“Confidence levels are stabilising, not increasing, and banks still have a lot of work to do. Confidence and trust in UK banks lags most markets globally.”
Post-financial crisis, bankers and the sector as a whole still have a long way to go to win back consumer trust, and financial services marketing teams have their work cut out. Whilst challenging for banks and financial services, the brands which actively listen and engage with existing customers could make headway – and online video is taking the lead as a way to achieve this.
Connect through online video
TV ads for financial services have long been used to help humanise products which can seem confusing in the abstract. Now in the race to win back trust, online video is a key component to re-connect with audiences but financial services brands need to enter a dialogue with customers rather than just broadcasting ads telling them what they need.
As Head of Marketing, First Direct, Lisa Wood says,
“Gone are the days where you can whack up a digital display ad, saying ‘come back with us’. It doesn’t grab attention any more. You have to get customers to spend time with your brand.”
Get social with your customers
Brands which are comfortable in the social realm will do well here, taking time to hangout where customers are, and social video is an effective way to do this. Online video can offer, not only the emotional hook or content to catch consumers’ attention and start conversations, but also used to back up with the logical – the offer with testimonials or further product information.
Take, for instance, Bank of America’s YouTube channel with its varied content divided into clear sections aimed at different audiences, such as education, commercials or small business advice. Their public service content takes the lead with a campaign for veterans on the channel as a way to regain trust.
Barclays Life Skills – a sustainable strategy
One campaign which stands out is Barclays Life Skills, where video and social combine to create an authentic engagement. Through online videos, a dedicated website and social media channels, they offer young people tips on how to improve their job opportunities. By targeting this younger demographic, they hope to build brand loyalty and foster sustainable growth. The campaign cleverly widens reach by targeting businesses and teachers, and giving them advice too. As George Stylianides (PWC) says,
“Taking genuine and conspicuous steps to satisfy customer goals, priorities and expectations, especially where there is no obvious short term gain – or even a clear cost – to the provider, is a response we’re starting to see more of.”
Apparently one in three customers trust their bank but interestingly don’t switch, indicating that it’s the industry as a whole which is mistrusted. Banks need to turn apathetic customers into brand advocates, and then win new customers. (PWC, “How financial services lost its mojo – and how to regain it”)
There have been a few campaigns which thank customers through a guerrilla marketing approach. Whilst we may not associate humour with banks, when they work, they can help to increase reach and build relationships. A campaign we worked on with Barclaycard for April Fool’s reached a wide audience through owned, earned and paid media.
The automated thanking machine by TD Canada is another high profile example. The video received six million views in under a week and they ran a#TDthanksyou campaign on Twitter with over 1,200 tweets per hour at the peak. For a lower cost than a TV ad, the bank managed to connect on an emotional level with its audience. At its simplest level, customer retention begins with a thank-you. In a fun way, this campaign shows the power of using video to translate customer data into actions that speak to your audience, which will help to develop trust.
You may remember First Direct’s campaign back in 2011 at the start of the financial downturn, which did something similar and very much played up customer service and an honest, straight-talking approach.
Recently NatWest took to the shopping centre to meet their public with a campaign to stress how they look after their customers and don’t take them for granted. Unsuspecting members of the public are pranked in their “sofa fairness campaign“. Rather than offer incentives to join their bank, NatWest stress how they put their customers first.
To conclude, the financial services brands which will succeed to win back trust and advocacy are those that put the customer back at the heart of the business. Video is a useful tool in a content marketing strategy to develop relationships with customers – to thank them, advise them and make them laugh – which is a vital step in winning back the love.
If you would like to discuss a video marketing strategy for financial services, please get in touch using the contact details below…
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By Jon Mowat