How to Make Digital Marketing for Financial Services Not Terrible

Reality check: digital marketing for financial services is tough. Your biggest adversary isn’t the competition—it’s the lack of trust. Connecting with a business audience in a crowded market requires awareness, trust, and credibility. Buyers want to know a) who are you? and b) why should I trust you?

Your digital marketing strategy must answer these questions definitively and convincingly. And here’s the kicker: forging that essential emotional connection with your audience is critical, perhaps even more so for B2B fintechs than B2C enterprises. 

Remember, B2B buyers are humans first. They gravitate towards brands they like and trust. Establishing an emotional bond is not just a nice-to-have; it’s a must-have in the playbook of digital marketing for financial services.

This article looks at where digital marketing for financial services often falls short – and how to leverage trust and credibility to overcome those hurdles. 

Common Pitfalls in Digital Marketing for Financial Services

The Plan That Wasn’t

You wouldn’t go on a road trip without a roadmap, so why would you jump into digital marketing for financial services without a strategy? Remember, a strategy is different than a plan. Knowing that you want to do content marketing and paid ads and have a social presence is a plan. Mapping out how all those components and campaigns will work together to tell a story is a strategy. 

Winging it is not only inefficient but can lead to wasted resources and missed opportunities. A solid digital marketing strategy should encompass clear objectives, an understanding of the target audience, a content calendar, and metrics for measuring success. Without this foundation, your efforts are likely to be clunky and ineffective.

Consider the story of a fintech startup that burned through its marketing budget in the first quarter, using flashy, high-cost campaigns that failed to resonate with its target audience. The lack of a strategic plan (and a clear understanding of their target audience) meant that although they created a slick website and “sprayed and prayed” nice-looking ads, they failed to connect with their target market. They also failed to build the lasting relationships necessary to significantly impact their bottom line. 

Don’t be them. Create a cohesive, integrated strategy where each piece in the puzzle plays a part in telling your brand narrative. 

Irrelevance and Lack of Differentiation

Unless you’re new to digital marketing for financial services, you already know differentiation is table stakes. And yet, many brands fail to differentiate themselves, blending into the background noise of the industry. This challenge is compounded by the influx of new entrants in the space, each vying for the attention of a shared audience. 

Cutting through the clutter means executing a digital marketing strategy that puts highly relevant information in front of the right audience at the right time. It means clearly articulating the unique value proposition of your services. Do this by answering these critical questions: 

What makes our product or service unique? 

  • (Hint: it’s not that you’re the “best”)
  • If your offering is fundamentally similar to others in market, explain how you do it differently — and back it up with enticing evidence

Is your mission statement interchangeable with competitors in your space? 

  • (Hint: if the most striking word in your core values is honesty, then the answer is yes). 
  • Everyone wants to do business with someone who’s honest. Same goes for “innovative.” 
  • Dig deeper to pull out a mission that is aligned with how you’re different — and that will resonate with your core audience. 

Why do our customers love us? 

  • (Hint: if you don’t know, ask)
  • Whether you’re updating your brand or simply digging deeper into what makes your brand unique, survey the people that matter most: your customers. 
  • Ask how they would describe you. Then, couple that with your messaging to create a meaningful narrative. 

What does our unique value proposition cost us?

  • This is particularly compelling. What are you giving up, foregoing, or spending extra on to deliver exceptional value to customers?

Weave the answers to those questions into your messaging. Skip the jargon and technical explanations – these alienate people. 

Underutilizing AI and Marketing Technologies

Technology evolves at breakneck speed. Failing to leverage AI and other digital marketing tools is a significant misstep. These tools can automate mundane tasks, provide insights into customer behavior, and personalize marketing efforts at scale. It should be no different in digital marketing for financial services. 

Will you have to pay extra attention to make sure you’re not running afoul of regulations and compliance requirements? Yes. Should you still try to use marketing tech to optimize your digital presence and engage with your audience more effectively? Yes. 

Here are some tools to consider: 

HubSpot: In addition to being a CRM, it’s a comprehensive marketing, sales, and service software that uses AI to enhance various aspects of digital marketing. 

Salesforce Einstein: Salesforce Einstein is an AI component within the Salesforce platform, providing advanced AI capabilities to sales, service, and marketing. 

Hootsuite Insights Powered by Brandwatch: This tool offers real-time social media monitoring and analytics, using AI to sift through millions of social media posts to provide insights into what people are saying about your brand, competitors, and the industry at large.

PaveAI: This tool turns Google Analytics data into actionable insights using AI. For financial services marketers looking to understand website performance and user behavior better, PaveAI can uncover hidden patterns, suggest improvements, and even predict future trends, enabling marketers to optimize their digital presence more effectively. 

Adext AI: Adext uses AI and machine learning to automate and optimize ad placements across Google, Facebook, and Instagram, ensuring that your ads are shown to the audience most likely to convert. For financial services marketers, this can mean more efficient use of advertising budgets and improved ROI on digital ad campaigns. 

Neglecting Website Optimization

Your website acts as the digital front door to your business, and first impressions matter. A cluttered, outdated website with confusing messaging will turn prospects away, no matter how exceptional your services may be. Optimizing your website goes beyond aesthetics; it’s about aligning your online presence with your brand’s values and current marketing objectives to provide a cohesive, user-friendly experience.

Consider a financial consulting firm that revamped its website to match its market positioning as a forward-thinking, client-centric provider. By streamlining the user experience, emphasizing their success stories, and ensuring their messaging was clear and aligned with their target audience’s needs, they were able to increase engagement and generate more leads.

Overlooking the Power of Content Marketing

Saying “content is king” simply isn’t bold enough. Content is everything – especially for financial services. Effective content marketing can build trust, establish credibility, and forge an emotional connection with your audience. 

It’s not just about producing articles or blog posts; it’s about creating valuable, relevant content that addresses the pain points and aspirations of your B2B audience. Those who invest in content marketing leverage a powerful tool for building relationships and enhancing visibility. They also gain a substantial advantage over their peers that don’t. 

Digital Marketing for Financial Services Done Right

Improving digital marketing for financial services doesn’t have to be a pipe dream. You can build something inspiration if you set the right strategy, use the right tools, and course correct as your company evolves. 

Keep things customer-centric. Adjust your tone. Tell the right kinds of stories. These are the things that will help you drive tangible results. Remember, at the heart of successful digital marketing is the ability to connect on a human level, building trust and credibility through strategic, relevant, and engaging efforts.

Already Aced Digital Marketing for Financial Services?

Nice! We have some additional resources that might help you round out your digital marketing for financial services: 

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