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Author: Thea Nicholson, Brand Marketing Lead

‘Cause we are living in a digital world, and I am a digital girl... is what I sing to myself as I work on digital marketing strategy. And it’s true! The world made a huge shift to digital with the whirlwind of the internet and even more so in the early 2000s with social media. Then we had the storm that was 2020, which forced any lingering businesses and individuals into a virtual reality (and not the video game kind). Now that the world is digital, it’s time to adjust your marketing strategy to do the same.  

Meet Consumers Where They’re At 

Even as businesses opened back up in 2020, individuals elected to stay home when given the choice. This means the days where workers see billboards and local outdoor advertising on their way to work is long behind us. So, why invest a large chunk of your marketing budget if that’s not where your target audience is at? It’s time to shift gears to meet your potential customers where they spend most of their time: online.  

The good news is that you can apply a very similar strategy to your marketing efforts that you were before. You spent money on outdoor advertising because you knew customers would drive by. Now you can spend your marketing budget on online ads because your potential customers spend the majority of their day on their computers. The key is to know where to spend your ad dollars online. 

Track Your Marketing Campaigns 

This step is where a lot of community banks choose to partner with a marketing agency. You know you need to invest in digital marketing and have a general idea of where to spend, but effectively tracking your marketing efforts and adjusting campaigns is a modern art form in itself. If this is you, you can always contact VGM Forbin for a consult or keep reading! 

The biggest takeaway we can give you about campaign tracking is this: set up your tracking before you start running any campaigns. Most platforms that help you track campaign success cannot not track backwards. So, if you run a campaign in April, you probably won’t be able to effectively track what happened if you don’t have the correct tools set up. 

Examples of Digital Goals for Banks: 

  • Phone call from website 

  • Phone call from Google My Business profile 

  • Form submissions on website 

How to Track These Goals: 

  • Set up a Google Analytics Account 

  • Create campaign URLs 

  • Connect Google Analytics to a custom excel spreadsheet 

This is the true beauty of digital marketing. When you set up campaign tracking, you know exactly how many clicks an ad got, how much traffic it brought to your website and exactly how many conversions it led to. There’s no need to estimate or speculate. If a campaign didn’t work as well as you wanted, switch gears. If a campaign really knocked it out of the park, duplicate the success! 

Make the Conversions Easy 

When you know where to place your digital marketing efforts, you make it so much easier for consumers to convert. Before digital, consumers had to put a lot more effort into spending their money. You saw an outdoor ad, remembered what was on it and drove to the bank when you had free time. Now we can ask consumers to make much less of an effort, which maximizes their likelihood to open an account or take out a loan with you.  

You can make the conversion easy by meeting consumers where they’re at online, like we talked about above, and also minimizing their steps to reach your goal. Here’s a good example of what I’m talking about. 

Goal: Fill Out Contact Form for Savings Account Info 

Step 1: Search for a bank in your area on Google  

Step 2: Click on the Google Ad that your bank is running for that geographical area and the ad takes them to the contact form on the savings account page. 

Step 3: Fill out the form 

If you make it complicated for individuals to convert online by including unnecessary steps, like reading a blog before getting to the contact form, you aren’t making the conversion easy and digital isn’t going to help you. But make it easy on yourself by streamlining steps to convert and you make it easy on the consumer! 

TL; DR (too long, didn't read) 

  • Consumers spend hours a day online, so it’s wise spend your marketing budget online 

  • Setting up campaign tracking helps you determine exact campaign results so you can adjust strategy and avoid wasting money 

  • Creating digital campaigns makes converting customers easier 

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