Worldwide, banks and other financial institutions are held to a higher standard than other businesses due to regulatory requirements that demand strict confidentiality. That means PR and marketing agencies have to step carefully to deliver services in this very sensitive industry. Read on for an overview and some recommendations for the Ugandan banking sector. Digital marketing professionals should, therefore, have a thorough understanding of the challenges within this landscape, most importantly being aware of the prevailing economic and consumer trends. Then they can have a clear vision of the brand, goals and needs of the specific organization they are involved with.

They are several obstacles in building digital campaigns for banking and financial services, but the good news is that in some specific areas, there is generally a consistent demand for such services. As far as social media goes, financial institutions can leverage this in one fundamental way: listening to their audience.

Traditional ads that rely on large-scale spending are no longer as effective. Instead, banks can get a better return on investment (ROI) on ads by merely tuning into social channels to investigate, analyze conversations and behaviour. Then they can create simple, short videos that highlight benefits, even on seemingly small budgets. Content marketing is a challenge for banks and financial institutions for the simple reason that it’s not typically easy to find the ‘emotion’ under all the numbers.

For customers trying to do a bit of research, they’re probably not going to sift their way through onerous financial reports to find what they’re looking for. Under such circumstances, content should be focused on accessible and needs-based outcomes and targeted towards appropriate groups. Social content tends to encourage awareness and conversation. But carefully targeted value-based content and social posts can go a long way towards educating average-income earners as to how to manage their money. Keeping things in simple language and offering useful tools such as mortgage calculators, are great lead generators.

For this particular industry, you’ll want to ensure quality and accuracy in your content and build some central pieces of long-form content (such as case studies) to work from as you share on social. Blog posts, how-to guides, eBooks, infographics and videos are all on the table as valuable and effective forms of content. So is email marketing, so long as campaigns are well-executed and personalized. Be sure to balance out facts and figures with a ‘human’ language and tone.One key to personalizing digital marketing in the financial sector is to bring in qualified writers who are excellent storytellers and are able to put a face on the data. Therefore, part of a marketer’s role will be to encourage banks to invest in content specialists over the longer term.

Finally customer service is an integral part of this. It includes paying attention to negative feedback from customers and using that to publicly solve problems rather than ‘spinning’ a PR story to satisfy news channels and meet short term gains.

Suggestions for social media in this area include:

*Personal user testimonials made into videos or simply shared over Twitter feeds.

*Educational blog posts, which also function as mini case studies featuring real customers.

*Lower-income people sharing their success stories with saving and investing.

*Video series showing different ways people used a bank to finance the home or vacation of their dreams.

About the Author: WMC Editor

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