October 26, 2021

Carrier Advice: How to Restructure Your Marketing Department

Most insurance companies were setting out on a digital transformation journey with an expected time frame of about three to five years before COVID-19. Then the pandemic accelerated the need for digitization and shortened that time frame drastically—to about six months, in most cases.

Insurance marketing teams were already using digital marketing prior to the pandemic. But as the pandemic created a world mostly void of face-to-face customer interactions, they had to ramp up digital campaigns and touchpoints significantly—and quickly. Marketers had no choice but to mold ad-hoc digital marketing strategies onto existing department structures.

One problem with charging existing teams with new strategies is that they won’t always have the expertise necessary to pull them off. In-house teams might be used to handling copy and visual, as these have been and will continue to be staples of marketing for a long time. As a result of accelerated digitization across the industry, however, managing CRMs, digital marketing platforms and data are now also critical elements of insurance marketing responsibilities.

Can your team support that, or do you need to expand and restructure?

After more than a year of working this way, it’s time for insurance company leaders to take a deep breath and a step back. They need to critically evaluate the function and structure of their marketing departments to determine if they’re well-positioned to fully embrace modern approaches now and into the future. The tips listed below can help insurance company leaders create marketing departments best suited for pulling off excellent digital marketing strategies.

  1. Combine your brand and business unit marketing teams.

The traditional marketing department structure at insurance companies separates brand marketers and business unit marketers into two or more teams. The brand team is responsible for building and strengthening brand identity and recognition and typically measures its marketing success in recall and impression metrics.

The business unit teams, on the other hand, are responsible for supporting each line of business in the company, like property/casualty, life insurance, etc. These teams produce insurance marketing materials that generally aim to drive direct sales of a given product or service. A large part of measuring success for these teams comes down to conversion metrics.
When these teams operate separately, they can too easily become misaligned around goals. Building the brand, especially on digital channels like social media, can also have a direct impact on conversions. Brand marketers need to think with a conversion mindset, and business unit marketers need to consider how traditionally brand-centric tools, like social media, actually can help grow the business. Essentially, you want to centralize your marketing team so every marketer can collaborate and communicate across the business and unify around shared goals.

  1. Democratize digital marketing.

Marketers shouldn’t be the only team members able to drive your digital insurance marketing efforts. Agents, in particular, can have a huge impact on the business when they do marketing from their own social media business accounts. This approach, known as social selling, humanizes the brand and creates stronger connections between prospects and agents. It can help move prospects closer to conversion and continue nurturing customer relationships once they do convert.
If employees are posting brand-related content on social media, however, marketers will need a way to oversee their activity to ensure all electronic communication stays compliant and consistent with brand messaging standards. A content management platform can help. Look for a platform outfitted with permission settings, user roles and governance features to help you democratize content and eliminate any bottlenecks that could stall your social media marketing efforts.

  1. Keep growing your team.

If you’re looking to expand the expertise of your team and bring on more marketers, a natural assumption might be to hire professionals with direct insurance marketing experience. But remember that growth is the imperative behind your digital transformation in the first place, and if you really want to expand, that means expanding the perspectives on your teams as well. Hiring only marketers with industry experience can make your company seem indistinguishable from the rest as content will often look and feel the same.

Instead, consider hiring people with different backgrounds and experiences, even from outside the industry, to shake things up with new perspectives. People from retail or consumer-brand backgrounds, for example, can invigorate your digital marketing strategy with fresh, new ideas and expose your team to different best practices that can help you stand out from the competition. Look into other industries that really seem to understand consumers and consumer behaviors.

  1. Embrace agility.

Traditional marketing department structures at insurance companies can seem rigid and unable to change easily. But if the pandemic taught us anything, it’s that agility in the face of the unexpected is one key to a strong business.
Structure your team in a way that enables you to pivot quickly when necessary—not just in the face of a global pandemic but also with constantly changing consumer preferences. Build a team that can constantly react to the ever-changing market with new digital tactics. And make sure your marketing team is supported by the right tools and marketing technology infrastructure to support such efforts.
Invest in digital platforms that can automate campaign, content and message delivery across channels to keep your reaction nimble and responsive. The last thing you want is to spend weeks trying to get your marketing materials out, only to find they’re now irrelevant due to some market trend.

  1. Make data-informed decisions.

When it comes to essential infrastructure for insurance companies today, remember the importance of data. Data and analytics are critical, and you need the right technology to capture, compile and disseminate data from disparate systems. The insights you can glean from well-organized data analysis can help your insurance marketing team make the best-informed decisions and provide the room to experiment and test messaging based on the most current information.

The pandemic has forced the hand of many insurance marketing executives. Prioritizing digital marketing efforts is imperative today, but if companies want to see the most return from these investments, they need the right marketing structures to support them. Then, properly designed teams with the right tools and technologies in their arsenals can continue responding to changes as they come, constantly evolving digital marketing strategies and driving success.

This article was originally published in Carrier Management.

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October 26, 2021

Carrier Advice: How to Restructure Your Marketing Department

By
Doug Wilber
CEO, Denim Social

Most insurance companies were setting out on a digital transformation journey with an expected time frame of about three to five years before COVID-19. Then the pandemic accelerated the need for digitization and shortened that time frame drastically—to about six months, in most cases.

Insurance marketing teams were already using digital marketing prior to the pandemic. But as the pandemic created a world mostly void of face-to-face customer interactions, they had to ramp up digital campaigns and touchpoints significantly—and quickly. Marketers had no choice but to mold ad-hoc digital marketing strategies onto existing department structures.

One problem with charging existing teams with new strategies is that they won’t always have the expertise necessary to pull them off. In-house teams might be used to handling copy and visual, as these have been and will continue to be staples of marketing for a long time. As a result of accelerated digitization across the industry, however, managing CRMs, digital marketing platforms and data are now also critical elements of insurance marketing responsibilities.

Can your team support that, or do you need to expand and restructure?

After more than a year of working this way, it’s time for insurance company leaders to take a deep breath and a step back. They need to critically evaluate the function and structure of their marketing departments to determine if they’re well-positioned to fully embrace modern approaches now and into the future. The tips listed below can help insurance company leaders create marketing departments best suited for pulling off excellent digital marketing strategies.

  1. Combine your brand and business unit marketing teams.

The traditional marketing department structure at insurance companies separates brand marketers and business unit marketers into two or more teams. The brand team is responsible for building and strengthening brand identity and recognition and typically measures its marketing success in recall and impression metrics.

The business unit teams, on the other hand, are responsible for supporting each line of business in the company, like property/casualty, life insurance, etc. These teams produce insurance marketing materials that generally aim to drive direct sales of a given product or service. A large part of measuring success for these teams comes down to conversion metrics.
When these teams operate separately, they can too easily become misaligned around goals. Building the brand, especially on digital channels like social media, can also have a direct impact on conversions. Brand marketers need to think with a conversion mindset, and business unit marketers need to consider how traditionally brand-centric tools, like social media, actually can help grow the business. Essentially, you want to centralize your marketing team so every marketer can collaborate and communicate across the business and unify around shared goals.

  1. Democratize digital marketing.

Marketers shouldn’t be the only team members able to drive your digital insurance marketing efforts. Agents, in particular, can have a huge impact on the business when they do marketing from their own social media business accounts. This approach, known as social selling, humanizes the brand and creates stronger connections between prospects and agents. It can help move prospects closer to conversion and continue nurturing customer relationships once they do convert.
If employees are posting brand-related content on social media, however, marketers will need a way to oversee their activity to ensure all electronic communication stays compliant and consistent with brand messaging standards. A content management platform can help. Look for a platform outfitted with permission settings, user roles and governance features to help you democratize content and eliminate any bottlenecks that could stall your social media marketing efforts.

  1. Keep growing your team.

If you’re looking to expand the expertise of your team and bring on more marketers, a natural assumption might be to hire professionals with direct insurance marketing experience. But remember that growth is the imperative behind your digital transformation in the first place, and if you really want to expand, that means expanding the perspectives on your teams as well. Hiring only marketers with industry experience can make your company seem indistinguishable from the rest as content will often look and feel the same.

Instead, consider hiring people with different backgrounds and experiences, even from outside the industry, to shake things up with new perspectives. People from retail or consumer-brand backgrounds, for example, can invigorate your digital marketing strategy with fresh, new ideas and expose your team to different best practices that can help you stand out from the competition. Look into other industries that really seem to understand consumers and consumer behaviors.

  1. Embrace agility.

Traditional marketing department structures at insurance companies can seem rigid and unable to change easily. But if the pandemic taught us anything, it’s that agility in the face of the unexpected is one key to a strong business.
Structure your team in a way that enables you to pivot quickly when necessary—not just in the face of a global pandemic but also with constantly changing consumer preferences. Build a team that can constantly react to the ever-changing market with new digital tactics. And make sure your marketing team is supported by the right tools and marketing technology infrastructure to support such efforts.
Invest in digital platforms that can automate campaign, content and message delivery across channels to keep your reaction nimble and responsive. The last thing you want is to spend weeks trying to get your marketing materials out, only to find they’re now irrelevant due to some market trend.

  1. Make data-informed decisions.

When it comes to essential infrastructure for insurance companies today, remember the importance of data. Data and analytics are critical, and you need the right technology to capture, compile and disseminate data from disparate systems. The insights you can glean from well-organized data analysis can help your insurance marketing team make the best-informed decisions and provide the room to experiment and test messaging based on the most current information.

The pandemic has forced the hand of many insurance marketing executives. Prioritizing digital marketing efforts is imperative today, but if companies want to see the most return from these investments, they need the right marketing structures to support them. Then, properly designed teams with the right tools and technologies in their arsenals can continue responding to changes as they come, constantly evolving digital marketing strategies and driving success.

This article was originally published in Carrier Management.

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SIMILAR POSTS:

Make the most of your social media presence by optimizing your images and including essential information about your business on each platform. By giving your customers an optimal digital experience, you will be able to broaden your reach and provide better customer service through your digital platforms.

Facebook

IMAGE SIZING:

Profile picture: 170 x 170px (desktop), 128 x 128px (smartphones)

Cover photo: 820 x 312px (desktop), 640 x 360px (smartphones)

Keep the main content of your image centered. On a desktop the photo will display as 840x312px, but on mobile will size down to 640x360px.

Facebook post image: 1200 x 630px

The ideal width for a Facebook post image is 1200px, but height can vary based on what type of device the image display is optimized for. We recommend keeping it at the recommended size to keep consistency on all devices.

When creating a Facebook Ad graphic, any text should not take up more than 20% of the photo. You can find a cheat sheet here: https://www.facebook.com/ads/tools/text_overlay.

Facebook Video: 1280 x 720px

The optimal length for a short-form video on Facebook is 15 seconds to 1 minute; for a long-form video, it is 3 minutes. The maximum file size is 10GB.

Facebook Link Image: 1200 x 630px

Make sure to claim ownership of your links for the ability to change the link preview photo. You can find more info on that here: https://www.facebook.com/business/help/528858287471922?id=708699556338610.

Carousel Post: 1080 x 1080px

Carousel posts are a great way to display multiple services or features that you offer to your customers. When placing a Facebook ad you can link each carousel photo to a different link, making it easy for people to navigate to your specific products.

Facebook Story: 1080 x 1920px

Make the most of your stories by using all of your space and creating a fullscreen experience.

IMPORTANT PAGE INFORMATION:

Page name:

This is where you can name your Facebook Page, but be sure to keep it shorter than 75 characters.

Page username:

Customize your page URL by adding a username, making it easier for people to locate and navigate people from other digital platforms. Your Facebook URL can include up to 50 characters.

Page call to action:

Facebook gives you a variety of choices on calls to action. For example, if you’d like customers to contact you by email, you can set up a “Send Email” button with your email address connected and ready to go.

LinkedIn

IMAGE SIZING:

Profile picture: 400 x 400px

Upload your business logo here to personalize your profile. If this page is for an individual, this is where you will upload their headshot.

Cover Photo: 1584 x 396px

Having a personalized business cover photo will make your profile look more professional and give you the opportunity to provide page visitors with more of the look and feel of your business. This can include an image related to your business or a graphic with information on services you provide or your business slogan.

LinkedIn post photo: 1200 x 628px (mobile), 1200 x 1200px (desktop)

When targeting an audience on both desktop and mobile, make sure that you optimize for mobile to give people the best experience.

LinkedIn Link Photo: 1200 x 628px (mobile), 1200 x 1200px (desktop)

Providing an image with your link preview can help give viewers a better idea of article content and also communicate your brand look and feel.

LinkedIn Link Video: 4096 x 2304px maximum, 256 x 144 pixels minimum

The optimal video length for LinkedIn is 30-90 seconds and the maximum file size is 5GB.

IMPORTANT PAGE INFORMATION

Page name:

This is where your business name is located, as well as your company industry, location, and number of followers.

Page description:

Add your business slogan, mission, or a short description that tells people what your company, products, and services can do for them.

Twitter

IMAGE SIZING

Profile picture: 400 x 400px

Upload your business logo or headshot to personalize your profile.

Cover photo: 1500 x 500px

Be sure to center your content to give your followers an optimized experience on mobile.

Twitter post photo: 1200 x 675px

Allow your followers to see the entirety of the photo in their feed by adhering to this sizing guideline. The maximum file size is 5MB.

Twitter video: 1280 x 720px (desktop, recommended), 720 x 720px (mobile)

The optimal video length for Twitter is 20-45 seconds and the maximum file size is 512MB.

IMPORTANT PAGE INFORMATION

Underneath your profile photo, your company name and username will be displayed.

Write a short bio to tell people more about your business.

Instagram

IMAGE SIZING

Profile photo: 110 x 110px

Your profile picture will be small, so be sure your image is sized correctly and centered. This is a great place for your company logo.

Profile thumbnail: Displays as 161 x 161px

This is a preview of your large image post, but looks best when the photo posted is square.

Highlight Cover: 1080 x 1920px

Your cover photos should have centered images to give your highlight reel a balanced look. You can also name your highlights, but be concise as they can only be 15 characters long.

Instagram Feed Photo: 1080 x 1080px (square), 1080 x 1350 (portrait), 1080 x 566 (landscape)

The recommended width for all Instagram feed photos is 1080px, but the height can vary. To optimize for your feed display within your profile, we recommend using the sizing listed above to keep your image square.

Instagram Feed Video:  1080 x 1080px (square), 1080 x 1350 (portrait), 1080 x 566 (landscape)

The optimal length for an Instagram video is 30-60 seconds and the max file size is 650MB.

Instagram Feed Ad Photo: 1080 x 1080px

Your ad photo will display the same as a normal feed photo, but with a link attached. When creating an ad in Ads Manager, you’ll be able to upload a separate photo for Instagram to keep your photos optimized for the user experience.

Instagram Story: 1080 x 1920px (portrait), 1080 x 601 (landscape)

Make the most of your stories by using all of your space and creating a fullscreen experience. The maximum length of the story is 15 seconds.

Instagram Reels & Live: 1080 x 1920px

Reels can be used to offer tutorials, demos, or service features. These will be saved under your profile page for viewers to go back and watch at their leisure. The maximum length for Reels is 30 seconds. For Live, this can be used for announcements, events, or other Q&A sessions. These can also be saved for later viewing, and can last up to 4 hours.

What’s in a #Hashtag?
February 9, 2022

Hashtag use is a debatable topic when it comes to posting and engaging on social media. Before 2007 the hashtag symbol was simply known as the “pound” or “number” symbol, but now by putting this symbol in front of words and short phrases in a social media post, they become a “hashtag” – which creates deeper meaning. Hashtags may seem arbitrary because of how widely they are used, but they can add a lot of value to your content strategy if you are intentional about where you use them. The many benefits of hashtags can include content awareness, community building, SEO influence, and more.

Content Strategy

Hashtags bring together content that has shared subject matter that otherwise may never be associated. This gives the reader the opportunity to view content that other people have created around a hashtag and use it to influence your strategy moving forward. For example: If you are interested in creating a social media campaign around “financial freedom,” searching the hashtag #financialfreedom will open the door for you to find questions people have, social posts that have been utilized with this topic, and what other businesses are saying. You may find that someone else has already done a similar social campaign, and it would make sense to change some of your content ideas to differentiate yourself in the market. Getting an understanding of how your content will fit into the conversation can help provide value and drive clicks back to your website.

Community Building

Are you hosting an event, wanting to create synergy between people, or looking for community input on a specific topic? A hashtag is a great way to group together information and  conversations in one easily searchable place. By creating a hashtag unique to your project or event and promoting it for people to use, you’ll be able to find related posts in one feed. For example: you’re planning a mortgage conference and want people to be able to snap a photo of themselves in attendance, then post it to social media. By asking them to include a hashtag – including the name of your conference and year (#MidwestMortgageConference2020) –you’ll be able to see all of the posts from attendees in one place and potentially further connect with attendees in the future.

Is there a trending hashtag related to your business or community? Utilize this hashtag to join the conversation and bring recognition to content you are creating or already have published around a topic. With all posts relevant to a hashtag pulled into one feed, you can easily respond to others and create relationships based on shared interests or topics. For example: Mortgage rates are at an all time low and #homebuying is a trending topic on Twitter. As a mortgage business or loan officer this is a great opportunity to be a part of the conversation and offer insight into how you can bring value to potential homebuyers.

SEO Influence

LinkedIn had an important platform update that is now changing the game for hashtags related to SEO by including the first three hashtags in a published post within the URL. This improves where you show up in a Google search related to those topics, therefore driving traffic back to your post (and ultimately website!). Using hashtags can also bolster your content visibility as they essentially act as keywords on social media platforms. If someone searches for a hashtag and finds your content to be valuable, they may share it, potentially giving you more link clicks and improving visibility. It’s important that you use hashtags that are not only relevant to your content, but also likely to be found by people searching.

Best Practices

It’s important to remember that your post should consist of content that gives context to the hashtags you’re using. A post with only hashtags will likely be confusing and won’t offer any value to your followers. It’s also good to note that using more hashtags isn’t always advantageous. It’s in your best interest to

Remember that each social media platform handles hashtags differently:

  1. Twitter, the birthplace of the hashtag, continues to place value in their use and uses them to help you learn about what’s trending on their platform. Get involved in conversations happening on the platform around trending topics by including the hashtag in your post. Click on a hashtag to find a single feed of all posts that have recently added it to their post. Try not to use more than 2 hashtags per tweet.
  2. Instagram groups together posts that utilize the same hashtag in one image feed, showing you both recent and most popular posts. Using a hashtag on Instagram can help people discover your content and increase your following. It may also lead to content shares and profile visits, potentially increasing website traffic. On Instagram posts, feel free to use anywhere from 5 to 10 hashtags per post, and up to 10 in Stories.
  3. LinkedIn as stated above is now allowing you to boost your SEO when you use hashtags within their platform. Knowing what hashtags people are using and searching for commonly will give you an advantage in knowing what types of content to post. LinkedIn also turns hashtags into clickable links that allow you to see a single feed of posts using the same hashtags. For this network, keep hashtags professional and limit the use of them to 2 for each post.
  4. Using a hashtag on Facebook will provide viewers with a clickable link that takes them to more content they may be interested in. Facebook users are generally less likely to be searching for hashtags, but they still provide value in organizing content in one easy to find place. Facebook is also seeing its users shift to more private channels, and hashtags can be useful for grouping content by themes or topics. The optimal number of hashtags to use on Facebook? 1-2 per post.

Hashtags are not going anywhere anytime soon and can bring more depth to your social media posts when used correctly. You can start and participate in conversations, build community & event awareness, gain insight into content strategy, and improve your SEO all by adding the # in front of the keywords within your posts. With all of the benefits of hashtags, why not try including them in your next campaign strategy? Who knows, you just might end up trending!

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

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

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

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

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

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

2. Emphasize that everyone has a role to play.

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

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

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

3. Combine social branding with tactical messaging.

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

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

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

This was originally published in PropertyCasualty 360.

Instagram stands out as the shining star of social media platforms. While Facebook still reigns supreme, Instagram is quickly catching up fast with more than 1 billion users worldwide today — up by 73.5 million since 2020.

With users under age 34 making up nearly half of this user population, financial services marketers looking to reach younger generations should take note. And with an estimated sum of $68 trillion in wealth expected to transfer from Baby Boomers to Millennials in the next couple of decades, Millennials are a worthwhile target.

Studies predict that, after inheriting wealth, 80% or more young heirs will seek out a new financial advisor. Considering that 9 in 10 accounts follow at least one business on Instagram and 8 in 10 users find new products and services in the app, it’s a safe bet that Instagram will be a place to influence many Millennials. Wise financial services marketers will meet them where they are with strong Instagram marketing strategies, and the following tips can help:

1. Focus on paid ads

Instagram is a visual platform for sharing photos and videos, so it’s important for brand pages to populate their profiles with organic posts. While this presence is important, organic content isn’t what will move the needle on business goals. Financial services aren’t exactly visually interesting, and organic posts tend to have low reach as they only show up in the feeds of a brand’s current followers. Without the ability to include hyperlinks in captions, they also won’t drive any traffic back to your site. If you want to build the type of following needed to generate new business, including paid advertising in your Instagram marketing strategy is your ticket.

With Instagram advertising, institutions and advisors can target ads to land with exactly the right audience — even outside their follower base — and include links in posts to drive more traffic to the brand. With a specific call to action that directs consumers to learn more about a topic, Instagram ads offer a straight-line path to giving customers the valuable information they desire — in their own time and at their own place. What’s more, Instagram advertising is seamlessly integrated directly into Instagram feeds and stories, creating a smoother user experience all around.

2. Connect with consumers on a local level

Instagram marketing on the corporate brand level is a great starting point, but advertising on behalf of your individual advisors can take your strategy to the next level. Think of it this way: If a consumer sees a well-known brand on social media, they might recognize the name, but they won’t feel an intrinsic connection beyond initial familiarity. In contrast, they’ll feel familiarity and an immediate connection when they see a post from an advisor in their own community. Consumers want to build relationships with brands, and a shared community is a great starting point.

Of course, most advisors and other financial services employees are not experts on how to market the business on Instagram. And marketers know they must keep all social media marketing for their financial institutions compliant to avoid heavy regulatory reprimands. To keep posts compliant, save employees time, and help them build relationships with consumers in their physical communities, financial services marketers can set up and run ads on their behalf.

3. Micro-target content to your audience

As big-name brands like Amazon continue to elevate the digital customer experience with seamless customer service, purchasing, and delivery, customer expectations are higher than ever before. When customers evaluate a financial institution, they compare it not only to other organizations in the industry, but also to tech giants in any industry that give them exactly what they need when they need it.

They expect a high level of personalization and convenience, and Instagram marketing with paid advertising can help you give it to them. Match basic behavioral and geographic data to potential customers on Instagram to target ads, and then track clicks, engagements, and post-click actions. These data points don’t indicate much on their own, but together they offer a rich story about what consumers want. Continually refine your strategy with these data points in mind to deliver the kind of highly personalized experiences your audiences want on Instagram.

With a large Millennial user base that engages actively with brands online and the ability to target highly personalized ads to exactly the right audiences, Instagram is a must-have in any financial services marketing strategy. To learn more about how Instagram marketing can work to drive your business forward, download our guide to building stronger customer relationships on Instagram for free today.

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.

As Denim Social studied more than 400 financial institutions for our 2020 Social Media Benchmark Report, we found that only about 20% were including links in their social media content. That means about 80% of organizations are missing big opportunities to create further engagement and drive ROI from social media.

Social media marketing strategies for financial institutions are important for generating interest and building awareness, but without links, a social post is essentially a digital dead end. A post promoting a new product or service might generate a bit of interest, for example, but if the viewer has nowhere to go from there, they’re likely to drop off after hitting the “like” button. It might generate awareness, but it’s not directly moving the needle on your business goals.

A solid linking strategy, on the other hand, can build digital customer journeys that bring more value to followers and increase social media conversions for organizations. When you’re planning your social media marketing strategy, think about how you can incorporate the following links to guide followers on a journey to becoming customers:

1. External links

Denim recommends that social media marketing strategies for financial institutions follow a “4-1-1” approach. That means six posts per week, four of which should be informational, evergreen content. These posts should include links to trustworthy, verified media sources. Sharing useful information from authoritative outlets is an effective way to educate audiences on financial topics, provide value, encourage further engagement, and build trust.

2. Landing page links

One of six weekly posts should be community-oriented. This post should aim to engage the local community and demonstrate how your organization gives back. A closing photo from a mortgage loan officer is one great example of a community-oriented post. Remember that these posts should aim to catch the followers’ interest and lead them to helpful services to learn more — they should not aim to sell services outright with overly promotional content.

To lead followers to more valuable content from the community-oriented post, include a link to a landing page on your website. The landing page could prompt visitors to input their name and email in exchange for a mortgage 101 guidebook, for example. When visitors submit their details, you have contact information for primed leads in your hands, and your audience has a valuable resource in theirs. Denim Social’s code-free landing page wireframe makes it easy for marketers, even those with no web design experience, to build and scale highly professional landing pages in minutes.

3. Owned content links

The last of your six posts should be promotional about your products or services. These can drive readers to a place on your website where they can learn more or engage with an expert at your organization to ask questions. Link to owned content such as blog posts to accomplish those goals. Well-written and informative blog posts can help you demonstrate expertise and build trust. Plus, linking to these pages will guide users to your digital property, much like landing pages, and you can use that data to retarget posts to people who might have shown interest but dropped off the digital customer journey before engaging further with the brand.

Remember, although this content can promote your products and services, it should still serve a greater purpose than to simply be a digital billboard for your brand. Provide valuable information that readers need, and include a call to action in each post that gives them the opportunity to engage further with ease.

Social media is an excellent brand-building tool, but if you’re not using it to drive ROI and further progress toward business goals, you’re not harnessing its full potential. Including linking tactics in your social media marketing strategy is a simple way to make a big difference.

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GUIDES

Carrier Advice: How to Restructure Your Marketing Department

Most insurance companies were setting out on a digital transformation journey with an expected time frame of about three to five years before COVID-19. Then the pandemic accelerated the need for digitization and shortened that time frame drastically—to about six months, in most cases.

Insurance marketing teams were already using digital marketing prior to the pandemic. But as the pandemic created a world mostly void of face-to-face customer interactions, they had to ramp up digital campaigns and touchpoints significantly—and quickly. Marketers had no choice but to mold ad-hoc digital marketing strategies onto existing department structures.

One problem with charging existing teams with new strategies is that they won’t always have the expertise necessary to pull them off. In-house teams might be used to handling copy and visual, as these have been and will continue to be staples of marketing for a long time. As a result of accelerated digitization across the industry, however, managing CRMs, digital marketing platforms and data are now also critical elements of insurance marketing responsibilities.

Can your team support that, or do you need to expand and restructure?

After more than a year of working this way, it’s time for insurance company leaders to take a deep breath and a step back. They need to critically evaluate the function and structure of their marketing departments to determine if they’re well-positioned to fully embrace modern approaches now and into the future. The tips listed below can help insurance company leaders create marketing departments best suited for pulling off excellent digital marketing strategies.

  1. Combine your brand and business unit marketing teams.

The traditional marketing department structure at insurance companies separates brand marketers and business unit marketers into two or more teams. The brand team is responsible for building and strengthening brand identity and recognition and typically measures its marketing success in recall and impression metrics.

The business unit teams, on the other hand, are responsible for supporting each line of business in the company, like property/casualty, life insurance, etc. These teams produce insurance marketing materials that generally aim to drive direct sales of a given product or service. A large part of measuring success for these teams comes down to conversion metrics.
When these teams operate separately, they can too easily become misaligned around goals. Building the brand, especially on digital channels like social media, can also have a direct impact on conversions. Brand marketers need to think with a conversion mindset, and business unit marketers need to consider how traditionally brand-centric tools, like social media, actually can help grow the business. Essentially, you want to centralize your marketing team so every marketer can collaborate and communicate across the business and unify around shared goals.

  1. Democratize digital marketing.

Marketers shouldn’t be the only team members able to drive your digital insurance marketing efforts. Agents, in particular, can have a huge impact on the business when they do marketing from their own social media business accounts. This approach, known as social selling, humanizes the brand and creates stronger connections between prospects and agents. It can help move prospects closer to conversion and continue nurturing customer relationships once they do convert.
If employees are posting brand-related content on social media, however, marketers will need a way to oversee their activity to ensure all electronic communication stays compliant and consistent with brand messaging standards. A content management platform can help. Look for a platform outfitted with permission settings, user roles and governance features to help you democratize content and eliminate any bottlenecks that could stall your social media marketing efforts.

  1. Keep growing your team.

If you’re looking to expand the expertise of your team and bring on more marketers, a natural assumption might be to hire professionals with direct insurance marketing experience. But remember that growth is the imperative behind your digital transformation in the first place, and if you really want to expand, that means expanding the perspectives on your teams as well. Hiring only marketers with industry experience can make your company seem indistinguishable from the rest as content will often look and feel the same.

Instead, consider hiring people with different backgrounds and experiences, even from outside the industry, to shake things up with new perspectives. People from retail or consumer-brand backgrounds, for example, can invigorate your digital marketing strategy with fresh, new ideas and expose your team to different best practices that can help you stand out from the competition. Look into other industries that really seem to understand consumers and consumer behaviors.

  1. Embrace agility.

Traditional marketing department structures at insurance companies can seem rigid and unable to change easily. But if the pandemic taught us anything, it’s that agility in the face of the unexpected is one key to a strong business.
Structure your team in a way that enables you to pivot quickly when necessary—not just in the face of a global pandemic but also with constantly changing consumer preferences. Build a team that can constantly react to the ever-changing market with new digital tactics. And make sure your marketing team is supported by the right tools and marketing technology infrastructure to support such efforts.
Invest in digital platforms that can automate campaign, content and message delivery across channels to keep your reaction nimble and responsive. The last thing you want is to spend weeks trying to get your marketing materials out, only to find they’re now irrelevant due to some market trend.

  1. Make data-informed decisions.

When it comes to essential infrastructure for insurance companies today, remember the importance of data. Data and analytics are critical, and you need the right technology to capture, compile and disseminate data from disparate systems. The insights you can glean from well-organized data analysis can help your insurance marketing team make the best-informed decisions and provide the room to experiment and test messaging based on the most current information.

The pandemic has forced the hand of many insurance marketing executives. Prioritizing digital marketing efforts is imperative today, but if companies want to see the most return from these investments, they need the right marketing structures to support them. Then, properly designed teams with the right tools and technologies in their arsenals can continue responding to changes as they come, constantly evolving digital marketing strategies and driving success.

This article was originally published in Carrier Management.

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

    Carrier Advice: How to Restructure Your Marketing Department

    Most insurance companies were setting out on a digital transformation journey with an expected time frame of about three to five years before COVID-19. Then the pandemic accelerated the need for digitization and shortened that time frame drastically—to about six months, in most cases.

    Insurance marketing teams were already using digital marketing prior to the pandemic. But as the pandemic created a world mostly void of face-to-face customer interactions, they had to ramp up digital campaigns and touchpoints significantly—and quickly. Marketers had no choice but to mold ad-hoc digital marketing strategies onto existing department structures.

    One problem with charging existing teams with new strategies is that they won’t always have the expertise necessary to pull them off. In-house teams might be used to handling copy and visual, as these have been and will continue to be staples of marketing for a long time. As a result of accelerated digitization across the industry, however, managing CRMs, digital marketing platforms and data are now also critical elements of insurance marketing responsibilities.

    Can your team support that, or do you need to expand and restructure?

    After more than a year of working this way, it’s time for insurance company leaders to take a deep breath and a step back. They need to critically evaluate the function and structure of their marketing departments to determine if they’re well-positioned to fully embrace modern approaches now and into the future. The tips listed below can help insurance company leaders create marketing departments best suited for pulling off excellent digital marketing strategies.

    1. Combine your brand and business unit marketing teams.

    The traditional marketing department structure at insurance companies separates brand marketers and business unit marketers into two or more teams. The brand team is responsible for building and strengthening brand identity and recognition and typically measures its marketing success in recall and impression metrics.

    The business unit teams, on the other hand, are responsible for supporting each line of business in the company, like property/casualty, life insurance, etc. These teams produce insurance marketing materials that generally aim to drive direct sales of a given product or service. A large part of measuring success for these teams comes down to conversion metrics.
    When these teams operate separately, they can too easily become misaligned around goals. Building the brand, especially on digital channels like social media, can also have a direct impact on conversions. Brand marketers need to think with a conversion mindset, and business unit marketers need to consider how traditionally brand-centric tools, like social media, actually can help grow the business. Essentially, you want to centralize your marketing team so every marketer can collaborate and communicate across the business and unify around shared goals.

    1. Democratize digital marketing.

    Marketers shouldn’t be the only team members able to drive your digital insurance marketing efforts. Agents, in particular, can have a huge impact on the business when they do marketing from their own social media business accounts. This approach, known as social selling, humanizes the brand and creates stronger connections between prospects and agents. It can help move prospects closer to conversion and continue nurturing customer relationships once they do convert.
    If employees are posting brand-related content on social media, however, marketers will need a way to oversee their activity to ensure all electronic communication stays compliant and consistent with brand messaging standards. A content management platform can help. Look for a platform outfitted with permission settings, user roles and governance features to help you democratize content and eliminate any bottlenecks that could stall your social media marketing efforts.

    1. Keep growing your team.

    If you’re looking to expand the expertise of your team and bring on more marketers, a natural assumption might be to hire professionals with direct insurance marketing experience. But remember that growth is the imperative behind your digital transformation in the first place, and if you really want to expand, that means expanding the perspectives on your teams as well. Hiring only marketers with industry experience can make your company seem indistinguishable from the rest as content will often look and feel the same.

    Instead, consider hiring people with different backgrounds and experiences, even from outside the industry, to shake things up with new perspectives. People from retail or consumer-brand backgrounds, for example, can invigorate your digital marketing strategy with fresh, new ideas and expose your team to different best practices that can help you stand out from the competition. Look into other industries that really seem to understand consumers and consumer behaviors.

    1. Embrace agility.

    Traditional marketing department structures at insurance companies can seem rigid and unable to change easily. But if the pandemic taught us anything, it’s that agility in the face of the unexpected is one key to a strong business.
    Structure your team in a way that enables you to pivot quickly when necessary—not just in the face of a global pandemic but also with constantly changing consumer preferences. Build a team that can constantly react to the ever-changing market with new digital tactics. And make sure your marketing team is supported by the right tools and marketing technology infrastructure to support such efforts.
    Invest in digital platforms that can automate campaign, content and message delivery across channels to keep your reaction nimble and responsive. The last thing you want is to spend weeks trying to get your marketing materials out, only to find they’re now irrelevant due to some market trend.

    1. Make data-informed decisions.

    When it comes to essential infrastructure for insurance companies today, remember the importance of data. Data and analytics are critical, and you need the right technology to capture, compile and disseminate data from disparate systems. The insights you can glean from well-organized data analysis can help your insurance marketing team make the best-informed decisions and provide the room to experiment and test messaging based on the most current information.

    The pandemic has forced the hand of many insurance marketing executives. Prioritizing digital marketing efforts is imperative today, but if companies want to see the most return from these investments, they need the right marketing structures to support them. Then, properly designed teams with the right tools and technologies in their arsenals can continue responding to changes as they come, constantly evolving digital marketing strategies and driving success.

    This article was originally published in Carrier Management.

    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

    Carrier Advice: How to Restructure Your Marketing Department

    Most insurance companies were setting out on a digital transformation journey with an expected time frame of about three to five years before COVID-19. Then the pandemic accelerated the need for digitization and shortened that time frame drastically—to about six months, in most cases.

    Insurance marketing teams were already using digital marketing prior to the pandemic. But as the pandemic created a world mostly void of face-to-face customer interactions, they had to ramp up digital campaigns and touchpoints significantly—and quickly. Marketers had no choice but to mold ad-hoc digital marketing strategies onto existing department structures.

    One problem with charging existing teams with new strategies is that they won’t always have the expertise necessary to pull them off. In-house teams might be used to handling copy and visual, as these have been and will continue to be staples of marketing for a long time. As a result of accelerated digitization across the industry, however, managing CRMs, digital marketing platforms and data are now also critical elements of insurance marketing responsibilities.

    Can your team support that, or do you need to expand and restructure?

    After more than a year of working this way, it’s time for insurance company leaders to take a deep breath and a step back. They need to critically evaluate the function and structure of their marketing departments to determine if they’re well-positioned to fully embrace modern approaches now and into the future. The tips listed below can help insurance company leaders create marketing departments best suited for pulling off excellent digital marketing strategies.

    1. Combine your brand and business unit marketing teams.

    The traditional marketing department structure at insurance companies separates brand marketers and business unit marketers into two or more teams. The brand team is responsible for building and strengthening brand identity and recognition and typically measures its marketing success in recall and impression metrics.

    The business unit teams, on the other hand, are responsible for supporting each line of business in the company, like property/casualty, life insurance, etc. These teams produce insurance marketing materials that generally aim to drive direct sales of a given product or service. A large part of measuring success for these teams comes down to conversion metrics.
    When these teams operate separately, they can too easily become misaligned around goals. Building the brand, especially on digital channels like social media, can also have a direct impact on conversions. Brand marketers need to think with a conversion mindset, and business unit marketers need to consider how traditionally brand-centric tools, like social media, actually can help grow the business. Essentially, you want to centralize your marketing team so every marketer can collaborate and communicate across the business and unify around shared goals.

    1. Democratize digital marketing.

    Marketers shouldn’t be the only team members able to drive your digital insurance marketing efforts. Agents, in particular, can have a huge impact on the business when they do marketing from their own social media business accounts. This approach, known as social selling, humanizes the brand and creates stronger connections between prospects and agents. It can help move prospects closer to conversion and continue nurturing customer relationships once they do convert.
    If employees are posting brand-related content on social media, however, marketers will need a way to oversee their activity to ensure all electronic communication stays compliant and consistent with brand messaging standards. A content management platform can help. Look for a platform outfitted with permission settings, user roles and governance features to help you democratize content and eliminate any bottlenecks that could stall your social media marketing efforts.

    1. Keep growing your team.

    If you’re looking to expand the expertise of your team and bring on more marketers, a natural assumption might be to hire professionals with direct insurance marketing experience. But remember that growth is the imperative behind your digital transformation in the first place, and if you really want to expand, that means expanding the perspectives on your teams as well. Hiring only marketers with industry experience can make your company seem indistinguishable from the rest as content will often look and feel the same.

    Instead, consider hiring people with different backgrounds and experiences, even from outside the industry, to shake things up with new perspectives. People from retail or consumer-brand backgrounds, for example, can invigorate your digital marketing strategy with fresh, new ideas and expose your team to different best practices that can help you stand out from the competition. Look into other industries that really seem to understand consumers and consumer behaviors.

    1. Embrace agility.

    Traditional marketing department structures at insurance companies can seem rigid and unable to change easily. But if the pandemic taught us anything, it’s that agility in the face of the unexpected is one key to a strong business.
    Structure your team in a way that enables you to pivot quickly when necessary—not just in the face of a global pandemic but also with constantly changing consumer preferences. Build a team that can constantly react to the ever-changing market with new digital tactics. And make sure your marketing team is supported by the right tools and marketing technology infrastructure to support such efforts.
    Invest in digital platforms that can automate campaign, content and message delivery across channels to keep your reaction nimble and responsive. The last thing you want is to spend weeks trying to get your marketing materials out, only to find they’re now irrelevant due to some market trend.

    1. Make data-informed decisions.

    When it comes to essential infrastructure for insurance companies today, remember the importance of data. Data and analytics are critical, and you need the right technology to capture, compile and disseminate data from disparate systems. The insights you can glean from well-organized data analysis can help your insurance marketing team make the best-informed decisions and provide the room to experiment and test messaging based on the most current information.

    The pandemic has forced the hand of many insurance marketing executives. Prioritizing digital marketing efforts is imperative today, but if companies want to see the most return from these investments, they need the right marketing structures to support them. Then, properly designed teams with the right tools and technologies in their arsenals can continue responding to changes as they come, constantly evolving digital marketing strategies and driving success.

    This article was originally published in Carrier Management.

    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

    Carrier Advice: How to Restructure Your Marketing Department

    Most insurance companies were setting out on a digital transformation journey with an expected time frame of about three to five years before COVID-19. Then the pandemic accelerated the need for digitization and shortened that time frame drastically—to about six months, in most cases.

    Insurance marketing teams were already using digital marketing prior to the pandemic. But as the pandemic created a world mostly void of face-to-face customer interactions, they had to ramp up digital campaigns and touchpoints significantly—and quickly. Marketers had no choice but to mold ad-hoc digital marketing strategies onto existing department structures.

    One problem with charging existing teams with new strategies is that they won’t always have the expertise necessary to pull them off. In-house teams might be used to handling copy and visual, as these have been and will continue to be staples of marketing for a long time. As a result of accelerated digitization across the industry, however, managing CRMs, digital marketing platforms and data are now also critical elements of insurance marketing responsibilities.

    Can your team support that, or do you need to expand and restructure?

    After more than a year of working this way, it’s time for insurance company leaders to take a deep breath and a step back. They need to critically evaluate the function and structure of their marketing departments to determine if they’re well-positioned to fully embrace modern approaches now and into the future. The tips listed below can help insurance company leaders create marketing departments best suited for pulling off excellent digital marketing strategies.

    1. Combine your brand and business unit marketing teams.

    The traditional marketing department structure at insurance companies separates brand marketers and business unit marketers into two or more teams. The brand team is responsible for building and strengthening brand identity and recognition and typically measures its marketing success in recall and impression metrics.

    The business unit teams, on the other hand, are responsible for supporting each line of business in the company, like property/casualty, life insurance, etc. These teams produce insurance marketing materials that generally aim to drive direct sales of a given product or service. A large part of measuring success for these teams comes down to conversion metrics.
    When these teams operate separately, they can too easily become misaligned around goals. Building the brand, especially on digital channels like social media, can also have a direct impact on conversions. Brand marketers need to think with a conversion mindset, and business unit marketers need to consider how traditionally brand-centric tools, like social media, actually can help grow the business. Essentially, you want to centralize your marketing team so every marketer can collaborate and communicate across the business and unify around shared goals.

    1. Democratize digital marketing.

    Marketers shouldn’t be the only team members able to drive your digital insurance marketing efforts. Agents, in particular, can have a huge impact on the business when they do marketing from their own social media business accounts. This approach, known as social selling, humanizes the brand and creates stronger connections between prospects and agents. It can help move prospects closer to conversion and continue nurturing customer relationships once they do convert.
    If employees are posting brand-related content on social media, however, marketers will need a way to oversee their activity to ensure all electronic communication stays compliant and consistent with brand messaging standards. A content management platform can help. Look for a platform outfitted with permission settings, user roles and governance features to help you democratize content and eliminate any bottlenecks that could stall your social media marketing efforts.

    1. Keep growing your team.

    If you’re looking to expand the expertise of your team and bring on more marketers, a natural assumption might be to hire professionals with direct insurance marketing experience. But remember that growth is the imperative behind your digital transformation in the first place, and if you really want to expand, that means expanding the perspectives on your teams as well. Hiring only marketers with industry experience can make your company seem indistinguishable from the rest as content will often look and feel the same.

    Instead, consider hiring people with different backgrounds and experiences, even from outside the industry, to shake things up with new perspectives. People from retail or consumer-brand backgrounds, for example, can invigorate your digital marketing strategy with fresh, new ideas and expose your team to different best practices that can help you stand out from the competition. Look into other industries that really seem to understand consumers and consumer behaviors.

    1. Embrace agility.

    Traditional marketing department structures at insurance companies can seem rigid and unable to change easily. But if the pandemic taught us anything, it’s that agility in the face of the unexpected is one key to a strong business.
    Structure your team in a way that enables you to pivot quickly when necessary—not just in the face of a global pandemic but also with constantly changing consumer preferences. Build a team that can constantly react to the ever-changing market with new digital tactics. And make sure your marketing team is supported by the right tools and marketing technology infrastructure to support such efforts.
    Invest in digital platforms that can automate campaign, content and message delivery across channels to keep your reaction nimble and responsive. The last thing you want is to spend weeks trying to get your marketing materials out, only to find they’re now irrelevant due to some market trend.

    1. Make data-informed decisions.

    When it comes to essential infrastructure for insurance companies today, remember the importance of data. Data and analytics are critical, and you need the right technology to capture, compile and disseminate data from disparate systems. The insights you can glean from well-organized data analysis can help your insurance marketing team make the best-informed decisions and provide the room to experiment and test messaging based on the most current information.

    The pandemic has forced the hand of many insurance marketing executives. Prioritizing digital marketing efforts is imperative today, but if companies want to see the most return from these investments, they need the right marketing structures to support them. Then, properly designed teams with the right tools and technologies in their arsenals can continue responding to changes as they come, constantly evolving digital marketing strategies and driving success.

    This article was originally published in Carrier Management.

    Download the Guide

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    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
    October 26, 2021

    Carrier Advice: How to Restructure Your Marketing Department

    By
    Doug Wilber
    CEO, Denim Social

    Most insurance companies were setting out on a digital transformation journey with an expected time frame of about three to five years before COVID-19. Then the pandemic accelerated the need for digitization and shortened that time frame drastically—to about six months, in most cases.

    Insurance marketing teams were already using digital marketing prior to the pandemic. But as the pandemic created a world mostly void of face-to-face customer interactions, they had to ramp up digital campaigns and touchpoints significantly—and quickly. Marketers had no choice but to mold ad-hoc digital marketing strategies onto existing department structures.

    One problem with charging existing teams with new strategies is that they won’t always have the expertise necessary to pull them off. In-house teams might be used to handling copy and visual, as these have been and will continue to be staples of marketing for a long time. As a result of accelerated digitization across the industry, however, managing CRMs, digital marketing platforms and data are now also critical elements of insurance marketing responsibilities.

    Can your team support that, or do you need to expand and restructure?

    After more than a year of working this way, it’s time for insurance company leaders to take a deep breath and a step back. They need to critically evaluate the function and structure of their marketing departments to determine if they’re well-positioned to fully embrace modern approaches now and into the future. The tips listed below can help insurance company leaders create marketing departments best suited for pulling off excellent digital marketing strategies.

    1. Combine your brand and business unit marketing teams.

    The traditional marketing department structure at insurance companies separates brand marketers and business unit marketers into two or more teams. The brand team is responsible for building and strengthening brand identity and recognition and typically measures its marketing success in recall and impression metrics.

    The business unit teams, on the other hand, are responsible for supporting each line of business in the company, like property/casualty, life insurance, etc. These teams produce insurance marketing materials that generally aim to drive direct sales of a given product or service. A large part of measuring success for these teams comes down to conversion metrics.
    When these teams operate separately, they can too easily become misaligned around goals. Building the brand, especially on digital channels like social media, can also have a direct impact on conversions. Brand marketers need to think with a conversion mindset, and business unit marketers need to consider how traditionally brand-centric tools, like social media, actually can help grow the business. Essentially, you want to centralize your marketing team so every marketer can collaborate and communicate across the business and unify around shared goals.

    1. Democratize digital marketing.

    Marketers shouldn’t be the only team members able to drive your digital insurance marketing efforts. Agents, in particular, can have a huge impact on the business when they do marketing from their own social media business accounts. This approach, known as social selling, humanizes the brand and creates stronger connections between prospects and agents. It can help move prospects closer to conversion and continue nurturing customer relationships once they do convert.
    If employees are posting brand-related content on social media, however, marketers will need a way to oversee their activity to ensure all electronic communication stays compliant and consistent with brand messaging standards. A content management platform can help. Look for a platform outfitted with permission settings, user roles and governance features to help you democratize content and eliminate any bottlenecks that could stall your social media marketing efforts.

    1. Keep growing your team.

    If you’re looking to expand the expertise of your team and bring on more marketers, a natural assumption might be to hire professionals with direct insurance marketing experience. But remember that growth is the imperative behind your digital transformation in the first place, and if you really want to expand, that means expanding the perspectives on your teams as well. Hiring only marketers with industry experience can make your company seem indistinguishable from the rest as content will often look and feel the same.

    Instead, consider hiring people with different backgrounds and experiences, even from outside the industry, to shake things up with new perspectives. People from retail or consumer-brand backgrounds, for example, can invigorate your digital marketing strategy with fresh, new ideas and expose your team to different best practices that can help you stand out from the competition. Look into other industries that really seem to understand consumers and consumer behaviors.

    1. Embrace agility.

    Traditional marketing department structures at insurance companies can seem rigid and unable to change easily. But if the pandemic taught us anything, it’s that agility in the face of the unexpected is one key to a strong business.
    Structure your team in a way that enables you to pivot quickly when necessary—not just in the face of a global pandemic but also with constantly changing consumer preferences. Build a team that can constantly react to the ever-changing market with new digital tactics. And make sure your marketing team is supported by the right tools and marketing technology infrastructure to support such efforts.
    Invest in digital platforms that can automate campaign, content and message delivery across channels to keep your reaction nimble and responsive. The last thing you want is to spend weeks trying to get your marketing materials out, only to find they’re now irrelevant due to some market trend.

    1. Make data-informed decisions.

    When it comes to essential infrastructure for insurance companies today, remember the importance of data. Data and analytics are critical, and you need the right technology to capture, compile and disseminate data from disparate systems. The insights you can glean from well-organized data analysis can help your insurance marketing team make the best-informed decisions and provide the room to experiment and test messaging based on the most current information.

    The pandemic has forced the hand of many insurance marketing executives. Prioritizing digital marketing efforts is imperative today, but if companies want to see the most return from these investments, they need the right marketing structures to support them. Then, properly designed teams with the right tools and technologies in their arsenals can continue responding to changes as they come, constantly evolving digital marketing strategies and driving success.

    This article was originally published in Carrier Management.

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    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:


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    October 26, 2021

    Carrier Advice: How to Restructure Your Marketing Department

    By
    Doug Wilber
    CEO, Denim Social

    Most insurance companies were setting out on a digital transformation journey with an expected time frame of about three to five years before COVID-19. Then the pandemic accelerated the need for digitization and shortened that time frame drastically—to about six months, in most cases.

    Insurance marketing teams were already using digital marketing prior to the pandemic. But as the pandemic created a world mostly void of face-to-face customer interactions, they had to ramp up digital campaigns and touchpoints significantly—and quickly. Marketers had no choice but to mold ad-hoc digital marketing strategies onto existing department structures.

    One problem with charging existing teams with new strategies is that they won’t always have the expertise necessary to pull them off. In-house teams might be used to handling copy and visual, as these have been and will continue to be staples of marketing for a long time. As a result of accelerated digitization across the industry, however, managing CRMs, digital marketing platforms and data are now also critical elements of insurance marketing responsibilities.

    Can your team support that, or do you need to expand and restructure?

    After more than a year of working this way, it’s time for insurance company leaders to take a deep breath and a step back. They need to critically evaluate the function and structure of their marketing departments to determine if they’re well-positioned to fully embrace modern approaches now and into the future. The tips listed below can help insurance company leaders create marketing departments best suited for pulling off excellent digital marketing strategies.

    1. Combine your brand and business unit marketing teams.

    The traditional marketing department structure at insurance companies separates brand marketers and business unit marketers into two or more teams. The brand team is responsible for building and strengthening brand identity and recognition and typically measures its marketing success in recall and impression metrics.

    The business unit teams, on the other hand, are responsible for supporting each line of business in the company, like property/casualty, life insurance, etc. These teams produce insurance marketing materials that generally aim to drive direct sales of a given product or service. A large part of measuring success for these teams comes down to conversion metrics.
    When these teams operate separately, they can too easily become misaligned around goals. Building the brand, especially on digital channels like social media, can also have a direct impact on conversions. Brand marketers need to think with a conversion mindset, and business unit marketers need to consider how traditionally brand-centric tools, like social media, actually can help grow the business. Essentially, you want to centralize your marketing team so every marketer can collaborate and communicate across the business and unify around shared goals.

    1. Democratize digital marketing.

    Marketers shouldn’t be the only team members able to drive your digital insurance marketing efforts. Agents, in particular, can have a huge impact on the business when they do marketing from their own social media business accounts. This approach, known as social selling, humanizes the brand and creates stronger connections between prospects and agents. It can help move prospects closer to conversion and continue nurturing customer relationships once they do convert.
    If employees are posting brand-related content on social media, however, marketers will need a way to oversee their activity to ensure all electronic communication stays compliant and consistent with brand messaging standards. A content management platform can help. Look for a platform outfitted with permission settings, user roles and governance features to help you democratize content and eliminate any bottlenecks that could stall your social media marketing efforts.

    1. Keep growing your team.

    If you’re looking to expand the expertise of your team and bring on more marketers, a natural assumption might be to hire professionals with direct insurance marketing experience. But remember that growth is the imperative behind your digital transformation in the first place, and if you really want to expand, that means expanding the perspectives on your teams as well. Hiring only marketers with industry experience can make your company seem indistinguishable from the rest as content will often look and feel the same.

    Instead, consider hiring people with different backgrounds and experiences, even from outside the industry, to shake things up with new perspectives. People from retail or consumer-brand backgrounds, for example, can invigorate your digital marketing strategy with fresh, new ideas and expose your team to different best practices that can help you stand out from the competition. Look into other industries that really seem to understand consumers and consumer behaviors.

    1. Embrace agility.

    Traditional marketing department structures at insurance companies can seem rigid and unable to change easily. But if the pandemic taught us anything, it’s that agility in the face of the unexpected is one key to a strong business.
    Structure your team in a way that enables you to pivot quickly when necessary—not just in the face of a global pandemic but also with constantly changing consumer preferences. Build a team that can constantly react to the ever-changing market with new digital tactics. And make sure your marketing team is supported by the right tools and marketing technology infrastructure to support such efforts.
    Invest in digital platforms that can automate campaign, content and message delivery across channels to keep your reaction nimble and responsive. The last thing you want is to spend weeks trying to get your marketing materials out, only to find they’re now irrelevant due to some market trend.

    1. Make data-informed decisions.

    When it comes to essential infrastructure for insurance companies today, remember the importance of data. Data and analytics are critical, and you need the right technology to capture, compile and disseminate data from disparate systems. The insights you can glean from well-organized data analysis can help your insurance marketing team make the best-informed decisions and provide the room to experiment and test messaging based on the most current information.

    The pandemic has forced the hand of many insurance marketing executives. Prioritizing digital marketing efforts is imperative today, but if companies want to see the most return from these investments, they need the right marketing structures to support them. Then, properly designed teams with the right tools and technologies in their arsenals can continue responding to changes as they come, constantly evolving digital marketing strategies and driving success.

    This article was originally published in Carrier Management.

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    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.

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