People love their money.
They obsess over it, monitor it like a sleeping newborn, and pour over their financial statements with an eye for detail that would make a seasoned detective envious.
In other words, financial firms have their work cut out for them when conveying a message to potential clients to change their trusted financial institutions and professionals. In fact, it might be even more difficult convincing disgruntled current clients to stay.
Suffice it to say, the finance sector is a tough one that requires a specific touch in its message to speak to its audience.
Fortunately, firms in the financial space aren't on their own when it comes to infusing their digital marketing campaigns with engaging content that speaks to a hyper-cautious customer base that shuns change like the plague.
The example provided by three firms in particular provides ample guidance for companies in crafting their own messages and approaches, leveraging the most innovative solutions technology has to offer to engage a fickle audience and attract new assets.
Location, Location, Location
Mobile technology is obviously an essential component to virtually any effective ad campaign in this digital era, financial services included.
Although the financial vertical has traditionally been slower than other industries in adopting technology promptly, their marketing efforts have been bucking that particular trend in recent years.
The integration of geofencing technology into financial mobile applications is a telling example of firms leveraging innovation to reach new customers in more engaging ways.
Barclays, for example, has integrated geofencing into their mobile app to help drive branch traffic as well as better inform employees of a customer's specific needs.
If a customer had been browsing through auto loan rates through their Barclay's mobile app and happened to walk into a branch at some point afterward, the geofencing technology within the app identifies the customer's location and notifies employees of their recent browsing activity.
Therefore, when the customer speaks to a branch employee, that employee can discuss specifically targeted information that the app has identified as relevant to that customer.
That conversation takes an already warm lead and further advances the customer down the sales funnel with a honed message tailored to the customer's particular needs.
Precise Video Content
Social Finance, better known as SoFi, is a new breed of financial services companies that are relying on an entirely digital platform and business model to compete in a traditionally static industry with significant bricks and mortar roots.
In fact, SoFi only has a digital footprint, its sole office presence being its own headquarters in San Francisco.
Obviously, the company's binary-driven model naturally lends itself to younger generations that are far more digitally-savvy and self-sufficient with personal finances than previous ones.
Identifying career-oriented millennials as their target audience, SoFi began life exclusively refinancing student loans but has since expanded into personal loans, checking and savings accounts, and now into AI-driven wealth management.
SoFi's recent marketing efforts to expand brand recognition and actively pursue assets held at other, more traditional institutions has embraced its ideal consumer segments – upstart millennials that are comfortable using an entirely digital banking and investment platform – by leveraging the innate power of video content distributed in ideal lengths and channels.
Their omnichannel approach uses small snippets of video content, usually six seconds long, to quickly engage their audience and convey enough emotion to pique curiosity and attract intrigued viewers to their website and app.
Although short video ads are no longer anything new on platforms like YouTube, social media marketing channels, or embedded digital advertising on websites, SoFi is also using the ads as ultra-short television commercials played primarily in short breaks within a televised sporting event.
This novel approach pairs its target audience with specific ad types and channels meant to maximize engagement. Likewise, the content itself is heavily geared towards lifestyle, demonstrating how a consumer loan that consolidates debt can free cash flow that can be spent on life experiences.
The Power of Social Influence
Another purely digital financial platform, Kabbage, provides a variety of services and guidance mainly for small business owners.
Targeting the same general demographic as SoFi, only with a specific bent towards businesses, Kabbage uses social influence as a means to convey narratives, establish touchstones, and create bonds with potential customers.
Using its Kabbage Stories as a social influence platform within its own website, Kabbage provides a variety of small, bite-sized case studies that quickly establish parallels for browsers to identify with.
A link gives the viewer an opportunity to read a more thorough version of each case study or, perhaps more importantly, read through the testimonials and customer ratings that bookend the page, leveraging the incredible power social influence has on modern consumer behavior.
In Kabbage Stories, the company has a cost-efficient but extremely engaging message that the user identifies with, establishing trust in the Kabbage brand along the way.
Leverage the Entire Spectrum of the Digital Landscape
Competition is fierce in the financial vertical, making it a challenge for firms to differentiate themselves from the pack.
An eternally cautious customer base only further exaggerates those challenges, placing an additional burden on financial companies to create advertising campaigns that engage in specific ways.
As the examples demonstrate, the combination of technology and potent content can be an effective salve for a financial advertiser's woes, providing new ways to leverage the many tools now available to construct and distribute marketing efforts that are precise, intriguing, and drive results.