch in 2022. Let’s jump in!

    Facebook

    The OG social network, Facebook still boasts the most active users by far – 2.9 billion! It’s not just your mom’s social network, either – the largest group of Facebook users are Millennials, a key target audience for financial institutions. Facebook is not stranger to the news, but here’s what’s really breaking through:

    • Algorithm Changes: Facebook will reduce the amount of political content that appears in feeds and potentially give users the option to switch off the intelligent technology that usually fills feeds.
    • More Video: Short-form video continues to grow in popularity and since it gets more engagement than static content, it will get more eyeballs.
    LinkedIn

    The network for professionals, LinkedIn is so important for the financial services industry, because it is a natural home for customers, local businesses and employees. With WFH becoming the norm, hiring and career features will continue to grow on the network. Here’s what we’re seeing in feature announcements from LinkedIn:

    • Career Support Capabilities: LinkedIn is rolling out features that allow employers to connect with prospects, interview them, or send video messages all within the network.
    Twitter

    Twitter is… how do we say this… a unique place. It’s become a place for information and conversation. Like LinkedIn, it’s a place for professionals, but is more a free-flowing and potentially unwieldy dialogue. We see Twitter headed toward:

    • Return to Chronological: We expect to see a shift to a more chronological feed, again- less dependent on algorithm so that users see more content from handles they follow directly. It will be important for brands to post at a steady cadence to stay in-feed.
    • Business Focus: Twitter’s Blue business suite will add functionality specific for business use. Think enhanced editing capability and longer tweets that will allow users to read in article mode.
    Instagram

    While financial institutions have been slow to adopt the network, it hasn’t slowed Instagram’s user growth (1.1 billion and counting). This channel is key to reaching younger audiences, so look out for these changes:

    • Feed Evolution: The network may be shifting back to chronological timeline, but continually puts focus on engaging video content, in addition to the static square images that made it famous.
    • Get Reel: As it competes with TikTok, Instagram is putting the gas on short-form video with Reels. Look for more short-form video with adaptations for users who watch with the volume muted.

    Worn out, yet? We get it, social media moves fast and that can be tough for legacy industries like financial services. But you don’t have to go it alone. Denim Social is here to help. If you’re trying to understand what all of these changes mean for your team, check out our webinar, “Social Media Network Drilldown” below:


    Connect & Convert on Social

    Successfully scale conversion optimized campaigns across all social media channels with built-in compliance, publishing tools, and more.
    Book a Demo

    RESOURCES

    VISION
    January 25, 2022

    Beat 'Em or Join 'Em: The rise of fintechs is prompting St. Louis banks to either adapt to emerging technologies or partner with the firms upending their industry

    By
    Denim Social

    Community banks in 2022 could be staring down a moment that determines their future.

    The emergence of financial technology upstarts — “fintechs” for short — is forcing small and mid-sized banks to evolve, leading industry watchers to the conclusion that only those who adapt will survive.

    In this St. Louis Business Journal feature story, Denim Social's CEO, Doug Wilber, looks at the rise of fintech and the power of collaboration vs. competition in a quickly-evolving industry.

    Full text article available on the St. Louis Business Journal.

    Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest sent to your inbox.
    Thank you for subscribing!
    Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
    SIMILAR POSTS:

    Denim Social is proud to announce that its platform now offers customer relationship management (CRM) capabilities through a new integration with top-rated mortgage CRM and mortgage marketing engine, Surefire, one of the innovative solutions offered by industry leader Black Knight, an award-winning software, data and analytics company that drives innovation in the mortgage lending and servicing and real estate industries, as well as the capital and secondary markets. Denim Social users can automatically capture leads generated from Denim Social Pages in their Surefire CRM system.

    Mortgage marketers know better than anyone that relationships are the heart of their business. Social media marketing can help mortgage loan officers engage customers to deepen relationships and identify business opportunities using the new Surefire and Denim Social integration. Marketers can now capture, track and automate relationships at every step – from social posts to CRM records.

    “Relationships matter more than ever in a competitive mortgage market,” said Doug Wilber, CEO of Denim Social. “Using the fully integrated social media and marketing automation with Denim Social and Surefire, mortgage loan officers can make the most of all that social media has to offer, while maximizing their time and relationships.”

    Here’s how the integration works:

    - Mortgage marketers who use both Denim Social and the Surefire CRM can connect the platforms.

    - When a prospect completes a form on a Denim Social landing page, the lead will be automatically distributed to the Surefire CRM.

    - With the Denim Social integration, Surefire records will be created, updated, assigned and marketing automations triggered – with no emails or manual updates needed.

    Mortgage lenders that are ready to maximize your social impact and supercharge your CRM can connect with their Denim Social or Surefire CRM Customer Success representatives to discuss and activate the Surefire integration. Those interested in becoming Denim Social or Surefire customers should contact visit www.denimsocial.com/demo.

    I was beyond excited to attend Adweek’s Social Media Week in New York City this week with some of my Denim Social teammates. Social Media Week is one of the world’s premier conferences covering the most up-and-coming trends and topics in the social media industry, and includes workshops on creating content, paid social advertising, and how to thrive in an ever-connected era from industry leaders. The team and I were excited to learn about the latest trends and best practices to bring it back to our customers in the financial services industry. 

    Some of the latest social trends can feel unreachable within a regulated industry but there was a clear theme from all thought leaders that unified everything we heard: authenticity.

    Authenticity will always resonate and it’s what audiences are craving in our overly-curated world. The pandemic taught us to focus on what matters most and consumers are expecting to see what matters most to them in their social feeds. 

    So what does that mean for financial services? It’s simple. The same authenticity that financial services professionals have used to build relationships and trust with customers over the years is the same authenticity that will resonate on social media. Regulations can make social seem hard to conquer but if you show up as yourself, the trusted professional you already are, your social presence will become a natural extension of you and your business.

    Beyond authenticity, here are a few other key takeaways from our time at Social Media Week:

    1. Find the platform mix that works for you; if your customers aren’t on a particular social platform, you don’t need to include those platforms in your mix
    2. Listen to what is resonating with your social audiences and consistently weave that into the content you’re sharing.
    3. Content should be differentiated across social platforms but your core message should stay consistent; even though content might look different from LinkedIn to Instagram, your message should stay the same.
    4. Attention spans have drastically decreased over the last 15 years (from 11 seconds to 2.5); let this drive what you say on social to keep your audience’s attention, make it matter!
    5. People trust people over brands; empower your localized sales forces (agents, advisors, loan officers, etc.) to be active on social and help them weave it into their everyday processes.

    As we move forward in an age of technology, Denim Social is here to support financial institutions as they navigate all the new ways to reach customers and connect with them on a personal level. While the multitude of avenues for networking can seem overwhelming, it actually just means that there are more opportunities than ever for your business to provide value to meet your customers wherever they are. Keep following along with us for more social media news updates and insights on Instagram and LinkedIn.

    Before a customer makes a purchase, they go through a decision process called the buying journey. They initially become aware of a brand, learn more about it, evaluate whether it’s an appropriate option for their needs, and finally, make the choice to buy in or not. For marketers in the financial industry, this customer buying journey presents an opportunity to utilize a full-funnel marketing strategy. This approach involves getting the right content and messaging in front of the right customer at the right time, strategically engaging them at each stage of the funnel in the lead up to purchase.

    This full-funnel marketing approach is important to the customer buying journey; at each stage, it allows marketers to pique interest, build trust, and encourage action. With customers expecting brands to meet their needs online, this gives financial marketers a unique opportunity to connect with audiences by creating touchpoints along the way. Ultimately, a full-funnel strategy helps financial institutions align marketing efforts with business ROI. Let’s take a look at each stage of the buying process using a full-funnel approach and how social media can help move customers down the funnel.

    Create Brand Awareness With Organic Social

    The first step of the full-funnel marketing approach is awareness – a customer needs to know a business exists before they can do anything else. Here, customers learn about the brand and what value it provides. Through organic publishing with curated social media content, brands can share targeted messages with wide-reaching audiences.  Creating a robust and interesting content mix that informs, educates, and entertains is the first step in giving a brand a place in a customer’s mind.

    Engage Audiences With Paid Advertising

    While establishing a consistent organic content routine is the foundation of the full-funnel process, moving customers along the buying journey requires engagement. The best way to make sure that the right customers are viewing content is to target them through paid advertising. Social advertising campaigns allow marketers to multiply their efforts through the power of intelligent targeting and better manage audience behavior. This way, the people that see a paid ad will be the most likely to be interested in it and engage.

    Encourage Consideration With Relevant Landing Pages

    Any social media post, organic or paid, should lead a customer to a landing page, where they will visit a brand’s website to learn more. For example, a brand can link to a personalized landing page that includes a form to collect customer information in exchange for access to content. It’s mutually beneficial – a customer receives content and a business now has a lead to continue nurturing.

    Convert and Retain Customers With Retargeting

    Finally, conversion is where the magic happens. At this stage, a customer has the information they need to make a purchase decision. With retargeting, marketers can continue to lead the customer along the buying journey by connecting based on previous engagement. While converting a lead to a customer is an excellent way to track success, the journey doesn’t end there. Conversion is simply another step in the circular journey, as the next step is to grow them into a loyal customer that can then become a valuable resource and reference for the brand.

    The overall key to successfully adopting a full-funnel marketing approach is to meet customers where they are, and encourage them to move along the buying process. And that involves addressing them at every stage of the funnel to raise brand awareness, answer questions about the brand, and nurture people through final decision-making. The customer journey and full-funnel approach is ongoing, and can be a great way to better understand how you are meeting business goals and expectations through social media efforts.

    Want to be empowered to embrace marketing opportunities at each stage of the customer buying journey? Having the right social media management tools for financial services at your disposal is the first step. Get started with a demo today.

    Spring has long been a competitive season for both homebuyers and lenders, but this spring is different for mortgage loan officers. Rates are up, applications are down. Mortgage loan officers can no longer rely on bargain rates and that means they need to work harder than ever to best the competition. So how does a loan officer stand out? It’s all about social media.

    It should be obvious at this point that social media can support your lending business, but it’s no longer enough to simply post to a brand page and hope for the best. In today’s social environment, lenders and loan officers must humanize their brand, amplify their reach and work to initiate robust digital experiences.

    As you plan your social media program this spring, consider these three strategies:

    • Humanize Your Brand with Social Selling: Put simply, people buy from people. That means you need to put loan officers front and center on social media. It’s called social selling and it works. Activating mortgage loan officers in a social selling strategy is a key way to expand reach and drive engagement. LinkedIn reports sales reps who engage in social selling achieve 45% more sales opportunities and are 51% more likely to hit their sales quotas.
    • Amplify Reach with Paid Social Media Advertising: Organically posting on mortgage loan officers’ profiles is a necessary first step in social selling, but it’s just the start. Organic posts – some may say ‘viral’ posts – may have received a lot of attention years ago, but social media platforms change their algorithms frequently, making branded content less visible. Organic content can’t stand on its own, but when paired with paid social media advertising, however, you can drive show huge returns. Paid advertising allows marketers to land loan officers’ posts in front of the right audiences at the right times.
    • Start Digital Journeys: Think of your social selling strategies as customer experience builders, not just collections of standalone posts. Research shows that the vast majority of financial institutions are missing out on this opportunity to create experiences by failing to include links in posts. Sounds like no big deal, right? Think again. Links are important because they give followers a next step in their journey with your brand. A link to a landing page, for instance, could capture valuable lead information to drive deals.  

    In a season where every deal matters, a smart social media strategy could give your mortgage loan officers considerable edge. And with the right tools, both marketing teams and mortgage loan officers can efficiently execute and scale to drive big results. It’s tough out there, but building your social media strategy today means you have the opportunity to leave another lender in your social media dust.

    This article was originally published in MBA Newslink.

    Denim Social is proud to announce that its platform will now offer integrated customer relationship management (CRM) capabilities through a new partnership with leading CRM and customer engagement platform, Total Expert. Denim Social users are now able to automatically capture leads generated from Denim Social Pages in the Total Expert platform.

    Mortgage lenders and financial institutions understand the power of human-first connections and social media can help loan officers build relationships. Together with Denim Social, Total Expert users can deepen customer relationships and create customers for life by capturing, tracking, and automating relationships at every step – from social posts to recording interactions in the industry-leading CRM.

    “In a competitive marketplace, a loan officer’s success hinges on connection and relationships,” said Doug Wilber, CEO of Denim Social. “Together, Denim Social and Total Expert can help busy loan officers use social media to stay connected and in front of  their customers and prospects.”

    Here’s how the integration works:

    • Mortgage marketers who use both Denim Social and Total Expert can connect the platforms.
    • When a prospective customer completes a form on a Denim Social landing page, the lead will be automatically distributed to track in Total Expert and trigger engagement via intelligent automation.
    • With the Denim Social integration, Total Expert records will be created, updated, assigned, and marketing automations triggered – no emails or manual updates needed.

    “In today’s market, every lead counts, and social media has become a powerful tool for financial institutions to deepen customer relationships,” said Joe Welu, founder and CEO of Total Expert. “Through Total Expert’s integration with Denim Social, we’re excited to better enable marketers to harness the power of social media to engage, convert and retain customers."

    Ready to maximize your social impact and supercharge your CRM? Connect with your Denim Social and Total Expert Customer Success representatives to discuss and activate the integration today.

    New to Denim Social? Let us show you how the integration works.

    Traditional bank leaders know that fintechs are quickly encroaching on target audiences and customers. They also know any chance of keeping up with digital competitors will depend on making fast and substantial progress toward digital transformation. Consumer demands for easy, accessible and convenient digital services will only increase.

    While some fintechs certainly represent a threat for incumbent banks today, fintechs will also be part of the solution for getting and staying ahead. Many fintechs exist to help banks succeed in an evolving landscape. For bank leaders looking to get their institution to the next phase of digital transformation, building more valuable bank-fintech partnerships should be a priority.

    Incumbent banks must find productive ways to collaborate with fintechs in partnerships to drive excellent digital customer experiences in financial services. The first step is looking inward to develop a clear understanding of your goals and provide the infrastructure fintechs will need to bring value.

    Whether you’re in a less-than-ideal fintech partnership now or you’re looking for the next step toward a digital future, start with these questions to set your institution up for bank-fintech partnership success:

    Do you have a capable liaison? Designate a digital transformation leader within your organization. This person should be an executive leader with excellent communication skills, a solid understanding of the organizations’ needs and goals, a forward-thinking approach and a passion for transformation.

    This leader will serve as a co-development resource as your organization establishes its relationships with fintech partners. They should relay information about the bank’s expectations, requirements and goals to fintechs and learn the overall functionality of solutions to share in training with internal personnel.

    What are you trying to fix? To effectively communicate your needs, your transformation leader will need a clear vision of each of the organization’s goals for fintech collaboration. One fintech won’t be able to achieve all your transformation goals, so consider multiple partnerships aimed at solving specific problems.

    Review your current state and identify any obstacles in the way of creating better digital customer experiences before choosing partners. From there, seek vendors specifically designed to fill your gaps. As you evaluate your options, be transparent about your needs. Without a clear goals, fintech partners won’t be able to deliver clear results.

    Will the solution increase value for customers? In a study examining how the pandemic altered banking consumer behavior, Accenture researchers suggest that nearly half of the banking public would stay loyal to a brand that offers a stellar customer experience. Considering that a 2019 FIS report found more than a third of consumers want to replace plastic banking cards with digital apps, an attractive banking experience is a digital one.

    While you can count on customer expectations for convenient digital services to stay, the specifics of their needs will change over time. Improving digital experiences in financial services should never be a stagnant goal. Monitor how customers react to your digital solutions and share the data with your fintech partners. From there, refine the customer experience together to improve engagement, increase loyalty and drive growth.

    Are your employees on board? For any fintech partnership to succeed, a bank will need its employees on board, especially those in customer-facing roles. These employees will be the ones educating customers about new tools and sharing the value of digital experience-enabling investments, so they need to believe in the power of digital transformation.

    But be wary that new technology might set off alarm bells throughout your organization as many workers regard digitization as a death knell for job security. Combat such misconceptions from the beginning of the planning process by educating employees on how digital solutions will help create better customer experiences. Collaborate with fintech partners to develop workshops that clearly demonstrate how technology will support, not eliminate, jobs.

    The future of financial services is digital. As consumers continue demanding better digital experiences, can your organization meet them with virtual access and convenience to leave a lasting impression? Bank-fintech partnerships based on clarity, transparency and value can help ensure the answer is always yes.

    This article was originally published on BAI Banking Strategies.

    Connect & Convert on Social

    Successfully scale conversion optimized campaigns across all social media channels with built-in compliance, publishing tools, and more.
    Book a Demo