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A bank run is a great example of the power of panic.
Banks make money by turning deposits into loans on which they charge interest. At any given time, a bank doesn’t actually have that much money on hand in its vaults. If, for whatever reason, several people walk into a bank and demand to withdraw all their money, the bank must comply. When word spreads that this has happened, other depositors will get worried that their money is in danger, and they will also withdraw. Eventually, in order to meet these withdrawal demands, the bank needs to sell its assets at low prices. If the bank run persists for long enough, the bank will have so few assets that it becomes insolvent and goes under.
In other words: people don’t totally trust banks. For marketers in the financial sector, this creates a major uphill battle. The good news is that WordStream has worked with many customers in this industry and we’ve compiled our very best online advertising tips. Let’s begin!
In order to combat Americans’ distrust of banks and stand out amongst the competition, financial sector marketers should use their pay-per-click (PPC) ads to promote their best perks and special offers. Say you offer personal customer service around the clock. Or, maybe you offer airline miles and other rewards to customers who earn a certain number of points. Perhaps you provide all of the above! Prominently feature this awesome perks in both your headlines and your descriptions. Ad extensions give you the extra real estate you need to make your promotion as attractive as possible.
Choosing a bank isn’t the same as ironically buying a Limp Bizkit t-shirt at a roadside thrift shop—whereas the latter is an instantaneous purchase, the former requires a long sales cycle. That’s why it’s crucial for financial industry marketers to remarket like crazy. When a consumer clicks on your search ad for the first time, she’s becomes a remarketing prospect. Using the Google Display Network (GDN), you can target this prospect with top-notch banner and sidebar creative. Done effectively, Display remarketing makes it more likely that the prospect will choose your institution when she’s ready to buy.
The long sales cycle also makes competition more high-stakes. When someone takes a lot of time to make a decision, it’s unlikely that she’ll go back on it—at least not for a while. For that reason, losing a prospect to your competition is particularly painful. Financial industry marketers need to conduct serious competitor keyword research and find out what their closest rivals are bidding on. Then, you need to bid on those keywords and attach them to your best-performing ads. If you don’t capture competitors’ prospects before they convert to the wrong team, you have little chance of stealing them later on.
An underappreciated side effect of consumers’ distrust of banks: personal phone calls can be more effective than traditional landing pages. It’s much easier to win over a skeptical prospect with a human voice than it is with a CTA button. Call extensions allow you to give prospects the option between visiting your website and and calling you directly. To take it even further, call-only campaigns take your website out of the equation—if someone clicks, they’re speaking to a member of your team.
An understandable yet costly error we see many marketers make is failing to create custom landing pages for their different products and services. The smoother the transition from the SERP advertisement to the landing page, the more likely the prospect is to convert. Think about how jarring it is when you click on an ad and you’re greeted by a landing page with entirely different language and aesthetics. So, your ads for checking accounts and mortgages should not direct prospects to the same generic landing page. Test out different ideas and you’ll eventually find which one drives the most conversions.
For more online advertising tips and tricks, read the WordStream blog.