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

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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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.

Customers expected seamless digital experience with their financial services providers even before the pandemic, but COVID-19 turned that push into a shove as social distancing guidelines restricted face-to-face interactions and online became the only place to communicate with customers.

Over the past year, financial services marketing has changed drastically, and it’s never going back to the way it was before. Digital transformation in financial services is here to stay and will only continue accelerating. In fact, 20% of bank customers expect to use digital channels even more often after the pandemic.

Social media is an important digital channel for financial services marketers to focus on as they learn to build and maintain customer relationships in today’s increasingly virtual world. Consumers are connecting on social media today more than ever before, and it’s up to your financial institution to meet them there.

Social Media Marketing Strategies That Drive Results

When designing social strategies, financial services marketers must focus on the right goals to ensure their time, effort, and money pays off. Setting these goals will actually require a bit of a shift in the traditional mindset around social media. Bank leaders and even marketers today still think of social media as primarily a brand-building tool — a means to get your name out there, and not much more.

But social media can serve a much greater purpose for your institution than brand building alone. Aim beyond simple vanity metrics such as likes and shares with your social media marketing goals, and focus on driving real, measurable business results. With some next-level social media marketing strategies, it is possible to directly impact the bottom line by driving conversions on social.

To turn viewers into leads and leads into customers, follow these social media strategies that convert:

1. Build trust with valuable content.

Content has always been the top consideration when it comes to social media marketing strategies. Social media is a convenient way for your brand to share valuable, engaging material and resources with customers to show your value as a helpful partner right away. This value sets a foundation of trust from which strong customer relationships can grow in the future.

The people who should lay that foundation are employees themselves. This is because people want to communicate with and connect better to other humans — rather than big brand names alone. It’s no surprise that when employees share branded posts to their own networks — a strategy called social selling — they can garner twice as much engagement as brand posts. Of course, content in itself won’t convert customers — even if your employees are sharing it themselves. But humanizing the brand in this way will help viewers feel more comfortable and excited to engage further with employees to learn what your brand has to offer.

It’s understandable if thinking of letting each of your organization’s employees post brand-related content wherever and whenever they choose on social media makes you a bit apprehensive. Regulatory guidelines around electronic communication are no joke, and every financial services provider must abide by them, lest they end up in serious trouble. The good news, however, is that effective social selling strategies can be compliant, and it doesn’t have to mean loads of additional work for compliance officers or marketers. Social media management tools like Denim Social’s platform allow you to set automated workflows and create libraries of preapproved content that make it easy to ensure every employee post, comment, and engagement on social media stays within the bounds.

2. Bring prospects closer with landing pages.

So if humanizing and engaging social posts alone won’t convert leads, what will? Part of that answer lies in landing pages. When employees can share links to landing pages in their social media posts, they’re essentially providing a bridge for customers to cross from point A, a social post that piques their interest, to point B, your brand’s website, where they can engage further.

Landing pages should include informative titles that show what the reader will get from the content there right away. Then, they should include a form field where visitors can input their names and email addresses in return for the content advertised in the social post and in the introductory copy on the landing page. When a visitor inputs their information, they should receive a download of the content, and your sales team can get their contact information right in their hands.

To imagine this ecosystem in practice, first imagine a loan officer at your institution is interested in working with first-time homebuyers. Your marketing team creates a whitepaper that includes all of the information a first-time homebuyer needs to know about securing their first mortgage. Then, your marketing team builds a landing page that gates that whitepaper behind a contact form field. The loan officer posts one of the best tips from the guide on social media and prompts anyone who wants more information to click the link to learn more. Those who click the link go to the landing page, exchange their information for the resource, and get valuable information in return. Armed with their email addresses, your sales team can then reach out to let them know the loan officer is ready to set up a meeting as soon as they’re ready to talk about getting a mortgage.

Now, any marketers who read that and shuddered at the thought of building a website page all on their own should know that Denim Social’s landing page builder requires zero coding or web design experience. Marketers can simply drag and drop elements to create many different landing pages for multiple campaigns with ease.

3. Allocate some of your marketing budget toward paid ads.

Getting your employees up and running on social media and giving them landing pages to guide prospects along the digital journey with your brand is all necessary for getting started, but the way social platforms have advanced their algorithms to limit the visibility of branded content today means you need to invest in paid social media advertising if you want to see a real impact from that strategy.

Organic posts simply don’t cut through the noise on social media any longer. Sure, they serve a useful purpose of setting a foundation of expertise and value from your bankers, but to get in front of more consumers beyond the followers in their networks, and to deliver the kind of relevant and personalized content that consumers want most today, you need to invest in paid advertising.

Of course, the biggest appeal of organic social media marketing is that it’s totally free, right? Well, paid advertising on social media won’t take up too much room in your budget, either, and the return you’ll see on your investment will be well worth the initial expenses. Paid ads allow you to target specific audiences at exactly the right time with exactly the right content. And Denim Social’s proprietary social media advertising manager makes it easy for financial services marketers to organize and deploy paid campaigns across different platforms and to different audience segments. Essentially, advanced targeting capabilities ensure that no effort you or your employees put into your social media marketing efforts is wasted on the wrong audiences.

Next-Level Social Media Also Means Thinking Beyond Conversion

We’ve put a lot of weight into the conversion argument here to tell you that conversions should actually not be your end goal — but that’s the truth. It’s important to first shift your institution's understanding of what social media can do — to take it beyond a brand-building tool and into a tool that drives direct results — but you can and should also use social media after prospects become customers to maintain and strengthen your relationships over time.

Part of this relationship-building also means opening up more opportunities for cross-selling and upselling, as bankers can constantly be looking for new ways to add value to their customer relationships. When you consider what social media marketing strategies should entail beyond the point of conversion, first remember that employees are still key. Especially after customers have had a chance to engage with one or two of your associates, they’ll appreciate seeing familiar faces in their feeds sharing valuable content that resonates.

Valuable Content Is Important Post-Conversion, Too

Valuable, helpful material is your best tool for capitalizing on cross- or upselling opportunities with current customers. For example, if a customer wants to open a new joint savings account to save for a down payment on a house, you now know they’re interested in becoming homebuyers, perhaps for the first time.

Once they have their new account, a loan officer can reach out with a link to a landing page that houses a first-time mortgage 101 guidebook. The guidebook can include a call-to-action prompting readers to get in touch with a loan officer to get the process started.

Retargeting Can Help You Upsell With Ease

Another valuable social media tactic in this process is called retargeting. This means landing new paid ads in front of people who have already shown interest in your content but who have dropped out of the social media conversion funnel at some point and never reached conversion — whether they were just prospects looking into your brand or current customers looking to engage in further services.

Denim Social’s audiences tool allows you to segment such viewers into categories who have viewed but dropped off of certain pages. For example, you could create an audience segment of people who have viewed your savings account page but never engaged and those who have viewed your mortgage 101 guidebook page but never engaged. Then, you can create social media advertisements and target them to land in front of these users, giving them another opportunity to engage further and learn more.

Being on social media is already table stakes for financial institutions as consumers want to connect predominantly online. That won’t change, and in fact, digital transformation in financial services is likely to accelerate even faster and further into the future. To stay competitive, financial institutions today need to take their social media marketing to the next level. Marketers must shift their focus toward strategies that drive measurable results toward the organization’s bottom line. Then, they must consider how those strategies can extend beyond the point of conversion to continue nurturing relationships and driving more business for the brand. To find out more about how Denim Social can help, sign up for a personalized demo today.

Designing and implementing social media strategies for financial institutions takes an investment of time, effort, and money. How can marketers tell whether the return is worth the investment?

Many financial institutions look at vanity metrics to define their success on social media. Sure, this can show you how many likes, comments, and shares a post gets, but it doesn’t do much to prove a return on your investment. If you want to see real, measurable business results that go beyond farming and tracking likes and shares, you must focus on measuring and increasing conversion rates.

Social media can be much more than just a brand-building tool for financial institutions. If you’re interested in moving to the next level of social media, take the following steps to convert leads and collect data to measure your success along the way:

1. Woo followers with trust-building social content.

The first step in driving conversions from social media is to get your audience’s attention with valuable content. Not every piece of content will drive conversions directly, but material that provides value to readers and establishes your expertise will build a solid foundation for your social media strategy.

For example, local audience members would appreciate seeing content about how your financial institution is involved in the community. This is important content to share, but it doesn’t necessarily convert. Content that highlights your expertise and gets audiences interested in your services, however, is also an important part of your content foundation — and that material can provide a more direct line to conversion. A guidebook for first-time homebuyers, for instance, could spark a conversation between a follower and a loan officer.

The key is to encourage your employees to share such content on their own social media accounts. Audiences will be twice as likely to click on a post shared by an employee than by the larger brand profile as they’ll relate more to a human face than a big brand. When employees become brand ambassadors on social media, they set a stronger foundation for trust and relationship-building down the line.

2. Lead audiences to the next step in the digital journey with landing pages.

Next, your social media strategy should go beyond catching interest to leading readers back to your website for further engagement.

Build website landing pages to house the valuable content your associates highlight in their posts. For example, an employees’ social post could list one or two first steps in a guidebook for first-time homebuyers, then offer a link to the landing page to learn more. Once readers follow the link and land on your website, they can fill out a form with their name and email and get the guidebook download in return.

Tools exist to help even marketers with no website-building experience craft landing pages with ease. You’ll want to create one for each of your target audiences for a targeted approach. For example, you may want to reach young adults with the homebuying guidebook and older ones with a retirement planning one. The intent is to offer readers valuable, relevant content they want and need — and to gather their information in the process. That way, the sales team can reach out to engage leads who have already demonstrated interest and seen value from your brand.

3. Bring paid advertising into the fold to land in front of the right people.

You can’t have an effective social media strategy without a foundation of organic social media, but you also can’t really grow your brand without investing in paid ads. Social platforms have changed their algorithms over the years to limit the visibility of branded posts. Paid social media advertising, however, allows you to target posts to specific audience segments and cut through the noise to deliver content that feels relevant and personalized. For example, by putting some money behind your associates’ posts about the first-time homebuyer guide, you could ensure that those posts reach young adults in the area.

What’s more, you can retarget leads with paid social media advertising. If someone clicked a link from a social post to navigate to your landing page, downloaded the guidebook, but never responded to a follow-up email from the sales team, you could get ads in front of them on social to offer more valuable material and keep your brand top of mind. It can help you reengage audiences in the digital journey to get them one step closer to conversion.

Social media has changed considerably in the past 10 years. Make no mistake: It’s still an incredibly important tool to have in your marketing stack. You just need to reframe your social media strategy so you can more plainly tell what’s working and why. By balancing your vanity and conversion metrics, as well as the processes used to bump them up, you’ll be well on your way to winning more customers.

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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:

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.

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

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

Every Mortgage Marketer Should Ask Themselves

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

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

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

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

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

Read this guide if you’re asking yourself:

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

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

How 6 Financial Marketers Are Creating Value in Social Media

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

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

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

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

Enjoy!

ABA Study: The Current State of Social Media

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

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

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

    Every Financial Services Marketer Should Ask Themselves

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

    Stronger Customer Relationships on Instagram

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

    COVID-19 & Bank Social Media

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

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

    GUIDES

    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

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    ALL GUIDES:

    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.

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

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

    Every Mortgage Marketer Should Ask Themselves

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

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

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

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

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

    Read this guide if you’re asking yourself:

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

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

    How 6 Financial Marketers Are Creating Value in Social Media

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

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

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

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

    Enjoy!

    ABA Study: The Current State of Social Media

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

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

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

    Every Financial Services Marketer Should Ask Themselves

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

    Stronger Customer Relationships on Instagram

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

    COVID-19 & Bank Social Media

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

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

    GUIDES

    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:

    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.

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

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

    Every Mortgage Marketer Should Ask Themselves

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

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

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

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

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

    Read this guide if you’re asking yourself:

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

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

    How 6 Financial Marketers Are Creating Value in Social Media

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

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

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

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

    Enjoy!

    ABA Study: The Current State of Social Media

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

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

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

    Every Financial Services Marketer Should Ask Themselves

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

    Stronger Customer Relationships on Instagram

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

    COVID-19 & Bank Social Media

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

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

    GUIDES

    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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    ALL GUIDES:

    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.

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

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

    Every Mortgage Marketer Should Ask Themselves

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

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

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

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

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

    Read this guide if you’re asking yourself:

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

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

    How 6 Financial Marketers Are Creating Value in Social Media

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

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

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

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

    Enjoy!

    ABA Study: The Current State of Social Media

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

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

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

    Every Financial Services Marketer Should Ask Themselves

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

    Stronger Customer Relationships on Instagram

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

    COVID-19 & Bank Social Media

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

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

    RESOURCES

    NEWS
    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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    OTHER NEWS:

    The pandemic fundamentally changed how banks interact with clients. In this recorded session from the American Bankers Association Bank Marketing Conference, learn how to use digital channels, including social media, to build meaningful customer relationships. Discover how to position your bank to customers who no longer prefer the branch experience.

    This session features Denim Social CEO, Doug Wilber, and the following experts: 

    • Liz Broekman, VP, Director of P.O.W.E.R., Fidelity Bank
    • Dr. Anissa Evans, DBA, Marketing Manager, Evolve Bank & Trust
    • Shelly Loftin, CFMP, SVP, Retail, Payments & Lending, American Bankers Association

    Curious about the impact of a Social Selling strategy for your bank? Read our guidebook: The Social Selling Playbook for Banks.

    Denim Social is an American Bankers Association endorsed solution.

    Podcast: Pivotal Moments
    November 18, 2021

    In an interview with Experience.com's Kristin Messerli, Doug Wilber, explains the importance of humanizing the way companies connect with consumers, creating a measurable social media impact, and the pivotal moments that led to the creation of the rising social media management software company. As a pioneer in the advertising world, Doug shares insight on how his platform and future innovations can impact the digital world.

    Want to learn more about how to humanize your brand in social media? Check out our Social Selling Playbook for Financial Marketers.

    Nonbank mortgage lenders are carving out an increasingly large portion of the mortgage space, originating 58.9 percent of all U.S. mortgages in 2019 and 68.1 percent in 2020. As customers have increased their adoption of other digital solutions, it’s no surprise that they seek the ease and speed of online mortgage services as well. Digital lenders prioritize creating seamless customer experiences, and customers appreciate the fast and efficient process.

    Speed and convenience are nonbank lenders’ biggest competitive advantages, but banks do still have something digital lenders don’t: human relationships. Banks must focus on maintaining existing customer relationships to increase mortgage sales. Lenders today retain fewer than 20 percent of past customers, which represents a lot of missed opportunities as past customers approach other lenders.

    Banks that maintain relationships will have a better chance of being the first place that customers go for new lending needs. Considering that 77 percent of borrowers move forward with the first lender they speak to when they’re looking for a loan, it’s an excellent way to boost your mortgage business. So how can you do it?

    Increasing mortgage sales with social media marketing

    A strong social media marketing strategy is a great way for lenders to maintain solid customer relationships over time. Consider these steps to build an effective strategy:

    Establish stronger connections through social selling. Social selling is essentially social media marketing for your mortgage loan officers. Loan officers share branded material and engage actively with current and potential customers through their own social media channels. Bank employees’ individual accounts have 10 times the reach of brand pages alone, and they can create more meaningful conversations. It’s about marketing your people, not just your products, as a way to build human connection. Customers can communicate directly with real people to find mortgage-related guidance, which establishes loyalty and trust in your brand from the start.

    Stay top of mind with targeted paid social media advertising. Social selling can help loan officers start and maintain customer relationships, but existing customers do deserve an extra level of attention—and it will pay off. It’s five to 25 times more expensive to acquire than retain customers, and an increase in customer retention rates by a mere 5 percent can boost profits by 25 to 95 percent.

    Build paid social media advertising into your social media marketing strategy to focus on customer retention. Paid ads offer the precision necessary to target existing customers with messages that speak directly to their specific needs—refinancing their current mortgage or seeking loan options for a second home, for instance. Paid social can get your loan officers in front of customers when they need lending options the most. It’s also one of the more affordable ways to create targeted ads, so you can make the most of a limited budget while keeping your brand top of mind.

    Enhance customer engagement with retention tools. Your loan officers can stay in touch with current customers on social media, but they can’t see into the future. Enable more predictive social media marketing for mortgage loan officers by investing in data analytics solutions. The technology can compile customer intelligence from sources like credit history, accumulated home equity, consumer debt load and major life events to show you when customers might be ready for new lending arrangements—perhaps before customers even know themselves. Loan officers can then perform proactive social media outreach to be the first option in front of a customer before they begin shopping around.

    Social selling and paid social media advertising, when strategically executed in tandem with retention tools, can bring your bank measurable results. As you channel your focus into social media marketing for your mortgage loan officers, track conversion metrics to see how your efforts contribute to the bank’s bottom line.

    This article was originally published in ABA Bank Marketing.

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

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

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

    1. Put the human element front and center

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

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

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

    2. Create digital pathways to human interactions

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

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

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

    3. Focus on customer retention just as much as acquisition

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

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

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

    This was originally published on ABA Bank Marketing.

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

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

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

    1. Be transparent about your problems.

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

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

    2. Get an internal fintech advocate on board.

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

    3. Put a premium on the customer experience.

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

    4. Keep tabs on the employee experience, too.

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

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

    This article was originally published in ABA Bank Marketing.

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

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

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

    Building Digital Marketing Infrastructure

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

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

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

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

    Social Selling Strategy

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

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

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

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

    Landing Page Builder

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

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

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

    Onboarding Engagement Platform

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

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

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

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

    This article was originally posted on The Financial Brand.

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    VISION
    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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    SIMILAR POSTS:

    The pandemic fundamentally changed how banks interact with clients. In this recorded session from the American Bankers Association Bank Marketing Conference, learn how to use digital channels, including social media, to build meaningful customer relationships. Discover how to position your bank to customers who no longer prefer the branch experience.

    This session features Denim Social CEO, Doug Wilber, and the following experts: 

    • Liz Broekman, VP, Director of P.O.W.E.R., Fidelity Bank
    • Dr. Anissa Evans, DBA, Marketing Manager, Evolve Bank & Trust
    • Shelly Loftin, CFMP, SVP, Retail, Payments & Lending, American Bankers Association

    Curious about the impact of a Social Selling strategy for your bank? Read our guidebook: The Social Selling Playbook for Banks.

    Denim Social is an American Bankers Association endorsed solution.

    Denim Social is proud to announce that its platform will now offer integrated review capabilities through a new partnership with Experience.com, the world’s most impactful Experience Management Platform. Denim Social users will now be able to easily and compliantly share positive reviews on their social media channels.

    Financial institutions know that relationships matter and that means positive reviews of loan officers and other associates play a pivotal role in the success of a social selling strategy. With Denim Social’s new Experience.com integration, users can post positive reviews gathered through Experience.com’s platform to their social media channels in just a few clicks.

    “People buy from people in the mortgage industry and that means financial institutions need to humanize their brands in social media,” said Doug Wilber, CEO of Denim Social. “Experience.com is the premier experience platform and now we can offer our shared clients the ability to seamlessly integrate reviews into their social strategies.”

    Here’s how the integration works:

    • Experience.com’s platform delivers survey completion requests to a financial institution’s recent customers.
    • Completed surveys are organized and made available on the Experience.com platform.
    • Top-rated reviews will automatically populate as social posts in the Denim Social content library for easy brand and loan officer social media publishing.
    • Denim Social’s compliance features ensure reviews are compliant before social posts are published.

    “Financial services organizations have been using the power of real-time customer feedback in the Experience.com platform for years, boosting customer retention, revenue, and reviews,” said Kristin Messerli, VP of Financial Services at Experience.com. “ We are excited about this new partnership with Denim Social to extend the reach of the great client feedback our customers receive.”

    Top-rated reviews now automatically populate as social posts in the Denim Social content library.


    This integrated feature is now available for all shared Experience.com and Denim Social clients.

    To learn more about social media publishing, visit DenimSocial.com. To learn more about the Experience Management Platform, visit experience.com.

    Podcast: Pivotal Moments
    November 18, 2021

    In an interview with Experience.com's Kristin Messerli, Doug Wilber, explains the importance of humanizing the way companies connect with consumers, creating a measurable social media impact, and the pivotal moments that led to the creation of the rising social media management software company. As a pioneer in the advertising world, Doug shares insight on how his platform and future innovations can impact the digital world.

    Want to learn more about how to humanize your brand in social media? Check out our Social Selling Playbook for Financial Marketers.

    Eureka! You’ve found the perfect news article to link to in a social media post. It’s from a trustworthy news source, has a great headline and image, but then you see it. Whomp whomp... this article promotes your competitor.

    Choosing third-party news content for your social media feeds can be a challenge for a number of reasons, but the last thing you want is to give your competitors love in your post. There’s no hard and fast rule for deciding if an article is good to post, but here are a few general guidelines we share with our Denim Social customers.

    If the article is sponsored by a competitor: Skip it!

    Increasingly media outlets are working with brands to create sponsored content. It may read like a regular editorial article, but look closely, if it includes a “brought to you by” or a “created in partnership” disclosure, it may be sponsored. If the article was bought by your competition, it will serve their business goals. Best to avoid these in your posts.

    If the article contains a quote from a competitor: It depends.

    Media outlets use quotes to bring their stories to life with expert perspectives. If your team tries to avoid all news articles with quotes from competitive experts, you can quickly find yourself without any third party content. News content brings authenticity to your social feeds and builds trust. The tradeoff is that not all of the content will include your experts. Read quotes critically and only post articles that support your institution’s strategies and values. It’s about finding the right balance for your team.

    If the article contains banner ads from a competitor: Use it.

    Banner ads are ubiquitous and you probably feel like you’re seeing promotions for your competitors all the time. That’s because you are. If you frequently visit competitor websites, search for them or click on their promos, you will be served their digital ads. In all likelihood you’re more actively engaging with your competitors compared to the average consumer. Our online habits vary widely and digital ads change quickly, which means your target audience probably won’t be served the same ads as you see. Don’t let one competitive banner ad stop you from sharing that fantastic news article.

    Financial marketing presents plenty of challenges, but don’t let competitor concerns stop you from making the most of social media and digital strategies. Using these handy tips and trusting your own expert instincts, you can avoid a competitive social media misstep.

    If you’re struggling to find the right content for your financial institution’s social media posts, we can help. The Denim Social platform offers financial marketers the ability to curate collections of relevant, high-quality and compliant social media content. Learn more here.



    Nonbank mortgage lenders are carving out an increasingly large portion of the mortgage space, originating 58.9 percent of all U.S. mortgages in 2019 and 68.1 percent in 2020. As customers have increased their adoption of other digital solutions, it’s no surprise that they seek the ease and speed of online mortgage services as well. Digital lenders prioritize creating seamless customer experiences, and customers appreciate the fast and efficient process.

    Speed and convenience are nonbank lenders’ biggest competitive advantages, but banks do still have something digital lenders don’t: human relationships. Banks must focus on maintaining existing customer relationships to increase mortgage sales. Lenders today retain fewer than 20 percent of past customers, which represents a lot of missed opportunities as past customers approach other lenders.

    Banks that maintain relationships will have a better chance of being the first place that customers go for new lending needs. Considering that 77 percent of borrowers move forward with the first lender they speak to when they’re looking for a loan, it’s an excellent way to boost your mortgage business. So how can you do it?

    Increasing mortgage sales with social media marketing

    A strong social media marketing strategy is a great way for lenders to maintain solid customer relationships over time. Consider these steps to build an effective strategy:

    Establish stronger connections through social selling. Social selling is essentially social media marketing for your mortgage loan officers. Loan officers share branded material and engage actively with current and potential customers through their own social media channels. Bank employees’ individual accounts have 10 times the reach of brand pages alone, and they can create more meaningful conversations. It’s about marketing your people, not just your products, as a way to build human connection. Customers can communicate directly with real people to find mortgage-related guidance, which establishes loyalty and trust in your brand from the start.

    Stay top of mind with targeted paid social media advertising. Social selling can help loan officers start and maintain customer relationships, but existing customers do deserve an extra level of attention—and it will pay off. It’s five to 25 times more expensive to acquire than retain customers, and an increase in customer retention rates by a mere 5 percent can boost profits by 25 to 95 percent.

    Build paid social media advertising into your social media marketing strategy to focus on customer retention. Paid ads offer the precision necessary to target existing customers with messages that speak directly to their specific needs—refinancing their current mortgage or seeking loan options for a second home, for instance. Paid social can get your loan officers in front of customers when they need lending options the most. It’s also one of the more affordable ways to create targeted ads, so you can make the most of a limited budget while keeping your brand top of mind.

    Enhance customer engagement with retention tools. Your loan officers can stay in touch with current customers on social media, but they can’t see into the future. Enable more predictive social media marketing for mortgage loan officers by investing in data analytics solutions. The technology can compile customer intelligence from sources like credit history, accumulated home equity, consumer debt load and major life events to show you when customers might be ready for new lending arrangements—perhaps before customers even know themselves. Loan officers can then perform proactive social media outreach to be the first option in front of a customer before they begin shopping around.

    Social selling and paid social media advertising, when strategically executed in tandem with retention tools, can bring your bank measurable results. As you channel your focus into social media marketing for your mortgage loan officers, track conversion metrics to see how your efforts contribute to the bank’s bottom line.

    This article was originally published in ABA Bank Marketing.

    A lot has changed in social media for banks this year. Denim Social CEO, Doug Wilber, recently joined the ABA Bank Marketing Podcast to talk change and new technology. Listen below to learn how banks are using social media to deepen relationships and close more deals. Get the scoop on what's new on the Denim Social platform too.

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