Did you know that three in five customers don’t set monthly budgets?

Or that the majority of Americans live paycheck to paycheck?

Personal finance education is woefully lacking, and customers are looking for help. Financial brands are uniquely positioned to remedy this pain with a key competitive advantage: their financial literacy programs. From teaching about investing, savings, and banking to helping customers plan for retirement, there are a number of different areas needing input and direction from financial institutions.

To leave your mark on your community, here are a few ways your brand can maximize its financial literacy program.

Why Emphasis Financial Literacy

There is a lot of competition vying for the attention of financial brand customers. As of November 2021, there are almost 11,000 FinTechs looking to claim a greater share of the financial marketing space. From mobile wallets to investment services, these firms cut into traditional financial brands’ lanes. Providing a financial literacy program is a proven strategy to stand apart and demonstrate value to your customers.

More importantly, your customers are looking for resources like this! Three in five Americans fail to keep an accurate budget and over 70% of consumers do not have long-term savings goals. A recent study by the Financial Brand showed that 62% of bank and credit union customers are very interested in learning more about personal finance. Best of all, 58% of consumers said their primary financial institution would most likely be the source they would turn to first for education resources. Your brand, by default, is in the lead for the market in this area – maximize it by leveraging your financial literacy program!

Pro Tip: Not all financial brands are the same and not all customers are the same. If you’re starting your literacy program anew, look to gain input from your customers directly on which topics you should promote.

What Makes a Great Financial Literacy Program

What does a great financial literacy program look like? It’s a blend of three critical factors:

  • Accessibility
  • Collaboration
  • Individualization

First, your program should be easily found by your customers. Whether it’s available through a link on your website, a mobile banking integration, or a separate app entirely, provide opportunities for customers to find this information through several different touchpoints. The easier it’s found, the more likely users will engage.

Second, invite opportunities to collaborate on your literacy program with both customers and community partners. Analyze your customers and see if there are dominant trends. Are most of them entrepreneurs with small business loans? Provide curriculum to help potential business owners get started. Do a lot of customers have families with small children? Create resources to help them teach smart money habits. Asking customers directly for the areas of personal finance that they wish to learn more about is a great way to ensure relevancy of your financial literacy program.

Lastly, try to create opportunities for customers to track their progress and feel like it’s a unique experience. This can include a progress tracker on how many modules they have already completed or short quizzes that demonstrate their increased knowledge. Aim to have your financial literacy program engage on a personal level to boost accountability and retention.

Pro Tip: Community partners provide a variety of resources to help you get started. From local experts to national credit rating agencies, look for opportunities to partner with these organizations to accelerate and improve your program.

How to Communicate Financial Literacy to Customers

Creating a great financial literacy program is one thing; promoting it is quite another. However, you need both elements to maximize this sought-after resource. Integrate your program in your content marketing plan on social media, emphasize it in your direct communications with customers, and promote it through your paid advertising. If you’re looking for assistance in how you can best promote resources like these, learn how Social Assurance can help.   

Your customers can demonstrate financial literacy in a number of different ways. It can be in the form of increasing savings after every paycheck, maintaining an emergency fund to cover sudden expenses, or focusing on building a strong credit report. When your customers understand the bedrock principles of smart money skills, they make smarter decisions and leave a bigger impact on the community.

Pro Tip: You can even include links to your financial literacy program on your digital listings. As this is one of the most valuable marketing spaces, make sure you boost your program’s visibility here.

Financial literacy should be a central focus for every financial brand. You are experts in your field, your customers are looking for it, and they’re coming to you first for the answers. Strengthen your community, cement your market position, and help others by maximizing your program!

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Author: Alexander Lahargoue

As a content and marketing strategist for Social Assurance, Alexander Lahargoue focuses on creating content to help clients grow and sell online.

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