August 30, 2022

What does omnichannel marketing look like for banks?

Banks that do not adapt to the digital world are leaving opportunities on the table. Organic social media is a great way to build a brand and awareness, but that is only a fraction of the potential that lies in fully integrated digital marketing. Banks that utilize omnichannel marketing create a seamless experience regardless of where leads are engaged and wherever they are in the buyer’s journey.

Omnichannel bank marketing is the future—bank marketers meeting people on the channel of their choice, and that means investing in social media. Most customers do not operate off a singular social channel. Rather, financial institutions win when they provide a seamless experience to customers across multiple social platforms in order to maximize their social marketing strategies.

Organic social media is great for creating awareness, but institutions need to be more purposeful in content engagement, consideration, and conversion stages. Rates are not what drive customers to change their financial institution. Emotions are more likely to be the impetus. This is why personalization in digital bank marketing is such a necessity.

There are four crucial steps to take to avoid falling behind the curve while answering the question: What does omnichannel marketing look like for banks?

1. Use paid advertising to engage your audience

Organic content is the foundation of a good social selling marketing strategy, but algorithms will often work against you. Paid social media advertising ensures your content makes it in front of the right eyes.

There is another benefit to going the paid route: Organic reach is often limited to those who are already aware of your institution in some capacity. Paid advertising lets you reach previously untapped audiences and guide them toward the top of your marketing funnel.

To increase your chances of success, use intelligent targeting to focus your ads on the customer’s specific needs. Paid advertising allows for extremely specific targeting, which should be factored into your strategy. Ads for first-time homebuyer mortgages should be in front of those 20- and 30-somethings looking into housing, while retirement ads are better off with the 55+ crowd. The best marketing in the world won’t work if it’s at the wrong time in the wrong place. Identify where in the funnel customers are and target them (on their preferred platform!) with paid advertisements tailor-made to their current need.

2. Guide the audience’s next steps

Social media marketing is just a singular step in a larger walk, so make sure you leave breadcrumbs for leads to follow. Social reach means little if you’re not actually creating conversions. Regardless of whether you use organic posts or paid, don’t forget to include some form of landing page to guide readers back to your brand’s website. There should be no “digital dead ends” in your social strategy. Every piece of the puzzle should connect your audience to another way to engage.

When deciding what landing page to use, curate the page to the post. If your advisor is posting about retirement funds, link to a specific ebook on the subject. Gated content will educate the customer while also providing you with the information needed to start nurturing a lead. It’s a win-win situation.

3. Retarget to convert and retain

Once customers have engaged with your institution, retain that data to inform future interactions, i.e., use retargeting to your advantage by connecting with consumers based on previous engagements. Sometimes, customers may need a nudge to close the conversion. Make sure your marketing allows for that. The right CRM tools will guide retargeting efforts by notifying customers ripe for retargeting. They can also automate messages to send out to your audience, such as email drip campaigns, making sure you reach out at just the right time.

Even after you’ve converted a lead, don’t stop nurturing. The customer journey is cyclical, and new customers will eventually become brand ambassadors in their own right if you give them an experience warranting it. You’ll retain loyal customers and potentially gain references through them.

4. Use technology to scale

Omnichannel marketing addresses the customer’s individual needs during each step of the journey. But undertaking personalization for every customer is a Herculean task, so it needs to be automated and streamlined. This can be more basic, such as setting up newsletters to nurture leads that are automatically sent out at regular intervals, but it doesn’t have to be. The right tools can create connections between your digital marketing strategies and CRM records and automatically keep each other updated.

You also need to consider regulatory compliance with social media posts. A proper social media manager should screen posts for you, flagging any that may contain non-compliant content. Social selling relies on empowering intermediaries to connect with customers directly, so having a good management software in place to oversee all this activity is essential. Technology allows for omnichannel marketing in banks of all sizes. The more tasks you can automate, the more time you allow for higher-level responsibilities.

Omnichannel marketing is a highly effective strategy, but only if it’s implemented wisely. By using technology to their advantage, banks can target a multitude of audiences, allowing for greater reach and more conversions. Effectively utilizing paid ads and understanding how omnichannel allows for more personalized messaging will keep your bank ahead of competitors.

This article was originally published in ABA Bank Marketing.

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August 30, 2022

What does omnichannel marketing look like for banks?

By
Doug Wilber
CEO, Denim Social

Banks that do not adapt to the digital world are leaving opportunities on the table. Organic social media is a great way to build a brand and awareness, but that is only a fraction of the potential that lies in fully integrated digital marketing. Banks that utilize omnichannel marketing create a seamless experience regardless of where leads are engaged and wherever they are in the buyer’s journey.

Omnichannel bank marketing is the future—bank marketers meeting people on the channel of their choice, and that means investing in social media. Most customers do not operate off a singular social channel. Rather, financial institutions win when they provide a seamless experience to customers across multiple social platforms in order to maximize their social marketing strategies.

Organic social media is great for creating awareness, but institutions need to be more purposeful in content engagement, consideration, and conversion stages. Rates are not what drive customers to change their financial institution. Emotions are more likely to be the impetus. This is why personalization in digital bank marketing is such a necessity.

There are four crucial steps to take to avoid falling behind the curve while answering the question: What does omnichannel marketing look like for banks?

1. Use paid advertising to engage your audience

Organic content is the foundation of a good social selling marketing strategy, but algorithms will often work against you. Paid social media advertising ensures your content makes it in front of the right eyes.

There is another benefit to going the paid route: Organic reach is often limited to those who are already aware of your institution in some capacity. Paid advertising lets you reach previously untapped audiences and guide them toward the top of your marketing funnel.

To increase your chances of success, use intelligent targeting to focus your ads on the customer’s specific needs. Paid advertising allows for extremely specific targeting, which should be factored into your strategy. Ads for first-time homebuyer mortgages should be in front of those 20- and 30-somethings looking into housing, while retirement ads are better off with the 55+ crowd. The best marketing in the world won’t work if it’s at the wrong time in the wrong place. Identify where in the funnel customers are and target them (on their preferred platform!) with paid advertisements tailor-made to their current need.

2. Guide the audience’s next steps

Social media marketing is just a singular step in a larger walk, so make sure you leave breadcrumbs for leads to follow. Social reach means little if you’re not actually creating conversions. Regardless of whether you use organic posts or paid, don’t forget to include some form of landing page to guide readers back to your brand’s website. There should be no “digital dead ends” in your social strategy. Every piece of the puzzle should connect your audience to another way to engage.

When deciding what landing page to use, curate the page to the post. If your advisor is posting about retirement funds, link to a specific ebook on the subject. Gated content will educate the customer while also providing you with the information needed to start nurturing a lead. It’s a win-win situation.

3. Retarget to convert and retain

Once customers have engaged with your institution, retain that data to inform future interactions, i.e., use retargeting to your advantage by connecting with consumers based on previous engagements. Sometimes, customers may need a nudge to close the conversion. Make sure your marketing allows for that. The right CRM tools will guide retargeting efforts by notifying customers ripe for retargeting. They can also automate messages to send out to your audience, such as email drip campaigns, making sure you reach out at just the right time.

Even after you’ve converted a lead, don’t stop nurturing. The customer journey is cyclical, and new customers will eventually become brand ambassadors in their own right if you give them an experience warranting it. You’ll retain loyal customers and potentially gain references through them.

4. Use technology to scale

Omnichannel marketing addresses the customer’s individual needs during each step of the journey. But undertaking personalization for every customer is a Herculean task, so it needs to be automated and streamlined. This can be more basic, such as setting up newsletters to nurture leads that are automatically sent out at regular intervals, but it doesn’t have to be. The right tools can create connections between your digital marketing strategies and CRM records and automatically keep each other updated.

You also need to consider regulatory compliance with social media posts. A proper social media manager should screen posts for you, flagging any that may contain non-compliant content. Social selling relies on empowering intermediaries to connect with customers directly, so having a good management software in place to oversee all this activity is essential. Technology allows for omnichannel marketing in banks of all sizes. The more tasks you can automate, the more time you allow for higher-level responsibilities.

Omnichannel marketing is a highly effective strategy, but only if it’s implemented wisely. By using technology to their advantage, banks can target a multitude of audiences, allowing for greater reach and more conversions. Effectively utilizing paid ads and understanding how omnichannel allows for more personalized messaging will keep your bank ahead of competitors.

This article was originally published in ABA Bank Marketing.

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In the digital age, convenience is king. Digital channels are accessible for customers and scalable for banks, but the lack of emotional connection means clients are less likely to develop brand loyalty. Unsurprisingly, a large percentage of millennials and Gen Xers have no issue switching retail banks.

There’s no fighting the digital revolution, but this doesn’t mean you should stop prioritizing customer experience. If anything, digital places an even higher value on reevaluating customer needs and creating a human-centric approach to connect with them.

We’re past the age of greeting customers with coffee in the bank lobby. Rather than in-person communication, one-to-one omnichannel marketing focuses on using many channels to connect with customers. No two consumers have the same media habits, so it’s essential to personalize their interactions by integrating their preferred channels to create seamless service interactions.

What does this look like for banks? It starts with a diverse range of channel options to meet the preferences and needs of unique customers, and then to translate those human relationships to meet the needs of the channel.

Reaching your customers on their level sounds expensive but can help banks save money in the long run: Increasing retention rates by just 5% can lead to a 25% profit boost, and banks with superior customer satisfaction grow deposits at a faster rate than their competitors.

Here are three guidelines for shaping a personalized omnichannel strategy.

Engage on the customer’s preferred channel: Customers say communicating via their preferred method is the second-most important factor in their business decisions. While the size of today’s media landscape means banks need to be active on multiple channels, data insights can help you identify which ones are worth putting resources into.

Another benefit of using your future customer’s preferred platform is trust. When a bank customer feels heard and catered to, the relationship will be built more on trust. Regardless of which platforms your institution is on, interacting with customers on the one they trust and prefer can also build their trust in you.

Humanize your customer interactions: In financial services, people buy from people. Relationships are the bedrock of the industry, so transform those relationships for the digital age. Use social selling to help by having bank employees to work front and center in digital outreach. When customers interact with your bank, are they relating it to a specific person or just a brand?

Promotional emails from a person instead of a generic brand address is a start, but personal communication goes much deeper. Use social media to enable social selling for associates.

Prioritizing social selling can be more efficient by capitalizing on employees’ social reach.

Customize your messaging: It can be easy to send a mass-marketing email to a collection of potential marketing leads — but what’s easy isn’t always what’s effective. Operating on different channels requires understanding the rules of communication for each platform.

Instagram is a visual platform, so it would be out-of-touch for a bank to post word-heavy content there. Instead, use infographics and other image-based material. Taking stock of different social media methods better prepares you to reach audiences effectively.

Banks need to make each communication platform work for the needs of their audience, taking into account the user base and the nature of their business. Design campaigns based around each customer and offer personalization options to tailor these messages further. For example, messages or imagery related to legacy planning may not be well-received on Instagram, a platform dominated by younger users. Similarly, older audiences would likely be uninterested in first-time home buyer content.

It is estimated that for every $100 billion in assets a bank has, it can achieve as much as $300 million in revenue growth by personalizing its customer interactions, so it’s well worth the time investment.

The efficacy of investing in omnichannel marketing will be reflected in customers gained. By investing in personalizing your online experience, the benefits will compound over time as your bank stays front of mind with customers. Personalize your marketing, bring value with empathetic interactions, and humanize every touchpoint to retain your most valued customers.

This article was originally published on BAI.

Bank marketers know relationships drive engagement, nurture loyalty and encourage word-of-mouth about products and services. They also know all too well by now that the industry can no longer rely on face-to-face interactions to maintain customer relationships to the extent once done.

Over the past five years, foot traffic has declined by about 35% in banks alone, according to Bancography. But future-forward banks and credit unions realize that the technology bringing people out of physical locations can also be used to strengthen their most important assets — relationships. Google has found 68% of consumers are more likely to work with brands that offer convenient communications — which is heavily digital now — so bank marketing strategy needs to account for that.

People still buy from people, regardless of the medium of interaction. Therefore communications need to center on the platforms most used by your target audiences.

But it’s not enough just to target one or two social media sites. It used to be that most of people got their information from the same sources — the local newspaper, the evening news, and maybe a specialty publication or two. Today, of course, there are limitless sources of information, and no two consumers have the same media habits. This means bank marketers must adopt an integrated, or omnichannel, approach — engaging with consumers on the communication channel of their choice.

Acting to Slow ‘Hidden Defection’

What does this look like in the real world? Perhaps you start with an email promoting a new product to a specific set of prospects, then later post a short video about the product on a social media channel they’re likely to use and then continually retarget viewers with paid social advertising. You’re meeting consumers where they are and moving them down the sales funnel along the way.

Failure to adapt to this new normal means losing relevance and relationships. While customers might not fly the coop entirely, the risk of loss of individual accounts within an existing relationship increases as better digital options become available. This disintermediation of accounts and/or balances makes the overall relationship less profitable.

Unless banks and credit unions respond with greatly improved digital experiences, what Bain & Co. calls “hidden defection” will only get worse.

Google found that firms working to rectify this — those devoting more of their budgets to developing better digital communications with customers — increased customer satisfaction by 9.5%. Growth also saw a bump to the tune of 5% or more.

4 Ways to Improve the Banking Channel Experience

The only problem with integrated marketing is deciding where to start. It’s almost as if a new channel crops up each day, which can make the task feel overwhelming. A few practical steps and the right tools can help banks and credit unions focus their approach and connect with a target audience. Here’s what you’re looking at:

1. Open up your channels
You won’t know what channels resonate until you start using them. If your institution isn’t meaningfully using organic social, paid social, direct messaging and email (at the very least), you’re leaving opportunity on the table. Our research shows that too many institutions aren’t using social media to its fullest capability.

Jumping right in will allow you to start looking at where consumers are engaging — it’s the first step in the journey of improving and optimizing your social media strategy.

2. Take your human relationships online
As a traditional institution, you have one resource few fintechs can offer: real people. You need to take the real-life relationships your loan officers, financial advisors and associates have built and move them online.

Social selling helps put a face and a voice to your organization. It also builds the personal brand of your loan officers, financial advisors and other employees. Consumers begin to see these people as trusted sources of information, strengthening the relationship between your institution and those you hope to serve.

Activate a social selling strategy and empower employees with the tools they need to communicate digitally across social channels. Ask for feedback and optimize your strategies accordingly. Better yet, build a resource library filled with interesting and relevant content — all within regulatory compliance — that employees can share with target audiences.

3. Listen to your data
The great news here is that all your digital efforts reap significant data rewards. These are not the estimated impressions you used to get from traditional media. Set goals, benchmark your data and look for trends. All that data is now at your fingertips.

Eventually, you’ll see what content makes your audience click and linger. Invest in strategies driving results and revise those lacking engagement. And invest in the right analytics technology to make sense of the mountain of data you’ll collect from digital channels.

4. Ask customers for insights
Want to know how your customers communicate? Ask them — when they open a new account; when financial advisors have an annual review. Ask them on your institution’s social media pages. You’re already using digital channels to engage in two-way conversations, so take advantage of the medium and inquire about their thoughts and opinions. All this can highlight areas in need of improvement, inform new product and service offerings, and help develop content that wasn’t on your radar.

This article was originally published in The Financial Brand.

Social media for banks is a necessity. That’s a given. You meet customers where they are, and today, that’s online. But customers (and potential customers) are not just engaging and interacting with one bank’s website, apps and social accounts. They are seeing competitors’ accounts, too. Bank marketers must leverage social media analytics to understand what works for their competitors—and figure out how to do it better.

A competitive analysis of social media data in the banking industry can help guide your strategy by quantifying the successes and failures of your rivals. This is especially true of community banks, which may feel they are fighting an uphill digital battle against the resources of fintech companies and enterprise financial institutions. Thankfully, lots of competitor data is publicly available. Plenty of successes and blunders are out there for any savvy bank marketer to learn from. With the right social media analytics tool, this data could be the key to keeping up in today’s fast-paced environment.

There’s a lot of powerful data on social media, and banks can leverage this to their advantage. Analytics and competitive insights empower bank marketers—even at smaller institutions—to be smart and efficient with both their time and dollars. You cannot differentiate your institution unless you know and understand the stories your competitors are telling.

You also need to be aware of the quality of your competitors’ ads, calls to action and websites. If your marketing materials are not comparable you could lose customers. It is more than just optimizing a landing page—there needs to be a quality experience at every possible touchpoint. To start understanding competitors, consider these three tips when analyzing social media for banks:

1. Benchmark your strategy. Benchmarking is the foundation of any competitive marketing strategy because it shows how measuring your competitors’ performance can help you step up your bank’s marketing game.

With social listening tools that enable tracking competitors’ social media activity, leaders can see the organization’s performance benchmarked against competitors and get a clear picture of where social needs more investment to stay competitive.

For instance, if you’re working to understand how often your team should be posting to social media channels, look at how often a competitor is posting. Or if you’re aiming for 50 percent audience growth and see everyone else has 5 percent month-over-month, you know to adjust expectations to be more achievable.

2. Understand what is resonating. When financial institutions embrace social listening, they gain clear insight into how other brands are producing engagement on social channels and resonating with customers. One bank finding resonance could be an outlier, but if multiple competitors are using the same technique, your brand can use those trend insights to craft even more relevant messaging and maintain an advantage against the competition.

Track which trends and are getting high engagement for your competitors. Which topics that drive the most engagement? Certain aspects of storytelling? Or maybe specific kinds of posts, such as short-form videos, resonate best. Understanding what works for your competitors will teach you what works for you. Conversely, if they have posts that are driving little to no engagement, learn from their mistakes and avoid spending your time and dollars doing the same thing.

3. Identify proactive opportunities. Monitoring competitors on social media can provide unique insights and offer proactive opportunities for your institution to pick up a customer. For better or worse, social media gives us all a view into a brand’s dirty laundry. If you notice a competitor getting social media complaints on a particular service or product, this could be an opportunity for you to target that audience and tell them how you do it better.

Are people posting messages on your competitors’ pages about how hard it is to reach a customer service representative with them? Grab the opportunity and design a targeted paid campaign that emphasizes your institution’s excellent customer service.

These moments may not come often or easily, so stay vigilant to make the most of them.

Competitor social media analysis is a vital tool to help smaller financial institutions remain competitive. It keeps your finger on the pulse of what’s happening in the industry while identifying what’s working—and what’s not—for the bigger players.

This article was originally published on ABA Bank Marketing.

Marketing professionals understand the necessity of numbers. Click-to-open rates, qualified leads, and new customer acquisition are just a few metrics marketers are keen to monitor when launching a new marketing initiative. But measuring the success of any campaign always goes back to one thing: objectives. Your goals should give you a clearer understanding of what you are trying to achieve with a campaign — organic search, paid advertising, or otherwise. And how efficiently you hit your goals directly impacts the scalability of your social media efforts.

Depending on your goals, you’ll be looking at a select few metrics. The most common in marketing for financial institutions is often click-through rates. They almost always top the list because they represent the percentage of consumers who’ve clicked on an ad, opting into a next step. Engagement can also be of interest, as it tracks likes, shares, and comments on a post.

But keeping track of a few metrics doesn’t equate to a sound marketing strategy. In the digital age, financial institutions need to understand how to best use tactics specific to social media marketing. It’s not enough to see what’s working; those data insights must inform new iterations of content to increase reach and nurture leads. This is what creates a successful, scalable social media advertising strategy.

The question then is, which metrics make the most sense to follow for a social media advertising campaign for financial institutions? And how can you best collect data to scale marketing efforts and drive engagement between your financial institution and its customers? Below, we’ll cover how to start choosing the right metrics for your goals and scaling your marketing efforts based on the information available to you.

Choosing the Right Metrics for Your Goals

Your metrics should be your North Star key performance indicators of your goals. Always select these based on what your financial institution wants to achieve. Consider brand awareness: Reach will be a metric to track, as will likes and followers. If you’re running paid ads on social media, you want to capture the number of people who’ve been exposed to your messaging. You also want to track the number of people who’ve engaged with that ad and are looking for updates from your social media page. Make sure to benchmark these metrics regularly, and always consult them prior to running a new campaign.

If customer engagement is the goal for a social media ad campaign, you’ll also be monitoring likes in addition to shares, comments, and messages. Because social media is about being social, these metrics can tell you what resonates with a target audience and can help shape conversations with potential customers going forward.

Should conversion be an overarching goal, your attention would turn to clicks. Clicks show intent on the customer’s part to act. Depending on the content associated with those clicks, you can also understand what products or services are of interest to specific consumers. As with likes, shares, and comments, this information can inform your conversations with these prospects because it tells you what content they might need to receive in order to move further down the sales funnel.

How to Scale Your Marketing With the Right Data

Once you’ve settled on your goals and associated metrics, the task at hand becomes scaling your marketing efforts based on the information available to you. Though tactics will vary from one financial institution to the next, a few strategies almost always prove beneficial:

1. Use social listening to optimize in real time.

With digital interactions growing in importance, financial institutions must take greater care in the messaging and content of each exchange. It’s here where social media can be of real value, and integrating insights gathered from social chatter can help improve the performance of your next paid social media advertising campaign.

Let’s say your institution starts using social listening tools to understand what’s on the mind of prospects. That lets your team get a jump on the competition by posting social media content sooner when a trend emerges — even if it has nothing to do with paid online advertising. Social chatter also can be beneficial for budget planning and allocating spend on specific audiences and marketing activities with the greatest likelihood of engagement. If you were to run a social media ad campaign around 529 planning, for example, it wouldn’t resonate with audiences not intent on going to college.

Capturing and using social media data allows you to target your campaign in those areas of greater interest to consumers. That same information can also help decrease spend in areas where the message isn’t connecting.

2. Use social media data to inform your marketing content.

For many institutions, social media is a marketing dead end because they haven’t considered their audiences’ post-click experience. Your social media should connect to other customer acquisition tools such as landing pages, contact forms, guides, or a recent blog post so these resources can serve as next steps in the customer journey.

Knowing which content is interesting to your audience requires mining your social media data. Specifically, click-through data can tell you more about where to focus future paid advertising campaigns and content development efforts. If customers are spending their time with articles on loan options, down payments, or financial assessments, don’t spend money promoting an e-book on “living well in retirement” to them. Using data will increase the likelihood that your consumers continue through the consumer funnel.

3. Advocate for your paid ad budget with success data.

Justifying a marketing budget, let alone an increase in spend, can leave many marketers in a quandary. Even when you come in with a set of paid social media advertising goals tied to the overarching goals of the institution, buy-in isn’t a guarantee. Without the right metrics, changes to the budget will be difficult to implement.

According to Harvard Business Review, 41% of marketing budgets are based on the previous year, while only 10% are revisited quarterly. Employing the most current information available to shape marketing conversations will allow others in your company to see the value of your proposed ad spend plan, so it’s important to use your social media data judiciously.

4. Invest in marketing tools.

Marketing tools are now becoming a dime a dozen. If you hope to access and use the data available from social media, selection is critical. Choose one designed for your industry, making sure that it can measure organic activities and paid online advertising initiatives.

Denim Social offers a solution. Our platform, services, and analytics features were built specifically with regulated institutions in mind. Real-time analytics are compiled from user data across several social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), offering not only actionable insights on target audiences but a greater understanding of the effectiveness of current social media ad campaigns.

Make messaging or content adjustments immediately if need be — or simply use the analytics to inform the direction of future campaigns. Should the leadership team call for an update, presentation-ready reports are just a few clicks away.

Social media and paid social media advertising campaigns provide an opportunity to get to know potential customers but will be ineffective without the proper strategy. It’s all about capturing and tracking the right data to inform the direction of each interaction along the path to purchase. Your institution will be better off, and so will your customers.

It takes a lot of data to craft a top-tier social media strategy. That’s why Denim Social is here to help. Reach out for your personalized platform demo today.

The ability to collect, interpret, and act on current customer data to cross-sell targeted products and services is a critical driver of revenue for banks, especially for mortgage lenders. Borrowers purchase an average of 11 mortgages in their lifetime, yet lenders retain fewer than 20 percent of past customers on average. That’s a lot of missed opportunity.

One survey of nearly 300 financial institutions found that 64 percent of respondents are not using data to cross-sell to existing customers. It makes sense: In today’s fast-paced landscape, many financial services marketers have enough on their hands.

Digital marketing changes at a breakneck pace, and it can be difficult to keep up with constant developments, let alone all the data. Many marketers do not know how to access or analyze customer data to capitalize on cross-selling opportunities. Further complicating the situation, significant structural barriers, such as siloed teams, can limit communication between data analysts and marketers.

Many marketers pour the time and resources they do have into new customer acquisition, but cross-selling within the ranks of existing customers is a much more lucrative strategy. Acquiring new customers is significantly more expensive than retaining existing ones. An increase in customer retention rates by a mere 5 percent can boost profits by 25 to 95 percent.

Social media marketing strategy for cross-selling in banking

Fortunately, collecting the right customer data to fuel cross-selling efforts does not have to be a daunting task. A strong social media marketing strategy is an excellent means of collecting and acting on valuable data, and with the right approach, can be easy to pull off at scale. Consider the following key principles to effectively gather and integrate data from social media and up your cross-selling game:

1. Understand your audience and what’s important to them. Social media is an excellent listening tool. By tracking likes, comments, shares and click-throughs, you can gain valuable insights about what content is resonating with existing customers and where your cross-selling opportunities lie. Remember that tracking existing customer engagement is key; while the probability of selling to a new lead is just 5 to 20 percent, the probability of cross-selling to a customer is 60 to 70 percent.

Consider, for example, you’ve shared a post with tips for first-time homebuyers. the post gets a lot of engagement from your current followers, many of which have accounts with you. This could indicate that those customers are interested in securing their first mortgage.

2. Target your messaging strategically. Social media is also a strong targeting tool. Once you’ve gathered engagement data, create custom lists within your customer roster, and retarget those customers with paid social media ads for relevant cross-selling opportunities. Retargeting is a great way to add power to your existing organic social media strategy. Building onto the example above, this could look like targeting ads for first-time mortgage seekers to the existing customers who engaged with your first-time homebuying post.

When targeting paid ads, remember that timing can go a long way toward effectiveness and efficiency. You want to personalize ads to land the right messages at the right time. For example, a year after someone closes a mortgage with your institution, you know that they already own a home, trust your institution, and may be looking to do some home renovations. You can capitalize on the cross-selling opportunity by serving them an ad about home equity loans for improvements right when they’re likely considering diving into a new project.

3. Use content to keep customers engaged. You can also use engagement data to see which customers have not engaged with your team lately. Use paid social as an opportunity to remind these customers why they chose you in the first place and show them what you still have to offer with valuable digital journeys. Re-engagement initiatives shouldn’t create digital dead ends—they should lead your customers to engage further with your brand.

Link to personalized landing pages from both paid and organic posts to guide customers to valuable content and gate the content behind contact submission forms to collect more valuable data from customers. For example, your homebuying tips post will pique the interest of customers who are looking to secure their first mortgage. Include a link in the post to a landing page on your website that houses a guidebook on first-time mortgage seekers. Customers can put their information into the contact submission form in exchange for the guide, and the form can alert your team to make a follow-up call. The customer gets valuable information, and your team gets a cross-selling opportunity right in their hands.

Combined, these principles aim to boost revenue and build stronger relationships. When you use data to understand your customers, deliver content when it matters most and personalize the digital journey, you can keep customers engaged and offer them more and more value through targeted cross-selling opportunities.

This article was originally published in ABA Bank Marketing.

Social media content development can be hard and time-consuming. Denim Social is an American Bankers Association Endorsed Solution and recently joined the ABA on a webinar to share more about the exciting new integration – Shared Content Libraries – available exclusively to ABA members and Denim Social customers. Shared Content Libraries provide marketers with a variety of easy to access content to be shared at the brand, branch or employee levels.

Check out the webinar below:

For more information about ABA Shared Content Libraries, check with your Denim Social Customer Success representative.

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GUIDES

What does omnichannel marketing look like for banks?

Banks that do not adapt to the digital world are leaving opportunities on the table. Organic social media is a great way to build a brand and awareness, but that is only a fraction of the potential that lies in fully integrated digital marketing. Banks that utilize omnichannel marketing create a seamless experience regardless of where leads are engaged and wherever they are in the buyer’s journey.

Omnichannel bank marketing is the future—bank marketers meeting people on the channel of their choice, and that means investing in social media. Most customers do not operate off a singular social channel. Rather, financial institutions win when they provide a seamless experience to customers across multiple social platforms in order to maximize their social marketing strategies.

Organic social media is great for creating awareness, but institutions need to be more purposeful in content engagement, consideration, and conversion stages. Rates are not what drive customers to change their financial institution. Emotions are more likely to be the impetus. This is why personalization in digital bank marketing is such a necessity.

There are four crucial steps to take to avoid falling behind the curve while answering the question: What does omnichannel marketing look like for banks?

1. Use paid advertising to engage your audience

Organic content is the foundation of a good social selling marketing strategy, but algorithms will often work against you. Paid social media advertising ensures your content makes it in front of the right eyes.

There is another benefit to going the paid route: Organic reach is often limited to those who are already aware of your institution in some capacity. Paid advertising lets you reach previously untapped audiences and guide them toward the top of your marketing funnel.

To increase your chances of success, use intelligent targeting to focus your ads on the customer’s specific needs. Paid advertising allows for extremely specific targeting, which should be factored into your strategy. Ads for first-time homebuyer mortgages should be in front of those 20- and 30-somethings looking into housing, while retirement ads are better off with the 55+ crowd. The best marketing in the world won’t work if it’s at the wrong time in the wrong place. Identify where in the funnel customers are and target them (on their preferred platform!) with paid advertisements tailor-made to their current need.

2. Guide the audience’s next steps

Social media marketing is just a singular step in a larger walk, so make sure you leave breadcrumbs for leads to follow. Social reach means little if you’re not actually creating conversions. Regardless of whether you use organic posts or paid, don’t forget to include some form of landing page to guide readers back to your brand’s website. There should be no “digital dead ends” in your social strategy. Every piece of the puzzle should connect your audience to another way to engage.

When deciding what landing page to use, curate the page to the post. If your advisor is posting about retirement funds, link to a specific ebook on the subject. Gated content will educate the customer while also providing you with the information needed to start nurturing a lead. It’s a win-win situation.

3. Retarget to convert and retain

Once customers have engaged with your institution, retain that data to inform future interactions, i.e., use retargeting to your advantage by connecting with consumers based on previous engagements. Sometimes, customers may need a nudge to close the conversion. Make sure your marketing allows for that. The right CRM tools will guide retargeting efforts by notifying customers ripe for retargeting. They can also automate messages to send out to your audience, such as email drip campaigns, making sure you reach out at just the right time.

Even after you’ve converted a lead, don’t stop nurturing. The customer journey is cyclical, and new customers will eventually become brand ambassadors in their own right if you give them an experience warranting it. You’ll retain loyal customers and potentially gain references through them.

4. Use technology to scale

Omnichannel marketing addresses the customer’s individual needs during each step of the journey. But undertaking personalization for every customer is a Herculean task, so it needs to be automated and streamlined. This can be more basic, such as setting up newsletters to nurture leads that are automatically sent out at regular intervals, but it doesn’t have to be. The right tools can create connections between your digital marketing strategies and CRM records and automatically keep each other updated.

You also need to consider regulatory compliance with social media posts. A proper social media manager should screen posts for you, flagging any that may contain non-compliant content. Social selling relies on empowering intermediaries to connect with customers directly, so having a good management software in place to oversee all this activity is essential. Technology allows for omnichannel marketing in banks of all sizes. The more tasks you can automate, the more time you allow for higher-level responsibilities.

Omnichannel marketing is a highly effective strategy, but only if it’s implemented wisely. By using technology to their advantage, banks can target a multitude of audiences, allowing for greater reach and more conversions. Effectively utilizing paid ads and understanding how omnichannel allows for more personalized messaging will keep your bank ahead of competitors.

This article was originally published in ABA Bank Marketing.

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

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

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

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

Instant Download

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

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

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

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

Every Mortgage Marketer Should Ask Themselves

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

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

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

Read this guide if you’re asking yourself:

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

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

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

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

Every Financial Services Marketer Should Ask Themselves

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

Stronger Customer Relationships on Instagram

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

How 6 Financial Marketers Are Creating Value in Social Media

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy!

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

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

ABA Study: The Current State of Social Media

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

  • Is it important to equip your sales personnel with social media accounts?
  • Does your bank measure the impact of your social media use?
  • COVID-19 & Bank Social Media

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

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

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

    Download Here

    As any marketer worth their salt will tell you, analytics should drive your social strategy. The key to success is understanding how to link social media efforts to ROI metrics. Read this guide to learn how to gain insights that matter, optimize your strategy and prove your social success.

    GUIDES

    What does omnichannel marketing look like for banks?

    Banks that do not adapt to the digital world are leaving opportunities on the table. Organic social media is a great way to build a brand and awareness, but that is only a fraction of the potential that lies in fully integrated digital marketing. Banks that utilize omnichannel marketing create a seamless experience regardless of where leads are engaged and wherever they are in the buyer’s journey.

    Omnichannel bank marketing is the future—bank marketers meeting people on the channel of their choice, and that means investing in social media. Most customers do not operate off a singular social channel. Rather, financial institutions win when they provide a seamless experience to customers across multiple social platforms in order to maximize their social marketing strategies.

    Organic social media is great for creating awareness, but institutions need to be more purposeful in content engagement, consideration, and conversion stages. Rates are not what drive customers to change their financial institution. Emotions are more likely to be the impetus. This is why personalization in digital bank marketing is such a necessity.

    There are four crucial steps to take to avoid falling behind the curve while answering the question: What does omnichannel marketing look like for banks?

    1. Use paid advertising to engage your audience

    Organic content is the foundation of a good social selling marketing strategy, but algorithms will often work against you. Paid social media advertising ensures your content makes it in front of the right eyes.

    There is another benefit to going the paid route: Organic reach is often limited to those who are already aware of your institution in some capacity. Paid advertising lets you reach previously untapped audiences and guide them toward the top of your marketing funnel.

    To increase your chances of success, use intelligent targeting to focus your ads on the customer’s specific needs. Paid advertising allows for extremely specific targeting, which should be factored into your strategy. Ads for first-time homebuyer mortgages should be in front of those 20- and 30-somethings looking into housing, while retirement ads are better off with the 55+ crowd. The best marketing in the world won’t work if it’s at the wrong time in the wrong place. Identify where in the funnel customers are and target them (on their preferred platform!) with paid advertisements tailor-made to their current need.

    2. Guide the audience’s next steps

    Social media marketing is just a singular step in a larger walk, so make sure you leave breadcrumbs for leads to follow. Social reach means little if you’re not actually creating conversions. Regardless of whether you use organic posts or paid, don’t forget to include some form of landing page to guide readers back to your brand’s website. There should be no “digital dead ends” in your social strategy. Every piece of the puzzle should connect your audience to another way to engage.

    When deciding what landing page to use, curate the page to the post. If your advisor is posting about retirement funds, link to a specific ebook on the subject. Gated content will educate the customer while also providing you with the information needed to start nurturing a lead. It’s a win-win situation.

    3. Retarget to convert and retain

    Once customers have engaged with your institution, retain that data to inform future interactions, i.e., use retargeting to your advantage by connecting with consumers based on previous engagements. Sometimes, customers may need a nudge to close the conversion. Make sure your marketing allows for that. The right CRM tools will guide retargeting efforts by notifying customers ripe for retargeting. They can also automate messages to send out to your audience, such as email drip campaigns, making sure you reach out at just the right time.

    Even after you’ve converted a lead, don’t stop nurturing. The customer journey is cyclical, and new customers will eventually become brand ambassadors in their own right if you give them an experience warranting it. You’ll retain loyal customers and potentially gain references through them.

    4. Use technology to scale

    Omnichannel marketing addresses the customer’s individual needs during each step of the journey. But undertaking personalization for every customer is a Herculean task, so it needs to be automated and streamlined. This can be more basic, such as setting up newsletters to nurture leads that are automatically sent out at regular intervals, but it doesn’t have to be. The right tools can create connections between your digital marketing strategies and CRM records and automatically keep each other updated.

    You also need to consider regulatory compliance with social media posts. A proper social media manager should screen posts for you, flagging any that may contain non-compliant content. Social selling relies on empowering intermediaries to connect with customers directly, so having a good management software in place to oversee all this activity is essential. Technology allows for omnichannel marketing in banks of all sizes. The more tasks you can automate, the more time you allow for higher-level responsibilities.

    Omnichannel marketing is a highly effective strategy, but only if it’s implemented wisely. By using technology to their advantage, banks can target a multitude of audiences, allowing for greater reach and more conversions. Effectively utilizing paid ads and understanding how omnichannel allows for more personalized messaging will keep your bank ahead of competitors.

    This article was originally published in ABA Bank Marketing.

    Download the Guide

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

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

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

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

    Instant Download

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

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

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

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

    Every Mortgage Marketer Should Ask Themselves

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

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

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

    Read this guide if you’re asking yourself:

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

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

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

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

    Every Financial Services Marketer Should Ask Themselves

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

    Stronger Customer Relationships on Instagram

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

    How 6 Financial Marketers Are Creating Value in Social Media

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Enjoy!

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

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

    ABA Study: The Current State of Social Media

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

  • Is it important to equip your sales personnel with social media accounts?
  • Does your bank measure the impact of your social media use?
  • COVID-19 & Bank Social Media

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

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

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

    Download Here

    As any marketer worth their salt will tell you, analytics should drive your social strategy. The key to success is understanding how to link social media efforts to ROI metrics. Read this guide to learn how to gain insights that matter, optimize your strategy and prove your social success.

    GUIDES

    What does omnichannel marketing look like for banks?

    Banks that do not adapt to the digital world are leaving opportunities on the table. Organic social media is a great way to build a brand and awareness, but that is only a fraction of the potential that lies in fully integrated digital marketing. Banks that utilize omnichannel marketing create a seamless experience regardless of where leads are engaged and wherever they are in the buyer’s journey.

    Omnichannel bank marketing is the future—bank marketers meeting people on the channel of their choice, and that means investing in social media. Most customers do not operate off a singular social channel. Rather, financial institutions win when they provide a seamless experience to customers across multiple social platforms in order to maximize their social marketing strategies.

    Organic social media is great for creating awareness, but institutions need to be more purposeful in content engagement, consideration, and conversion stages. Rates are not what drive customers to change their financial institution. Emotions are more likely to be the impetus. This is why personalization in digital bank marketing is such a necessity.

    There are four crucial steps to take to avoid falling behind the curve while answering the question: What does omnichannel marketing look like for banks?

    1. Use paid advertising to engage your audience

    Organic content is the foundation of a good social selling marketing strategy, but algorithms will often work against you. Paid social media advertising ensures your content makes it in front of the right eyes.

    There is another benefit to going the paid route: Organic reach is often limited to those who are already aware of your institution in some capacity. Paid advertising lets you reach previously untapped audiences and guide them toward the top of your marketing funnel.

    To increase your chances of success, use intelligent targeting to focus your ads on the customer’s specific needs. Paid advertising allows for extremely specific targeting, which should be factored into your strategy. Ads for first-time homebuyer mortgages should be in front of those 20- and 30-somethings looking into housing, while retirement ads are better off with the 55+ crowd. The best marketing in the world won’t work if it’s at the wrong time in the wrong place. Identify where in the funnel customers are and target them (on their preferred platform!) with paid advertisements tailor-made to their current need.

    2. Guide the audience’s next steps

    Social media marketing is just a singular step in a larger walk, so make sure you leave breadcrumbs for leads to follow. Social reach means little if you’re not actually creating conversions. Regardless of whether you use organic posts or paid, don’t forget to include some form of landing page to guide readers back to your brand’s website. There should be no “digital dead ends” in your social strategy. Every piece of the puzzle should connect your audience to another way to engage.

    When deciding what landing page to use, curate the page to the post. If your advisor is posting about retirement funds, link to a specific ebook on the subject. Gated content will educate the customer while also providing you with the information needed to start nurturing a lead. It’s a win-win situation.

    3. Retarget to convert and retain

    Once customers have engaged with your institution, retain that data to inform future interactions, i.e., use retargeting to your advantage by connecting with consumers based on previous engagements. Sometimes, customers may need a nudge to close the conversion. Make sure your marketing allows for that. The right CRM tools will guide retargeting efforts by notifying customers ripe for retargeting. They can also automate messages to send out to your audience, such as email drip campaigns, making sure you reach out at just the right time.

    Even after you’ve converted a lead, don’t stop nurturing. The customer journey is cyclical, and new customers will eventually become brand ambassadors in their own right if you give them an experience warranting it. You’ll retain loyal customers and potentially gain references through them.

    4. Use technology to scale

    Omnichannel marketing addresses the customer’s individual needs during each step of the journey. But undertaking personalization for every customer is a Herculean task, so it needs to be automated and streamlined. This can be more basic, such as setting up newsletters to nurture leads that are automatically sent out at regular intervals, but it doesn’t have to be. The right tools can create connections between your digital marketing strategies and CRM records and automatically keep each other updated.

    You also need to consider regulatory compliance with social media posts. A proper social media manager should screen posts for you, flagging any that may contain non-compliant content. Social selling relies on empowering intermediaries to connect with customers directly, so having a good management software in place to oversee all this activity is essential. Technology allows for omnichannel marketing in banks of all sizes. The more tasks you can automate, the more time you allow for higher-level responsibilities.

    Omnichannel marketing is a highly effective strategy, but only if it’s implemented wisely. By using technology to their advantage, banks can target a multitude of audiences, allowing for greater reach and more conversions. Effectively utilizing paid ads and understanding how omnichannel allows for more personalized messaging will keep your bank ahead of competitors.

    This article was originally published in ABA Bank Marketing.

    Download the Guide

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

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

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

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

    Instant Download

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

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

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

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

    Every Mortgage Marketer Should Ask Themselves

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

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

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

    Read this guide if you’re asking yourself:

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

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

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

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

    Every Financial Services Marketer Should Ask Themselves

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

    Stronger Customer Relationships on Instagram

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

    How 6 Financial Marketers Are Creating Value in Social Media

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Enjoy!

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

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

    ABA Study: The Current State of Social Media

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

  • Is it important to equip your sales personnel with social media accounts?
  • Does your bank measure the impact of your social media use?
  • COVID-19 & Bank Social Media

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

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

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

    Download Here

    As any marketer worth their salt will tell you, analytics should drive your social strategy. The key to success is understanding how to link social media efforts to ROI metrics. Read this guide to learn how to gain insights that matter, optimize your strategy and prove your social success.

    GUIDES

    What does omnichannel marketing look like for banks?

    Banks that do not adapt to the digital world are leaving opportunities on the table. Organic social media is a great way to build a brand and awareness, but that is only a fraction of the potential that lies in fully integrated digital marketing. Banks that utilize omnichannel marketing create a seamless experience regardless of where leads are engaged and wherever they are in the buyer’s journey.

    Omnichannel bank marketing is the future—bank marketers meeting people on the channel of their choice, and that means investing in social media. Most customers do not operate off a singular social channel. Rather, financial institutions win when they provide a seamless experience to customers across multiple social platforms in order to maximize their social marketing strategies.

    Organic social media is great for creating awareness, but institutions need to be more purposeful in content engagement, consideration, and conversion stages. Rates are not what drive customers to change their financial institution. Emotions are more likely to be the impetus. This is why personalization in digital bank marketing is such a necessity.

    There are four crucial steps to take to avoid falling behind the curve while answering the question: What does omnichannel marketing look like for banks?

    1. Use paid advertising to engage your audience

    Organic content is the foundation of a good social selling marketing strategy, but algorithms will often work against you. Paid social media advertising ensures your content makes it in front of the right eyes.

    There is another benefit to going the paid route: Organic reach is often limited to those who are already aware of your institution in some capacity. Paid advertising lets you reach previously untapped audiences and guide them toward the top of your marketing funnel.

    To increase your chances of success, use intelligent targeting to focus your ads on the customer’s specific needs. Paid advertising allows for extremely specific targeting, which should be factored into your strategy. Ads for first-time homebuyer mortgages should be in front of those 20- and 30-somethings looking into housing, while retirement ads are better off with the 55+ crowd. The best marketing in the world won’t work if it’s at the wrong time in the wrong place. Identify where in the funnel customers are and target them (on their preferred platform!) with paid advertisements tailor-made to their current need.

    2. Guide the audience’s next steps

    Social media marketing is just a singular step in a larger walk, so make sure you leave breadcrumbs for leads to follow. Social reach means little if you’re not actually creating conversions. Regardless of whether you use organic posts or paid, don’t forget to include some form of landing page to guide readers back to your brand’s website. There should be no “digital dead ends” in your social strategy. Every piece of the puzzle should connect your audience to another way to engage.

    When deciding what landing page to use, curate the page to the post. If your advisor is posting about retirement funds, link to a specific ebook on the subject. Gated content will educate the customer while also providing you with the information needed to start nurturing a lead. It’s a win-win situation.

    3. Retarget to convert and retain

    Once customers have engaged with your institution, retain that data to inform future interactions, i.e., use retargeting to your advantage by connecting with consumers based on previous engagements. Sometimes, customers may need a nudge to close the conversion. Make sure your marketing allows for that. The right CRM tools will guide retargeting efforts by notifying customers ripe for retargeting. They can also automate messages to send out to your audience, such as email drip campaigns, making sure you reach out at just the right time.

    Even after you’ve converted a lead, don’t stop nurturing. The customer journey is cyclical, and new customers will eventually become brand ambassadors in their own right if you give them an experience warranting it. You’ll retain loyal customers and potentially gain references through them.

    4. Use technology to scale

    Omnichannel marketing addresses the customer’s individual needs during each step of the journey. But undertaking personalization for every customer is a Herculean task, so it needs to be automated and streamlined. This can be more basic, such as setting up newsletters to nurture leads that are automatically sent out at regular intervals, but it doesn’t have to be. The right tools can create connections between your digital marketing strategies and CRM records and automatically keep each other updated.

    You also need to consider regulatory compliance with social media posts. A proper social media manager should screen posts for you, flagging any that may contain non-compliant content. Social selling relies on empowering intermediaries to connect with customers directly, so having a good management software in place to oversee all this activity is essential. Technology allows for omnichannel marketing in banks of all sizes. The more tasks you can automate, the more time you allow for higher-level responsibilities.

    Omnichannel marketing is a highly effective strategy, but only if it’s implemented wisely. By using technology to their advantage, banks can target a multitude of audiences, allowing for greater reach and more conversions. Effectively utilizing paid ads and understanding how omnichannel allows for more personalized messaging will keep your bank ahead of competitors.

    This article was originally published in ABA Bank Marketing.

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    ALL GUIDES:

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

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

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

    Instant Download

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

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

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

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

    Every Mortgage Marketer Should Ask Themselves

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

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

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

    Read this guide if you’re asking yourself:

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

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

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

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

    Every Financial Services Marketer Should Ask Themselves

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

    Stronger Customer Relationships on Instagram

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

    How 6 Financial Marketers Are Creating Value in Social Media

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Enjoy!

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

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

    ABA Study: The Current State of Social Media

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

  • Is it important to equip your sales personnel with social media accounts?
  • Does your bank measure the impact of your social media use?
  • COVID-19 & Bank Social Media

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

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

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

    Download Here

    As any marketer worth their salt will tell you, analytics should drive your social strategy. The key to success is understanding how to link social media efforts to ROI metrics. Read this guide to learn how to gain insights that matter, optimize your strategy and prove your social success.

    RESOURCES

    NEWS
    August 30, 2022

    What does omnichannel marketing look like for banks?

    By
    Doug Wilber
    CEO, Denim Social

    Banks that do not adapt to the digital world are leaving opportunities on the table. Organic social media is a great way to build a brand and awareness, but that is only a fraction of the potential that lies in fully integrated digital marketing. Banks that utilize omnichannel marketing create a seamless experience regardless of where leads are engaged and wherever they are in the buyer’s journey.

    Omnichannel bank marketing is the future—bank marketers meeting people on the channel of their choice, and that means investing in social media. Most customers do not operate off a singular social channel. Rather, financial institutions win when they provide a seamless experience to customers across multiple social platforms in order to maximize their social marketing strategies.

    Organic social media is great for creating awareness, but institutions need to be more purposeful in content engagement, consideration, and conversion stages. Rates are not what drive customers to change their financial institution. Emotions are more likely to be the impetus. This is why personalization in digital bank marketing is such a necessity.

    There are four crucial steps to take to avoid falling behind the curve while answering the question: What does omnichannel marketing look like for banks?

    1. Use paid advertising to engage your audience

    Organic content is the foundation of a good social selling marketing strategy, but algorithms will often work against you. Paid social media advertising ensures your content makes it in front of the right eyes.

    There is another benefit to going the paid route: Organic reach is often limited to those who are already aware of your institution in some capacity. Paid advertising lets you reach previously untapped audiences and guide them toward the top of your marketing funnel.

    To increase your chances of success, use intelligent targeting to focus your ads on the customer’s specific needs. Paid advertising allows for extremely specific targeting, which should be factored into your strategy. Ads for first-time homebuyer mortgages should be in front of those 20- and 30-somethings looking into housing, while retirement ads are better off with the 55+ crowd. The best marketing in the world won’t work if it’s at the wrong time in the wrong place. Identify where in the funnel customers are and target them (on their preferred platform!) with paid advertisements tailor-made to their current need.

    2. Guide the audience’s next steps

    Social media marketing is just a singular step in a larger walk, so make sure you leave breadcrumbs for leads to follow. Social reach means little if you’re not actually creating conversions. Regardless of whether you use organic posts or paid, don’t forget to include some form of landing page to guide readers back to your brand’s website. There should be no “digital dead ends” in your social strategy. Every piece of the puzzle should connect your audience to another way to engage.

    When deciding what landing page to use, curate the page to the post. If your advisor is posting about retirement funds, link to a specific ebook on the subject. Gated content will educate the customer while also providing you with the information needed to start nurturing a lead. It’s a win-win situation.

    3. Retarget to convert and retain

    Once customers have engaged with your institution, retain that data to inform future interactions, i.e., use retargeting to your advantage by connecting with consumers based on previous engagements. Sometimes, customers may need a nudge to close the conversion. Make sure your marketing allows for that. The right CRM tools will guide retargeting efforts by notifying customers ripe for retargeting. They can also automate messages to send out to your audience, such as email drip campaigns, making sure you reach out at just the right time.

    Even after you’ve converted a lead, don’t stop nurturing. The customer journey is cyclical, and new customers will eventually become brand ambassadors in their own right if you give them an experience warranting it. You’ll retain loyal customers and potentially gain references through them.

    4. Use technology to scale

    Omnichannel marketing addresses the customer’s individual needs during each step of the journey. But undertaking personalization for every customer is a Herculean task, so it needs to be automated and streamlined. This can be more basic, such as setting up newsletters to nurture leads that are automatically sent out at regular intervals, but it doesn’t have to be. The right tools can create connections between your digital marketing strategies and CRM records and automatically keep each other updated.

    You also need to consider regulatory compliance with social media posts. A proper social media manager should screen posts for you, flagging any that may contain non-compliant content. Social selling relies on empowering intermediaries to connect with customers directly, so having a good management software in place to oversee all this activity is essential. Technology allows for omnichannel marketing in banks of all sizes. The more tasks you can automate, the more time you allow for higher-level responsibilities.

    Omnichannel marketing is a highly effective strategy, but only if it’s implemented wisely. By using technology to their advantage, banks can target a multitude of audiences, allowing for greater reach and more conversions. Effectively utilizing paid ads and understanding how omnichannel allows for more personalized messaging will keep your bank ahead of competitors.

    This article was originally published in ABA Bank Marketing.

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    OTHER NEWS:

    People buy from people. That fundamental truth is the cornerstone of the insurance industry and is holding true even as the insurance value chain becomes more and more digital. But in a world where customers increasingly avoid in-person interactions — McKinsey’s 2020 U.S. Insurance Agent Survey saw a 65% drop in face-to-face conversations in 2020, with a slow recovery — how do agents adjust? The answer is to meet customers where they are - online.

    Insurance professionals likely view social media as a necessary evil, but social media can be a powerful sales tool, putting agents right in the path of their clients and prospects. It’s more than just posting content into a digital void; it’s taking what agents have done for decades to build their business and bringing it to life within the social media landscape. Consider this: GWI research suggests online consumers around the globe spend almost 2.5 hours scrolling through social sites daily.

    Putting energy into social media as a sales tool means attracting those eyes and winning more chances to interact with prospects and customers. But where do you start? Here are a few things to consider before leaning into social selling.

    1. Learn exactly what social selling is (and isn’t)

    Social selling is using social media to showcase thought leadership and industry expertise, build relationships and, ultimately, connect with new prospects while maintaining trust with existing ones. But a social selling strategy requires much more than having a Twitter account; it requires the same attention as any sales methods do. It’s taking social beyond simply posting regularly. It’s using social as a connection point to identify life events and points of connection with your community. And the good news is, you should see the returns. LinkedIn’s Social Selling data notes that 78% of social sellers outshine their peers who aren’t using social media as a sales tool.

    1. Take stock of your social media accounts

    If you hope to capitalize on social selling, you must first take stock of your existing social media accounts and look for opportunities to strengthen your overall social presence.

    Whichever social channel mix you’ve decided is right for your business (it’s OK not to be on every social platform!), you always want to make sure your brand is consistent and robust across each channel. That sounds easy, but there are a few things to consider to ensure that your identity is clear and consistent:

    • Profile images: Whether it’s a professionally taken photo, a well-lit high-resolution image taken on a smartphone or your company logo, make sure your profile images reflect how you and your company look today. (For example: Don’t use your headshot from 15 years ago.)
    • Cover images: Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter all have a space for a cover or background image. Be sure you have a cover image that is consistent with your brand and that you have the rights to use that image.
    • “About” sections: Today’s consumers use social media for information searches like they use Google, so your bios and “about” sections pages are more important than ever. Sections can vary across social channels, but your information should be accurate and reflect your business on each channel. Pay special attention to your business description, location information and hours of operation.

    Rather than jump right into the heavy stuff, it’s important to get these social media ducks in a row first.

    1. Make a plan for posting, engaging and amplifying.

    After your social accounts are up to speed, it’s important to have a plan. Regularly posting content is only the foundation of social selling, but it will help keep you top of mind with your followers and give you a place to interact with them. It also sets you up well when you’re ready to start putting money behind your posts with paid social advertising.

    Beyond posting, it’s important to keep an eye on those who interact with your posts. Comment back, connect with them or, better yet, give them a call. Social selling really comes to life when you can weave social into your everyday sales practices. Either way, prioritize social just as you would other crucial facets of your business. Post regularly and have a plan for responding and engaging with your existing and potential clients. Then turn those engagements into sales opportunities.

    1. Leverage your resources.

    You’re not the only one flexing your social selling muscles, so look to others – even insights from competitors - for help. A good way to begin is to look at the social accounts of others in and out of your sector. What are they writing about? What posts seem to engage followers? How are they branding themselves to be trustworthy experts? Use the information you gather to help you plan your own social selling and content strategy.

    The question shouldn’t be if you should start social selling, it’s when. Your existing and potential clients are there, waiting for you. You only must give social selling the time and energy it deserves. As someone in a profession built around risk, you’ll find that social selling is a safe bet.

    This article was originally published in Insurance Newsnet.

    In today’s origination and refi environment, most mortgage loan officers are finding it’s no longer fish in a barrel. That means every loan officer needs to consider their competitive edge. And when bargain-basement rates are no longer the decision driver for prospects, relationships matter more than ever.

    Everyone knows a successful sales strategy is focused on building long-term, trusted relationships, but today, that means building relationships online. Social media has long been regarded as a brand builder, but the real power of social is using it as a sales tool. It’s called social selling and it works.

    Social selling is just what it sounds like: using social media to sell a product or service. It’s leveraging social to build personal relationships, showcase thought leadership, engage with prospects, interact with existing customers, and ultimately build trust and rapport that will eventually lead to deals.

    An active social selling strategy can not only help build ongoing relationships, but keep you top of mind with contacts when opportunities open up – and in this rate environment, that can be short-lived.

    Social selling requires continual care and management, but it’s worth the investment of time, and effort when you’re using social to drive business results. A daily social selling routine helps loan officers in so many ways and managing a program doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Here’s where to start:

    Optimize Your Profile

    Before you even get to posting, it’s important to take a look at your profiles to ensure your brand is consistent across channels. Ensure you have a current and easily recognizable profile picture. If you haven’t already, upload a cover image and update the about section to be your descriptions, location and hours are current.

    Post Meaningful and Relevant Content

    It’s not only important for you to be posting regularly, you need to be posting with purpose. Your social profiles should be an extension of who you are in real life. Authenticity always wins in social media.

    There is no magic formula for how often you should post, but consistency is key. Successful social selling programs offer a variety of organic content. The mix looks different for every loan officer, but commonly a healthy and informed mix includes brand, industry and most importantly, personal/community content.

    Interact with the Community

    Social media is a two-way conversation and that means you need to be interacting with followers. In other words, don’t post and ghost. Social selling is about listening, responding and engaging. It’s a conversation, so you should be promptly responding to comments and direct messages, showing connections that their inquiries and concerns matter.

    When every deal matters, so does every relationship. If you’re looking to build trust and connection with customers and prospects alike, make sure your profiles are up to date, post regularly and interact with your followers. A social selling strategy can help you make the most of social media opportunities in a competitive environment.

    This article was originally published in MBA Newslink.

    The insurance industry is built on — and amazing at! — assessing risk. But the industry’s risk aversion has put insurance marketers between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand, modern customer expectations mean agents need to leverage their relationship-building skills to gain ground online. On the other, unfamiliarity and fears about compliance are driving slow social selling adoption across the industry. While the concept may seem novel to some insurance leaders, that doesn't mean their competition is standing on the sidelines. After all, rival carriers aren’t twiddling their thumbs; many are jumping headfirst into social selling strategies and generating the new business to show for it.

    The good news is that adopting social selling doesn’t mean the industry has to reinvent the wheel. Rather, it should feel natural because this kind of digital communication is simply an extension of what agents are already doing. Instead of viewing digital marketing and social selling as an entirely new strategy, remember that it’s built on the same bread-and-butter relationship skills that trusted insurance advisors have always used with their customers. Insurance leaders must acknowledge social media as a sales channel, just like cold calling and in-person meetings, and must integrate social selling into the fabric of their organizations.

    How to Advocate for Social Selling

    Social media isn’t going anywhere. It’s where consumers are interacting with each other, looking for advice, and learning new things. This means intermediaries have to be there, too. Insurance agents need to reach their clients and prospects alike on social media, and the carriers and agencies they’re part of can help.

    With this in mind, insurance marketers and leaders must advocate for social selling throughout the organization. And everyone has a role to play. While marketers will stay busy coordinating paid ad campaigns to reach new target audiences and managing the branded social media, agents and other representatives of the brand must be on board as well: They need to be posting, liking, and replying to build relationships and bring a human touch to the broader social media strategy. Getting this buy-in means bridging the gap between sales and marketing — and educating them on why social selling works. If you're ready to sell-in social selling, here are four ways to get started:

    1. Get Everybody on the Same Page

    While some marketers may already be comfortable with the concept, social selling is still a recent marketing innovation for the insurance industry. Marketers need to get up to speed on strategy and execution, while also educating the organization (especially intermediaries — have we mentioned how important they are?).

    Start by defining social selling. This is our shorthand definition:

    Social selling is using social media to sell a product or service. It’s using social to:

    · Showcase thought leadership

    · Engage with potential customers

    · Interact with existing customers

    · Build trust and relationships

    Sounds pretty straightforward, right? While the execution can be trickier — think balancing paid and organic advertising, tracking analytics to calculate ROI, and overseeing the social media accounts of all the intermediaries — starting simple helps ease everyone into the process. This is especially important for advisors with limited social media experience. Lead with empathy to help them adjust to the new face of insurance marketing.

    2. Speak Their Language — With Stats to Back You Up

    Intermediaries want to build relationships and drive results — and social selling can help them do it — but only if they understand its potential. Highlight the value social selling has for both the company and individual intermediaries. Thankfully, this is one of the easier parts of selling social selling: The stats can do all the heavy lifting.

    Gather good information from trustworthy sources. If you’re going to be persuasive, you have to paint the picture of what social selling can do. Some of our favorite data comes from LinkedIn. Sales reps scoring higher on LinkedIn’s Social Selling Index experience:

    · 45% more sales opportunities

    · 51% higher likelihood to hit quotas

    · 78% outselling peers who don’t use social media

    And don’t be afraid to share the success you’ve had with brand social media, too. Brand social media and intermediary social selling, paid social ads, and organic social media content: All of these are chapters in the greater narrative of successful digital marketing strategies.

    3. Seriously, Bring Up the Data

    Raw numbers are well and good, but case studies marry data and narrative in a uniquely compelling way. Countless other industries have had success with social selling, and insurance needs to pay attention. Share these stories about what social selling has accomplished for so many other businesses. The housing industry, for one, has been particularly astute with social selling in recent years, especially when it comes to mortgage lending.

    In addition to formal case studies, bring the concept to life with experiences anyone can understand or has likely seen in their personal social media feeds. Local real estate agents are great examples of an industry that’s exemplary at utilizing social selling tools. Instead of starting from scratch, look to adjacent regulated industries to guide the way.

    4. Create a Culture of Q&As

    Don’t assume leaders know that social media is a sales channel — but also, don’t talk down to them when explaining the state of digital marketing. This means creating safe spaces where pros can ask questions (and not feel silly). Have a coffee; grab lunch. Give someone permission to be vulnerable and learn. Their aversion is likely rooted in misunderstanding. And remember, more experienced professionals may never have used social media for anything other than personal sharing. Empathy is your best friend. Walking alongside leaders and agents as they dip their feet into social selling will be so much more effective than talking down to them from the podium of knowledge. Building a strong foundation of understanding and a desire to learn will go a long way toward activating a social selling strategy.

    Social media marketing for insurance intermediaries may seem like a radical concept, but it’s more radical to not be using social as a sales tool. Sure, it may be new and feel risky, but educating the team and arming them with resources will make social selling feel not only prudent but necessary. To learn more about how social selling can help you reach your audience, request a demo today.

    The insurance industry is built on managing risk — but an aversion to risk may leave executives hesitant to support your more modern (and more effective!) marketing strategies. But failure to adapt means resigning yourself to falling behind competitors.

    Even for carriers who ride the digital wave, reliance on legacy systems could be holding them back. For insurance marketers to adopt modern digital strategies — like integrated organic and paid social selling through intermediaries — they must educate decision makers and effectively make the case to adopt supportive technology.

    This means marketers must take on the role of educator. The reality is, while many companies may think they already have integrated social strategies, they're often conflating social selling with brand-level social media — and they're leaving opportunity on the table in the process. It's up to marketing leaders, like you, to create a culture around social selling, differentiate from brand-level social, nurture top performers, and adopt the right technology. Sound overwhelming? Here's where to start.

    Enabling Intermediaries to Leverage Social Selling

    Why is social selling so necessary for insurance agents? It's simple: Social media brings us together. It's where people blend their real lives with their digital lives. While everyone loves a good dancing cat video, social channels facilitate so much more than fleeting entertainment. They serve as a resource for creating connections, building trust, and strengthening relationships. Their connective power makes them the perfect avenue for leveraging insurance marketers' best resource: agents. People buy from people, and enabling insurance agents to use social media as a sales tool not only amplifies your brand-level marketing but allows for deeper, more localized relationship-building.

    While it's understandable that some insurance leaders worry about how regulation factors into online activity, remind them that social media doesn't bring a new set of rules to learn. Can't do it in real life? Then don't do it on social media. Though social media is a unique setting, it doesn’t require a new playbook. Your agents' social media behavior shouldn't be any different from how they interact via email or in person. They should be authentic. Let the agents be advisors — just bring them to a new medium.

    If you’re a social media marketer in the insurance world, you’re in a great position to advocate for organizational change and bring social selling to your company. By using these strategies, you'll be able to shift your company's view of social selling and overcome long-held misperceptions about social media marketing while also improving your metrics.

    1. Build a culture from the inside out.

    Want your insurance agents or intermediaries to love social selling? You won’t make inroads until you can show them what social selling is and what it can do. Social in any regulated industry can feel scary and risky, so weaving social selling into sales processes that have “always been done a certain way” will feel like a huge change, both internally and externally. Remember: This is a marathon, not a sprint. Build a solid internal foundation before launch.

    For example, we talk about agents or intermediaries being on social to drive business, but sales and marketing teams need to be there as well. Everyone across sales and marketing needs to be present on social, understand how to optimize their profiles, and participate in the greater digital discourse. People need to use it to understand its value, and people who understand its value will be more encouraged to adopt it. In time, your colleagues will see social selling’s benefits, and you’ll have a better chance at launching a more widespread social selling initiative.

    2. Educate your colleagues and intermediaries on social branding versus social selling.

    Most insurance professionals understand on some level that digital marketing is important for amplifying brand messaging. What they may not realize is that social selling is a nonnegotiable sales tool in today's digital world. It's up to you as the marketer to take ownership over shifting this narrative — holding the importance of brand messaging in one hand and relationship-building in the other. Social media enables both, and you must utilize both aspects to get the most out of your digital marketing strategies.

    While you do this, keep in mind your co-workers' level of digital literacy. Would it be helpful to host general training on social media? Don’t assume that everyone uses it personally or understands its role in business.

    A good starting point to drive home the importance of taking social selling seriously is to talk about the next generation of insurance customers. Today, Millennials and Generation Z make up the biggest buying cohort for insurance products. Because they’re more likely to be active on social media, social selling is a natural fit.

    3. Find and nurture internal social selling champions.

    Building and nurturing an internal culture of social selling puts much of the onus on you, so it's essential to find internal cheerleaders to help get the culture shift started. These internal champions will support your education and promotion efforts and will expand your range of influence. Good places to look for influencers are among your sales leaders and partners who are hungry to try any tactics that will improve lead generation and conversion rates.

    Be ready to buy those internal champions a coffee and have conversations about social media. Get them comfortable with it — and give them space to ask questions. Make it feel accessible and understandable. Once you get them in your camp, they'll help you advocate for something bigger. And once your social selling fans are in place, you can work with them to implement social selling into their workflows with social selling tools.

    4. Advocate for the tools to make social selling successful.

    When brand-only social media and social selling aren't differentiated, neither are the tools used to manage them. Marketers can feel like they have one hand tied behind their backs if they're using the wrong social media management tool for a social selling program.

    The easy solution? To launch a true social selling program, companies must invest in the right technology. We don't mean building your own digital tools — though that may be an option for a Fortune 100 company, it's often more trouble than it's worth. Bespoke options are nice, but hiring a whole team of developers to create new software and keeping them on the payroll to maintain it can be a huge sink of resources. While it's understandable to be wary of outside vendors — and wonder whether they can understand the industry and the business's specific challenges — the right platform can ensure that content sourcing, approval workflows, and compliance are easy and scalable for your social selling program.

    With an educated team, an open culture, and the right tools, social selling can become a true avenue of business growth. As your agents grow into everyday social sellers, your leads will grow, too. Relationships are your greatest asset; make sure you're utilizing them with social media.

    Want to learn more about social selling in the insurance industry? Book a Denim Social demo today.

    In the digital age, convenience is king. Digital channels are accessible for customers and scalable for banks, but the lack of emotional connection means clients are less likely to develop brand loyalty. Unsurprisingly, a large percentage of millennials and Gen Xers have no issue switching retail banks.

    There’s no fighting the digital revolution, but this doesn’t mean you should stop prioritizing customer experience. If anything, digital places an even higher value on reevaluating customer needs and creating a human-centric approach to connect with them.

    We’re past the age of greeting customers with coffee in the bank lobby. Rather than in-person communication, one-to-one omnichannel marketing focuses on using many channels to connect with customers. No two consumers have the same media habits, so it’s essential to personalize their interactions by integrating their preferred channels to create seamless service interactions.

    What does this look like for banks? It starts with a diverse range of channel options to meet the preferences and needs of unique customers, and then to translate those human relationships to meet the needs of the channel.

    Reaching your customers on their level sounds expensive but can help banks save money in the long run: Increasing retention rates by just 5% can lead to a 25% profit boost, and banks with superior customer satisfaction grow deposits at a faster rate than their competitors.

    Here are three guidelines for shaping a personalized omnichannel strategy.

    Engage on the customer’s preferred channel: Customers say communicating via their preferred method is the second-most important factor in their business decisions. While the size of today’s media landscape means banks need to be active on multiple channels, data insights can help you identify which ones are worth putting resources into.

    Another benefit of using your future customer’s preferred platform is trust. When a bank customer feels heard and catered to, the relationship will be built more on trust. Regardless of which platforms your institution is on, interacting with customers on the one they trust and prefer can also build their trust in you.

    Humanize your customer interactions: In financial services, people buy from people. Relationships are the bedrock of the industry, so transform those relationships for the digital age. Use social selling to help by having bank employees to work front and center in digital outreach. When customers interact with your bank, are they relating it to a specific person or just a brand?

    Promotional emails from a person instead of a generic brand address is a start, but personal communication goes much deeper. Use social media to enable social selling for associates.

    Prioritizing social selling can be more efficient by capitalizing on employees’ social reach.

    Customize your messaging: It can be easy to send a mass-marketing email to a collection of potential marketing leads — but what’s easy isn’t always what’s effective. Operating on different channels requires understanding the rules of communication for each platform.

    Instagram is a visual platform, so it would be out-of-touch for a bank to post word-heavy content there. Instead, use infographics and other image-based material. Taking stock of different social media methods better prepares you to reach audiences effectively.

    Banks need to make each communication platform work for the needs of their audience, taking into account the user base and the nature of their business. Design campaigns based around each customer and offer personalization options to tailor these messages further. For example, messages or imagery related to legacy planning may not be well-received on Instagram, a platform dominated by younger users. Similarly, older audiences would likely be uninterested in first-time home buyer content.

    It is estimated that for every $100 billion in assets a bank has, it can achieve as much as $300 million in revenue growth by personalizing its customer interactions, so it’s well worth the time investment.

    The efficacy of investing in omnichannel marketing will be reflected in customers gained. By investing in personalizing your online experience, the benefits will compound over time as your bank stays front of mind with customers. Personalize your marketing, bring value with empathetic interactions, and humanize every touchpoint to retain your most valued customers.

    This article was originally published on BAI.

    Bank marketers know relationships drive engagement, nurture loyalty and encourage word-of-mouth about products and services. They also know all too well by now that the industry can no longer rely on face-to-face interactions to maintain customer relationships to the extent once done.

    Over the past five years, foot traffic has declined by about 35% in banks alone, according to Bancography. But future-forward banks and credit unions realize that the technology bringing people out of physical locations can also be used to strengthen their most important assets — relationships. Google has found 68% of consumers are more likely to work with brands that offer convenient communications — which is heavily digital now — so bank marketing strategy needs to account for that.

    People still buy from people, regardless of the medium of interaction. Therefore communications need to center on the platforms most used by your target audiences.

    But it’s not enough just to target one or two social media sites. It used to be that most of people got their information from the same sources — the local newspaper, the evening news, and maybe a specialty publication or two. Today, of course, there are limitless sources of information, and no two consumers have the same media habits. This means bank marketers must adopt an integrated, or omnichannel, approach — engaging with consumers on the communication channel of their choice.

    Acting to Slow ‘Hidden Defection’

    What does this look like in the real world? Perhaps you start with an email promoting a new product to a specific set of prospects, then later post a short video about the product on a social media channel they’re likely to use and then continually retarget viewers with paid social advertising. You’re meeting consumers where they are and moving them down the sales funnel along the way.

    Failure to adapt to this new normal means losing relevance and relationships. While customers might not fly the coop entirely, the risk of loss of individual accounts within an existing relationship increases as better digital options become available. This disintermediation of accounts and/or balances makes the overall relationship less profitable.

    Unless banks and credit unions respond with greatly improved digital experiences, what Bain & Co. calls “hidden defection” will only get worse.

    Google found that firms working to rectify this — those devoting more of their budgets to developing better digital communications with customers — increased customer satisfaction by 9.5%. Growth also saw a bump to the tune of 5% or more.

    4 Ways to Improve the Banking Channel Experience

    The only problem with integrated marketing is deciding where to start. It’s almost as if a new channel crops up each day, which can make the task feel overwhelming. A few practical steps and the right tools can help banks and credit unions focus their approach and connect with a target audience. Here’s what you’re looking at:

    1. Open up your channels
    You won’t know what channels resonate until you start using them. If your institution isn’t meaningfully using organic social, paid social, direct messaging and email (at the very least), you’re leaving opportunity on the table. Our research shows that too many institutions aren’t using social media to its fullest capability.

    Jumping right in will allow you to start looking at where consumers are engaging — it’s the first step in the journey of improving and optimizing your social media strategy.

    2. Take your human relationships online
    As a traditional institution, you have one resource few fintechs can offer: real people. You need to take the real-life relationships your loan officers, financial advisors and associates have built and move them online.

    Social selling helps put a face and a voice to your organization. It also builds the personal brand of your loan officers, financial advisors and other employees. Consumers begin to see these people as trusted sources of information, strengthening the relationship between your institution and those you hope to serve.

    Activate a social selling strategy and empower employees with the tools they need to communicate digitally across social channels. Ask for feedback and optimize your strategies accordingly. Better yet, build a resource library filled with interesting and relevant content — all within regulatory compliance — that employees can share with target audiences.

    3. Listen to your data
    The great news here is that all your digital efforts reap significant data rewards. These are not the estimated impressions you used to get from traditional media. Set goals, benchmark your data and look for trends. All that data is now at your fingertips.

    Eventually, you’ll see what content makes your audience click and linger. Invest in strategies driving results and revise those lacking engagement. And invest in the right analytics technology to make sense of the mountain of data you’ll collect from digital channels.

    4. Ask customers for insights
    Want to know how your customers communicate? Ask them — when they open a new account; when financial advisors have an annual review. Ask them on your institution’s social media pages. You’re already using digital channels to engage in two-way conversations, so take advantage of the medium and inquire about their thoughts and opinions. All this can highlight areas in need of improvement, inform new product and service offerings, and help develop content that wasn’t on your radar.

    This article was originally published in The Financial Brand.

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    August 30, 2022

    What does omnichannel marketing look like for banks?

    By
    Doug Wilber
    CEO, Denim Social

    Banks that do not adapt to the digital world are leaving opportunities on the table. Organic social media is a great way to build a brand and awareness, but that is only a fraction of the potential that lies in fully integrated digital marketing. Banks that utilize omnichannel marketing create a seamless experience regardless of where leads are engaged and wherever they are in the buyer’s journey.

    Omnichannel bank marketing is the future—bank marketers meeting people on the channel of their choice, and that means investing in social media. Most customers do not operate off a singular social channel. Rather, financial institutions win when they provide a seamless experience to customers across multiple social platforms in order to maximize their social marketing strategies.

    Organic social media is great for creating awareness, but institutions need to be more purposeful in content engagement, consideration, and conversion stages. Rates are not what drive customers to change their financial institution. Emotions are more likely to be the impetus. This is why personalization in digital bank marketing is such a necessity.

    There are four crucial steps to take to avoid falling behind the curve while answering the question: What does omnichannel marketing look like for banks?

    1. Use paid advertising to engage your audience

    Organic content is the foundation of a good social selling marketing strategy, but algorithms will often work against you. Paid social media advertising ensures your content makes it in front of the right eyes.

    There is another benefit to going the paid route: Organic reach is often limited to those who are already aware of your institution in some capacity. Paid advertising lets you reach previously untapped audiences and guide them toward the top of your marketing funnel.

    To increase your chances of success, use intelligent targeting to focus your ads on the customer’s specific needs. Paid advertising allows for extremely specific targeting, which should be factored into your strategy. Ads for first-time homebuyer mortgages should be in front of those 20- and 30-somethings looking into housing, while retirement ads are better off with the 55+ crowd. The best marketing in the world won’t work if it’s at the wrong time in the wrong place. Identify where in the funnel customers are and target them (on their preferred platform!) with paid advertisements tailor-made to their current need.

    2. Guide the audience’s next steps

    Social media marketing is just a singular step in a larger walk, so make sure you leave breadcrumbs for leads to follow. Social reach means little if you’re not actually creating conversions. Regardless of whether you use organic posts or paid, don’t forget to include some form of landing page to guide readers back to your brand’s website. There should be no “digital dead ends” in your social strategy. Every piece of the puzzle should connect your audience to another way to engage.

    When deciding what landing page to use, curate the page to the post. If your advisor is posting about retirement funds, link to a specific ebook on the subject. Gated content will educate the customer while also providing you with the information needed to start nurturing a lead. It’s a win-win situation.

    3. Retarget to convert and retain

    Once customers have engaged with your institution, retain that data to inform future interactions, i.e., use retargeting to your advantage by connecting with consumers based on previous engagements. Sometimes, customers may need a nudge to close the conversion. Make sure your marketing allows for that. The right CRM tools will guide retargeting efforts by notifying customers ripe for retargeting. They can also automate messages to send out to your audience, such as email drip campaigns, making sure you reach out at just the right time.

    Even after you’ve converted a lead, don’t stop nurturing. The customer journey is cyclical, and new customers will eventually become brand ambassadors in their own right if you give them an experience warranting it. You’ll retain loyal customers and potentially gain references through them.

    4. Use technology to scale

    Omnichannel marketing addresses the customer’s individual needs during each step of the journey. But undertaking personalization for every customer is a Herculean task, so it needs to be automated and streamlined. This can be more basic, such as setting up newsletters to nurture leads that are automatically sent out at regular intervals, but it doesn’t have to be. The right tools can create connections between your digital marketing strategies and CRM records and automatically keep each other updated.

    You also need to consider regulatory compliance with social media posts. A proper social media manager should screen posts for you, flagging any that may contain non-compliant content. Social selling relies on empowering intermediaries to connect with customers directly, so having a good management software in place to oversee all this activity is essential. Technology allows for omnichannel marketing in banks of all sizes. The more tasks you can automate, the more time you allow for higher-level responsibilities.

    Omnichannel marketing is a highly effective strategy, but only if it’s implemented wisely. By using technology to their advantage, banks can target a multitude of audiences, allowing for greater reach and more conversions. Effectively utilizing paid ads and understanding how omnichannel allows for more personalized messaging will keep your bank ahead of competitors.

    This article was originally published in ABA Bank Marketing.

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    People buy from people. That fundamental truth is the cornerstone of the insurance industry and is holding true even as the insurance value chain becomes more and more digital. But in a world where customers increasingly avoid in-person interactions — McKinsey’s 2020 U.S. Insurance Agent Survey saw a 65% drop in face-to-face conversations in 2020, with a slow recovery — how do agents adjust? The answer is to meet customers where they are - online.

    Insurance professionals likely view social media as a necessary evil, but social media can be a powerful sales tool, putting agents right in the path of their clients and prospects. It’s more than just posting content into a digital void; it’s taking what agents have done for decades to build their business and bringing it to life within the social media landscape. Consider this: GWI research suggests online consumers around the globe spend almost 2.5 hours scrolling through social sites daily.

    Putting energy into social media as a sales tool means attracting those eyes and winning more chances to interact with prospects and customers. But where do you start? Here are a few things to consider before leaning into social selling.

    1. Learn exactly what social selling is (and isn’t)

    Social selling is using social media to showcase thought leadership and industry expertise, build relationships and, ultimately, connect with new prospects while maintaining trust with existing ones. But a social selling strategy requires much more than having a Twitter account; it requires the same attention as any sales methods do. It’s taking social beyond simply posting regularly. It’s using social as a connection point to identify life events and points of connection with your community. And the good news is, you should see the returns. LinkedIn’s Social Selling data notes that 78% of social sellers outshine their peers who aren’t using social media as a sales tool.

    1. Take stock of your social media accounts

    If you hope to capitalize on social selling, you must first take stock of your existing social media accounts and look for opportunities to strengthen your overall social presence.

    Whichever social channel mix you’ve decided is right for your business (it’s OK not to be on every social platform!), you always want to make sure your brand is consistent and robust across each channel. That sounds easy, but there are a few things to consider to ensure that your identity is clear and consistent:

    • Profile images: Whether it’s a professionally taken photo, a well-lit high-resolution image taken on a smartphone or your company logo, make sure your profile images reflect how you and your company look today. (For example: Don’t use your headshot from 15 years ago.)
    • Cover images: Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter all have a space for a cover or background image. Be sure you have a cover image that is consistent with your brand and that you have the rights to use that image.
    • “About” sections: Today’s consumers use social media for information searches like they use Google, so your bios and “about” sections pages are more important than ever. Sections can vary across social channels, but your information should be accurate and reflect your business on each channel. Pay special attention to your business description, location information and hours of operation.

    Rather than jump right into the heavy stuff, it’s important to get these social media ducks in a row first.

    1. Make a plan for posting, engaging and amplifying.

    After your social accounts are up to speed, it’s important to have a plan. Regularly posting content is only the foundation of social selling, but it will help keep you top of mind with your followers and give you a place to interact with them. It also sets you up well when you’re ready to start putting money behind your posts with paid social advertising.

    Beyond posting, it’s important to keep an eye on those who interact with your posts. Comment back, connect with them or, better yet, give them a call. Social selling really comes to life when you can weave social into your everyday sales practices. Either way, prioritize social just as you would other crucial facets of your business. Post regularly and have a plan for responding and engaging with your existing and potential clients. Then turn those engagements into sales opportunities.

    1. Leverage your resources.

    You’re not the only one flexing your social selling muscles, so look to others – even insights from competitors - for help. A good way to begin is to look at the social accounts of others in and out of your sector. What are they writing about? What posts seem to engage followers? How are they branding themselves to be trustworthy experts? Use the information you gather to help you plan your own social selling and content strategy.

    The question shouldn’t be if you should start social selling, it’s when. Your existing and potential clients are there, waiting for you. You only must give social selling the time and energy it deserves. As someone in a profession built around risk, you’ll find that social selling is a safe bet.

    This article was originally published in Insurance Newsnet.

    Mortgage professionals know: the industry is undergoing digital transformation, and it’s more important than ever for lenders to have access to the latest financial technology tools. Here at Denim Social, we want to empower mortgage marketers and loan officers with social selling resources that will help pave their way into a bright and people-centric future. To stay ahead of the curve, our team attended the National Mortgage News Digital Mortgage Conference to connect with our mortgage colleagues and learn more about how we can successfully guide customer social media strategies.  

    We learned a lot, but here were my three top takeaways: 

    1. Technology solutions are helping institutions better serve customers. 

    Mortgage companies, banks, and credit unions are transforming how they interact with consumers. Technology is helping marketers learn more about consumers, so that lenders can provide the right product at the right time and decrease the time it takes to close a loan. This is drastically reducing the friction for the consumer, because it’s now as easy as clicking a button to connect with a loan officer and go through the entire approval process. 

    1. The home buying process looks different than it used to. 

    Leaders in mortgage are recognizing that the next generation of homebuyers want and expect the buying process to be different from beginning to end. Today’s buyers expect that information will be readily available online and on social media, and communications between involved parties will be instantaneous and casual. Having a strong online presence signals trust and credibility that is needed for customers to feel confident in their decisions. 

    1. Appearances matter, and it’s essential to look the part. 

    Sure, it’s important to have a strong back office system and process in place so that the mortgage business runs smoothly, efficiently, and dependably. However, now that the boom of the last couple of years is coming to a close, it’s time for many lenders to refocus that effort into the front office. Time, effort, and budget must be allocated to making a good impression and catering strategies to meet customers where they already are and on their terms.  It’s a big shift from the old ways of doing things, but loan officers who commit to social selling and create a strong social presence will come out ahead of those reluctant to make the shift. 

    The bright side of these industry transformations is that now financial institutions will have more opportunities than ever to grow their brands and personalize their approach to customer interactions and sales. Loan officers especially have more resources than ever to interact with their communities. Social media is the perfect way to stay top of mind, and tools like Denim Social are here to support mortgage lenders, banks, and other services seeking to strengthen their social selling capabilities.

    If you are posting the same content on every social media network, you might be missing out on key engagement opportunities for your social selling strategy. What gets the most attention and engagement on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn isn’t universal, and financial marketers would be wise to seek a more nuanced strategy than just casting a wide net and hoping for the best. While there are general best practices to posting on social, making just a few distinctions to how you approach each of your networks can help you beat the dreaded social media algorithms and build credibility and expertise at the brand and individual producer levels. Let’s take a look at each network and how banks, wealth management firms, insurance agencies, and mortgage lenders can customize their strategies to the unique needs of each network to achieve growth and success. 

    Facebook: This is what you should know about our financial institution. 

    Despite the emergence of new networks and the inevitable departure of Gen Z and Millennials, Facebook is still the most popular social media network, and it’s a non-negotiable for any business. For community banks and other smaller financial businesses, it is the perfect medium to connect with local communities. This network will be one of the first places many customers look for a business, so having updated and branded profile information is essential. It’s ideal for sharing important dates or events, announcements, or anything customers need to be in the know about. Utilize brand pages for general information, and allow your agents, advisors, or employees to curate more personalized content on their individual business pages. 

    How To Succeed:

    • Share a wide variety of content geared towards informing and connecting with audiences
    • Post content related to the local community and partnerships with other business or organizations
    • Take advantage of user-generated content to build and maintain relationships with customers at the brand and producer levels

    Twitter: Talking about our #financialinstitution. 

    Sometimes Twitter seems like a mystery with its unique format, hashtag content, and 280-character limit. Like any other network, customers and prospects will consult a company’s account to find information they need to know; but more importantly, Twitter is a network people go to in order to hear news and opinions - and share their own. It is primarily a resource for sharing thought leadership and staying informed about industry updates. To be set up for success, brands and producers should follow relevant accounts like competitors, local businesses, and industry leaders. Hashtags are a useful way to learn about the broader conversations happening- plus, they provide insight into the hashtags marketers should be incorporating as well. Like any other network, brands engaging in social selling will enjoy the benefit of more engagement and awareness opportunities. 

    How To Succeed:

    • Prioritize engaging in existing conversations, rather than creating original content
    • Retweet relevant information for your customers and your brand, and utilize the mention function to increase visibility
    • Follow and use hashtags related to your industry to stay connected to current events and other thought leaders

    LinkedIn: This is what our financial institution wants you to know, and why.

    Branded as the professional social network, LinkedIn is perhaps the most important place for financial services brands and employees to be when it comes to social selling. This is a great way for brands to grow their reach by tapping into the power of user connections through sharing thought leadership and need-to-know information regarding their industry. Plus, authenticity is increasingly important on LinkedIn, with customers preferring to interact with brands that seem more relatable. Marketers and individual producers can use LinkedIn to share those values and insights into company culture that make people feel connected: photos, videos, and important awards or achievements can help boost engagement and brand awareness. With the power of a brand page combined with employee advocacy through social selling, LinkedIn should be a main focal point for any financial institution. 

    How To Succeed:

    • Share images of community and in-person interactions and events with context on what it means to your business
    • Follow local businesses from your actual business page (such as: local library, schools, industry competitors, local figures) and engage with their posts from your business page
    • Share high-performing posts from industry thought leaders and other local businesses; this boosts their engagement and gets visibility for both of you

    Instagram: Here’s a photo or video of what our financial institution values. 

    As a highly popular and visually-appealing social media network, Instagram is ideal for demonstrating a more human side to any financial brand, which is especially important for connecting with younger customers. This network is meant to be fun and entertaining for followers, while also staying on brand for financial companies and still informative. Of all the networks, Instagram is going to be the easiest way to reach younger audiences and get creative with content. For brands engaging in social selling, it’s a fun way to give producers a chance to show their personality and connect with customers on a more casual level. Instagram is also very dynamic and visual: the Reels and Stories functions provide alternative ways to share and engage quickly with video, which provides more opportunities to get in front of audiences within the platform than image posts alone.

    How To Succeed:

    • Post images from community or in-person interactions; share important posts to brand and producer Stories, then save to Highlights
    • Use emojis in copy and keep text light and fun; it’s all about the visuals on this network
    • Follow other businesses/industry thought leaders; engage with their content and share posts to your own stories

    While every network has its own charms and best practices, there are a few overall things to keep in mind when launching a social selling program: stay authentic and non-salesy; keep compliance matters in mind; know how to maintain a balanced and informed feed; and finally, don’t forget that paid advertising can boost organic efforts on any network. Knowing what to post on each social media network can be overwhelming, but understanding the best way to approach social selling at the brand and individual levels on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn will translate to more engagement, better brand awareness, and increased trust from industry leaders and customers. With a little fine-tuning and support for your team, you can see the difference a network-based content approach can make for your financial institution. 

    In today’s origination and refi environment, most mortgage loan officers are finding it’s no longer fish in a barrel. That means every loan officer needs to consider their competitive edge. And when bargain-basement rates are no longer the decision driver for prospects, relationships matter more than ever.

    Everyone knows a successful sales strategy is focused on building long-term, trusted relationships, but today, that means building relationships online. Social media has long been regarded as a brand builder, but the real power of social is using it as a sales tool. It’s called social selling and it works.

    Social selling is just what it sounds like: using social media to sell a product or service. It’s leveraging social to build personal relationships, showcase thought leadership, engage with prospects, interact with existing customers, and ultimately build trust and rapport that will eventually lead to deals.

    An active social selling strategy can not only help build ongoing relationships, but keep you top of mind with contacts when opportunities open up – and in this rate environment, that can be short-lived.

    Social selling requires continual care and management, but it’s worth the investment of time, and effort when you’re using social to drive business results. A daily social selling routine helps loan officers in so many ways and managing a program doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Here’s where to start:

    Optimize Your Profile

    Before you even get to posting, it’s important to take a look at your profiles to ensure your brand is consistent across channels. Ensure you have a current and easily recognizable profile picture. If you haven’t already, upload a cover image and update the about section to be your descriptions, location and hours are current.

    Post Meaningful and Relevant Content

    It’s not only important for you to be posting regularly, you need to be posting with purpose. Your social profiles should be an extension of who you are in real life. Authenticity always wins in social media.

    There is no magic formula for how often you should post, but consistency is key. Successful social selling programs offer a variety of organic content. The mix looks different for every loan officer, but commonly a healthy and informed mix includes brand, industry and most importantly, personal/community content.

    Interact with the Community

    Social media is a two-way conversation and that means you need to be interacting with followers. In other words, don’t post and ghost. Social selling is about listening, responding and engaging. It’s a conversation, so you should be promptly responding to comments and direct messages, showing connections that their inquiries and concerns matter.

    When every deal matters, so does every relationship. If you’re looking to build trust and connection with customers and prospects alike, make sure your profiles are up to date, post regularly and interact with your followers. A social selling strategy can help you make the most of social media opportunities in a competitive environment.

    This article was originally published in MBA Newslink.

    The insurance industry is built on — and amazing at! — assessing risk. But the industry’s risk aversion has put insurance marketers between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand, modern customer expectations mean agents need to leverage their relationship-building skills to gain ground online. On the other, unfamiliarity and fears about compliance are driving slow social selling adoption across the industry. While the concept may seem novel to some insurance leaders, that doesn't mean their competition is standing on the sidelines. After all, rival carriers aren’t twiddling their thumbs; many are jumping headfirst into social selling strategies and generating the new business to show for it.

    The good news is that adopting social selling doesn’t mean the industry has to reinvent the wheel. Rather, it should feel natural because this kind of digital communication is simply an extension of what agents are already doing. Instead of viewing digital marketing and social selling as an entirely new strategy, remember that it’s built on the same bread-and-butter relationship skills that trusted insurance advisors have always used with their customers. Insurance leaders must acknowledge social media as a sales channel, just like cold calling and in-person meetings, and must integrate social selling into the fabric of their organizations.

    How to Advocate for Social Selling

    Social media isn’t going anywhere. It’s where consumers are interacting with each other, looking for advice, and learning new things. This means intermediaries have to be there, too. Insurance agents need to reach their clients and prospects alike on social media, and the carriers and agencies they’re part of can help.

    With this in mind, insurance marketers and leaders must advocate for social selling throughout the organization. And everyone has a role to play. While marketers will stay busy coordinating paid ad campaigns to reach new target audiences and managing the branded social media, agents and other representatives of the brand must be on board as well: They need to be posting, liking, and replying to build relationships and bring a human touch to the broader social media strategy. Getting this buy-in means bridging the gap between sales and marketing — and educating them on why social selling works. If you're ready to sell-in social selling, here are four ways to get started:

    1. Get Everybody on the Same Page

    While some marketers may already be comfortable with the concept, social selling is still a recent marketing innovation for the insurance industry. Marketers need to get up to speed on strategy and execution, while also educating the organization (especially intermediaries — have we mentioned how important they are?).

    Start by defining social selling. This is our shorthand definition:

    Social selling is using social media to sell a product or service. It’s using social to:

    · Showcase thought leadership

    · Engage with potential customers

    · Interact with existing customers

    · Build trust and relationships

    Sounds pretty straightforward, right? While the execution can be trickier — think balancing paid and organic advertising, tracking analytics to calculate ROI, and overseeing the social media accounts of all the intermediaries — starting simple helps ease everyone into the process. This is especially important for advisors with limited social media experience. Lead with empathy to help them adjust to the new face of insurance marketing.

    2. Speak Their Language — With Stats to Back You Up

    Intermediaries want to build relationships and drive results — and social selling can help them do it — but only if they understand its potential. Highlight the value social selling has for both the company and individual intermediaries. Thankfully, this is one of the easier parts of selling social selling: The stats can do all the heavy lifting.

    Gather good information from trustworthy sources. If you’re going to be persuasive, you have to paint the picture of what social selling can do. Some of our favorite data comes from LinkedIn. Sales reps scoring higher on LinkedIn’s Social Selling Index experience:

    · 45% more sales opportunities

    · 51% higher likelihood to hit quotas

    · 78% outselling peers who don’t use social media

    And don’t be afraid to share the success you’ve had with brand social media, too. Brand social media and intermediary social selling, paid social ads, and organic social media content: All of these are chapters in the greater narrative of successful digital marketing strategies.

    3. Seriously, Bring Up the Data

    Raw numbers are well and good, but case studies marry data and narrative in a uniquely compelling way. Countless other industries have had success with social selling, and insurance needs to pay attention. Share these stories about what social selling has accomplished for so many other businesses. The housing industry, for one, has been particularly astute with social selling in recent years, especially when it comes to mortgage lending.

    In addition to formal case studies, bring the concept to life with experiences anyone can understand or has likely seen in their personal social media feeds. Local real estate agents are great examples of an industry that’s exemplary at utilizing social selling tools. Instead of starting from scratch, look to adjacent regulated industries to guide the way.

    4. Create a Culture of Q&As

    Don’t assume leaders know that social media is a sales channel — but also, don’t talk down to them when explaining the state of digital marketing. This means creating safe spaces where pros can ask questions (and not feel silly). Have a coffee; grab lunch. Give someone permission to be vulnerable and learn. Their aversion is likely rooted in misunderstanding. And remember, more experienced professionals may never have used social media for anything other than personal sharing. Empathy is your best friend. Walking alongside leaders and agents as they dip their feet into social selling will be so much more effective than talking down to them from the podium of knowledge. Building a strong foundation of understanding and a desire to learn will go a long way toward activating a social selling strategy.

    Social media marketing for insurance intermediaries may seem like a radical concept, but it’s more radical to not be using social as a sales tool. Sure, it may be new and feel risky, but educating the team and arming them with resources will make social selling feel not only prudent but necessary. To learn more about how social selling can help you reach your audience, request a demo today.

    3 Steps to Social Selling
    September 16, 2022

    What is social selling and how does your financial institution get started?

    Social selling is just what it sounds like: using social media to sell a product or service. It’s leveraging social to build personal relationships, showcase thought leadership, engage with prospects, interact with existing customers, and ultimately build trust and rapport that will eventually lead to sales.

    Social selling is the perfect crossroads of marketing and sales. It enables intermediaries – like loan officers, financial advisors and insurance agents – to add value to the customer journey where there wouldn’t otherwise be an opportunity.

    If you're wondering where to get started, check out Denim Social's latest infographic to learn more.

    Ready to learn more? Click here to meet with the Denim Social team.

    Connect & Convert on Social

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

    Connect & Convert on Social

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

    Connect & Convert on Social

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