The financial services industry has evolved to the point where people can now conduct most of their transactions online; be on an app or on the website. And many of them do: in a study conducted by McKinsey, forty-five percent of South Africans said they’d visit physical bank branches less often, while 42 percent said they’d increase online and mobile interactions with their banks.
Even though financial institutions have digitized their services, their marketing efforts are still archaic and conventional. This creates a gap in missed opportunities to promote the wide range of offerings in a personalized way that customers have grown to expect.
Read on as we share four digital marketing trends that financial sector should leverage to facilitate a multichannel presence and boost customer adoption.
1. Content Marketing
Content marketing involves creating and distributing engaging free content to attract and nurture customers.
The content medium can range from written form (blog posts, case studies, e-books), to videos (Webinars or Instagram reels) and audio such as podcasts. What’s critical, however, is that your target audience should find your content valuable, informative and relevant.
Apart from posting your content, organically or paid, on your website and social media channels, you can also email or WhatsApp your customer base who can then forward to their friends.
When done consistently, content marketing offers opportunities to:
- position your brand as an expert in the field to boost user trust and confidence,
- educate users on your products and how they can address the user’s needs, and
- keep your brand top of mind so that users will think of you as they search for solutions (and ideally buy into your products afterward!)
Creating a digital wealth management platform will thoroughly cover your content marketing bases. Start by maintaining a periodical blog with insights and investing tips and marketing opinions. The platform can also offer free financial Academy courses for users who want a more structured approach to learning investing skills and strategies.
Additionally, invite financial leaders and bloggers to share your investment insights and experiences on a podcast to cater to auditory learners.
Chatbots are automated conversational programs designed to communicate with users and address their needs. Their features typically involve answering FAQs and assisting with simple customer service issues. (If the matter is trickier, a human support rep will take over.)
Integrating chatbots into your customer support processes opens opportunities for you to:
- help customers get answers quicker as chatbots can operate round-the-clock,
- improve the customer experience by providing personalized chat interactions,
- free up your support representatives to focus on more complex customer support issues, thus cutting your operational and customer support costs, and
- serve customers on their preferred channels. For instance, our Mobile Service Cloud multichannel scripted chatbot solution allows you to set up a support presence on your website or app, plus popular chat apps such as WhatsApp and Instagram & Twitter DMs
- promote your latest products, services, and offers across multiple chat channels.
An example of a Bank’s chatbot use cases include:
- retrieving transaction details,
- assisting with card replacement requests,
- answering frequently asked questions, and
- sharing ongoing deals and promotions on loan interest rates.
For an extra layer of security, users must first authenticate their login on the online banking. After doing so, they can launch the chatbot and select the appropriate self-service menu option to get immediate assistance.
If the user does need human support, however, there's the option to set up “Contact Me” for a representative to pick it up with a follow-up action.
3. Email Marketing
Email marketing as the name suggests, engages the customer base with targeted email communications. It is however paramount to segment users accordingly for relevance and personalization. Email marketing opportunities include:
- direct communication with users to build trust and authority without finicky and ever-changing algorithms affecting your campaigns’ reach
- unifying your customer data through the use of powerful email marketing solutions. For example, CM.com’s Mobile Marketing Cloud lets you build comprehensive customer profiles from data obtained via various platforms, then personalize your email campaigns for higher engagement and lower unsubscribe rates.
A FOREX business could use email marketing by creating triggered email campaigns to promote its currency conversion service exceptionally well.
The money transfer platform lets users sign up for exchange rate email alerts that will notify them when a specific currency reaches its target exchange rate. For example, a user might want to receive an email alert when 1 USD hits the KES 120 mark.
The email alerts could also include a link to currency conversion services—because when a user learns that the mid-market rate has reached their desired rate threshold, the natural next step is to use the FOREX services to convert their funds!
An interesting way of using the triggered email marketing strategy involves users setting up the alerts on the platform’s website for themselves. This approach will help your business to precisely learn its users’ preferences and avoid sending irrelevant emails.
Have you been to a seminar in a physical venue? The webinar is the online equivalent, where businesses hold seminars using a virtual conferencing platform such as Zoom.
Even though webinars became popular when physical social distancing measures were in place. But even in the current conditions, webinars appear here to stay due to opportunities for businesses to:
- position their brand as an authority by sharing knowledge with attendees or hosting experts in their fields to do the same,
- increase their brand awareness as users can join webinars from any location and device. This allows businesses to scale their attendance numbers with a marginal increase in cost, and
- produce more content for marketing purposes because it’s easy to record webinars for splitting into bite-sized video segments later.
A stock brokerage firm can hold regular webinars on investment-related topics which can then be shortened for TikTok, YouTube Shorts & Instagram Reels.
Start by categorizing into beginner, intermediate, and advanced topics to help users decide which webinar is right for them based on their level of investment experience. Make your webinars available for viewing on demand on streaming and viewing platforms for late or absent attendees.
Riding the Digital Wave
What’s the future of financial services? It’s reaching out to customers using digital marketing channels and helping to serve their needs via the online medium. At the same time, financial service businesses must consider using such technologies to provide a personalized customer experience.
“As consumers’ uptake of digital channels increases, their expectations of customer experience are also rising,” writes global management consulting firm, McKinsey. “Digital technologies raise the bar in that respect because they are enabling easy-to-use and personalized services.”
Despite the digital shift, physical services won’t become entirely obsolete. Due to security concerns, unfamiliarity with technology, or other reasons, some customers will still prefer completing transactions in person.
Businesses in the financial services industry will hence need to create an omnichannel presence on both the physical and digital fronts, from which they can:
- market to customers,
- offer a seamless customer experience, and
- glean insights on customer behavior to guide their business strategy.
In the digital realm, CM.com’s Mobile Marketing Cloud provides an omnichannel customer engagement solution for financial service businesses to automate the delivery of tailored marketing campaigns on a wide range of digital channels.
Explore Mobile Marketing Cloud here to learn how it can digitally transform your marketing tactics and deliver the personalized experience that your customers seek.