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Financial services brands have, in the past, earned a reputation for a slower response to changing trends, particularly when it comes to digital marketing. There are good reasons: finserv brands face heavy industry regulation that can hamper efforts around the up-to-the-minute trend-based content that social media requires. Plus, to appeal to generations in the past, finserv brands typically took a buttoned-up approach, playing to people who preferred their financial institutions maintain a certain level of detached authority in their brand personalities.
But consumer preferences are changing, particularly when it comes to finserv brands: millennials not only want brands they patronize to have a distinct personality and to share their values, millennials want their brands to fit into their lifestyle. Rather than preferring in-person meetings for financial planning, millennials want on-demand information. Videos are an effective way to get across a specific brand personality (including brand morals and values) while also offering on-demand financial service information.
We’ve already seen some truly cutting-edge digital marketing from finserv brands, and now smart finserv brands are tackling the next obstacle: video marketing. By now it’s no secret that video marketing is incredibly effective: after watching a video about a product online, consumers are more likely to look into the product further, and after 72 hours, a person can retain 95% of a video but just 10% of text. Video, in general, also has a strong foothold in internet activity. YouTube is the second-largest search engine (right behind Google) and, writes Marketo, accounts for 50% of internet traffic. But when it comes to finserv brands, experts note a common mistake: instead of playing to the unique strengths of YouTube — the ability for videos there to attract the attention of consumers — finserv brands, writes Marketo, have been using the platform the same way they use television ads, to interrupt consumers.
Producing good video marketing campaigns is an essential component of finserv brands’ marketing strategies. To that end, we present three types of finserv video content that perform well, including compelling examples:
Making another brand, cause, or customer the focus of your video campaign allows your brand’s values to shine — after all, you can tell a lot about a brand by who their friends are.
Bank of America posted an ad on Facebook in mid-July, and at press time, the ad had earned 1.2 million views. The campaign is a birthday message to Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the founder of the Special Olympics, with whom Bank of America has partnered. The entire ad is a recording of an inspiring speech Shriver delivered. Without ever mentioning Bank of America, viewers get a sense of the financial brand’s values: inclusivity, perseverance, and bravery. Writes Bank of America beneath the video: Shriver's, “Legacy is proof that when we put down limits and #pickuphope, we can unite and change the world.”
The lesson for finserv brands: If you’re highlighting your philanthropic efforts, let those efforts shine alone. Remain as authentic on social media as you are in your involvement with a cause, and the message will resonate with your audience.
The inimitable Stephen Colbert partnered with H&R Block for this segment on his show. In the nearly ten minute segment, Colbert draws attention to the fact that it’s tax season, interviews an H&R Block tax professional about the company, and even disguises himself as an employee and assists three unsuspecting customers with their taxes. Though Colbert doesn’t get into any explicit tax details (even as he begins to help the customers) his topical, political, and social commentary make for an entertaining segment, and H&R Block is continually advertised throughout.
The lesson for finserv brands: Think creatively with content. Brand awareness doesn’t have to mean getting so nitty-gritty that your potential customers are turned off — how can you partner with well-known influencers to drive compelling stories, or otherwise think about what you do from an outside-in perspective?
For today’s consumer, choosing a bank means choosing a company that embodies your personal values. Consumers want banks to embody the same values that are important to them because, for many people (and especially for those of us engaging in financial planning) money isn’t just a way to pay for things, money is our future: the home(s) we’ll live in, our children’s college educations, our own retirement savings, vacations, and on and on.
Effective ads for banking institutions therefore don’t even have to get into their specific offerings. A recent ad from United Overseas Bank (UOB) focuses on the values they embody and that their customers care about. Without being direct, UOB makes their own values explicitly clear — honesty, respect, perseverance, loyalty — and the ad ends by declaring, “In the end, our values define us.”
The lesson for finserv brands: If you’re going to speak about something as important as your brand’s values, make sure to do so clearly, succinctly, and in a voice that matches those values, to better present an authentic version of your brand’s “self” to your audience.
Financial services brands often face three common challenges with social media — security, effective social care, and delivering accessible content — but we have actionable solutions for all three. To learn more, visit the Khoros Platform page.
Learn how to navigate through and overcome obstacles on social media with our Social Media Pocket Guide.
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