As financial marketers finalize their 2021 marketing plans, the focus for the the new year will center on executing new organizational goals, addressing changing consumer demands and behaviors and learning and experimenting with new marketing channels and tactics in evolving their marketing strategy. This all comes while still being slightly defensive and watchful for what will potentially disrupt the plan next (remember the spring of 2020?).

In speaking with financial marketers across the country, many struggle with shifting the mindset from crisis communicator to strategic marketer. Part of the challenge is staying on top of new marketing trends, updates to marketing channels, and what to anticipate going into 2021.

In a recent article from Social Media Today, they shared their social media marketing predictions for 2021. Here we have broken down some of those social media trends that you should be paying attention to as a financial marketer.

Facebook Pay

Facebook pushes to expand its eCommerce business in the coming year, with the introduction of Shops on Facebook and Instagram. This new digital storefront simplifies how companies can build an eCommerce business and quickly build a digital shopfront, with access to payment tools. This is important for financial brands to pay attention to for two primary reasons.

First, as small businesses continue to feel the financial and economic impact of COVID-19, they will seek new ways to grow their business and increase revenue streams. Exploring and implementing an eCommerce outlet, and doing so on the world’s largest social platform, is a realistic alternative for them that won’t require substantial capital investments.

The larger potential disruptor for financial brands is Facebook’s payment tool, known as Facebook Pay. When banks continue to feel the pinch of margins and minimal deposit growth, as well as with the impact of COVID-19 too, many financial brands are increasing discussions on payment strategies. A recent study by Accenture predicts that a total of 2.7 trillion transactions, or $48 trillion, will shift from cash to payment systems, like cards, P2P, and other payment mechanisms. That equates to a $300 billion opportunity for payment providers.

Do we have your attention now?

With an incredible number of resources, a mega-giant like Facebook will see double-digit compound growth according to S & P Global. This is a formidable challenge for community banks.

The good news is that knowing the competition is the first step, so you are already on your way. Get these payment discussions going at your organization. Once they do, as a financial marketer, make sure you have a seat at the table.

LinkedIn Live Events

LinkedIn broke the 700-million-member mark in 2020. Its strong B2B presence is a highly utilized platform and one that should be a key investment for your brand in 2021.

As traditional events were either adapted to a virtual setting, or in some cases for financial brands, completely taken off the table, LinkedIn adjusted to cater to this new demand by rolling out its own Event tool.

Financial brands are too accustomed to in-person events to engage their communities, create opportunities for lead generation, or drive customer retention efforts. The reality is that the lack of in-person events created a substantial gap for marketers and business development opportunities.

While it is unknown when we will return to in-person events, anticipating increased digital interactions and planning for virtual events will be essential for 2021.

Understanding what technology and delivery channels are available to you, from small scale client interactions to more robust conference-style events, will be crucial to your marketing strategy’s success. LinkedIn may be a great alternative to creating a more engaging and informal B2B event strategy for Financial brands. The event feature from LinkedIn enables financial brands to showcase products and services, promote events, celebrate community involvement and philanthropic efforts, and demonstrate expertise at your organization for social selling and thought-leadership.

Social Media Stories

Whether it is Instagram Reelz, Twitter Fleets, or Facebook stories, it is evident that this past year all platforms are paying attention to ephemeral content. Investing in how stories (or whatever version of stories you want to call it) will play a larger role in the platform UX. Add in the disruption that TikTok caused in 2020 and it shows why everyone, including you, should pay attention to this trend.

For those who stopped in your tracks when reading the word ephemeral, this may be a new word in your marketing vocabulary. Ephemeral simply means “lasting for a very short time,” and as it relates to social media, it is content that is temporarily available, usually 24-hours before it disappears.

According to Oberlo, daily active Instagram stores increased from 150 million to 500 million daily active stories worldwide in the past three years. That is a lot of potential client interactions and further reinforces how consumers engage with shorter-form ephemeral content. With brands leveraging stories due to their creative freedom and flexibility, we see them start to engage their audience with questions, polls, and even music. This helps financial brands develop unique content for their brands vs. the cookie-cutter branding and design that financial service providers have leaned into for many years.

Financial brands’ challenge with ephemeral content will be around compliance and how to approve and archive content that disappears after 24-hours. This is going to require internal education, clear marketing goals, and transparency across compliance and marketing teams. A process, tool or mechanism that will allow you to build workflows and archive content for audit purposes outside of the social media platform itself will be critical for success.

2021 will bring new challenges, new ideas, new platform changes and marketing initiatives. We invite you to subscribe to our blog and webinars to help your financial brand Leave its Mark and be Remarkable in 2021 and beyond.

To learn more about social media and how it impacts your financial brand, view our State of Social Media webinar.

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Author: Jody Guetter

Jody Guetter is the Chief Marketing Officer at Social Assurance, a SaaS company that provides financial service providers sales, marketing, and compliance software solutions and digital marketing services. Jody previously was the VP/ Director of Marketing and Sales at a $2B community bank for seven years and attended the ABA Bank Marketing School in 2017.

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