Four Ways Community Banks Can Expand Their Digital Marketing

an illustration of community bank marketing activities spread out over 4 cubes

Marketing is vital to community banks, but they often lack the resources and staff to market like national banks can. As a result, community banks must do more with less, and focus on marketing tactics that can rapidly return value to them. And this requires building a strong foundation with these four cornerstones of digital marketing.

1. Local SEO for Community Banks

Increasingly, customers are choosing convenience over bank loyalty. And convenience usually comes down to digital access to your bank. That first requires being found on Google by optimizing local SEO, starting with your Google business page. To improve search engine ranking, make sure that the information on your business listing is accurate and up to date.

Reviews are essential to local SEO. Many consumers trust online reviews as much as a recommendation from friends or family, and reviews are displayed prominently in Google results. To solicit Google reviews, request them from customers, ideally after they have experienced a positive interaction or excellent service from your branch. If you have customer email addresses on file, staff can follow up with a short personal email thanking them for their business and explaining the value a review has for customers such as themselves. Your message will need to include a short link to the Google review page for your bank. This requires claiming your business (in this case, your branch) on Google My Business and then generating a short link to leave reviews – here’s how to find it.

2. Connecting with Your Community Bank’s Customers on Social Media

Organic social media marketing is another powerful and cost-effective tool for reaching customers. Your bank customers may not have time to read emails or mailings from you, but they will see and read social media updates and advertisements on platforms like Facebook. Its massive audience and diverse demographics can be leveraged to promote your banking products, to advertise holiday hours and events, and to share information with local communities.

3. Content Marketing

Content marketing is the convergence of SEO and social media marketing, as it involves creating materials that can be featured on social media as well as covering keywords that help your website rank organically in Google’s search results. By providing information on topics relevant to the industry and to your customers’ interests, the content you create helps you display thought leadership and generate customer loyalty. Content can be in the form of blog posts on news and topics relevant to your community, eBooks, videos, or online tools like calculators or checklists. Although it takes time to develop this type of content, creating it involves only a one-time cost, while it will continue to deliver value over time.

The content you create can also be used in paid marketing campaigns, either on social media or through lead gen partners. Before spending on paid campaigns, however, you should ensure that you have developed personas so that you can target the right audience to your offer. A video series on saving for retirement, for example, won’t be particularly successful when delivered to an audience of Generation Z members, while a blog post about SMB tax strategies won’t resonate with retail banking customers.

4. Cross-Selling to Existing Banking Customers

For many community banks, existing customers provide significant opportunities to increase wallet share. According to this ABA Banking Journal article, banks are at least three times more likely to cross sell to an existing customer than obtain a new one. As with paid campaigns, cross-selling should target specific audiences, such as potential credit card users, senior customers, or young professionals. By providing highly relevant product recommendations, banks can ensure that customers who are seeking additional financial products will look to them first.

DataOceans for Community Bank Marketing

The DataOceans Oceanus platform provides a comprehensive customer engagement management solution for banks that takes data from existing systems and turns it into valuable interactions with your customers. With Oceanus, community banks can deliver personalized customer touchpoints that increase customer loyalty and wallet share. Request a demo today to learn how Oceanus can drive engagement and revenue while reducing costs for your bank.