Sunday, June 19, 2016

In Banking, Content Is Showing Results

Kevin Tynan, a regular American Banker contributor, recently penned an article: Digital Bank Marketing, It's All About the Content. He cited a recent survey that found content marketing ranks as companies' most significant digital marketing trend for 2016. 

He went on to say that at his bank, Liberty Bank in Chicago, pay-per-click mortgage leads cost $162 per lead, while content-related leads cost just $36. He said that there are even greater differences in lead generation for checking accounts and credit cards.

Content, in my opinion, is moving more from the wish list in the Marketing Department to front and center for bank customer acquisition initiatives. As with most digital marketing concepts, the talk surrounding using content to acquire customers is within the retail realm. See the ad in my Facebook feed today. A local supermarket. Clearly a retail customer acquisition approach.

But what about business customer acquisition? At a recent bank client strategic planning retreat, I pulled up my Twitter feed that had a sponsored tweet from Accenture Banking, directing me to a recent survey. Clearly this was a B2B marketing approach, as Accenture is a B2B consulting firm. If Accenture is working to extend its reach by using promoted tweets directing potential clients to their content, should banks consider it too?

There is friction within banks in considering such an approach. In most strategic planning retreats I moderate, the social media talk, including content, centers on retail. In senior management ranks, I do not think using social media for business client acquisition gets much consideration. But look at the sponsored tweet I just looked up in my Twitter feed?

Google Cloud. So if Accenture, and Google, think social media can promote B2B client acquisition, should your bank?

Read any sales book or go to any sales seminar and you will hear theories on number of touches and conversion rates. In my opinion, commercial bankers consider number of touches as phone calls or in person visits. Not a recent blog post, or information in the client's Facebook stream. 

If, at your bank, it takes seven contacts to turn a business prospect into a client, and reading a blog post or seeing content in their social media streams count, would you be more aggressive in your content efforts? Would this drive down your acquisition costs, as it did for Liberty Bank?

I think it's time to take content and social media marketing seriously for business customer acquisition, even if your "shoe-leather" commercial bankers think it's bunk.

Because what if it's not.

Do you use and have results from content marketing for business customer acquisition?

~ Jeff


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