How banks can market digital channels to maximize customer banking

How banks can market digital channels to maximize customer banking

While many of us have come to rely on online banking in the wake of the pandemic, some customers are still reluctant to manage their finances electronically because of skepticism over security, or just not seeing any benefits over calling a branch. While maintaining the in-branch experience is important for growing your institution’s brand and profits, you want to maximize adoption for the tools that you’ve invested so much time and energy in. After all, the convenience that comes with features like automatic account transfer and smartphone deposit are useful for retention, too.

With these goals in mind, here are some tips to market your digital channels and maximize consumer banking.

Use a multi-channel approach

A core tenet of marketing is meeting consumers where they are, and each audience segment inhabits a different mix of traditional and online environments. Thus, to raise awareness—and later demand—you need to be present on the right channels.

One customer segment might like to scroll through Facebook and need a boosted post with vibrant graphics to catch their eye. On the other hand, you might have long-time patrons in a loyalty program, and want to leverage an email campaign to bring leads into your enrollment pipeline. These channels could even apply to the same audience, in which case you’ll want to have your CRM set up properly to generate consistent, but not duplicate, messaging.

Let’s also consider your website, the centralized hub where all your marketing channels lead. A common place for new promotions is the very first section of your homepage, either a carousel or an eye-catching full-width image. You can also utilize a dedicated “new products” section as well that will make it easy for customers to explore features that will make their banking experience even easier.

As for offline channels, you can use in-branch signage at relevant check-in stations and other high-traffic areas. Another key piece of real estate includes ATM and ITM screens. Since, like a display (banner) ad, you only have a short window of time to grab someone’s attention, you’ll want to treat these areas like a billboard, driving home the benefits straightaway to pique someone’s curiosity.

Another effective option is direct mail. With a memorable vanity URL, you could drive users to a branded landing page to generate account openings. It’s not uncommon to use the direct mail technique as a cross-promotion with offerings, such as giveaways, that are redeemed in-branch.

Carefully control the post-click experience

Congratulations, you’ve enticed the click to your carefully curated product page. While capturing the click is a victory (especially considering that it can cost dozens to bid on a certain keyword in PPC campaigns), that first interaction is just half the battle.

Since the end goal is sign-ups, you want to make it seamless for the customer to take next steps after consuming your content. For instance, you might have launched a content marketing program focused on answering common digital banking questions. Upon finishing your content, someone should be able to easily locate a relevant link to view your offering rather than searching the site for the enrollment page.

It’s critical to keep in mind that when driving users to a branded page, you give them only as much information necessary to communicate benefits and alleviate doubts. Demonstrate how they will save time and administrative hassle by managing multiple accounts at once from the palm of their hand. In addition, prove that your digital offerings are equally as secure as walking into a branch to speak to a teller.

On a final note, even if you have a stellar landing page that fully demonstrates how useful and secure your service is, in our research-obsessed world the user might still leave without converting. That’s why you have the “long game” strategy in place—educational content backed by focused keyword research that addresses any qualms a customer might have about your product. This is the perfect kind of content to draw prospective buyers back in if they’ve interacted with your advertising channels before but haven’t committed yet. Your competitors are certainly leveraging such tactics as well because they want to leave that first impression and nurture their way to an authoritative presence.

Thus, as great as it would be to drive account openings through just one or two channels, you should really count on layering several channels together to achieve success.

Create a seamless onboarding experience

While this is technically a post-purchase action, bear in mind that a clunky registration experience could lead to abandonment, or negative reviews that impede future adoptions.

Whether you guide users through one screen or multiple ones, the instructions should be simple to follow. Again, a common reason that consumers don’t readily adopt digital banking methods is because they don’t want to have trouble accessing their finances at a critical moment. While the interface might seem simple to the ones who built it, you must look at the onboarding experience through the eyes of someone using it for the first time, who doesn’t already know what tab they must visit to access a particular feature.

You want to make the user feel comfortable at every stage of the process, which means giving them feedback throughout. Implementation can be as simple as incorporating a progress bar that captures every step. Once the user has officially signed up, in that same interface they should be informed about what to do next. Typically, this means informing the user to check their email to verify registration.

Train your employees on digitization

When it comes to legacy customers, one reason they have been going into the same bank for years, or even decades, is because they like and trust the person serving them. Thus, if someone has any reservations about how to go digital, at least some of the time, they’ll get advice directly from someone they’ve already built up a relationship with.

Staff should be one of your greatest advocates, participating at the forefront of pilot programs and giving demonstrations if needed, so they can clearly articulate the benefits of digital to customers. Employees can also easily cross-promote digital banking onsite during an account opening. Additionally, interviewing staff can help you discover any additional barriers to adoption that you hadn’t considered, which can be addressed in your brand collateral and product FAQs.

As a result, non-traditional users will see that adopting digital channels doesn’t detract from but rather enhances their branch experience.

Cash in on digital channels

As restrictions lift, you want to ensure that you’re maintaining healthy revenue streams between in-branch and online (or hybrid) customers. These marketing tips are a surefire way to increase adoption and engagement with digital banking. Once even the most reluctant customers see how these convenient features make their life easier, you’ll be on the fast track to nurturing loyalty and maximizing profitability.