Online 2 750x410 - The Growth of Digital Advertising for Financial Services

The Growth of Digital Advertising for Financial Services

Financial services have got an uphill battle when it comes to creating customer appeal – but digital advertising is helping.

Since the financial collapse of 2008, banks and other financial organisations have become somewhat demonised; the image of the man behind the curtain is no longer a friendly bank manager – but instead, a bespoke-suit clad trader with algorithms and eye-wateringly large bonuses.

As such, communicating with customers has required a new angle, re-establishing an image of human interaction, local understanding and approachability. The platforms have changed too – the last ten years has seen social media, smart phones and fast paced internet connections become the norm.

Digital advertising and interaction has been a lifeline for the image of financial services, ten years ago we had harsh, money focused slogans like “What’s in Your Wallet?” – but now, on YouTube, Facebook and other digital platforms, you’re more likely to see singing sisters, cartoon characters and other family friendly, trust building branding.

We’ll take a look at the main digital mediums and platforms that are being used by the financial services, explain a little about each – and take a look at which organisations are using them to their highest potential…

Mobile

2017 saw an interesting tipping point in the UK’s internet use statistics – we now officially spend more time browsing via our mobile devices than we do via our PCs.

This shift in online behavior has refocused financial services and their thoughts around what customers are looking for – there’s now no question about it; mobile comes first for companies such as Creditfix who are one of the UK’s leading personal insolvency companies, who continue to drive mobile adoption.

Where customers have traditionally chosen their bank, loan or finance provider based on what’s available locally, there’s now a shift toward people searching for a service that meets their specific mobile requirements. Searches for terms that hinge around ‘the best banking apps’ now far outweigh searches that point toward which banks are local to the individual.

So, advertising for the mobile market has to be done with a multi-pronged approach. A financial service’s Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising strategy has to be exactly right – ensuring that all-important search engine results page premium real estate – but ‘organic’ search engine optimisation has to be strong too – making sure that the first page of any Google results are locked down in their favour.

Of course, this is a never-ending task – and one that would be lost without a constant effort to ensure the right blend of design, technical analysis and appropriate site content across the brand.

When you consider that around 75% of financial services are advertising with a view to creating leads (customer information that can be used to retarget with follow up correspondence) then you realise that content is an absolutely vital part of the mobile marketing puzzle. A financial service that drives traffic toward their sites will quickly see lots of it disappear if the right kind of article or copy isn’t being seen upon arrival.

Content has to be value lead if you’re going to see traffic convert into leads – the Lloyds Bank site is a great place to see this in action – with articles that span everything from basic money advice to expert talks and Q&A sessions on complex financial topics.

Video

Video presents a fantastic opportunity for financial services as it ticks two vitally important boxes when you’re looking to engage with customers.

Broadly speaking, the smarter a borrower is, the greater monetary opportunity that presents for a financial service. Savvy borrowers are more likely to apply for mortgages (of an increasing value) as well as savings accounts, loans and additional mortgages on second or buy-to-let properties.

The smarter a borrower is, the more they’re going to drill down into what the lender is offering – and they’ll do that by absorbing the content that’s sent in their direction. From late 2016 onward, people have shown a significant preference for video content – so it’s probably little surprise that you’ve seen an increasing amount of it across the sites and apps you use.

So, with video, financial services aren’t just getting in front of customers – they’re getting in front of the right customers – but that said, it still has to be the right message that’s seen.

Valuable content is a great way to build trust – and with video, that trust building can be done across almost all of the senses. American Express recently put together an exceptionally successful video campaign that focused on small business owners and how they’d set up. Barclays built bridges into the millennial market with some CV and careers advice for younger customers via video too.

Financial services using video in 2018 realise that value is the key – build trust first – and leave the hard-nosed sales call-to-action for a more appropriate and trusting time…

Social Media

Around 45 million UK citizens use social media – so it would be criminal for a financial service to miss out on such a huge opportunity – however, if you step into the ring, you need to be very well prepared.

Social media is not a realm in which a financial service can deliver in a half-hearted manner. Listening and responding to your customer interactions needs to be done with speed and finesse – as studies show that ignored support requests will turn into a customer churn rate that 15% higher than the industry average. Online interaction makes it easier to contact financial organisations – but also much easier for a customer to vote with their feet.

Nearly 45% of customers expect to get a reply from their financial organisation within 60 minutes – and if they don’t, they edge closer toward taking their business elsewhere.

However, when a financial organisation does social media in the right way, they get a massive reward. The average UK resident spends nearly 2 hours on social media every day – compared to a matter of just seconds or minutes accessing financial service’s sites and apps.

Conclusion

Advertising in an individual’s newsfeed needs to be done very very carefully if you’re a financial organisation. In fact, the most effective companies do it in a manner that’s almost invisible – choosing the champion good causes and community initiatives, rather than pushing products and financial content at all. Customers are smart – and quick to unsubscribe – hence, it’s better to have just your organisation’s name there to feature in your customer’s mind further down the line – rather than nothing at all…

paddy 20170629022744154 743x410 - The Best Gambling Advertisements of All Time

The Best Gambling Advertisements of All Time

Gambling is an addictive art that been around for eons. The advent of information technology and communication has revolutionized global business operations, created new benchmarks for marketing and has transformed countless industrial structures.

The gambling landscape is no stranger to this and has evolved with the times. Betting entities have dedicated more than half a billion pounds on television adverts since the year 2012 and the numbers are only increasing ever since then. In 2015, companies spent over one hundred and eighteen million pounds on procuring television spots in comparison to eighty-one million pounds approximately in 2012.

It is a lucrative industry that has attracted more than a hundred thousand employees in the British region. With more than a forty-six percent increment in spending (2012-2015), the betting industry has accelerated its marketing efforts as the degree of competition has risen.

Let us not forget that gambling existed before even the oldest advertisement can be recalled. In today’s day and age, regulation and societal acceptance has led to an explosion of casinos and betting companies. The digital realm has been invaded by countless gambling service providers where each one is hungrier and aiming to gain a bigger slice of the profit pie. To distinguish themselves, they seek innovative ways to build an emotional connect with their clients.

A gaming advert is any form of promotional communication that offers an individual the chance to win money from lottery agencies, casinos or such.  Making humorous, engaging television advertisements is definitely an effective strategy to appeal to fresh or existing players as all they have to do is to turn on their computers and play.

Apart from television, gaming companies such as Easyslots who provide UK slots online run a fully integrated marketing campaign that utilizes all channels of communication. Not only that, some of them employ some crazy stunts to gain publicity. Would you like to know some of the top gambling advertisements of all time? Read on!

Paddy Power

Once a small betting shop business based in Ireland, it launched aggressive, bold marketing campaigns to make its mark in the betting arena. In 1988, forty Irish shops converged to become a single betting entity under the name “Paddy Power”. It began to immediately reposition itself and open new branches at highly visible points. Sometimes success is all about timing: and Paddy Power definitely got it right as it established itself as a leading player at a turning point in the industry’s dynamics. It injected a chunk of capital in its online expansion as well and utilized controversial, non-conventional promotional efforts that proved to be extremely effectual.

Tweeting over Medinah Country Club Skies

When the Ryder Cup was taking place in 2012, Paddy Power took to the clouds and penned a “special sky tweet” backing the European team. Social media fans were engaged by being encouraged to tweet and share messages in support of the domestic team. Their words were written across the skies above the Medinah Country club by a fleet of planes.

Behaving Boldly

Another crazy stunt that Paddy Power pulled was at the 2014 Brit Awards. Here, two Daft Punk lookalikes were allowed onto the red carpet by security and shed their trousers to unveil Paddy Power underwear.

More Pants

Niklas Bendter created chaos when he revealed the band of his “lucky” Paddy Power underpants after shooting a brace of headers in Denmark’s group B match against Portugal in the European Championships. Of course, a fine had to be paid but was worth it as it placed Paddy Power as an international, leading gaming brand.

Ladbrokes

As a huge player on the market, Ladbrokes strive to captivate and preserve the attention of their users by constantly inventing fresh gaming solutions. Their television advert that starred Chris Kamara and Tiziano Crudeli was successful in ameliorating their subscription numbers. The ad commenced with Kamara, a football player, at the gym and discussing the importance of Hydraplus (another product). All of a sudden, a ball hits him and knocks him off the bench. In runs Crudeli, an Italian football fan, shouting that Bet In-Play is available at Ladbrokes. With the combination of their chemistry, energy and fun accents, the commercial turned out to be prosperous,

William Hill Casino

William Hill Casino is a renowned name in the world of gambling and is powered by sundry software tools that provide a diverse pool of betting products. Their brand message is “Your game, your rules” in a television advert highlighted the benefits of online gambling in a fun, engaging way. Eat your favorite cookies at the roulette table, play blackjack in the comfort of your pyjamas, and avoid listening to unwelcome comments from neighbouring players. With the alluring sound of playing chips and shuffling cards, it will encourage potentials to log in online as soon as possible.

Bet365 Casino Ad

Bet365 Casino is an all-encompassing gaming company that sells sports betting, poker and bingo games across different mediums such as in real time, mobile and live. It’s 2013 advertisement highlighted all its business model: a digital casino where you can soar freely and select any game of your desire. With state of the art technology, it revealed itself to be a user-friendly platform that was easy to navigate.

Party Casino

There is always a party at Party Casino-another major operator in the betting market. Its broad portfolio of gaming products includes live dealer casino games, bonuses, promotions and mobile friendly services. Here, the advert shows a virtual city with blackjack tables and roulette games that issue electronic cards. Through these mediums, customers can make bets or spin the reel. A bouncy song plays in the background as chips rain down upon the winners. Ultimately, this ad demonstrates the level of customer support and high quality of games you will have access to once you reach jackpot games.

how to use social media for small business 750x410 - 6 Top Reasons Why Your Small Business Should be on Social Media

6 Top Reasons Why Your Small Business Should be on Social Media

Continuous innovation in communication and technology has become a norm in international, modern societies. The advancements in fiber internet technology has revolutionized the way mankind interacts with each other.

Smartphones, laptops, desktops, tablets, and such have become common household items and placed the world at our fingertips. It has opened the floodgates to a sea of never-ending information.

As communication patterns and styles have adapted accordingly, so have our minds’. Brand managers find it more challenging than ever to reach their target audience as they attempt to manoeuvre their way through this clutter.

The saying “the first impression is the last impression” rings true in the world of marketing. It has become imperative to craft an endearing, relatable brand story that breaks the chain of consumer indifference and captivates his attention.

The realm of social media has decreased preceding boundaries and obstacles that hindered marketing strategies. Not only has it facilitated two-way direct communication, this avenue has caught the world’s attention and is now a pragmatic norm in any brand leader’s plan.

It began an overnight sensation and Hubspot shared that eighty percent of its marketers believed that social media increased their website traffic and another ninety-two percent claimed to employ this avenue as a vital tool in their overall business plan.

How can small businesses reap the benefits of social media marketing? Conventional marketing tactics known as above the line (print, television, and radio) were considered expensive and to be aimed to the masses.

The phenomena of social media marketing has permitted small business ventures to reach out to their niche and to tighten their financial belt as well as they may have to operate within stringent budget parameters.

Greater Brand Recognition

As a powerful cost-effective marketing platform, social media can amplify your brand’s presence online and build an entire community of loyal consumers through relevant engagement. This is an abstract, subjective channel where you have to create, share and distribute interesting content that fascinates your consumer.

You cannot just share a viral meme and expect your customers to be “wowed”. After all, you want to expand your brand’s digital footprint in an effectual manner.

The first step in ameliorating your brand’s awareness as a small business is to get your professional circle of friends, employees and business partners to “share” and to “like” your page. A great example of this is how willshapools.com use social meida to promote their content. As the exposure to your brand gradually increases, people will already begin to identify and to acknowledge your brand.

For instance, a frequent Instagram user may come across your page or latest post on his newsfeed. This will also improve the probability of his decision to procure your brand as social media serves as a source of reference from a trusted base of peers.

Happier Customers

If a customer writes a complaint about your brand directly on your Facebook page, it will be seen by all your followers, along with all the individuals present on his friends’ list. This level of openness and transparency is not a threat-yet an opportunity. It will strengthen your brand as your team will work harder to improve its quality and overall standards. Not only that, when you address his concern directly with a tailored response, he will appreciate the effort you make and the attention that you are paying to his query. Let’s face it, it’s an era of personalization where avenues of interaction have transformed customers’ expectations. This is a great way to distinguish yourself from your competitive giants as they may not provide the same level of customized services.

SEO Purposes

As search engines are consistently updated and improved, social media results are being integrated. The realm of social media has already commenced to evolve and is becoming a search engine itself. For instance, Twitter is a source of real time search engine. Search engine optimization has to be a critical part of your social media strategy as keywords and hashtags have become a norm. Social media is also one of the best ways for your brand to amplify its content which can often result in the content receiving links, which in turn improves a websites overall rankings. 

Stronger Conversion Stats

The most important way that social media can help your start-up or any small medium enterprise grow is via its humanization element. As the faces behind the brands communicate directly with their followers, brands have become more relatable to its users. Studies have demonstrated that social media obtains a 100% higher lead to close rate than outbound marketing. By having a social presence with a strong following, your brand will be trusted more by its community. Simply by attracting your target market online will improve conversion rates on your current incoming traffic.

Increased Brand Loyalty

No matter what the size of a business, all commercial entities aspire to construct a loyal base of consumers. Brand loyalty can only be retained if your clients are happy with the performance of your brand. Hence, they are mutually inclusive. To benefit from social media, you must interact with your prospects often and build communication.

It has also become a service methodology where your customer can message you directly and make an inquiry. Those individuals born between the 1980s and early 2000s are known as the millennials.

This generation is known as the most brand loyal customers and were probably born with a tech gene in their DNA. Research conducted reflected that this group of customers is 62% more faithful to brands that interact with them on variant social media channels. as a small business, it is a great way to retain your brand’s enthusiasts and will possibly be the most significant slice of your target market.

Cost Effective Strategy

You have been waiting for this one, haven’t you? As a start-up, your liquidity is probably already being tested. Social media campaigns will occupy the lowest position in your marketing budget. Just sign up and create a profile on any application-be it Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat.

It is mostly free! Invest you personal time and energy in growing your base organically instead of assigning paid promotions to increase the number of likes on your brand’s Facebook page. If you do want to go down the paid route, then we recommend that you commence with a minute amount and evaluate its performance.

Social media is a tricky avenue where the right image and the right content makes a colossal difference in making your campaign a successful one. Your rate on investment will improve with time as you gain experience and understand the dynamics that pull in your customers.

featured5 750x410 - Viral Marketing 101: What Are the Hallmarks of Good Viral Videos?

Viral Marketing 101: What Are the Hallmarks of Good Viral Videos?

Have you ever logged on to a social media platform and see one particular video shared by multiple people? If you have, that is what is called a viral video. Depending on the content, it can mean a good thing or a very bad thing for a brand.

A good viral video can mean international coverage and massive positive feedback and business. A negative viral video, while can draw the ire of millions can eventually be utilized and transformed into a positive moment for the company. As much as possible, however, it would be good to aim for a good viral video.

So what exactly are the hallmarks of good viral videos? We’ve given it a lot of thought and we watched a lot of viral videos to try to find common denominators. Here are a few of what we have found out:

Illicit Emotion

Viral videos are often shared because it manages to illicit emotion from its audience. At the start of this year, YouTube “star” Logan Paul uploaded a video on his channel. It was his recent trip to Japan’s suicide forest wherein he filmed the body of a person that had committed suicide.

This, understandably, made a lot of people angry. From the moment it was uploaded and until the YouTuber was made to take it down, it was constantly talked about and shared upon various social media platform.

Logan Paul and his video is a perfect example of a bad viral video. However, it still qualified as a “viral” video as it was able to illicit emotions from its audience. When people feel something whether it be positive or negative, they feel a compulsion to share the video with their own views attached.

Relatable

Viral videos often have content that is relatable for their audiences. They showcase a celebrity doing everyday or out of the ordinary things. They showcase acts of kindness or acts of cruelty. Whatever it is, it is something that is grounded in reality.

It is something that a viewer can see and say “hey, I totally get that”.

Under Three Minutes

The deal with social media is that information is shared fast and consumed fast. Therefore, a viral video usually has a time mark of being under three minutes. The message needs to be cohesive and delivered within that timeframe. Anything longer than that makes people lose interest.

Conclusion

We live in an age where everything is consumed at the speed of light. Viral videos are one of the ways businesses and brands can make a name for themselves. However, viral videos are a double edged sword. They must be used properly or else they can crush any startup that is still trying to find its groove.

info2 1 - Viral Marketing 101: What Are the Hallmarks of Good Viral Videos?
Infographic by: singlegrain.com
featured4 750x410 - Does Snark Win the Day? Looking Closely at Wendy’s Engagement Approach

Does Snark Win the Day? Looking Closely at Wendy’s Engagement Approach

When client engagement is everything, the normal tactic is to be as congenial and helpful as possible. One brand, however, went the completely opposite route and still won the hearts of their audience. Of course, we’re talking about Wendy’s.

It was around the start of 2017 that the well-known burger brand started to show a bit of sass in their social media page. Instead of taking the usual route of answering with politeness, they started to answer their clients in the way that teenagers would address their close friends. It was something that completely uncharacteristic of most large food brands and it was something that social media savvy consumers liked almost instantly.

When the order of the day used to be always treating your clients with utmost respect turned into witty and sassy comebacks, does this mean that every brand should follow Wendy’s lead? From a professional view, the answer would have to be no. While they managed to seem like someone that clients could poke fun at and with, other services like medicinal entities can hardly afford to do so.

Our Take

Wendy’s came up with something that clearly stood well apart from the normal approach that most, if not all, social media managers took. While being respectful and congenial was the normal order of the day, Wendy’s and their snarky responses provided a wholly fresh and unique approach.

While it worked well for them, this does not mean that this would work well for others. After all, following in the direct example of Wendy’s can lead to people saying that you’re merely copying someone else’s shtick.

Also, while their tweets and responses are rather snarky and ‘funny’, they still take the time to address legitimate complaints with a professional tone through private messages. So they keep sassy responses when they are directly addressed with posts that are just asking a joke waiting to happen.

Conclusion

If there was anything that should be learned from this unexpected popularity, being different can often be quite rewarding. However, usually never is advisable to be rude, sarcastic, or even insulting toward a client. With social media being the battleground where engagement occurs, there will always be people that will have negative to say.

It will be the job of the social media manager to utilize that moment to both clear up misconceptions and address a need or to leave things on a sour note. What would your take be on Wendy’s and their sarcastic take on social media?

featured3 750x410 - Using Social Media Effectively: Key Factors Managers Need to Know

Using Social Media Effectively: Key Factors Managers Need to Know

Social Media took the world by storm. In the blink of an eye, everyone was online—creating their own profiles and staying in touch. It wasn’t long before businesses and brands got into the action as well. In order to properly utilize social media and maximize its effects for your company, it is important that those that handle your brand’s social media account are aware of some key factors.

This is what we will be looking into today.

Key Factors

Social Media is the preferred method of contact by a majority of consumers. Before leaving their homes, they go on their social media accounts to scour for information. They make their decisions based on the experiences that they obtain from the social media accounts of the brands or business that they are looking into.

So if your brand or business has a social media account, make sure that your social media manager knows that the page itself will be judged by its:

Sufficient Information

1 - Using Social Media Effectively: Key Factors Managers Need to Know

Social Media sites like Facebook and Instagram have sections wherein brands can fill in as much information as needed. Consumers always look at three particular things: location, operating hours, and date of last post.

They use these things to determine if a business or brand is worth patronizing. So it is critical that your social media pages have sufficient information for your consumers to process.

Speed of Response

2 - Using Social Media Effectively: Key Factors Managers Need to Know

Consumers tend to message social media pages of brands and businesses when they have queries. No one wants to wait—especially online. The speed of the response of the page handler or social media manager will determine 45% of the opinion that will be formed about your brand.

Quality of Response/Content

3 - Using Social Media Effectively: Key Factors Managers Need to Know

No one wants canned responses to their questions. At the same time, no one wants personalized but wholly incorrect information. The ones who handle your social media pages must have a mix of a brand approved response but tailored to meet the needs of the client.

The content refers to the typical posts shared on the page itself. No one wants to see generic posts. Consumers care about the latest news, deals, and promotions. It is important that the social media managers put up timely content and be prepared to address any comments on those posts.

Conclusion

The social media managers are at the very forefront of consumer engagement. All it takes is one snarky or incorrect response and it can sour the opinion of a consumer toward your business and your brand. On the flip side, when you meet the key factors above, you can be sure that the reward will be continued and more loyal patronage.

Which key factors does your business’s social media manager utilize the most?

featured2 750x410 - 2017 Roundup: What Was the Most Popular Way to Reach Clients?

2017 Roundup: What Was the Most Popular Way to Reach Clients?

It is the first day of 2018 and this is usually the day where we all should take a long good look behind us. That is, after all, how you get some pretty good ideas of what to carry over and what to leave behind. So in the world of business or organizations that make a difference, it is important to be aware of the best ways in which the clients or members can be reached.

There have been a variety of methods that have been seen through the years—some of them have managed to stay relevant. Today, we take a look at which methods were the most used ones in 2017.

Social Media

The advent of social media completely changed the way that business, organizations, celebrities, and brands were able to connect with, engage, and reach out to their clients and audiences. There is nothing like the speed in which information could be disbursed through social media.

Electronic Newsletters

Simple yet effective! Electronic newsletters are still one of the best ways that businesses were able to directly reach out already interested parties. Electronic newsletters usually pass through emails which are still being used quite widely.

Direct Marketing

This is one of the oldest forms of reaching out to clients, yes. However, this is usually one of the strongest ways in which consumer engagement and awareness can be raised. Most viral videos are the result of a direct marketing campaign.

Conclusion

The ways in which to reach clients will always continue to evolve. This is why it is important to keep a sharp eye out on the horizon and take careful note of any trends that made a splash and immediately died versus those that continue to be reliable. If a business or an organization is to survive, they need to be able to determine which methods are best and carry them over to the New Year.

What popular way of reaching clients are you going to carry over?

featured1 750x410 - Two Reasons Why Marketing Is Critical For a Business

Two Reasons Why Marketing Is Critical For a Business

Having a business is one dream that many of us share. Being your own boss, dictating your work hours, and actually doing something that you like always sound ideal. This is why you need to work hard at sustaining it.

It is a simple matter of fact that if you want a business to survive, people need to patronize it. A lot of people often think that it is the service or the product that you need to prioritize—that’s true enough. However, no matter how amazing your product or your service is, it will not get anywhere if not one person knows you exist.

How do you get people to know you exist?

The Magic of Marketing

It is through marketing that businesses are able to take their business further. To place emphasis on this, here are two particular reasons why marketing is critical for a business:

Advancing Consumer Awareness

Marketing at its very core is about finding out better ways on how to secure consumer engagement. It is through carefully crafted marketing campaigns that businesses secure patrons. After all, catching the attention and interest of those who will give you business is what will keep you in business.

Knowing the Target Market

In order to further refine a business’s product or service, they need to hear from their clients. Feedback collection and analysis is actually part of marketing—a rather large part. After you have secured the attention of certain patrons, it is through their feedback that you get to understand the status of your present processes.

Is it too slow? Can something be changed? What is the biggest source of money loss? These and many more are determined through market analysis.

Conclusion

Marketing is one of the basic things that any business should cultivate. An internal team is great—however, the reality of the situation is that not everyone may have an understanding of what should go into marketing and how to utilize it fully. So in case your business has no internal source of marketing, do not hesitate to look outside.

info1 426x1024 - Two Reasons Why Marketing Is Critical For a Business
Infographic by: business2community.com