As mortgage rates remain historically low and demand surges, lenders have major opportunities to bring in more business. But a hot market, of course, also means vastly increased competition.
Not only are other financial institutions trying to capitalize on the high demand, but non-depository originators are on the prowl more than ever. Already they have doubled their share in the U.S. market from 25% to 50% in the past ten years, according to McKinsey. In addition, direct-to-consumer originations account for more than one-quarter of the market.
Clearly mortgage lenders can use all the help they can get to stand out in a fast-paced and crowded marketplace. Financial marketers can provide help by focusing their efforts on digital mortgage marketing strategies. Let’s look at five that have the most potential to drive new business.
1. Not Just Mobile, the Right Kind of Mobile
As consumers have spent the last year communicating and doing business digitally amid stay-at-home and social distancing guidelines, they have come to expect a seamless, convenient digital experience more than ever. Even before the pandemic, borrowers preferred mobile options when offered 78% of the time, an Ellie Mae survey found.
Now, consumers expect to engage with their financial institutions through their smartphones to do everything from open accounts to submit mortgage applications. If you haven’t already invested in a convenient mobile lending app, this would be a good time!
But invest carefully. You want technology that allows mobile digital document uploads, automated quality assurance, and application data pre-fill using internal and external APIs. These advanced mobile offerings will soon be table stakes as lenders see the benefit in speeding up sales cycles and decreasing costs.
2. Chat Is Essential, But Must Be Compliant
Research shows that Millennials and Gen Xers are three times likelier than Baby Boomers to communicate with their lenders often through online chat. This is a significant factor because Millennials are currently the largest homebuying cohort and Gen Xers are the highest-earning homebuyers, according to data from the National Association of Realtors. Loan officers should meet them where they are with direct message marketing.
Of course, direct messaging online does present compliance concerns. Regulations around electronic communications abound, and financial institutions must have the right protocols and tools in place to guarantee messaging stays compliant.
Social media management software can automate approval processes so that no message goes through without getting proper sign-off from compliance and marketing personnel first.
Marketers should also work with compliance teams to develop a thorough, easily accessible electronic communication policy so that loan officers never have to guess whether their messaging is compliant.
3. When Used Correctly, Social Gives Traditional Lenders an Edge
When loan officers post branded content on their own social media channels, they can achieve greater reach and engagement than the brand profile alone. Audiences relate more to actual people than to brand names, so this approach can help humanize your institution and set a foundation for strong relationship-building. As digital direct lenders become more competitive, the human element is a strong differentiator for loan officers today.
What loan officers share matters, however. They shouldn’t be posting promotional messaging about your lender’s products and services — that won’t do much to build relationships. But sharing content that highlights their expertise, helps educate consumers on relevant topics and provides real value is effective.
4. Boost Your Social Strategy With Paid Advertising
While organic posting helps set a foundation for trust and thought leadership, social media platforms have updated their algorithms in recent years to limit the visibility of brand-related posts. Putting some budget behind a paid social media strategy, however, can help you reach the right audiences at exactly the right time.
In addition, the advanced targeting capabilities of paid social media marketing allow you to pinpoint exactly who you want your ad to land with, which ensures that the time you and your loan officers put into social media pays off.
5. How to Drive Up Your Conversions
Don’t let the customer experience stop at a social media post. To convert social page views into leads, include a path for consumers to engage further with you. Create landing pages on your website for each target audience in order to deliver more relevant and valuable content to the people who need it most.
Loan officers can include links to relevant landing pages in their social posts, and viewers can navigate to those pages where they’ll be prompted to enter their name and email address to receive a valuable piece of content — a “Mortgage 101 Guidebook,” for example. This way, consumers get helpful and targeted information, you get contact information for primed leads, and you can pass on more tangible opportunities to your loan officers.
This article was originally published on The Financial Brand.
Financial institutions face a number of hurdles in digital marketing, including lack of digital-first strategy, higher brand purpose, and the tendency to “dabble in digital.” Social media compliance for financial institutions is also a pressing issue, with the nuances of regulatory constraints demanding strict scrutiny over all electronic communication.
But unless a financial institution has significant scale, it’s unlikely to have the in-house talent and resources needed to build successful digital marketing strategies and solutions from the ground up. Instead, financial institutions need qualified and attentive fintech partners who understand their challenges and bring pointed solutions to their problems. According to a recent Cornerstone Advisors report, however, many aren’t succeeding in finding such partners. The report predicts that financial institution boards will soon tire of not seeing adequate results from fintech vendors. So what’s the problem?
As The Financial Brand article linked above noted, financial marketers at organizations of all sizes “crave assistance” to help them navigate problems and achieve successful digital marketing strategies. They need fintechs with dedicated customer success teams to offer specific expertise and a customized approach to reach their digital marketing goals.
Denim Social’s approach is consultative and collaborative from the start. Our customer success team works with every partner to create unique pathways to success, and our platform itself was designed from the ground up to meet a specific need for compliance in the heavily regulated financial services industry.
With the following steps, Denim Social tailors service to help each client develop successful digital marketing strategies:
Onboarding is an important part of starting any new relationship with a vendor. To help you reach your goals, your partner must first thoroughly understand what those goals are and the pain points that prevent you from reaching them. At Denim Social, our customer success team digs in to understand each client’s unique goals and challenges.
Financial institutions also have different workflows and processes to account for with digital marketing software. For example, those in charge of signing off on social media posts before they go live could vary greatly from one organization to another. Denim Social’s platform allows clients to build automated approval workflows to ensure every post is compliant and aligned with brand messaging before it goes live, and our customer success team helps customize those workflows to get in front of exactly the right people at the right time.
2. Drive software adoption across the organization.
If employees don’t use new software, there’s little chance your financial institution will see a high return on your technology investment. One of the most critical pieces of the software adoption puzzle is earning buy-in from employees. Denim Social helps marketers learn how to communicate the “what’s in it for me” knowledge to help get and keep teams on board to use new tools. We provide messaging, emails, tool kits, and more to drive software adoption within financial institutions.
3. Evaluate performance and strategy consistently.
Financial institution leaders need to know how their digital marketing strategies compare to competing institutions, so they require consistent performance evaluation and strategy consultation based on analytics. Regularly scheduled executive business reviews that go over all the metrics tied to their success plan and guidance working toward those outcomes are a must.
At Denim Social, our experts help financial institutions identify strategies to arrive at stated priorities, provide best practices for executing on goals, and offer industry-relevant comparisons to get a read on the business landscape. All of that is backed by performance analytics.
Social selling, or the practice of having loan officers, financial advisors, and other employees connect with audiences through their own professional social media accounts, is an excellent way to humanize financial brands and expand reach. But it does require training these employees on how to work with your marketing team to develop and share posts. Digital marketing fintech platforms can make this collaboration easier, but not without properly setting employees up for success first.
That’s why Denim Social’s customer success team is dedicated to training your people to succeed on the platform. For smaller clients, we can provide this training directly to employees. For larger enterprise clients, we can educate leaders on how to hold trainings within their own teams. We also just launched our Academy to help marketers get certified on the platform and share that knowledge throughout their organizations.
5. Curate custom content.
Even with proper training on digital marketing platforms, curating the right content to share can still be an intimidating part for marketing teams and employees. What information are your customers looking for? What will pique their interest and drive them to connect further with your brand?
The rise of fintech is impossible to deny, but not every fintech partnership will be an asset to your company. Seek vendors like Denim Social that dig in to understand your needs, customize solutions, and track progress along the way. To learn more about our customer success team and consultative approach, get in touch today.
According to a 2021 CMO survey, 59% of CMOs reported increased pressure from CEOs to prove the impact of their marketing efforts. As the world grows increasingly digital, markers at financial institutions have likely been feeling that pressure when it comes to their social media marketing strategies in particular.
Marketing managers might understand the power of social, but many financial institution leaders are simply more accustomed to traditional marketing tactics. While it’s clear how old efforts contributed to their bottom lines, social media can be a bit vaguer on the surface. Non-marketers in the financial space often see it as a personal channel for memes and political arguments rather than a valuable tool for achieving business outcomes.
But social media can drive business results for financial institutions. With adequate effort, investment, and resources, organic and paid social media will fit into the sales funnel and drive conversion. And when leadership calls the shots on the social media marketing budget, marketers must prove to them that further investment is a lucrative move.
So how can marketing managers show leadership teams that social media strategies are worthy of more investment? By measuring the success of their social media programs and getting metrics in front of leadership.
When it comes to proving what social can do to drive a financial institution quickly toward its goals, data tells a powerful story. The truth — and the proof — is in the analytics. Focus on these key points to make your strongest case to leadership:
Social media measurement in itself is nearly impossible to do manually. If you’re trying to get telling analytics with a spreadsheet, you won’t have much luck. Social media measurement, like most analytics, requires the right tools.
Quantify the time you spend on measurement to appeal to management. The right analytics tools can help you collect valuable marketing data faster and easier. Data shows that simplifying workflows with technology can free up 20–30% of employees’ time, so show leadership that with the right tools, you can up your efficiency to do more faster.
Another reason leaders might shy away from the idea of a robust social media marketing strategy is compliance. Financial services is a heavily regulated industry, and electronic communication is certainly not exempt from regulatory scrutiny. Again, the right tools can help. Denim Social’s platform, for example, enables marketers to keep social media compliant in an efficient way. Among other compliance features, the platform automates approval workflows so the right people can sign off on the right social content with ease before it ever goes live.
As algorithms change and organic social media is no longer a promising strategy on its own, marketers need to persuade leadership teams to invest in paid social media. Not only will paid get your messages in front of the right people with direct targeting capabilities, but it can also provide more data to help you understand what your target audience groups want and need.
By tracking paid performance by target audience group, you can better understand who’s connecting with what content and hone your social media strategy to connect with more prospects. Show leadership teams that when every message lands in front of exactly the right people, you’re maximizing social media marketing budget dollars — instead of wasting them on irrelevant or unengaged audiences.
3. Competitor tracking
Help leaders understand that, while measuring your own social media performance offers valuable insights, measuring your competitors’ performance can take your marketing game to the next level.
With social listening tools that enable you to track competitors’ social media activity, leaders can see your organization’s performance benchmarked against competitors and get a clear picture of where social needs more investment to stay competitive.
What’s more, social listening tools offer financial institutions a clear line of sight into how other brands are resonating with customers and encouraging engagement on social. Your brand can use those insights to craft even more relevant messaging and keep a leg up on the competition at all times.
4. Conversion opportunities
Landing page linking strategies on social media drive conversions, and nothing is more compelling to a leadership team than a direct line from marketing spend to sales. Track form completion rates to present a clear picture of how many viewers have deemed your content valuable enough to exchange their information for. Then, tie that to sales data to see how many prospects who submitted their information and received follow-ups from sales teams eventually signed on.
When you can draw that clear line from social post all the way to conversion, the bottom-line impact is clear to see. Compare that to traditional marketing tactics — has your leadership team ever seen a recorded, data-backed customer conversion metric from a billboard? Not likely.
Marketers know that staying relevant in today’s digital world requires a strong approach to social media marketing. Show leaders how upping efficiency, performance metrics, and competitive insight can empower your marketing team to elevate a data-driven social media strategy that delivers clear, measurable results.
Interested to learn more about how to track your social media results? Sign-up for a demo with Denim Social to explore our Analytics tools.
This content was originally published here.