When it comes to Digital Marketing, one of the core activities before engaging in the actual marketing is putting together a comprehensive strategy detailing, the why, how and what. You have to look at what channels you are going to use as part of your strategy as there are a lot of digital marketing platforms around.

Not every platform is good for a particular industry. After you have dealt and answered the what, you have to look at why you have chosen those channels. This is when things like demographics, psychographics and lastly geographical location of your target customers.

Most people tend to think that Digital Marketing is abstract because most people make it seem easy but I assure you, if you don’t take time to plan well before hand, you might end up wasting a lot of time and money pursuing something that doesn’t work. And troubleshooting your activities to see where you went wrong if you worked without a strategy is almost next to impossible.

Now before looking at the case point of banks, let us first look at some of the pillars that make up a Digital Marketing Strategy. The pillars are four in total with an additional fifth one that I have discovered matters due to my experience in Digital Marketing.

If you are familiar with Strategy on a basic level and how to craft strategies, then I believe you are familiar with the four key pillars namely Vision, Analysis, Target and Plan. Yes, those four key pillars are important but when creating a Digital Marketing Strategy for Banks or any digital marketing strategy, they are more of secondary than primary pillars.

The four pillars of Digital Marketing Strategy for Banks are;

  1. Search
  2. Measurement/Data
  3. Storytelling/Content
  4. Social Media
  5. Mobile Optimization
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Now, to delve deeper into the case of Banks, I will look at each strategy listed above and explain how a bank can use each of the strategies using references of banks that are already doing it.

 

1. Search

Google, the world’s largest Search Engine processes a over 3 billion searches every single day. This is almost 40000 searches per second. First time customers primarily use Google when looking for a service provider to search for reviews and what other people say about the service providers. That is why Search Engine Optimization is key when crafting a Digital Marketing Strategy for banks. To give you an example, take a look at the image below.

Google Results

Results for ‘Get a mastercard Zimbabwe’

 

In the image above, I am a client desperately in need of a mastercard. I referenced to Google and searched for how I can get a mastercard. Only one financial institution was in the first five results, Steward Bank.

The reason why Steward seemed to have an answer to my problem before I knew I’d have that problem is because when creating their Digital Marketing Strategy, they included search which is now bringing them results.

 

2. Data/Measurement

In Digital Marketing, if you don’t have data, chances are, you will be flying blind. Data is why Digital marketing is so cost effective. I can’t give a lot of references on the data from the side of the Banks because most Digital metrics related to data are private.

Nevertheless, if you look at the introductory paragraph, I talked about the the how, why and what. Digital Marketers use data to determine whether a channel is working or not. Data collection is done using tools like Google Analytics for Websites and Facebook Analytics for Social Media.

 

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3. Content

The Internet is content. Everyday, African young adults and teens spend an average of four hours of Facebook to catch up with their friend’s status updates all of which are content. Instagram is now the 2nd most popular social network all because of content which is shared in the form of images. People upload 300 hours of Youtube video every minute.

Content is now an integral part of our lives and has become important now more than ever in Digital Marketing. Brands that are popular online have done so because of content creation.

But you should not think that they buck begins and end with content. It goes way beyond that. Everyone is creating content, so if you want people to listen, you have to create content that matters, you have to tell stories.

Look at the image below.

 Steward dance to Kwenga

Don’t worry, I’m not paid to market Steward, it’s just that they do things right Digitally. Steward could spend the whole year talking about banking but they don’t because most people don’t really care about banking. Their strategy on content creation is to look at what people care about and talk about it in the context of banking by creating unique stories that resonate with their audience.

 

4. Social Media

People are on Social Media. Every serious bank or brand that want to make inroads through Digital Media must understand the significance and importance of Social Media. I have had chats with high level executives who always ridicule Social Media as being too immature.

They are often convinced otherwise after they have tested it and seen that Social media users actually bring money in.

When creating a Social Media Strategy as part of the Digital Marketing Strategy for banks, people tend to want to ridicule some channels over others.

Take for example a Bank like CBZ, they’d have more success marketing their youth account on Instagram than they would on television or radio. Why? Because instagram is populated with the demographic they are targeting. They would reach them right where they are if they use the right content.

Social media is powerful and a fundamental pillar of any Bank Digital Marketing Strategy.

 

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Conclusion

Most people are now using smartphones which is great. As part of any Digital Marketing Strategy, you have to plan to reach people right where they are.

There are people who sign up to a certain bank sorely because the bank has a mobile application which is a convenient tool. This is why optimization services for the mobile user is important for any banking institution.

The article might not be as exhaustive as it should be because strategy is a broad topic but I sincerely hope this has given you a basic insight into the subject of Digital Marketing Strategy for Banks. Let me know what you think.