Whether faced by a global pandemic or unforeseen internal organizational shifts, the best-laid marketing plans can often go off course.
Over the past months, our clients — more than ever — have altered ad campaigns and messaging. Even if the pandemic did not directly impact your business, it likely impacted your customers and members, your employees and your communities. The challenge is seeking the right balance between supporting your current consumers, acquiring new customers and members and finding how best to recalibrate your marketing strategy in this ever-changing “new normal.”
Start Now — 10 Best Practices To Consider, Implement And Maintain
1. Review the paid media campaigns you have in market. They should align with any changes in your business strategies or objectives and messaging. Review your text, image, audio and video ads. Update what you can and pause or remove ads that are no longer relevant.
2. Review your landing pages and calls-to-action (CTAs). The new CTAs should align with your current prospect or customer journey.
3. Shift media consumption behavior. Audiences are viewing more video content via streaming services and connected TV. A larger audience means more ad space but you will need the video assets to use it efficiently. Out-of-home and in-transit channels are seeing reduced audience sizes.
4. Review your geographic targeting settings. Do you have campaigns with broader geographic targeting that should be reduced due to travel restrictions?
5. Pay attention to your local listings for new reviews or questions. Some platforms have announced delays in processing, making it important to respond as quickly as possible.
6. Utilize live features on social media. Real-time updates connect you with your audience.
7. Utilize Google My Business Posts feature. This features current information and updates with the public. The new “temporarily closed” option is available and links to pandemic-related content.
8. Pay attention to various platforms, their rules on language and visuals in ads. For instance, Facebook prohibits ads with face masks and Google prohibits COVID-19 terms unless you have applied and received whitelist status.
9. Ensure your phone support and live chat staff have current information. Are you staffed to handle an increase in consumer service requests? Test artificial intelligence (AI) chatbots.
10. Review your website activity. Are visitors using your site search more? If so, what are they searching and how can you make the content more directly visible and easier to find? Create a report or dashboard that focuses on pandemic-related changes in activity. Here are some questions to consider about your financial services website. The next section will drill down on website improvement.
How To Review Your Website For Key Improvements
Is your site accessible to customers and members who have disabilities? Before the pandemic, people with disabilities may have visited a branch to handle financial transactions, but with many branch lobbies now closed, having a website that’s compliant with the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) is more important than ever. Now is the time to review your website to ensure it is accessible to customers and members with hearing or visual disabilities.
Do you have a “How to Use Our Mobile App” program in place? Online and mobile have become essential banking services – but some consumers may be intimidated by using an app. Ensure your financial organization is showing customers and member how to use your digital tools with step-by-step guidance on how to use different features and emphasizes the security of mobile banking. Consider leveraging an appointment scheduling capability on your website to better serve people who may need help using a mobile app, and have customer and member services call and guide them through the functionality.
Do you have a dedicated page for COVID-19 updates and communications? Consider creating a dedicated landing page focused on COVID-19 related messaging with links to other areas of your website. Include a link to the dedicated landing page on your homepage to ensure people have quick access to all pandemic updates, support services and resources. And most importantly, make sure your branch closings, branch hours and any other special services are accurate and easy to locate.
If you don’t have functionality to open an account online, how can you get there fast? Consumers need a way to open accounts online. Rally your leadership teams to assess the gaps in your online account opening capabilities and champion the need to implement and/or optimize this critical origination channel. If you already have this functionality in place, review the ease of use and experience to ensure it’s tailored to individuals who may not select this channel as their first choice.
Are you positioning online and mobile banking as critical banking channels? Online and mobile banking have always been a great way for customers and members to monitor and manage their money – but many organizations have not made digital engagement a priority. Online and mobile banking are no longer “nice-to-haves” – they have become “must haves” for people to engage with your organization.
Absolute Website Essentials:
Make sure your website is responsive and content encourages enrollment in and usage of these valuable banking channels.
The messages we deliver and the channels we use will continue to shift. The method and the process for maximizing the value of the channels will not. Marketing is complex — that remains a reliable constant.
Let’s Work Together
We realize you have a lot on your list of priorities and “must do’s” that changes frequently in the current environment. We would be glad to help you develop a structured and flexible game plan for orchestrating your website and digital marketing strategies.