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Matt Cunard, Senior Digital Marketer

How familiar does the following scenario sound?

Your bank just wrapped up its latest product or service campaign. You meet with executive staff to go over the results, but you’re having a bit of difficulty. You didn’t have the tools in place to measure your campaign, so there aren’t any definitive results to stand on. However, you did the best you could with the shoestring budget you were given.  

The result is a meeting that is a little awkward and leaves your upper management’s confidence in you shaken and you feeling more than a little anxious.  

If you’ve experienced this situation, you’re not alone. All across the country, community banks are having the same three issues when it comes to their marketing according to the Financial Brand’s 2016 Financial Marketing Trends Report:

  1. Measuring performance and/or proving results (ROI) 
  2. Limited access to data analytics tools & reporting 
  3. Budget constraints  

Knowing your marketing pain points is one thing; figuring out solutions is another. To find success, it is crucial for you to look outside the traditional marketing box, both strategically and tactically. Think outside newspaper ads, radio spots and billboards, and shift your gaze to a medium that can be specifically targeted, is highly measurable and cost-effective: online marketing.

Pulling Back the Curtain on Modern Online Marketing

Online marketing today is far different than from in the past. Previously, it took coding and design skills to create marketing pieces for the web, and getting accurate numbers for reporting was difficult. Many marketers stayed away from online campaigns for these very reasons.  

However, the rise of better reporting tools and powerful advertising platforms can now make any online marketing campaign stand head and shoulders above a traditional campaign. Here are a few of our favorite tools that have given us positive results time after time.  

Landing Page

This is where the magic happens, whether you’re trying to get visitors to download a PDF, fill out a form, call you or otherwise interact with your bank. Its sole purpose is to convert; there’s no navigation or links to other pages of your site, just the content, visuals and functionality necessary to get users to complete the goal you’ve identified.  

Google Analytics

The standard for analytics programs, Google Analytics provides a wealth of information regarding how users are getting to your landing page, where they are coming from and detailed information about them including:

  • Users’ locations
  • What device they are using when they access the landing page (desktop, tablet or smartphone, even breaking down to the device make and model)
  • Demographic information such as gender and age
  • Time spent on the page

Google Analytics is key to reporting back on the number of users you have engaged, where they came from how well you kept their attention.  

Google Tag Manager

While Google Analytics tells you how users got to the page and how long they were there, Tag Manager tells you what users are doing on your landing page. You can set Tag Manager to “fire” for practically any interaction a user can have on the page, such as:

  • Clicking or tapping a link
  • Downloading a PDF
  • Entering information into a form
  • Interacting with a form without completing it
  • Submitting a form
  • Clicking or tapping an option to expand content
  • Tapping the phone number on a smartphone to call you
  • Scrolling down the page

Tag Manager takes the data from Google Analytics a step further, giving you the concrete numbers you need for reporting (“We had x-number of users download our budgeting guide y-number of times”).  

Online Advertising

Now that you have your landing page up with the necessary analytics and reporting tools ready to go, you need to get traffic to your page. However, your landing page is not the “Field of Dreams;” just because you build it does not mean users will automatically come there. Online advertising is a great solution to deliver the qualified traffic you want to your landing page.  

I say “qualified traffic” because online ads are based on search queries of users, demographic information or both. This is a more targeted approach than blasting out your message to everyone through a newspaper ad or a billboard.  

Our preferred advertising platform is Google AdWords. In AdWords, you can target based on location, income data, day of the week, time of day and whether or not the search is coming from a mobile device. Ads are created to target your keyword list, audience interest or the searches you want your ads showing for.  

However, there is a catch. To run a successful campaign in AdWords, you should rely on a Google-certified specialist to do the pre-campaign research and to continue to manage the campaign from start to finish. Otherwise, you risk wasting your budget on a campaign that gets you little to no positive results.  

And speaking of budget, you don’t have to spend a lot with AdWords to win big. Most of the budgets we work with are in the $100-$350 per month range. And if that seems like a lot, here’s an anecdote. I met with a business owner recently who wanted to spend $1,350 on a billboard for four weeks. Not only is that a huge amount of money in a short time, a billboard isn’t targeted to anyone specific and there isn’t a truly accurate way to report a return on investment. Plus, one new customer would mean recouping the costs of the campaign completely, with additional new customers being icing on the cake.

All of these tools add up to better campaigns with measurable results and lower costs that will blow your traditional campaigns out of the water. For you, this means fewer awkward meetings with executives, a higher ROI and more confidence in your ability to produce results (cue happy dance).



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