The Internet has drastically changed the landscape of the finance industry over the past few years.
With so many people online, it's never been easier for customers to sign up for checking accounts, inquire about loans, and educate themselves about their finances.
That's why it's so crucial for every bank to have an Internet marketing plan. The demand for Internet-compatible banking is overwhelming — and you have to supply the solutions.
Almost every large bank uses Internet marketing to attract and convert new customers. But if your band hasn't yet made this shift, it's important that you get your name out there and compete.
You can do that by launching your own Internet marketing strategy — one that'll bring in new customers and earn revenue month after month.
To start, here's what a common Internet marketing strategy looks like for a bank.
Content marketing is the process of creating text, visual, and interactive elements for your website.
For banks, that means providing ways for your customers to learn about banking, as well as create, access, and control their accounts with you.
An online interface gives your customers a greater sense of control over their finances. While you may be using a portion of their cash for investments, every bank customer wants to see their current balance, deposits, withdrawals, and other important information.
And it's not just about doing a favor for your customers — you're giving them the power to monitor their spending. You're giving them peace of mind and, to a certain extent, financial well-being.
Your bank has a tremendous opportunity to offer customers something they can't get anywhere else — control over their personal finances.
So when you give customers the ability to keep an eye on their own money, you're helping them sleep at night.
That goes a long way in terms of customer satisfaction and approval.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving your website so Google and users can understand it better.
This means properly coding the most important pages of your site so they show up in Google search results.
That includes using the right title tags, meta descriptions, and HTML code to ensure Google's algorithm can “read” and understand your site.
Your prime pages for SEO work are likely your homepage, account login page, and any informational pages that help users sign up for an account with your bank.
You could also optimize pages that discuss the advantages of savings accounts, how mutual funds work, and other services you offer.
Optimizing these pages helps you compete with the other local banks, as well as larger banks that have dominated the American financial landscape since the turn of the millennium.
When you use SEO, you have the chance to compete for customers just like them. And while you may not have the brand recognition that the big banks do, you can succeed by creating pages based on your local area, local businesses, and other aspects unique to your bank.
Best of all, you can use other Internet marketing strategies in conjunction with SEO to gain a competitive edge.
Pay-per-click advertising (PPC) is a paid promotion system used by search engines and social networks that lets you draw traffic to the best pages of your site.
In search engines, PPC results display above regular search results, meaning you can pay to earn a better position – and more visibility – than big banks earn organically.
This is a common strategy used by smaller companies trying to gain an edge over a major competitor. They'll create new content, optimize it for search engines, and promote it via PPC to gain some early traction with users.
The best part is that PPC allows you to maintain complete control over your budget, ad placement, and targeting.
On search engines, PPC operates on a bid system. You and your competitors place bids (in dollars) on certain keywords, and then the PPC provider determines how to rank you according to what you bid.
That means PPC is an economically-friendly way to promote your business. You and your competitors have total control over the cost of any keyword depending on how hard you want to fight for it.
Best of all, you don't pay unless someone clicks your ad. That means you only lose money when you have an opportunity to convert a new customer.
Plus, even if you don't get a click from a search engine user, you can still earn valuable brand awareness by showing up in PPC results.
Because even though someone doesn't click your ad now, they can still remember your company's name later.
Social media marketing is the process of engaging and developing relationships with people interested in your bank.
Like PPC, social media marketing gives you the chance to build brand awareness and earn new customers.
Unlike PPC, social media relies on building relationships to properly work. That means it takes a little longer to get started than PPC, which is instantaneous.
To start, you can create free profiles on popular social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Then, you can start sharing content from your site to draw free traffic — just like with organic SEO.
After you do that, you can share your page online and earn followers from every social network.
That lets you speak to your followers, giving your bank a more accessible online presence and directly engaging the users most likely to convert into account holders.
You can also use social media for customer service, replying to compliments and criticisms as you go. That shows your followers that you're dedicated to their satisfaction as a tech-savvy, modern, and trustworthy company.
Reputation management is the practice of managing online reviews and discussions about your brand to make sure they're as positive as possible.
This partly takes place on social media because some outlets let your followers review your company right on their site.
It also takes place on search engines, like Google, since they also encourage users to review your business.
Then you also have review sites like Yelp and Yellow Pages, which have become incredibly popular over the past decade.
The point is that at any given time, your bank could have reviews and ratings on sites that you aren't even aware of. Unless you've actively claimed your company listings on sites like Google My Business and Yelp, customers could be saying anything about you and dissuading others from joining your bank.
Reputation management lets you regain control of your bank's public image by claiming any applicable profiles, responding to criticisms, and thanking satisfied customers for compliments.
The same goes for any account holders who use your mobile app, if you have one.
In the end, managing your bank's online reputation means taking responsibility for your bank. It shows your bank's senses of responsibility and integrity, too.
In other words, reputation management is the newest version of public relations.
WebFX is the country's premier performance-based digital marketing agency, and we constantly work with our clients' results in mind.
We've earned exceptional ROI for banks in the past, and now we'll do it for you!
Contact us today to get a custom Internet marketing strategy for your bank!
Ready to start your Internet marketing and design campaigns? Call 888.449.3239 or contact us online today to learn more about how WebFX can help with your SEO challenges.