Written by Sam Yadegar on May 20 , 2021

Creating a financial services marketing plan from scratch or refreshing an existing one? Here’s what you need to know.

Here you’ll learn:

  • Goals and KPIs for finserv organizations
  • How to run a competitive analysis
  • When to create a content plan
  • Key marketing tactics to consider

For financial services companies, the high competitiveness of the industry means the stakes for digital marketing are high.

After all, potential clients generally have somewhat of an understanding about what they need from financial sector players. The search for information drives them online, where companies fight for their eyeballs, clicks, and business.

From search engine optimization (SEO) to paid search ads, creating a thoughtful financial services marketing plan can help you steal market share and become an industry leader. 

Let’s take a closer look at where to start.

woman creating a financial services marketing plan

Marketers can use these KPIs to track campaigns and make adjustments along the way. (Image via Rawpixel)

1. Pinpoint your marketing goals

Your marketing strategy depends on your current goals — no surprise there. It’s wise to state these goals clearly in your plan. This way, you and your team can identify marketing channels, set the budget, and decide on the right tactics based on these goals. For the financial services (or finserv) sector, these goals may include:

  • Building trust with the clients
  • Increasing brand awareness
  • Generating leads
  • Retaining existing clients

At different stages of your company’s journey, you may have different goals. When goals change, so does your marketing plan. On the plus side, many marketing tactics for financial services can help you achieve several goals at once.

When pinpointing your current goals, consider taking advantage of the popular SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound) marketing goal system.

An example of such a goal would be: increase mortgage leads by 10% by Q3 2021.  This goal provides your marketing team a solid starting point for the campaign.

2. Identify KPIs

Knowing how to measure success is key to a successful marketing campaign. Key performance indicators, or KPIs, are another integral part of any strategy. The metrics and KPIs you set depend on the goals we mentioned above. They may include:

  • COA (cost of acquisition)
  • CLV or LTV (customer lifetime value)
  • NPS (net promoter score)
  • Conversion rate
  • CTR (click-through rate)
  • CPC (cost per click)
  • Website traffic
  • Social media engagement

Marketers can use these KPIs to track campaigns and make adjustments along the way. These are especially important if you decide to take an agile approach to marketing.

3. Create an audience persona

Hopefully, your organization already has a fleshed-out client persona for your target audiences. (Financial service companies often have more than one.) Your marketing plan should contain all audience personas that you want to target when achieving your marketing goals.

An example could look something like this:

  • Car loan Carl
  • Age: 35
  • Gender: Male
  • Education: Bachelor’s degree in marketing
  • Job title: Junior project director
  • Hobbies: traveling by car to explore the country
  • Annual income: $50,000
  • Goals: to purchase a large, reliable vehicle to support long-distance travel
  • Challenges: limited disposable income since he supports a large family

Be as specific as possible about your audience personas. The more you create, the easier it’ll be to create targeted campaigns.

Pro tip: For the financial sector, negative audience personas are just as important as positive ones. Along with who to target, you should know exactly who not to target. This can also come in handy for your finserv pay-per-click (PPC) marketing strategy.

man creating a financial services marketing plan

When it comes to the industry of financial services, trust is the key to success. (Image via Unsplash)

4. Study the competition

Analyzing the competition allows you to strategically adjust your marketing plan, iterate your tactics, set the proper budget, and more.

In the competitive financial services realm, standing out from the crowd requires more than a solid marketing strategy. You need to be able to capitalize on your competitors’ weaknesses if possible.

When running a competitive analysis, pay attention to the following aspects:

  • Type of content
  • Content strategy
  • Marketing channels
  • Social media presence
  • Keywords they compete for
  • The technology used to achieve marketing goals
  • Market share
  • Pricing

You can also perform a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) on your competitors. From there, you can compare it to your organization’s SWOT analysis results to see where your strengths can triumph over their weaknesses and vice versa.

Want to learn more about financial services marketing? We’re here to help. 

5. Create a content plan

The content’s high-powered SEO status is especially true in the financial space. Since the majority of people aren’t always educated about the nitty gritty when it comes to money matters, the content you create can help you establish authority, convert leads, increase brand awareness, and much more.  

Industry pros are a wealth of knowledge (pun intended?) on all things finances. Sharing this valuable knowledge thoughtfully and strategically can bring about big returns. 

A solid finserv content plan should include:

  • A variety of content types (such as blogs, infographics, and whitepapers)
  • Content distribution channels (such as newsletters and social media)
  • Team members responsible for the content (to add legitimacy to the pieces)
  • Core content directions (pillar topics that are paired with more specifics posts)

When creating a marketing plan, designing a content calendar will help you stay organized and on track. Ideally, your calendar will feature a schedule that shows when, where, and how you plan to publish upcoming content.

Pro tip: You don’t need to create new content for each financial services marketing plan and goal. If you have existing content, you can conduct a content audit to identify opportunities to repurpose that content to suit your current and future needs.

6. Identify key marketing tactics

The financial service industry’s marketing tactics are similar to what marketers use in other industries. However, they must be adjusted to revolve around your specific goals. Consider exploring these strategies to outrun the competition:

  • Building trust by creating an exceptional digital experience, providing educational and valuable content, and even working with industry influencers
  • Taking advantage of PPC marketing opportunities on search engines and across key social media platforms
  • Providing relevant content across different channels to create a unified message and build authority
  • Turning your website into a comprehensive resource and a 24/7 assistant for your target audience

When it comes to the industry of financial services, trust is the key to success. While being undereducated about financial products, the target audience is usually extremely wary of anything a financial service organization has to offer.

Regardless of your marketing goals, a big part of your tactics should be aimed at building trust and providing value to the audience.

The takeaway

Building a marketing plan for your financial services company requires an in-depth understanding of your goals. Being extremely specific about what you want to achieve and how you plan to do it will be keys to your success.

A marketing plan can help you structure your marketing strategy, track your activities, catch errors, and make adjustments when needed. It allows you to focus on your current goals while achieving general marketing objectives like building brand awareness and establishing authority.

Sam Yadegar

Sam Yadegar

Sam Yadegar is the co-founder and CEO of HawkSEM. Starting out as a software engineer, his penchant for solving problems quickly led him to the digital marketing world, where he has been helping clients for over 12 years. He loves doing everything he can to help brands "crush it" through ROI-driven digital marketing programs. He's also a fan of basketball and spending time with his family.

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