Written by Sam Yadegar on Jun 6, 2022

Refreshing your financial services marketing plan or creating one from scratch? Here’s what you need to know.

Here you’ll learn:

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

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

After all, most potential clients 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 a leader in the space.

Here’s how to do it right.

woman creating a financial services marketing plan

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

1. Pinpoint your marketing goals

No matter the industry, your marketing strategy depends on your current goals.

It’s wise to state these goals clearly in your plan. This way, you and your team can identify the proper channels, set the budget, and decide on the right tactics based on these goals. 

For the finserv sector, these goals often include:

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

You may have different goals at different stages of your company’s journey. But, when goals change, so should your strategies. Luckily, many financial services digital marketing tactics can help you achieve multiple goals at once.

When nailing down your goals, consider taking advantage of the straightforward SMART marketing goal system, which stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.

One example of such a goal would be: to increase mortgage leads by 10% by Q4 2022. This goal provides your marketing team with a solid starting point for the campaign.

2. Identify KPIs

Another key to a successful marketing campaign is knowing how to measure key performance indicators, or KPIs.

Of course, the metrics and KPIs you set depend on the goals we mentioned above. They may include:

  • Cost of acquisition
  • Customer lifetime value
  • Net promoter score
  • Conversion rate
  • Clickthrough rate
  • Cost per click
  • Website traffic
  • Social media engagement

Marketers can use these KPIs to track campaigns and make adjustments along the way. 

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.) 

A well-rounded marketing plan contains all audience personas you want to target through your various efforts and initiatives.

An example could look something like this:

  • Car loan Carl
  • Age: 35
  • 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 who not to target. This can also come in handy for your finserv PPC marketing strategy.

4. Study the competition

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

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

When running a competitive analysis, pay attention to aspects such as:

  • Type of content
  • Content strategy
  • Marketing channels
  • Social media presence
  • Keywords they compete for
  • 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, compare it to your organization’s own SWOT results to see where you can triumph.

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

man creating a financial services marketing plan

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

5. Create a content plan

Content’s high-powered status, ability to generate traffic, and unique capacity for providing SEO value aren’t secrets. 

This is especially true in the financial space. Most people aren’t taught the nitty-gritty of money management and lack specific details about many personal finance matters. 

The financial services SEO content you create can help you establish authority, convert leads, increase brand awareness, and much more.  

Industry pros are a wealth (pun intended?) of knowledge 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, whitepapers, webinars, and case studies)
  • Content distribution channels (such as newsletters and social media)
  • Team members responsible for the content (to add legitimacy to the pieces)
  • A hub-and-spoke strategy (pillar pages that internally link to more specific posts)

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. Optimize your strategy for maximum ROI

Financial services 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 methods to outrun the competition:

  • Building trust by creating an exceptional digital experience, providing educational and valuable content, and even working with relevant influencers
  • Taking advantage of PPC marketing opportunities on search engines and across key social media platforms
  • Providing relevant, quality content across different channels to create a unified message and build authority
  • Turning your website into a comprehensive, round-the-clock resource for your target audience so you can acquire first-party data, increase willingness to engage with your marketing messages, and raise conversion rates

When it comes to financial services, trust is the key to success.

As such, your target audience may be wary of financial service provider that makes big promises or seems like they’re trying to sell too hard.

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 finserv marketing plan requires an in-depth understanding of your goals and regular audits to ensure you’re meeting them. When creating yours, being specific about what you want to achieve and how you plan to do it will be key to your success.

A marketing plan can help you structure your 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, establishing authority, and more.

This article has been updated and was originally published in May 2021.

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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