We are on the verge of a huge wave of change in digital advertising, something that may at first appear somewhat removed from the finance and banking sector, yet, which is set to have an enormous impact on the way the industry attracts new customers and engages existing ones.
Despite social advertising being a game-changer for certain sectors it is high time to address the common misconception that social media focuses on conversation and content. Social advertising has matured to become an established channel for customer acquisition and, when properly managed, can command meaningful profits.
Research shows that $70bn was spent on digital advertising in 2016. Yet over $100K is spent every minute without delivering actionable results. With the next wave of real time audience insights and applied AI to understand and filter valuable data pools, marketers and brand managers can now start choosing new paths to transform results.
The first hurdle marketers and brand managers need to overcome however, is an over reliance on clicks and engagements to accurately measure the impact of a social advertising campaign. The once simple equation: what was the value that the marketing activity drove for the business, divided by the costs of running it, has become much harder to calculate. Little wonder most marketers in the finance sector still feel more comfortable dealing with established marketing channels rather than attempting to calculate the value of a social media advertising campaign.
Proving value for traditional performance marketing is much easier as good results and high returns are evident in the key metrics associated with each objective. In the case of a conversion campaign, however, it can be more difficult to prove, as cost per conversion is the most important metric … and presents more of a challenge to attribute value.
Reaching an effective cost per conversion rate includes many different channels such as TV, outdoor, digital etc. Attributing a value to each channel for a conversion is a complex challenge for any brand, and marketers need to familiarise themselves with their brand’s unique conversion paths in order to effectively measure social conversions.
The good news is that they now have the tools to do so. Certainly, with the advancing speed of social technology, they can now implement native and third party tracking to accurately define the entire consumer journey, from awareness all the way to key business metrics such as sales and ROI.
This comprehensive exploration is leading to bigger and better analyses, insights and effective campaign adjustments, and is a huge step beyond traditional social media metrics, and, as a consequence, it offers brand managers unprecedented control in tailoring their campaigns.
Know What Success Looks Like
Brand managers need to ensure they have clear measurements for the outcomes they expect. These need to be well defined as they will be the benchmark by which they will drive the entire campaign. Understanding which are the most important ad formats and key metrics is vital to analysing what success looks like.
Online advertising delivers accurate ROI, something that is more guesswork in traditional advertising. With new products, platforms and capabilities constantly emerging, it can be difficult for brands to remain focused on their core social media strategy. Keeping main business objectives at front of mind will help brands avoid distractions that new platforms might cause.
Focus on Key Metrics Associated with Each Objective
Google AdWords and Facebook retargeting will enable marketers to get in front of those who are actively in the buying cycle. However, it is vital to understand the difference between the two.
When set up and managed properly, AdWords is one of the best sources for new customers who are already searching for a defined product or service, as it targets users actively looking for specific information. In this instance, a customer who is searching for the most cost effective and rapid way to transfer funds overseas.
Social advertising complements this by targeting new customers who don’t yet know what they specifically want, but are the right demographic group to become interested customers. In this case, a customer who is buying property abroad.
From there,marketers can start exploring other suitable channels. Obviously, the ones chosen will depend on the particular brand product or service.
A hyper-targeted audience will enable marketers to gauge exactly who their most lucrative audience segments are.
Once they have this information, they can scale accordingly. This is where Facebook ads come into their own, as it targets people based primarily on their interests. It is a highly cost-effective acquisition marketing channel that will enable brand managers to build their audience pipeline.
A recent survey of advertising professionals worldwide showed that 61% of respondents expected an increase in social ad spending for Facebook and 40% of respondents expected an increase for LinkedIn and Instagram. Some of the core benefits include fine-tuned targeting, a large mobile audience, extensive analytics, improved scalability and upward trending click-through rates.
Defining how established and known a financial brand is or how much the audience likes the advertised products is key. Generally speaking, well established financial brands produce more cost effective results due to an already existing high level of brand awareness. However, that doesn’t mean that smaller financial brands can’t achieve impressive results; rather, building awareness needs to be worked into the campaign.
It’s Time to Revisit Social Advertising
Social advertising certainly offers organizations in the banking and finance sectors great returns on investment. However, without the expertise to navigate, what still appears like a relatively new advertising landscape to those outside the sector, it is easy for organizations to rapidly become frustrated as the returns are scarce and their budgets get sucked dry.
The time is certainly right to revisit the value of social advertising within the finance and banking sector. As financial brands learn to remodel their ad strategies and ride the next wave of real time audience insights, they will increasingly realize the transformational benefits.