Lead the Charge: 5 Bulletproof Digital Practices for Financial Institutions

The digital era has forced financial services to focus on customer relationships and personalized service more than ever before. The modern financial services consumer expects to interact with a brand that is personal, approachable, and useful. Today clients are far more likely to interact with a financial service provider through its online services rather than in person; as a result, financial services must better their digital presence and provide clients with all of the information and tools that they need. We’ve compiled a list of the strategies and best practices that many financial services are implementing to increase their brand equity and better their relations with customers.

1. Mobile is a must

If you haven’t heard by now, more than half internet use occurs via mobile phones. Users expect to manage their finances from their phone with the same ease and fluidity as they do from a desktop, so providing a seamless mobile user experience is a must. There are several strategies for choosing a mobile app strategy that aligns with your institution’s mobile goals, or you might want to consider responsive design that operates in an app-like manner when mobile users reach your webpage.

Mobile banking and money management is a key feature that consumers expect from their bank or credit union. But in order to stay ahead of the curve, financial institutions will need to innovate new ways to engage mobile consumers through their app or web presence. Mobile users already expect to conduct transactions, deposits, and payments electronically and with the tap of a couple buttons; the real opportunity exists in developing online tools, programs, and features that assist users in managing their finances.

2. Personalize as much as possible

Perhaps the greatest area for innovation within the financial services industry is personalization. Leverage consumer data to customize your user experience based on financial needs and goals. Digital users should feel as though their financial institution not only understands their financial goals but also actively helps them achieve those goals with features like automatic savings, eBill reminders, and account alerts. Personalizing based on geolocation and common user behaviors are also powerful ways to acquire and keep loyal consumers.

3. Never neglect your content

With so many mobile banking options out there, content becomes the important differentiator. Storytelling and content marketing should be a primary focus. Make it easy for potential clients to understand what services are offered, how they can be used, and what benefits come with them. Consider who your audiences are and create content that appeals to their specific needs.

Tailored content is vital not only for keeping customers engaged with your brand, but also for customers finding your offerings in the first place. Fresh and topical content boosts SEO rankings so that potential customers find you before your competition when looking for information. A great place to start is video and interactive content. It is a must as it is especially useful for marketing specific services or engaging users. Simple video tutorials, tool walk throughs, and brand promotionals go a long way with digital consumers.

4. Don’t forget to be social

Social media is an opportunity to increase content marketing and increase brand awareness to a large, diverse audience. Financial institutions should offer a variety of educational content that informs current and potential clients in captivating ways. Social media users are far more attracted to a source of useful information as opposed to a self-promoting profile that offers no real advice to followers. Promote resources and tools as the primary content and sprinkle in promotional content sparingly. Great storytelling should extend to social media, so craft profiles with the same care and thought that you have with your web/mobile content.

5. Think big with big data

Marketing analytics continue to get more and more sophisticated with the increasing amount of data that gets collected from users. Consumer data plays an important role in furbishing everything from content marketing to personalization to site architecture. However, the numbers themselves aren’t enough; what really matters are the actionable steps that can be created from data. Those financial institutions that can successfully leverage large amounts of data will be the ones at the helm of the industry.