DISCOVER HOW TO STAND OUT IN A CROWDED INDUSTRY
For any business, getting noticed can be challenging, For banks, credit unions, mortgage companies and financial planners, creating awareness is critical. After all, financial services companies don’t offer ordinary services. In fact, many consumers consider financial services on par with emergency services; important, urgent and vital.
So how do you, as a financial services provider, stand out from the competition in the critical moments in which your services are most needed? It’s not a quick fix, but if you follow these five tips we can help you streamline your financial marketing and guide prospects to your solutions when they’re ready to act.
Create Awareness with Repeated Messages
Consumers need to be aware of financial services businesses well before they’re ready to buy. Consumers equate name awareness with trust and stability— key attributes for financial services. By repeating your message over and over, you’ll create the kind of exposure that allows your business to come to consumers’ minds when it matters most.
While there’s no magic formula for creating awareness, it’s good to know that many marketers believe consumers must see a message a minimum of three times before it begins to sink in. In fact, many leading financial marketers are exposing consumers to their message hundreds of times before the consumer is ready to make a decision. The more often a consumer sees your message, the more likely you are to build top-of-mind awareness.
Build Trust by Surrounding Your Ad with Credible Media
Have you ever found a stranger’s business card on your windshield? How did that make you feel about the business? It might be an effective strategy to get people to try a new burger joint, but it’s not a strategy that makes consumers feel your business is stable, strong and trust-worthy. What you say is important, but where you say it is equally important. Would you rather use a bank that you read about in the newspaper, or a bank that stuck a flyer on your windshield?
While it’s easy to see that print has more credibility than windshield flyers, it takes a little more time to figure out if your message will be surrounded by compatible messages. If you’re a conservative financial institution, you probably won’t want to be surrounded by ads for local nightclubs. However, if you’re a financial planner that focuses on the helping the arts community, you might want to consider running ads in cultural sections or arts publications.
Make Contact Simple with a Clear Call-to-Action
Once consumers start noticing your advertising, and see that you’re advertising in the kind of media that they like and trust, they may want to contact you to learn more. That’s why it’s so important to remove any road blocks in the communication path. What phone number are you including in your advertising? Once readers call the number listed, will they get a real person, or will they be sent to an automated phone system to get the answers they need? Did you list a website in your ad? Are you directing prospects to your website that isn’t mobile-friendly?
All it takes is a single barrier or frustration to lose a potential customer, so it makes sense to spend time reviewing what kind of call-to-action you want to include in your ads. Make sure you run through the call-to-action yourself so that you can see or hear what the customer is experiencing. This will help you identify potential road blocks before they happen to your prospects.
Resist Changes and Stay Consistent
Whether you are a chef creating nightly masterpieces or an athlete training for the big race, consistency is key. The same concept applies to your marketing. Maintaining your core message and values conveys stability and trustworthiness, traits that consumers look for in their financial service provide.
Is your brand consistently and accurately reflected through the proper colors, logo and tone of the content? Keep track of how you’re using your logo, and make sure you use it in exactly the same way every time. While marketers tend to get bored seeing the same messages and logos over and over, customers see these messages only a few times. Consistency isn’t boring to customers; it’s a recognition tool and helps consumers remember and internalize your brand benefits.
Have a Plan and Stick with it
It’s important to stick with a media plan, even if you’re not seeing immediate results. Financial marketing is rarely a sprint. By building awareness in credible formats, staying consistent with your message and adhering to your brand standards, you’re building a solid reputation. Don’t be tempted to change ads, media and messages when your internal marketing team gets bored. Remember that your company’s goal is to communicate stability and trust to consumers. Stay the course and you’ll build the kind of brand equity that competitors will envy.
Want to learn more tips for financial marketing? Ready to set up a free consultation? Contact us here and we’ll start talking about ways to build your financial services business today.