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Bank Marketing

The Question: “What should I include in my content marketing?”

Here are the things that YOU SHOULD be including in your content marketing efforts.

You don’t just need content, you need Awesome Content!

Developing relevant content does not have to be a difficult. It doesn’t require any special tools, secret or magic. It all begins with understanding who your prospects & customers are, how they behave and what they crave.

The formula:
Useful x Consumable x Inspired = Innovative Content

This process begins with the creation of a piece of a REAL IDEA, Not some 2,000 word “evergreen” piece or ebook. Something Awesome.
Many marketers will tell you this should be a 50 to 100 page ebook or massive how to guide. The problem is most people can’t handle it. Big = Overwhelming.

Everyone wants to believe there is a magic bullet. So create the Magic Bullet!

Highly valuable & easily consumed content is the gift that keeps on giving. This content will attract links, generate traffic and build brand awareness.

Once your content is created, blast it EVERYWHERE: Company pages, email, blog, sponsored updates, Display ads, SlideShare, PPC, Twitter, etc.

Simple Execution
In many cases it is easy to develop a set of goals, but a plan is specific, executed over time and measurable. After determining what your Big Idea is going to be, write that out into a series or digestable snapshots that can easily be distributed over time. This can include videos, infographics, blog posts, 3rd party posts, podcasts, etc.

Week 1: Publish & Schedule Your Content
Week 2: Conduct a Webinar
Week 3: Run a Contest
Week 4: Lead a Twitter Chat
Week 5: Do an interview: On TV, Online, At a Conference, etc.

While all of this is running your content is being promoted though influencer outreach, promoted posts, email, sponsored updates, paid search, retargeting, organic social, organic search, etc.

Everything gets tagged and tracked for performance evaluation and follow up.

Your Blog
Make your blog content diverse, relevant and structured.

Monday: Case Studies, Statistics / Infographics, Industry (35% time spent)
Tuesday: Strategic Research & Analysis, Points of View, Thought Leadership (20% time spent)
Wednesday: How-To Posts, Guest Blogging, Peer Content (25% time spent)
Thursday: Bold Points of View / Strong Opinion, Challenger (5% time spent)
Friday: Light-hearted, Cultural, Funny Amusing (15% time spent)

A Quick View
SEO – Lays the groundwork
Social – Fuels the content
Content – Fuels the demand

Winners:

  • Consistently deliver content that their target wants to consume & share
  • PR efforts guide their vision as a leader in the space
  • Deliver amazing experiences on and offline
  • Build a thriving community

Make a plan, make it Asesome, deploy, track & measure, optimize, close new business and WIN!

And this is why we are considered the best content marketing agencies in St. Louis.

A 2013 study calculated that over 500 websites are created each minute.

That is a HUGE number.

Let’s be conservative and say that today in 2016, 75 of those new websites are being created and are scheduled to replace an existing website every single day.

That is a very large number of sites putting themselves at risk!

 

How are they putting themselves at risk you say?

 

Well, let us give you an example.

 

Imagine you have a website that looks so 2005.

You want to update the look, the copy and make it responsive.

All with the goal of turning more visitors into customers.

These are Awesome goals!

Let’s say your site has an average conversion rate compared to the industry and 75% of your site traffic comes from Organic Search.

 

HERE IS THE THREAT!

When migrating your website in most cases, your URL structure will change.

This will make all of your old URL’s or links to your site break and generate either a 404 error or some other server error.

If that happens:

  • Visitors are very unhappy and will leave your site

  • Google will penalize you for a bad user experience

  • Your rankings will drop

  • You could be dropped from the search engines completely for a while

 

What can you do to FIX This?

Map your current website URLs to your new website URLs

Create 301 redirects (using .htaccess or a plugin or whatever you use choose to create this)

Test the redirects to make sure they are correct

Submit a new Sitemap to the search engines

This is the Number 1, Most Critical Step in Preserving Your Website’s Current Authority, Visibility and Integrity.

If you don’t, then you will most definitely use the acronym FML in a tweet, text, post, etc. soon after.

 

Social Media is a must do when it comes to growing a business, communicating with customers, acquiring new customers and becoming a real brand.  Many companies are not doing it, Many companies are “kind of” doing it, few companies are doing it successfully and only a small fraction of businesses are running social media at the highest level.

We break out Social Media Marketing effort into 3 Phases.

  1. Table Stakes (thanks to Eliot Frick from BIGWIDESKY for this name)

  2. Successful

  3. Top One Percent

*We don’t even consider not doing it a phase.  If your company is not on Social Media, please call us right now, at this very moment so we can get you up and live on social.  Every second you are not online and up on social media the quicker your company will die.

 

Table Stakes

When it comes to Social Media Marketing there is a minimum level of effort that must take place.

Having live profiles that contain consistent and accurate company information, imagery, posting content regularly at some frequency and linking to these profiles from other places on the web including your website, other social profiles, email, etc.

This is easy and will give you a boost in the search engines, overall customer visibility, website traffic, foot traffic, leads and sales.

Example Table Stakes Social Media Profile

The Dallas Furniture Bank

https://www.facebook.com/DallasFurnitureBank/

https://twitter.com/dalfurnbank

The Dallas Furniture Bank has consistent and accurate information, while posting regularly.

There is not an a large amount of engagement and obviously not running any paid promotion.

This is fine for many companies and should be getting done, but could be getting done in a more significant way by moving into the Successful Social Media Marketing phase.

 

Successful

To be running at the Successful Social Media Marketing phase, you must be doing everything in the Social Media Table Stakes phase plus driving consistent meaningful engagement through strategic organic & paid tactics as well as relevant strategic content (copy, images, videos, documents, etc.).

Example Successful Social Media Profile

The Watering Bowl

https://www.facebook.com/TheWateringBowl/

https://www.instagram.com/thewateringbowl/

The Watering Bowl has consistent and accurate information, while posting regularly.

There is good engagement, they respond, comment, message and are running some paid promotion.

This where most companies should be, but there is still one more level that your business could be reaching, it is the Top One Percent Social Media phase.

 

Top One Percent

To be in the Top One Percent of companies on Social Media you must be everything from the 1st and 2nd phases, plus creating a massive amount of content, promoting accurately through all means possible, engaging like your life depends on it and having passionately dedicated resources to work on this 100% of the time.

 

Example Top One Percent Social Media Profile

Red Bull

https://www.facebook.com/redbull/

https://twitter.com/redbull

https://www.instagram.com/redbull/

Red Bull does everything on social media, all the time, in every corner of the web and is engaging, relevant and passionate.  Strive to be like Red Bull when it comes to the social media part of growing your business.

 

I recently posted an article on the History of Snapchat, What it means for us Today and direction on How to Use it Well.

I’ve been experimenting with posting on different platforms, so you can the full article on…

Medium – https://medium.com/@johnbracamontes/the-history-of-snapchat-how-to-use-it-well-9a28db7eb8e7

or

LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/history-snapchat-how-use-well-john-bracamontes

Below are a handful of GIF tutorials on how to use the platform

Snapchatting a Video vs. Photo

How to Add Filters and Double Filters on Snapchat

How to Use Snapchat Video Filters

How to Save a Photo or Video on Snapchat
 

Accounts to Follow on Snapchat

This is just a short list of people who are killing it on the platform. There aren’t that many yet because people still aren’t taking it seriously. So get on it now.

DJ Khaled: @djkhaled305
John Bracamontes: @acumenstudio
Casey Neistat: @caseyneistat
John Bracamontes: @johnbracamontes
Diplo: @diplo
Kate Hudson: @khudsnaps
Gary Vaynerchuk: @garyvee
Eva Longoria: @realevalongoria

Facebook Bluetooth Beacons are a free wirelessly connected device (or beacon) that communicates with visitors that engage on Facebook while at your business.

It gives the visitors more information on your company, engages them through unique messaging and employs calls to action so you can interact with them in more ways in the future.

This is very new and not all businesses are eligible to receive one, but those of you who have high foot traffic are most definitely who Facebook wants to get these.  Restaurants, Shops of all kinds, Movie theaters, Bars, Bingo Halls, Banks, etc.

Facebook Bluetooth Beacon

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Facebook Says the Beacons Do

Facebook Bluetooth® beacons use Bluetooth® technology to send a signal to the Facebook app on your customers’ phones to help us show them the right place tips. Place tips show people more info about the places they visit.

In place tips, people may see:

  • A welcome note from your Page
  • Prompts to like your Page and check in
  • Posts from your Page
  • Their friends’ photos and posts about your place

For more information and to sign up to receive a Facebook Bluetooth Beacon for your business visit this link https://www.facebook.com/business/a/facebook-bluetooth-beacons

For more information on Digital Marketing and Digital Strategy from us at Acumen Studio give us a call or fill out our form and we will talk soon!

Google released a paid search update recently.  It is a second line of structured snippets that can be inserted into PPC ads.

This new update gives ads more space in the search engine results pages and allows companies to callout different things about their business. Below, a shutter company, uses the headers “Styles” and “Services,” to highlight unique product offerings.

 

updated_snippet_imageThis new ad format looks great, but what it will do to help your marketing and ultimately your business?

Below are a few tips, benefits and structured snippets tests across PPC & SEO channels to highlight how this update will help drive more qualified conversions to save your business time & marketing spend.

Utilize categories to show unique product offerings

While PPC experts like us were initially loving the news of new structured snippets, our smiles began to fade as we read the fine print. There are a limited number of headers you can choose from for your snippets and there are only a few industries. The following headers are available:

  • Amenities
  • Brands
  • Courses
  • Degree programs
  • Destinations
  • Featured hotels
  • Insurance coverage
  • Neighborhoods
  • Service catalog
  • Shows
  • Styles
  • Types

Industries that really benefit from this category extension are those that have a high cost per click. Insurance keywords are responsible for 24% of Google advertising revenue, which is most likely why “Insurance Coverage” was added as a distinct header. On the same note, 4 out of the 12 headers are related to travel, which also have historically high CPCs.

 

better_image

In the future Google will expand the number of header options, but until then, advertisers have to get creative on ways we can utilize them. For instance, financial institutions could use the “Types” structured snippet for No-Fee Savings, High Interest Savings or list out the types of certificate of deposits they offer (3 month, 6 month, 12 month, etc).

Raise awareness for additional service lines

Your business may have one very well known product or service, but it’s struggling to get the word out about the additional items it offers. By adding structured snippets into your PPC ad account, you can use the new headers to bring attention to the business’ additional offerings.

An example of this is Drexel Online. Many people know that they offer online bachelor’s programs, but everyone may not know that they also offer master’s programs and certificates. By utilizing structured snippets, Drexel can inform searchers about other aspects of their business.

Create more effective call to actions

PPC continuously has the ability to test call to actions within search ads. With the new snippet feature, PPC ads can test more specific styles and service lines to hone in on the language and format that best connects with consumers. From these tests, your marketing team can vet the call to actions that convert the most, to identify what phrases and styles to use within SEO content, such as meta descriptions, headers, and call-to-action buttons.

Google may still choose to create their own meta description based on the search term, but in many cases your well crafted meta description will now show up with an even better chance to convert due to the PPC tests.

Save money & avoid a negative brand experience

This extra PPC snippet will enable searchers to be better at self-qualifying themselves for your business. Let’s say you own a wedding dress company. If customers are looking for a specific type of wedding dress, for example, A-Line, Mermaid, Ballgown, Trumpet, etc. and it’s not listed in your snippet, they know not to visit your website. Great! One less unqualified person potentially filling out a contact form asking your team about it.

There’s also a big cost-saving here. By having better pre-qualified leads coming to your site, it saves the call center or whomever reads submission forms time. If the call center charges per minute, every call – whether it’s profitable or not, costs your business money. However, if more incoming calls were qualified, the more profit you could get out of those calls.

In addition, setting the expectation of what your site contains before the person clicks, will help ensure that customers never have a jaded customer experience. As structured snippets give you more room to discuss your business’ offering, it could prevent shoppers from leaving a poor/mediocre review because your site doesn’t have what they’re looking for.

For example, when conducting a quick search on reseller.com ratings for “limited selection,” “small selection,” and “didn’t have,” we found time and time again that customers left mediocre reviews because the store did not carry the products that they had expected.

updated_review_ss


By using structured snippets, www.reseller.com could have set better expectations up front about what they do, and do not, carry, to avoid these negative ratings.

Learn & test for organic SEO

From Google’s past PPC tests, we predict that Google will measure the success of the new category PPC snippets, before rolling out additional rich snippets to organic SEO category pages. Currently, as the example shows below, Google indicates only the following for organic product specific pages:

  • Ratings by star
  • Number of people who rated
  • Price
  • In-Stock
  • Number of stores nearby

rollout_for_organic_

Before I click on the product in the SERPs, I already know if it’s in stock, within my price range, how many people loved or hated it, and if a store is located nearby.

In organic results, Google also has sitelinks, although these don’t show up for everyone and don’t include all styles:

 

updated_moto._

Right now, these sitelinks indicate some categories, but do not touch upon all of business’ product offerings. It would be great to see a Style snippet in the SERPs before I click, indicating that RevZilla offers Motorcycle Touring, Half, Hi-viz neon, or race helmets as well as the categories pulled in through sitelinks.

In the future, as Google aims to improve user experience, it seems very likely that Google will roll out a style snippet for organic results. If it does, you’ll already have PPC data to work with to know which Types or Styles convert the best for users interested in your products.

Increase your paid search real estate

While there are pros for both PPC and SEO with the new structured snippets, there is one aspect that makes organic SEO practitioners not so happy. With this additional line of structured snippets, paid search gains a new way to obtain more real estate in the SERPs, while simultaneously pushing organic results farther down the page.

Contact us Today if you want to get your Paid Search up to date in 2016.  Fill out the form on this page or give us a call!

Make 2016 The Year of Marketing Intelligence.
Understand what your marketing dollars are producing for you, identify waste & optimize your marketing efforts!

Here John Bracamontes discusses what Acumen Studio does and how we can help you generate greater visibility online, generate new customers and more revenue.

Digital Marketing
Digital Strategy
Content Marketing
Content Strategy
SEO / Search Engine Optimization / Organic Search
PPC / Pay Per Click / Paid Search
Social Media
Email Marketing
Analytics, Analysis and Inisghts

Social Media Strategy for Banks

 

This is the first part in our Digital Marketing for Banks series: Social Media Strategy for Banks
It’s no secret and certainly nothing new that Social Media has become a must for banks (and most financial institutions for that matter) and knowing how to use it as well as what you can and can’t say is imperative.
We touch on a few key points to plan for and pay attention to.

Strategy
Having some level of strategy always generates more success on social channels.
Things to consider when putting together a strategy:

    • Why will you be active on Social Media? Defining the reason for being there is enlightening and assists in creating a comprehensive strategy.
    • Who is your Audience and are they on Social Media Channels? This is Critical! Define your audience / target and find out if they are active on social channels and analyze how they engage on social networks.
    • How will you Engage? Define what types of information you will share on social networks (news, contests, community events, etc.). If you will be using the channels for customer service then you will need to staff accordingly and create guidlines. If you won’t be using it for customer service you need guidelines on how to field customer service questions that arrive on the social channels.

Compliance
Recently the FFIEC released a guide for social media use by banks and credit unions. The FFIEC’s guidance provides an outline for these banks and credit unions to monitor & manage the risk with being active on social media. This includes policy, monitoring, reputation, privacy and more.
FINRA also has an impact on how a Bank or Credit Union will uses Social Media. With FINRA it is all about monitoring, controlling and accountability. Record keeping and archiving are huge, this is a must and needs to be done at 100%.

Activity / Engagement
Now for the fun stuff.
You need to figure out who will manage the social activity, who will plan the content calendar, who will post, who will respond, will you use paid ads, etc. This falls a little under strategy, but this is so critical to the engagement on these channels. This person or persons will be the face of the Bank or Credit Union and be an extension of the brand, that humanistic injection into these digital spaces.
Whether it is posts, tweets, retweets, likes, shares, follows or pins you want to see that engagement!

Measurement
What should you be measuring?
That depends on the goals of the Bank or Credit Union.
But we can safely say that tracking community growth (followers & likes), engagement metrics (shares, tweets, retweets, pins) and traffic to your website are fundamental mainstays in your reporting.
It may be important to measure and report on your social influencers, online form fills, vanity phone number calls and matching why certain types of content is engaged more often than others and at what times of the day are most effective.

This is just a sampling of what Banks and Credit Unions will need to think about when integrating social media their operation.

You can also check out our page on Digital Marketing for Banks.

If you are interested in Social Media Strategy for Banks you can contact us by filling the form out on the upper right of this page or give us a call at 866-357-7422