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How to Create an Effective Marketing Campaign for Your Financial Institution

Image of Sean De Visser
Sean De Visser

In this guide, I’m going to show you step by step how easy it is to create an effective marketing campaign for your financial institution. Follow these simple steps, and you’ll be generating more business in no time.

Here’s what we’ll cover in this post:

  • Step 1: Set a goal for your campaign.
  • Step 2: Ensure you can measure success.
  • Step 3: Create buyer personas.
  • Step 4: Brainstorm and refine ideas.
  • Step 5: Decide how to distribute and promote content.
  • Step 6: Create a timeline.
  • Step 7: Make assignments and create.
  • Step 8: Check your work before launch.
  • Step 9: Measure results and update.,

Before we get started, it’s important to note that you shouldn't do this alone. If you work for a smaller institution, have limited resources, or don’t have a marketing team, get your co-workers involved. Create a team of your own with a couple of people you trust who know your business well. More minds will help you be more effective and creative. Be cautious of involving too many people, however. Too many people can bog down the workflow and cause contention if there are conflicting ideas and beliefs.

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get started.

 

Step 1: Set a goal for your campaign. 

The first thing you need to figure out is what’s important to your institution right now or in the near future. Ask yourself, what’s going to help the institution grow and become more successful? Is it promoting a new feature that will enhance your customer's experience? Is it increasing deposits or new accounts? Whatever it is, discuss this question with your team and narrow it down to a single focus.

Once you’ve done that, take your focus and turn it into a SMART goal—a goal that’s Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. For example, let's say your team decided it was best to increase the number of active users for mobile banking. Here’s what a SMART goal might look like:

Our goal is to increase the number of active users on our mobile banking app by 15% by creating short videos that showcase the benefits and ease of use of the mobile banking app by September 30, 2022.

Now that you have a clear direction, it’s time to move to the next step.

 

Step 2: Ensure you can measure success. 

In order to know whether your campaign was a success or not, you need to know how to measure it. This can vary greatly depending on what your goal is and how you choose to promote it. Whatever your goal is, make sure you’re able to track the metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) needed.

For example, based on the SMART goal example above, the objective is to see an increase in active users. To do this, you need to make sure tracking is set up properly so you’re getting an accurate count of current active users on your mobile banking app. Then, as you release and promote your marketing material, watch for increases in user activity. Also watch for trends or spikes in your data. These changes could tell you whether a particular video, email, or blog did well when it was released.

 

Step 3: Create buyer personas. 

Now that you have your goal and a way to measure the data, it’s time to establish who your ideal target audience is. The best way to do that is to create buyer personas.

A buyer persona is a made-up person who resembles your ideal prospect for any campaign you’re creating. This could be someone who doesn’t know your institution exists, someone who knows your brand but isn’t a customer yet, or an existing customer.

When creating your persona, work with your team to discuss what these people look like. The links below contain questions you can use to guide your discussion:

https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/buyer-persona-questions

https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/buyer-persona-100-questions

These questions are designed to help you gain a better understanding of who your persona is, what their interests are, what problems they face, and what kind of concerns and fears they have.

Once you’ve painted a clear picture of your persona, it’s time to move on to the next step: brainstorming ideas to address your persona’s questions.

 

Step 4: Brainstorm and refine ideas.

With a clear understanding of who your buyer persona is, it’s time to meet with your team and brainstorm any and all questions, concerns, fears, etc., your persona might have as it relates to your goal and campaign focus.

Get into your persona's headspace. Take a walk in their shoes. Try to think how they would think. This can be difficult because you’re not sure how they would think, but don’t overthink it. Just start writing ideas that come to you.

When brainstorming ideas, keep in mind that you’ll need to address both topics that aren’t related to your product or services, like general industry related topics, as well as topics that are specific to your products or services. Doing this will ensure the content you produce will cover all stages of the buyer's journey.

Now, when you feel like you’ve exhausted all your ideas, it’s time to refine your list of your persona’s concerns by conducting further research.

The purpose of further research is to see whether the ideas you came up with are actually relevant and important to your persona. Is your persona actually searching for these questions and topics online? As you research your ideas further, you’ll start to find new or better ideas that are more relevant. You’ll eliminate or refine ideas that don’t show much potential. Keep diving deeper to ensure you’re not missing anything.

To conduct further research about what your persona wants, here are some things to try:

  • Interview people who closely resemble your personas.
  • Search your ideas in Google.
    • Look at Google’s suggested searches at the bottom of the results page for other related topics.
    • What does Google autofill in the search bar when you start typing?
  • Use keyword research tools. Here’s a list to begin with:
  • Look at forums and social media.

As you plunge deeper and deeper, you’ll refine your ideas down to only the things that matter most to your personas. This way you’re not wasting time creating content that isn’t relevant.

With a finalized list, you now need to decide how you want to distribute and promote your content.

 

Step 5: Decide how to distribute and promote content.

How you’ll distribute and promote your content depends on a number of factors, such as your goal, your persona’s search preferences, budget, etc.

You’ll want to tailor this to your persona’s preferences. Review your persona to discover how they like to gather and look for information. Do they prefer searching online, going to events, watching videos on YouTube, asking associates for recommendations, subscribing to emails or social channels?

However they prefer to get information, figure out a way to get in front of them. Here are some ideas:

  • Create a paid search campaign in Google Ads
  • Create a booth and flyers for events
  • Create a video series
  • Write a blog
  • Offer a giveaway to get people to sign up for your newsletter.

Other things to consider:

  • What is your institution already doing to promote its products and services?
  • What's worked best in the past?
  • Does it make sense to continue what you’re already doing, or do you need to adjust?

Again, the goal here is to get in front of your persona. You want them to know you’ve addressed their questions, concerns, and fears. So make sure you distribute and promote your content in a way that’s tailored to their preferences.

 

Step 6: Create a timeline.

At this point, you should have a finalized list of marketing assets that need to be created with a plan for how to distribute and promote each of them. Now you need to lay it all out on a timeline.

Using your SMART goal date/deadline as a starting point, build a content calendar that outlines when each marketing asset will be published, when and how it will be promoted, and how often it will be promoted. This will give you a clear picture of how everything will come together. It will also help you find gaps in the campaign or other potential opportunities.

Once everything is organized and you feel good about how everything is laid out, it’s time to start the creation process.

 

Step 7: Make assignments and create.

For this step, it’s important to note that every marketing campaign you create will differ based on your institution’s goals and what matters most to your buyer personas. Some of your campaigns may have similarities, but the topics and marketing materials you choose to create will vary each time.

For each campaign you create, you need to work with the subject matter experts. You can’t expect to be the expert on every topic. You need the help of experts to ensure that what you create and publish is thorough and accurate.

Having the experts help with the creation process is critical to a successful campaign. With the help of the topic expert, your content will also meet Google’s E-A-T criteria. E-A-T stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. These are the three things Google looks for when showing your content on its results page.

Keep in mind that your institution might not have an “expert” on a particular topic you wish to address. That’s okay. Just do your best to find someone within your organization who is the most qualified. Chances are you’ll find someone who can help. If you’re struggling to find someone within your organization, and you really need a subject matter expert, consider looking outside the organization. You can find subject matter experts by searching on social media, blogs, forums, attending events, etc. Get in contact with them and see if they’re willing to assist you.

After finding your experts, work with them to create all the marketing materials you need.

 

Step 8: Check your work before launch.

You’re almost ready for launch. At this point, you should have all the marketing assets created and finalized, and you have a schedule for when you're going to use those assets.

But before you push that big red button, take a step back and do one last final check to make sure there won’t be any hiccups at launch. The last thing you want is for all your hard work to end up in a catastrophe. So take the time needed to ensure a smooth launch.

After you’ve done a final check and everything looks good, you’re ready to launch. Follow your content calendar and keep an eye on the metrics and KPIs we talked about in step 2.

 

Step 9: Measure results and update.

After you’ve successfully launched a marketing campaign, you need to review the results. The big question now is, was it a success? Did you achieve your goal?

Review your metrics and KPIs as you promote your campaign. Hopefully, you’ll begin to see results that trend toward meeting your goal. If you do, congratulations. If you don’t, don’t worry. Just because you didn’t meet your goal doesn’t mean it was a failure or a waste of time.

Marketing is all about testing. The reality is that you’ll never really know what’s going to resonate best with your target audience. Sometimes what seemed to be a good campaign might not work out the way you hoped. Take this as a learning opportunity to refine your next campaign or update the existing marketing materials.

Review your data and seek feedback from people who resemble your persona. This research should give you the insight you need to make the right adjustments and see greater success in the future.

 

Take Action

I hope you enjoyed this guide on how to create a marketing campaign for your financial institution. Now that you have an understanding of how it works, it’s time to put these steps into action.

Meet with your coworkers today and find an area within your institution that you want to enhance or grow, follow the steps in this guide, and start seeing success from your efforts.

Remember, the whole purpose of creating marketing campaigns is to create a great experience for your target audience. They are your focus. Answer their questions and resolve their concerns. Show them that you actually care. Do that, and you’ll see great success.

 

 

 

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