How Local Marketing Drives Online and Offline Traffic and Revenue
The rise of mobile and digital is transforming the highly competitive markets for FinTech and financial service brands. Are you taking advantage of local digital marketing to direct more customers to your local advisors and agents?
The way customers buy your products and services has changed. Internet search and the widespread adoption of smartphone technology is revolutionizing how customers find and use your services — and how you reach them should be leveraging those same channels.
There is a growing alignment between digital search and offline transactions, as customers have come to expect a seamless brand experience from online to offline.
This is an expansion of the customer journey that FinTech and financial service brands must understand and improve. Investing in location marketing can pay dividends for your brand.
Success in this new environment means building a better local experience — ensuring that customers have a positive interaction with your brand from the moment they search for “financial planner ‘near me’” or when they leave you a review, and beyond.
Local marketing is a high value, high ROI marketing practice that creates a continuous online- to-offline experience for your customers. It is also an opportunity for you to not only increase your online and offline visibility but also to connect your brand with local customers who have a high intent to purchase.
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1. Increase Online Visibility
The first place new customers will look for your services is typically a desktop or mobile search — often using terms like ‘near me’ or ‘open now’.
In fact, in 2020 more than 50% of all searches have a local intent. People who search for services ‘near me’ also tend to be more ready to buy: with higher conversion rates, lower price sensitivity and a shorter sales cycle.
Many of these searches are unbranded — meaning they are searches for “finance broker,” “bank” or “fund management company” rather than using your company name. Visibility in unbranded searches is an opportunity to grow and reach new audiences, winning customers who have not yet established brand loyalty.
The best way to ensure your locations appear in these high-value searches is to:
Build up local SEO rankings
Use a local marketing platform to increase your presence in local directories, clean up duplicate listings, and optimize listings — such as Google My Business — so your locations show up high in local search results.
Boost online traffic and engagement
Ranking high in search will increase traffic to your listings, but you will want to create robust pages with opportunities for visitors to engage with your brand and easily find locations.
Leverage store locators
Stay in control of your advisor network by establishing individual pages for your advisors through store locators on your site. This will boost the search rankings of advisors who are local to the customer.
Consider pin-within-a-pin locators
You can also ensure that customers can easily find locations even when they are located inside another business by adding a pin within a pin on a map.
Manage reputation on a global and local level
Paying close attention to reputation, ratings and reviews contributes to search ranking, as top-rated businesses and individual locations will be picked up by Google in local search results.
2. Increase Your Advisors' Efficiency and Profitability
Once customers make the decision to buy, they typically buy quickly. In fact, according to Google, 76% of people who search for a local business on a smartphone visit within a day and 28% make a purchase.
Local digital marketing not only gets your advisors and locations in front of customers exactly when they are ready to buy; it can also move customers more quickly along that journey, allowing them to actually commit to a purchase earlier by engaging with your brand online.
Include the ability for customers to make appointments, get directions or call a location for information.
Synergize with maps and other apps to jump start the interaction and move customers physically closer to you in a curated way.
Listings and local digital ads are all opportunities for engagement prior to a visit — increasing customers’ perception of their time spent as a “sunk cost” that makes them more likely to purchase from you.
Optimizing your online presence will improve accuracy of business information, ensuring customers can easily find you.
It also provides you with increased agility and flexibility to adjust to changing business and customer needs when business is disrupted or things are uncertain.
You can use your platform, for example, to quickly add safety information or limited hours to your locations — setting customer expectations and answering questions in advance.
3. Extend Awareness of Your Digital Services Portfolio
A strong online presence will drive more foot traffic into your locations — but it is also a key part of a more robust digital customer journey, ideal for the unique needs of FinTech and financial service brands.
For example, you can use your digital presence to direct people to your website and digital self-service options, expanding your brand reach and relieving any drain on live agent customer service.
Also, leveraging the local experience through digital channels will also increase awareness of your brand among those who intend to buy locally. Once you have the virtual attention of prospective customers, you can also leverage these search moments to capture and convert customers to online purchases.
4. Increase Brand Equity and ROI with Reputation Management
Many customers are unaware of the available FinTech and financial service brands until they are in immediate need of finding a local branch or advisor.
A strong local presence helps to increase your overall brand awareness — turning visibility into revenue by displaying your services on maps, apps and directories.
Capturing the attention of customers earlier on their buying journey will also reduce the manual workload for your local advisors.
You can leverage efficiencies to work for you on a global scale by including robust information in your online pages and directory listings — managing information and controlling content centrally with templates.
Having a strong, continuous and consistent online-to-offline customer experience will also strengthen trust in your brand: an important way to earn the loyalty of customers.
Another, often overlooked aspect of brand management is your online reputation management, which will impact both local search ranking and foot traffic with intent to buy.
Use a platform with global reputation management controls to win and keep local business, which allows you to:
1. Monitor reviews and ratings globally from multiple review sites
2. Monitor brand reputation by advisor
3. Respond to reviews from a central location
4. Assign custom controls and permissions
The Benefits of Local Marketing
A strong location marketing play is critical for FinTech and financial service companies looking to increase the breadth and depth of customer experience and capture more digital and foot traffic.
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