Multichannel marketing is certainly a trending buzzword right now. Companies are working to integrate their email, social, web, print, mobile, and ad channels. They want to develop that 360-degree view of their audience that consists of human multichannels including decision-makers, influencers, advocates, and even internal employees. But that strategic multichannel focus may be distracting attention away from the effectiveness of some of those channels. Because organizations are so focused on the high level strategy, they may lose sight of the microstrategy.
Let's look at websites. When I was a corporate communications director I DREADED website "strategy" discussions. I place strategy in quotes because the discussions were usually shallow arguments over navigation and product seniority. We would spend more time arguing about level 1 navigation and website "sexiness" than we would on the content. Many companies experience this. They lose sight of the visitor experience. When executed correctly, inbound web activity should drive visitors to a specific page, not force them to navigate your confusing homepage, no matter how great you think your top level navigation actually is.
Even worse, firms tend to drive visitors to a particular page, and then disengage. Or if they do provide an opportunity to engage it's usually a piece of gated content or a "contact us" phone number or email address. If we're honest with ourselves, most of us don't have services and solutions that are so ridiculously compelling people would select the inbound "contact us" option (unless it's to complain).
So how can we better leverage the different communication channels that reside on your financial services website? Below are common channels found on a financial services website, and some suggestions for optimizing each.
- Social Media Links: Today most websites contain links to the firms social media accounts. These typically include Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube. Rarely do the sites give a justification for following the social pages. Aside from the standard "learn more" or "receive up-to-date information" reasons, community development can be a compelling driver for engagement. By segmenting your social followers based on profile data you can create social accounts for different profiles (for example life stage) offering up relevant content like "Tips for Retirement" or "Saving for College". You can then tie this social segmentation into segmented and targeted advertising and email communications.
- Tradeshow and Events Page: Many firms have a prominently displayed page or sidebar that contains a list of upcoming events that the firm is attending or hosting. It usually lists the event name, date, location, and sometimes a brief topic. If events are an important engagement channel, consider building out additional content. Provide a form where contacts can be notified of future events that are either in their area or contain a session of particular interest to them. Also, don?t neglect the events that have already occurred. Offer recorded sessions, recorded webinars, and presentations on SlideShare.
- Videos or Video Channels: Video is a very popular, and highly effective, communication channel in the financial services space. But aside from subscribing to your firm's YouTube channel, how can you better engage through video? There are now tools, like those provided by Vidyard, that allow you to deliver offers at different points in the video. You can also gain greater insight into video engagement through more advanced analytics. Lastly, you can deliver follow-up communications based on the engagement of a specific individual with a specific video. And it?s all automated.
- Library of Content, Offerings, or Services: Financial Service organizations provide a list of services and offerings, often cataloging them on their website. But aside from Google Analytics, you can learn a lot more from activity on those pages. Page tagging offers the fantastic ability to not only understand segmented analytics, but to also trigger behavior based on activity against tagged pages. Scoring and entry into nurture campaigns can also occur with this activity. Consider tagging activity against a broker, agent, or advisor portal and then, based on engagement with a specific resource, delivering personalized communications from that broker, agent, or advisor to the client. Ensure the broker, agent, or advisor has insight and visibility into that activity.
- Newsletters: Everyone has one. And everyone also has a newsletter subscription form. But if you're only capturing basic contact information, and delivering the same generic newsletter to all of your subscribers, you're missing out on a great opportunity to engage. Incorporate a broader subscription center offer into the form. Capture information about deliver and device preferences. Understand content interests and financial objectives. Use this data to provide a more personalized and dynamic content-rich newsletter. Capture and score engagement against specific content and identify potential revenue opportunities.
- Online Quote or Claims: If you're utilizing online quoting or claims tools on your website then you should also be integrating those into you larger communication strategy. By capturing that engagement you can trigger automated delivery of personalized 1:1 communications directly from the advisor or agent to the client. You can deliver customized communications around follow-up, welcome and onboarding, and customer satisfaction. This can also be implemented with you broker, agent, and advisor portals.
What are some other microchannels you're leveraging?