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10 Tips for Humanizing your Bank Marketing

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How human is your bank marketing?

Today’s consumers are attracted to more than interest rates. They want brands that seem authentic, i.e. human. How can you create this authenticity?

In this article, we’ll look at 10 ways you can inject the human element into your current marketing efforts.

Think humor instead of all seriousness all the time, images of real bank staff and customers instead of stock images, relatable product names instead of obscure titles, and a conversational writing style instead of jargon.

Ready to humanize your bank marketing?

Let’s get started.

1. Use realistic product names.

All banks may have the same products, but that doesn’t mean they have to be called the same thing. When naming your various checking account offerings, for example, think about what people would naturally search for. Let’s look at intuitive searches for checking accounts and how banks name their products accordingly.

“Free checking” 

“Senior checking”

As you can see, it’s better to give your products a title that matches popular search terms instead of something more opaque, such as “Simple Checking” or “55 Plus Checking.”

Or you can simply change the meta title of your checking account webpage so that “Free Checking” shows up in the search results, even if the actual account name is different. Simplifying product names also helps users navigate your website and compare products without having to spend time figuring out the difference between them.

2. Feature real people (both employees and customers).

Today’s customer journey almost always begins online with consumers researching a product or service before they make contact. Thus, your bank website (aka your digital branch) may be a prospect’s first impression of your overall brand. Make that impression a friendly one by featuring pictures of staff, such as mortgage lenders, on related product pages. Here’s an example from WSFS bank:

This photo collage works well because the lenders are all smiling and the dress code varies from suit-and-tie to more casual outfits. It says “we are real people in your community” instead of “stuffy bankers.”

In addition to professional headshots of staff (which is worth budgeting for, especially for lenders!), use your social media accounts to showcase your team in a humanizing way, such as pictures of community events they’ve attended. This is a simple way to show that they are more than just employees of the bank. Here’s another example from WSFS:

Similarly, banks do not often feature real customers even though their testimonials can be a powerful marketing tool. People like to talk about themselves, so marketers can leverage this to generate some great unique content for their sites. For example, F&M Bank’s Testimonials page features great photos of real customers, as well as testimonials in their own words.

3. Incorporate video (and make it relatable).

How important is video marketing? Here are 55 statistics to tell you why you should incorporate video in your marketing efforts.

To humanize your videos and make them relatable, use real employees and bank branches to tell your “About Us” story, as in this video from First Citizens Community Bank.

You can also use video to highlight customer stories and testimonials, as with this example from The First.

4. Talk about more than banking.

Sure, you’re a financial institution, and you want to focus on educational content for your customer and prospect base. However, once in a while you can inject some fun and whimsy into your blogging and other content marketing with non-financial content such as this “Winter Reading” blog post from Lincoln Savings Bank. Showing off the interests and hobbies of your staff makes them–and your bank–seem more human.

5. Try co-branded content.

Co-branded content refers to a collaboration between two businesses to promote a product, service, or topic. This approach to marketing is a good fit for banks because they often sponsor community events, where the name of the banks sits alongside the names of other local businesses.

For example, Ally Bank was a co-creator of 21 pieces of content published on The Bump, The Nest, and The Knot. The series is called “We’re in This, Together” and each article offers practical tips for different life stages while also highlighting Ally as the perfect financial partner for each of these events.

6. Use a byline for blog posts.

Adding a byline to some or all of your blog posts, such as the bank president or different lenders, humanizes your content by putting a name and/or face behind it. (Even if you get your content from an agency, you own it and can attribute it to anyone at your bank.) As an added benefit, this could give specific employees a chance to build expertise and trust. You could ask if they want to write their own piece or just have their name attached to a post about a relevant topic.

7. Don’t be afraid to be social.

Your bank probably already has at least one social media account, but are you making the most of your presence there? Check out our tips for establishing your presence on social media and our LinkedIn Marketing Guide.

If you want people to follow and interact with you on social, you definitely have to shake off any corporate stiffness and showcase the human side of your bank and brand.

Social media is also a great place to let your customers go “behind the music” with photos or videos of your staff at work, both in the branch and out in the community. For example, here’s a Bank of America Instagram post “live at the World Economic Forum”

8. Be on a first-name basis even in automated emails.

Do you send out marketing emails? Make sure they’re set to auto-populate the recipient’s first name. It’s a small detail but it can make your messages seem much friendlier–and human. 

9. Make sure you have a welcome wagon in place.

Once a new customer opens an account or applies for a loan at your bank, what’s your plan for touching base with them during the first month or so of their experience? One personalized phone call could go a long way in showing you’re glad the customer is here and care about the experience they have.

10. Write with a real and lively voice

Maintain a “real” voice throughout your website, blog posts, emails, social media, and other communications. What does that mean?

Real is about explaining financial services and products in the everyday language your customers will understand. Avoid industry jargon unless it’s necessary and don’t write as if composing an academic paper. It’s okay to be funny when appropriate, too.

Partner with BankBound to Elevate Your Bank Marketing

You may be thinking that these tips sound great, but how are you going to implement all of them, much less keep up a regular social media presence, on top of everything else you have to do? We get it. Most of the bank marketers we work with have to-do lists that are longer than the hours in a day. That’s why outsourcing some of your marketing needs to BankBound can help you achieve your goals while freeing you up to focus on other responsibilities. We offer a complete menu of bank marketing solutions for all of your multi-channel marketing needs. Contact us today to find out how we can grow your bank.

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