Financial services companies face a difficult road when it comes to marketing.
Banks and financial services in the U.S. are forced to fight stringent federal regulations on advertising, including everything from training requirements for bank marketers to statements that must be included in ads related to a number of financial products. Google has also placed severe restrictions on financial services ad content.
On top of that, many financial services companies like credit repair businesses, binary options platforms, initial coin offerings, payday lenders, and more are barred from using Google Ads altogether.
This has led to a variety of smaller industry players to abandon paid advertising. Thankfully, there are a lot of great options to help fill the void.
So if Google won’t let your business show ads, or you’re tired of all the regulation, here are six ideas to improve financial services companies’ online presence through the power of digital marketing.
Table of contents
- Build trust and brand awareness using social media
- Get published in local newspapers and industry publications
- Improve your website’s visibility in search engines with SEO
- Create and maintain a Google My Business profile
- Use industry directories for local SEO
- Start content marketing to draw in organic website traffic
Social media is one of the best ways to build trust with customers and clients while simultaneously promoting your financial services business. Every major player in the financial services industry has a very active social media presence.
Still, sometimes it can be difficult to figure out what to post. One of the best tips to get started with an effective social media campaign is to use hashtag research.
Hashtag research for financial companies
Hashtag research helps you find and analyze top Twitter and Instagram hashtags related to your business so you can create relevant, valuable posts that trend.
Two of the best tools for hashtag research are entirely free: Instagram autocomplete and related hashtags. With these features, you can find trending topics to tailor your content towards in under a minute.
For example, #financialfreedom has over six million posts behind it and is trending now. You can see how using a hashtag like this in the right post could help generate traffic for your social media.
Hashtag research can mean the difference between a social media account with tons of active engagement that helps to drive traffic to your website and social media posts that go undiscovered by anyone.
However, it’s important to remember, even with hashtags, everything’s better in moderation. In fact, according to research from Social Bakers, three to five hashtags is the sweet spot for Twitter, while Facebook hashtag results drop off after just one use. Some platforms even have a limit to the number of hashtags you can include. For Instagram, you can use a max of 30, while LinkedIn has no limits.
So after you’ve done your hashtag research, what should you post on your social media to draw in customers?
Knowing what to share on social media
One great option is to share blog content. The majority of social media posts from financial services companies have content from their blogs. That way, they can position themselves as experts, help inform the public and increase engagement with their website at the same time.
Here’s an example social media post from UBS, the Swiss multinational investment bank. It uses hashtags and a link back to content on their blog, along with an original graphic to draw in readers.
And here’s an example from a small credit repair company. They, too, are using hashtags and a link back to their blog content as the material for their social media posts.
However, sometimes engagement with blog content can be poor—especially for smaller businesses.
That’s why it often pays to post relevant, informative content on your social media from industry publications. This article from Advice for Investors was shared over 270 thousand times on Facebook.
Putting something like this up on your social media is a great way to draw in readership and fill out your accounts with quality posts.
No matter how you do it, social media is a must for financial services companies.
Getting published in local newspapers, industry publications, and more is a great way to build brand awareness. We aren’t talking about promotional articles that only sell your financial services. Instead, the goal of getting published in these publications is to establish yourself as a thought leader. On digital mediums specifically, you also get the added benefit of securing links back to your website.
These do-follow links from other websites help increase your website’s domain authority. Domain authority helps determine your site’s position in search engine results pages (SERPs), making this process very valuable to more than just your brand.
However, unlike regular link building, some companies employ digital PR efforts focused on posting high-quality content on relevant, authoritative websites without always requiring a do-follow link.
Digital PR is far more focused on building your brand, even if that’s with quote placements, unbranded mentions, or a number of other tactics that don’t always include a backlink.
When someone is looking for a financial services firm, where’s the first place they go to start looking?
That’s right, Google.
It’s no wonder there are over 67,000 searches performed on Google every second.
The best way to reach those potential clients on Google is with SEO. SEO, or search engine optimization, is the process of increasing a website’s visibility on search engines.
SEO all starts with an in-depth audit in order to determine where your site could improve in terms of SEO best practices.
SEO can be a time consuming, complicated process, but here are a few actionable tips to help get you started.
Download, install and start using Google Analytics.
Google Analytics is a must-have for every website. From site views and conversion reports to demographics and trends, Google Analytics gives you all the information you need about your site’s performance.
Check out Google’s Page Speed Insights if your site is slow.
If a site is lagging, people will click off it pretty quickly. So try using Google’s Page Speed Insights to get a page speed score and find out ways you can improve.
Start to build your backlink profile with citations.
Backlinks, also known as inbound links, are links on another site that connect back to your site. Because of Google’s nature as a hypertextual search engine, these links are valuable in boosting domain authority and thereby your site’s position in SERPs.
Publish quality, informative content consistently.
Perhaps the most important part of any successful marketing campaign is great content. By producing content that’s valuable to your business’s audience and posting it on your website and social media, you can engage with and create a sense of community. And that brings real value to your company.
At the end of the day, 95% of people only look at the first page of search results, which makes SEO a must.
From technical SEO to content marketing, SEO serves as the foundation for any successful digital marketing campaign. It is the best inbound marketing tactic around.
Did you know an incredible 46% of all Google searches are local?
Local SEO helps increase the visibility of businesses with physical locations on Google local searches and Google Maps to capitalize on this increasingly local search trend.
How? It all starts with a Google My Business (GMB) profile. GMB profiles feature your business on Google Maps and in local results.
Here’s an example Google Maps results from a search, “Best capital lending companies Tempe.”
All the companies listed on the side have GMB profiles that rank for the specified location.
And it’s not just Google maps. GMB profiles help your business appear in regular search results in the local section. Here’s an example using “best financial advisors in new york city” as the query.
These financial advisors appear below paid ads but above organic results.
Also, your GMB profile will add a local search box on the side of the page when people search for your business online, like the one below, which increases your site’s professionalism.
GMB profiles are step number one when it comes to local SEO. They help provide your business with a far more professional appearance online and improve local search traffic and brand awareness.
If you want to find out more about GMB profiles, check out some of these articles we’ve put together:
After you’ve set up your GMB profile and start seeing results, there’s no doubt you’ll want to take things further with local SEO.
Read more on how to use financial services directories to boost local SEO.
A citation is an online reference to a business that contains a name, an address, and a phone number (NAP) at a minimum. Citations help build your backlink profile and affect local search results. The more citations, the better—as long as they are always accurate and updated.
Using SEO content that targets a human audience, while simultaneously engaging search engines, you can increase your website’s organic traffic.
Every major financial services company has a blog. For example, NerdWallet’s blog draws in thousands of readers monthly.
And here’s an example post from UBS discussing social media on their blog that includes a video.
No matter the size of the company, or the specificity of the product, a blog is a necessity.
How well can these blog posts perform, though? Are they worth your time?
The following blog from Financial Freedom Funnel got almost 475,000 Facebook shares since it was published. That’s a lot of traffic for a single page.
There’s a reason every major company in the financial services industry does content marketing. It not only brings in more organic website traffic, but it also builds trust with customers and clients. SEO content can bring helpful information to your clients in their time of need.
No paid ads, no problem
Financial services companies’ marketing efforts may be hampered by government regulations and Google’s advertising policies, but thankfully there are still plenty of viable marketing options.
From content marketing and social media to local and technical SEO, financial services companies can’t rest assured that their marketing efforts will see results. Of course, that’s only if you work with the right partner. Contact Markitors and see what our digital marketing efforts can do for your business.
Markitors is a digital marketing agency specializing in SEO. We help small businesses rank higher on Google to get more traffic to their websites and increase revenue. Explore what’s in our SEO toolbox: audits and keyword research, digital PR, technical SEO, and local SEO.