The internet, the bank and the ad budget

COVID19

Things are certainly crazy right now. The “new normal” as they call it has done a lot of thing to change how we operate. One thing I am personally adjusting is how much media I can consume in a day. I’ve been checking in on a lot of webinars lately and listening to podcast more.

Today I am starting a new series of blogs focusing on relevant webinar recaps from the tech angle. Today’s Cribb Notes focuses in on part one of a Go Local Interactive recent webinar Digital Marketing for Banks – State of the Industry, giving their readout on the banking industry and how its affecting digital marketing and customer experience targets.

Internet is getting hit hard. All big sites are up 20%.  Ad strategy should shift money to digital channels now. 

Some Consumer Behaviors are changing. Searches for toilet paper and Lysol wipes have skyrocketed in this time of need.

For Banking Industry, banking related searches are up almost 12% which is cause for focus.

So, first of all, refinancing is way-way up as consumers are looking to take advantage of the low rates and research is way up during these crisis times. Community Banks have been able to handle increased load better than bigger banks. Also, interest in navigating bank branches and drive through has increased dramatically as co-vid 19 social distancing effort being in essential type business like banks.

Customer are really wanting information about how to conduct business and understand what they can and can’t do.  This is a great opportunity to communicate with customers at this time of need and help to create loyal customers with proactive communications. Loans search and interest is on the rise and small business loan interest and search is following the same upward trends.  Pay Check protection program is driving interest.

Checking and Saving Account searching has remained about the same slightly down. However banking traffic is up at least 50% across the board this week as all of America are checking their accounts to see if they receive government stimulus check via direct deposit. Online Account Opening across the board is great to have right now. Depending on where your company is on the maturity level of offing complete digital product, now is the time to double down on programs, communication and guidance on how to do banking in a quarantine world.

Paid Media

This webinar offered pretty good guidance on how to manage your marketing spend to take advantage of the customer reach at this time in 2020. For account opening program initaves:

  • Update all ad copy
  • Add to upper funnel
  • Maintain or increase search spend

And if your company is not offering full online account opening, you really should be focused on Upper funnel tactics and updating ad copy, and maybe trying to provide simple and clear instructions and guidance on how to do business with the bank. Focus on tone and letting the consumers know that you care for their safety and security. Use Full digital account opening in headlines. Do not give messages like, Come in and visit our branch  today… when clearly all offices are adjusting and doing drive through only.

Also, People are not driving around looking at billboards right now or listening to the radio on the way to work, so, shift you money to digital ad spend. Look at

  • Google Online Audience and retargeting.  Peek interest & drive interest.
  • Gmail Display email targeting. 
  • You Tube Ad focus – they have lots of different options. Skippable ads you don’t get charged for the ad. etc

Decisions are different in all local area right now as we are adjusting to the virus and pandemic. Budget decisions are being made at the local and branch level as seems appropriate. Focus on local strategies. Landscape is moving quickly and you need to be able to move quickly.

Organic Media

On the search media side the webinar provided a review of the Google My Business listings and how things are changing and adapting to the pandemic.

  • On the local listing platform, Medical Care and COVID-19 information is being prioritized right now as is needed…this is the way….  
  • Some delayed response in local listing is happening from Google as they are seeing a flood of business changes and adjustments to keep up with messaging and changes.
  • Google temporality paused reviews form postings on listings starting 3/20/20. They paused reviews to not have a negative flood of reviews for local companies caused by covid disruptions in business.

Now is the time to concentrate on Content Marketing. Customer want and need information right now. So, for sure all companies need to focus on direct web messaging. Most companies are doing this but good to keep in top of mind that the content should actually be good, to the point and helpful to customers. Things to do:

  • Develop content relative to closings, changes in hours, and health/safety processes
  • Be mindful of tone and exploiting the crisis – Tone and type of content is important with the new normal. People need insights and care right now.

Develop and highlight content that connects with customers in this time of quarantines and social distancing.

This is going to be a long year. For your 2020 strategy try to focus on things that will have a long-term impact:

  • Utilize funds from other marketing efforts to put toward pushing the quality of your website content past all your competitors
  • Develop a stockpile of content to publish in the future and fill out your editorial calendar
  • Analyze your static website content for issues and opportunities]
  • Revise you static website content to fix any issues and develop better content
  • Invest in back burner projects improving the technical health of your website
  • Page speed optimizations, accessibility and user experience testing

Go Local Interactive provided some good number review to take note of. For more information go to Go Local Interactive website for more information.

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