Marketing Resolutions for the New Year - Social Assurance
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Marketing Resolutions for the New Year

November 7, 2018 10:30 am
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With a new year around the corner, you’ve likely thought about setting a percentage of your budget aside for social and digital marketing opportunities. Once those numbers are settled, it’s time to discuss goals and choose the right solutions to meet them. But with so many options available, it can be overwhelming to choose the right tools to not only stay on budget, but to aid and advance your marketing initiatives.

Join Social Assurance as Ben Pankonin discusses proven social and digital marketing solutions, plus provides additional insight to help your financial brand succeed online. This webinar will highlight:

  • Budgeting appropriately for social and digital initiatives
  • How to set appropriate goals for social and digital marketing initiatives
  • Proven solutions — like paid social media — to reach your goals
  • Advanced strategies to improve on your existing social and digital presence

This webinar is hosted free for community banks by Social Assurance and ICBA.

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Ben Pankonin 0:00
broadcast is now starting. All attendees are in listen only mode.

Well, welcome again to the social bank webinar today we’re going to be talking about marketing resolutions for the new year. And I think this is going to be an exciting one. I’ve had so many conversations with bankers who are talking about what next year looks like. They’re starting to prepare budgets. They’re starting to prepare activities. And I think this is going to be a fun webinar. We’ve got a lot of content to go through today. So hopefully we can make it through in time. But I’m been hanging in. I’m the founder and CEO of social assurance. And today, for the first time on our webinar, joins with me is Alexander larg. You welcome Alexander. Thank you. Good to be here. Well, it’s good to have you. So many of you have probably not met Alexander all though you’ve probably read something from Alexander. So he’s he’s been writing for us for a couple years at social insurance. He’s one of our content writers here social insurance. And he also is a published author as well. That’s correct. Yes. And in fact, his book, I still have to remind all of our listeners, your book is called the marketer correct? It is it is a novel.

Alexander Lahargoue 1:22
Yep. nonfiction or

Ben Pankonin 1:24
fiction novel, fiction novel, and it features the main character. What’s his first name? Ben of all things. Okay. Okay. We’ll get you started on that before you met me. Exactly. Right. I did.

Okay. So it’s a coincidence. I say, he’s maybe a darker character than me a little bit slightly. So yes, but but so I’m excited to have you on. You’re going to be fielding a lot of questions. I will be Yeah, it looked like we already had

some good interactions and comments coming in. If you are attending and happen to be on Twitter, tweet with us with the hashtag social bank. Feel free to tag social insurance and or myself. I will try to keep up on Twitter, although I’m a little bit challenged at multitasking. So I’ll try. And but also, if you want to get one of your questions in, feel free to message Alexander, right here on the right side of your panel, you can ask questions to us. We’re glad to help answer those. And it really helps make this a lot more fun, the more questions we have, because it makes it more interactive, we get to kind of jump into different topics. And our team has done a great job of assembling a lot of material for this one. Part of that material is feedback from you as well. So we did a marketing and compliance survey, many of you answered as well as probably many that are on this webinar. So thank you to all of you who are participated, that really helps provide a lot of the bulk of the material here. So we’re able to use real data from other banking institutions who, who we get to kind of collaborate with so we’re not public Any of the individual results, so don’t worry if you answered anything. It all goes into the aggregate format. So we’re going to share some of that material with you today. But we’re going to be talking about really three different areas, we’re going to be talking about goal setting, what is it for that new year, this is not the next weight loss goal. I’ve got some of those myself. But this is more about goal setting for how we’re going to handle things like social and digital marketing. We’re going to be talking about how we set goals, what we could be thinking of how do we even come up with a baseline for that? So thank you, for many of you who who do help us build the baseline, and then we’re going to be talking about budgeting. I just had some great conversations with some people yesterday about how do we go about getting a budget together for digital marketing. We know we want to do more in this area, but we’re just not sure what to do. So we’ll talk about that. And then we’ll talk about some of the solutions that some of you are using. We’re going to cite some individual banks, and how They are doubling down on digital marketing already at 2018. So, first thing, when we talk about goal setting, I think goal setting can be a really intimidating process. Oftentimes, it is for our own personal goals. But then when we’re dealing with something that maybe we haven’t invested in much, or maybe we have been investing, but we’re not sure where to start. I think one of the biggest challenges is that we let our imagination get in the way of what we might practice. And so a lot of times I think when we set goals, it’s really hard specifically in areas like digital marketing to say, what is it that we’re going to focus on? And a lot of times we suffer from this parallelisation that happens when we don’t know what’s going to happen next, and so we’re going to try to help be as specific as we can. Again, feel free to ask Any of those questions, but the first thing we have to do in any goal setting measure, this is the time,

you know, January one is when we get on the scale, and we say, Okay, what did it say?

You know, did we meet this past year’s goals? How did we How did we perform? So we’re going to talk about evaluating achievements, we’re going to talk about, you know, establishing, you know, whether or not we had some successes over the past year. So again, we don’t want to be sort of caught in this imagination of, hey, did we get X number of likes, did we have this amount of engagement, let’s set a baseline. If you have trouble doing that, you’re going to want to set some sort of a reporting schedule. So for some of you, you may not have set a reporting schedule over the past year. Oftentimes, I’ll advocate a quarterly reporting schedule of saying, hey, if we’ve got a social media committee meeting that meets every quarter, let’s make sure that we’ve got a baseline of activity. So we know What happened? How many posts did we have over that past quarter? Did we have more engagement, less engagement during that quarter, I just sat down with a group that’s managing, you know, their social media for for the year. And, you know, their activity actually skews to the front part of the year. They just have some major events that happen during the spring. And, you know, the the latter half of the year just happens to be the less activity. That’s okay. And I think it’s great to embrace those. But we just have to understand what is the seasonality to our content. So in their cases, we look at each quarter, we know that first and second quarter are going to skew heavier in social media, just because of the activities and events that they’re sponsoring, where the latter half is going to be less. So we just want to understand a little bit of those types of activities. And then we want to figure out what the sort of goal Is that we’re going to set around things like activities, how many posts are we going to have? What sort of activities inspire new things in digital marketing? Maybe it is that we weren’t creating ads this year. So we all of our content, we were relying on organic traffic. And now we want to start setting goals. So we want to be able to push our content team to be able to get out more content. So for people like Alexander, who are writing a lot of content, you know, we talked about how many words how many posts you’re making per week, and maybe how many blogs that work out

Alexander Lahargoue 7:37
exactly, right. Yep.

Ben Pankonin 7:38
So we’re actually at social insurance setting a lot of these In fact, I was talking to some other sites where we’re sharing our content this morning, before this webinar and said yes, we have set some goals and I am committed to getting more content out to you. And that means setting goals for our for our entire team to

Alexander Lahargoue 7:57
that’s absolutely right then and then we had a really good Question in from Ashley, who asked about how can we incorporate new stretch goals if we’ve already established a marketing plan?

Ben Pankonin 8:06
Well, I think that’s a good question. You know, I think when we when we think about establishing what we’ve already done, I think sometimes it’s activity. Sometimes it may be saying, did these activities work? So, so if you’ve got a marketing plan that’s already in place that says, hey, we’re going to kick out a mailer, every quarter, we’re going to set something in the newspaper, or, you know, twice a month. Like, I think there’s a chance to layer those. If you’re scheduling those, I think it’s also a chance to say, hey, do we have a content calendar that is universal for all of our marketing activity. That’s one thing that we see banks that are really successful. They have a marketing calendar that embraces all of the channels that they’re marketing on. And then When they when it comes to social, it doesn’t end up being necessarily the last thing that you’re thinking about. It’s something that you then begin to prioritize because you see the activity that’s happening that week. And you can you can embrace that a little bit better. So yeah, I mean, that’s a good question. If you’ve already got a budget setup, if you’ve already got, you know, campaign schedule set up, make sure that you’ve got that in the universal calendar so that you can then schedule your social media posts to correspond with that. Or your other digital ads. You can leave them to last. We don’t have to plan out all of our social media posts for the year. In December. That’s the good thing. Exactly. Right. Right. So no great, great questions. You know, one of the things that we look forward to in in setting those stretch goals is to figure out some more consistency over time. Yeah, I struggle with this. I was making an Instagram post this morning personally, and I wanted to embrace the yesterday was election and I One of the embrace the fact that we live in the capital city, so I’m able to, you know, drive by political events every day. And I think, you know, when we look at brands that are effective at social media, they’re doing it every day. Now, maybe they’re not making an Instagram post every day. But they’re thinking about how the consistency looks over time and making sure that that things do look good. When I look down at my personal Instagram, every once in a while I say, you know, I’m, I sometimes am scheduling more about when I travel when I’m at an event when I think about it, and I’m not as methodical as I could be. Now, where social insurance is a brand, I have a bigger team and we have people who say, Hey, we we’ve got to make sure we actually put it on the calendar, right, we put it on the content calendar that we’re going to make sure we’ve got an Instagram posts on a regular basis. So that allows us to be more consistent about each of those activities, and make sure that they look like they correspond as well. So it looks like they fit into a bigger scheme. So I think, I think being consistent is really important. And then making sure that we’re focusing on increasing traction, you know, over time as well. So if we look at at a year as a whole, where do I want to be at the end of 2019? Likely I do want to grow my followers by a decent percentage. Maybe that’s 5%. Maybe that’s 10%. Part of that depends on on what your baseline is. If you’re sitting in a spot where you got less than 500 likes on Facebook, you probably do want to figure out a way to get that over 1000. If you’re sitting at a spot where you’ve got, you know, 20,000 followers on Facebook, you might be looking for that 10% increase. And you might be looking at just more engagement from your existing followers as as a good metric or baseline is your You’re planning that now like to get into some of the results that we’re seeing in our social media marketing and compliance survey. So one of those is, is based on channels. So we surveyed you and we asked you some specific questions about how you were participating in different channels. So Facebook, obviously, we can look at the stock price, we’ve talked about Facebook and their dominant play. for social media. Clearly, most of you are participating on Facebook.

You know, coming in second, many of you’re participating in LinkedIn, I always advocate that jumping on LinkedIn is an easy one to just make sure that you’ve got a placeholder there and making sure that you are active on a regular basis there. It doesn’t have to be something that you’re posting every day to LinkedIn in order to be effective. You can be Making that one post a week, that happens to be about small business happens to be motivational about career aspirations, and happens to correspond with people who might be networking or, or thinking about LinkedIn and that activity. I think that’s a great way to be active on LinkedIn. So you can, you can be active with a minimal investment there. Now we also see, then coming in third would be Twitter. I don’t think that’s a huge surprise for a lot of you. You know, many times when we, you know, have launched a bank onto social media, we’re starting with Facebook. I usually advocate for jumping in LinkedIn at the same time, just because we can make a post and it’s really, we’re not getting a ton of comments on LinkedIn, so it’s not hard to manage. But then Twitter is a different animal in that respect. It has more interactivity to it. In order to be successful on Twitter, we do have to pay attention. We do have to be active on a consistent basis. And I’d like to look at one of the other things metrics in here, which is, you know, how many people are paying for, for social posts on these platforms? Now what we see and this is, this is kind of funny. I’d love to provide this to Zuckerberg and get his his opinion on it. But, but clearly, Facebook, most everyone on Facebook is paying for results on Facebook. But we’re seeing a huge drop in amount of paid posts on, you know, the second through fourth place. And I think part of that is because Facebook has such an easy to use ad platform. I think it’s also because, you know, we often devalue the value of paid social on these other platforms, because we think that that we’re getting the same result without paid. And Twitter certainly if do get a follower, they’re going to like there’s a high likelihood that they’re going to see your post, but in order to get new followers or Find people in a certain interest group, paid social can be a great avenue to finding these other results.

Alexander Lahargoue 15:08
We got another great question from Mike who asked after seeing these kind of metrics, where do you think they’re going to go in 2019? And beyond?

Ben Pankonin 15:15
Good question. You know, we’re seeing a lot of changes to social media. One of those changes is that we have been seeing the last two years is a decline in organic traffic on platforms like Facebook. So we’re seeing an increase in paid social, we’re seeing a decline in organic social on platforms like Facebook, because it requires more to become a sort of viral post on a platform like Facebook. Now we’re also seeing, you know, LinkedIn would be a platform that I think is really valuable because when you do make a post, it lasts for a relatively long period of time on LinkedIn. I can have somebody that I made a post on LinkedIn on a Monday, I can have them like or comment on that on a Friday without any paid social to that. What that means is that we measure what we call a half life of a social media post. Meaning if I, if I submit a tweet on Monday, at one o’clock in the afternoon, about 15 minutes later, if no one has interacted with it, the chances of someone interacting with that post are relatively low. If, if I post the same post on LinkedIn, the chances of somebody liking commenting anything in the next 15 minutes are pretty low, because people aren’t spending all day on that social media channel. But when they do log in, they’re seeing posts that were from days, if not a week, before they posted it. So it just means that that that post can live longer and has a chance of getting engagement days after it was posted. So I think that’s an interesting trend. And I think it also inspires us to think a little bit differently about how we invest some of what we invest in, in social media. So I think we’re seeing more of those trends for 2019. That we, we are probably going to have to pay a little bit more, especially for Instagram, I think we’re going to have to, you know, so if you’re, if you’re doubling down and investing in Instagram now, which I think is a good investment, you may see that down the road, that that platform transitions, a little bit like Facebook, where we have, we should start paying for kind of boosting posts on Instagram. Here’s a couple other things. From a demographic perspective, this actually skewed slightly higher female than I think, that I think we’d see in a lot of cases, but we’re sourcing 72% female, across the banks that were surveyed. We’re also seeing, you know, kind of an age breakdown. That does skew. You know, certainly younger than probably our average bank customer, but maybe not quite as young as as we would think. So, that’s kind of interesting. We’re seeing some significant reach. And I think this is fun to compare, you know, we have some comparisons that we do internally to see how banks are growing in social media. And we’re definitely seeing growth and and new investment in social media over the last couple years. So I think, you know, if you haven’t made significant investments there, it’s not necessarily too late. The way that you’re seeing engagements are certainly growing. So when we think about, you know, our average quarterly engagements hitting in 2000 people or so, and then I think, you know, we see the bottom right number there of how many posts should I be making in a quarter. Hopefully, this helps give you a little bit of a basis. line. If you’re sitting in a spot where you’re not making very much content, and you feel like or you feel like you’re, you’re working really hard at it, maybe you are making more posts than that, I think that’s a, it’s a great way for you to be thinking about what your baseline is relative to, to some of your peers. Now, a quick reminder, two other results that we have from these surveys, we’ll actually be emailing out. So that’s something you can share around your team. If you’ve got a social media marketing team, this is something you can share with them, we’ll be sending them out in some PDF formats, through emails, so So feel free to you know, wait for some of those, but we kind of wanted to use these as we’re talking about next year. I think it’s just great to be able to plan and understand what some of your peers are doing.

You know, one of the things we’re seeing a trend for, that you might be thinking about for next year is a brand awareness types of campaigns. Here are a couple examples. that I think are great to be thinking about. If you’re thinking about what are we planning for what could we, what could we be budgeting for? Yeah, this is a, you know, kind of $150 budget. This was a campaign that, you know, talked about, you know, a couple different banks, you know, sending some sponsored posts. Here, we’re, I’ve stripped out which banks and what they were running, but these are actual, you know, bank results, fictitious locations, fictitious banks, but, but this gives you an idea of what you could do with $150 budget. So gives you some example. Again, we’re trying to get you specific answers.

Alexander Lahargoue 20:46
Yeah. And on that exact note, Diana had a question about if someone has never created this kind of campaign before. How would you recommend them determining how much money to spend if they’re wanting to boost posts?

Ben Pankonin 20:58
Yeah, good question. So I mean, this is, I would say this is a place to start, right? So if you if you haven’t been spending anything on advertisements, this is $150 budget, right? So, throwing $150 at something, if we think of your bank size and and what you might be spending in other channels, this is a great way to say, hey, let’s spend $150 on a Facebook ad, I think that’s a great place to start. You know, finding $150 budget should be something we can uncover and say, hey, let’s start to experiment. And we, I would suggest, when you’re doing that, if this is something that you’re administrating yourself, figure out a way to AB test it. So you know, in this case, maybe we’re doing different visuals. For those two, maybe you want to try different demographics. So maybe we want to try this same image with two different areas. So maybe we want to, you know, target one person location with one graphic and another branch area with the same graphic and see which one’s performing better. One of the things you’ll find pretty quickly is if you have locations that are in a dense community, you know, where you’ve got a lot of population and a small area, all of a sudden you figure out that, you know, $50, a budget doesn’t feel like it goes very far. Where if you’re in a more rural area that $50, a budget can go further and I can get more people to probably see that post. So there’s just a lot of times when what we see is if you’ve got a brand in that area, it could be that I don’t know chipola or something is in your market and they’re trying to advertise people in a radius of that location. You just have more brands that you’re competing with, if you’re competing in a radius. So that’s one of the fundamental things that’s different between social or digital marketing versus something like mail is that I’m competing for ad space in real time against those other advertisers. So if somebody else’s is marketing within a radius, if I’ve got just more businesses within that radius, I’ve got more competitors buying ad space.

Alexander Lahargoue 23:16
That’s a great point. And then earlier, you mentioned having consistency with creating posts. Should brands also try to be consistent in how often they boost posts?

Ben Pankonin 23:25
Yeah, well, I think you should look at it strategically. So sometimes, you know, when you have a post that you’re just boosting. So let’s say you’ve got, you know, an activity that you want to boost. I think what you want to look for is things that could have organic traction, and making sure we’re boosting those. Now something like this might be an ad that I would place on the right side of Facebook, it might be something that I would advertise on Google, it might be something that I would, I would push a specific ad For this isn’t necessarily an ad that I would place on my Facebook page. So I think that’s a clear distinction that sometimes we get a little confused on is, when I want to make an ad, sometimes that ad, I don’t want to show up on my Facebook page, I don’t care about that. I just want to target, you know, people who have certain characteristics, behaviors, whatever that might be. But then, you know, when I’m thinking of boosting posts, you know, I’m thinking about how I get traction to my page, and how I get people influenced to come back and visit my page through a paid budget. So sometimes that’s consistent. If you’re not getting very much engagement on your Facebook page, you need to be putting some some money into it too. So wake up that page again, so that people will start engaging with it, and then you’ll start getting more organic traffic as well. Here’s another quick brand awareness campaign. You might be saying, hey, what what if I take a 25 dollar budget does run for, you know, 25 mile radius 10 different locations, you know, we’re getting some decent reach out of that. Quite a few impressions. So it could be you know that you’re just kind of boosting some posts in that care in that category. Maybe you’re just trying to get some, some more likes to your brand. I think that that’s still something that you might take an active role in. If people are identifying that this is a bank that they would like, figuring out how to tell that story. Putting a small amount of budget together can be a valuable trick for you. Now, for some of you, you’re looking at maybe your page and you’re saying, hey, I’ve got, you know, thousand likes on Facebook and I really I’m seeing appear in my market or I’m seeing another bank that has 20,000 How do we get there you know, putting together a little bit The budget, like you said, being consistent with it, maybe every month trying to find something that’s engaging, that could be potentially organic. And then making sure that we boost that a little bit, is a great way to think about that. Now, when we quantify some goals, we talked a little bit about making sure we’re not thinking abstractly. You know, here are some things that we try to do you know, when we put together monthly or quarterly projections on how a bank is doing, there’s a few things we try to do. One, we try to highlight the amount of activity that we’re having on those social media accounts. So let’s, let’s look just, you know, at a baseline, how many posts did we make? How many new posts do we make? And then how much engagement do we have on that? Those two baseline numbers, I think are a great way to just start. Then what we try to do is figure out what the story is behind those accounts. So when we do a monthly or quarterly report One of the things we try to pull out is, what were the most active or most engaged posts? That’s a great way to say, hey, like, we did have some successes during this last month or quarter, what were those? What did they look like? What were the characteristics of this? We want to learn from those. We want to highlight those first, because sometimes we get so obsessed with that one negative post that month or that quarter that we get to our quarterly, you know, social media management committee meeting and we say, Oh, you know, we had this one comment, and sometimes they’re just a huge distraction. I like to pull out weird, obscure comments. Sometimes it was a meeting with a bank president. And I had one that he said, Well, what are they talking about us? And I said, Well, here was kind of a funny one. You know, you have a branch in the north side of town that says, you know, we they rated your branch location with five stars. And then they said It smells like tuna fish in here. Like, like, I think that’s, you know, that’s kind of the post that sometimes we get hugely distracted on posts like that, because we said, Why wasn’t this smell like? I don’t know. Like sometimes people are just weird. Yeah, exactly. Yeah, at the end of the

day, sometimes people are just weird. And they’re going to post weird things. So we want to focus more on what type of success we had. And then did we make sure that we were engaging with people? Do we make sure that we responded to post that came in publicly, privately? And did we get those things resolved for them? I think those are really areas that we want to focus on. And then building a story around that so that, you know, when we have to go justify how we’re doing in social media, we can say, yes, this this part was effective. We’d like to improve these areas. So I think those give us a really good baseline for a lot of that judgment. Now, we talked about budgeting. I just had a great time. conversation yesterday with someone who we’ve been talking to for a long time who said, Hey, I’m trying to get some more budget this coming year. And I’m really struggling. And I really appreciated that candid way we had the conversation and that she’s been a friend for a long time. She said, Hey, I’m struggling, because, you know, my management isn’t there. I said, Yep, I get it. And the reality is, a lot of times we spend our advertising dollars, investing in things that we can see, you know, if, if I’m a golfer, I might want to see that we advertise on the golf course. You know, go to, you know, the local play or the local musical, I might want to see that we end up in that program. So the reality is a lot of times we advertise and things that that are reaching ourselves. And I think that’s one of the conversations we need to have in every boardroom in every every bank across the county. is, hey, we, we are advertising in these things because management wants to see our photo. And the reality is, that doesn’t always help our brand. Sometimes it does. Because if we’re participating in that nonprofit activity, and we’re showing up to that nonprofit activity, that’s certainly something we want to double down on. We want to see our logo there, because we’re there. We’re supporting that event. But if we’re the only demographic that’s still, you know, reading the newspaper in our market, we might want to shift some of those dollars and some of that activity. So I think that’s just a conversation that we have to have. And I think it’s also a conversation that we can bring into social media. I’ve done that a number of different times with, with bank board meetings where they’ll say, Well, I’m not sure if our demographic is represented in this social channel. Well, the good thing is we have the data for that we can tell you if that demographic is represented or Isn’t represented, I don’t have to make up a story. It’s right there in the data. So if you want to see it, a glad to do one of those screen sharing where we will pull up Facebook ad manager will type in some zip codes or we’ll look at age demographics, that you have done that a lot of times and I think that’s a great conversation to just say, Well, what do you think? Who is it that you want to market to? And let’s see where they’re where they’re at online, we can find them online, confident of that. Because, you know, even, you know, my father in law’s texting me, you know, in his early 70s on his iPhone, and he’s looking there, and you know, the demographics that you’re looking for are likely represented online, we just have to figure out which channels are using. So the other thing that I’ll throw in there is, if we are advertising to ourselves, and we’re conscious of that, sometimes what we have to do is, is actually play that game. So if we’re advertising to an email list We use email targeting as our mechanism to see if we’re advertising to someone, go ahead and plug your your bank CEOs email addresses into that into that form, you know, let him or her see that you are advertising in that area and include them in those demographics. That gets a little tricky because sometimes when we do those advertisements, we’re taking an email list. And then we’re also restricting by other demographics, which might, you know, skew them out of there. So, but if you can advertise to them, I think that’s, I think that’s okay. Now, one of the things that also happens, I think, when we look at budgeting for next year that we just have to be conscious of when we go to ask for budget for digital marketing, is that when we call up our local newspaper, we call up the radio station, and we say, Hey, I’m interested in advertising, we get that sales rep comes out to our office and they say, Okay, let’s talk about 2019 planning. For your advertising, and they set out a plan to have you advertise on a consistent basis throughout the entire course of the year.

Facebook isn’t going to send someone out to your branch location unless you’re spending a million dollars or more. So if you’re not yet to the million dollars or more on Facebook, they’re just not going to send somebody out. I’m glad to have some of those conversations with you and help you lay out a budget. But but one of those things is to is to be cognizant of the fact that, you know, our local news outlets do have that Salesforce to they’re going to, they’re going to try to put in an annual budget that makes sense. And I also recognize that for some of you, you need to be participating with a local newspaper. I got my career started at a local newspaper. And that was a really valuable thing for me actually building their their digital web programs. So I think value what you know your local journalism can do. But we also want to be realistic with our dollars and make sure that we’re spending those in the most efficient way we can. So, when we look at how we think of social and digital options, one of the things we want to do is is time out activities. So for making that direct mail piece, we can also pair that with that social piece. So if you’re getting a list of addresses, for instance, that you’re going to, to mail to, that’s a great time to actually target the same content, the same traffic on our digital or online presences. And there’s a number of different ways we can do that. Based on based on zip codes based on activities, depending on where you’re buying that list for print mail. We’ve done a number of those words. It allows us to target them in multiple locations. So if we believe that a person doesn’t typically Take action until they see our brand message at least seven times. We know that we need to repeat that as efficiently as we can, and digital and online, we can do that. Quickly. So. So that’s one way you might look at maybe your quarterly, your mailing budget, and then figure out how you want to put some, some social digital into that at the same time.

Alexander Lahargoue 35:23
Good question from David, who asked, How can he talk to his executives at his bank and try to get them to increase their budget not only for traditional marketing, but but for specifically social media marketing?

Ben Pankonin 35:34
Yeah, I mean, I mean, I think it’s a lot of the things that we we just kind of talked through, which is, you know, if, if we’re looking at increasing that budget, you know, obviously, we have to pull it from somewhere. And, you know, that’s the that’s the hard part is, you know, we’re all dealing with limited resources. And so, you know, we have to look at that and say, Hey, in order to make our Direct Mail are more effective, or in order to make the branch activities that we’re doing more effective, you know, we may need to augment that. And we’ll talk a little bit more about what we do in the branch. If we really believe that our branches are now moving online, and obviously our branch traffic reflects that, then we have to figure out how we can marry the branch traffic and and move that to online. So if we are advertising to people in our branch, now we have to realize that, hey, if they’re not coming to our branch anymore, how do we connect with them? Maybe it’s those people that are coming to log into their online banking account that now we remind them of other activities. We’ll talk a little bit about some of that. But I guess that kind of leads into the next product, which is is thinking about how do we translate that branch from something that’s physical to something that’s online, so how Do we convert those. I’m a big proponent of how we use retargeting. I think that’s a significantly underutilized piece for most, especially community institutions, is that we think about it when people walk into our branch, we put up nice banners, we put up nice displays, and we start talking to them about what products we have to offer. But we don’t think about advertising to the people that come to our website and advertising them to them not just on the three graphics that we have rotating on our homepage, but thinking about how we advertise to them on an ongoing basis so that when they are in that flow, when they do go visit the car lot, they’re thinking about our institution, and not the other one that’s advertising to them at that time. So I think those are really important pieces. Now one of the other things that’s that’s kind of fun, we forget about sometimes with with digital We can do with a with really any other channel in the same way is that we can monitor our competition. So there are some ways. If you’re managing your Facebook page, we can go view ads and promotions that other pages are running. And that’s a really fun little tool that Facebook allows us to take a look at. Now, obviously, we can we can get tracked as well. So that’s something to be aware of when you are placing ads that your competitors could be watching the ads that you’re placing as well. But it’s a great way to go out and take a look at some of what our competitors are doing. And you may be surprised that some of them are advertising on a regular basis. So this is just kind of a quick resource there to take a look at that info and ads section as you can go on and then select other pages to take a look at what they’re doing and get pushed alerts Based on what ads they’re running, so that’s kind of a fun little, little pro tip for you. If you other budgeting tips and tricks when we think about, you know, establishing those costs, you know, we want to think of, of how we were budgeting in the past. But if you weren’t budgeting in a certain channel, and now you decided you’re going to start budgeting and Instagram, I think that’s a, that’s just an area that we have to realize is is a new space. So we might have to move some dollars into new channels. If you’re advertising on LinkedIn, you’ll find that your cost per click is significantly different than maybe your cost per click on on Facebook. So I think all of those, we just kind of have to take into account that, that they are new channels. So I’d like to focus and transition we sort of covered how do we think about goal setting? How do we think about budgeting in 2019? What sort of changes can we make? And then I’d love to show some of the things we see community banks doing already in 2018, that you might consider to so I think this is kind of more of our our case study or example section, if you will. So, you know, first of all, I think we want to ignore, you know, we don’t want to ignore tracking, we want to take a look at opportunities when we can track, but recognize that we can’t track everything.

So we’ve run campaigns where maybe we’re trying to open new checking accounts for a financial institution. And all of a sudden we figure out that, hey, you know, we’re tracking just the traffic to an online account opening platform. And maybe that’s effective. Maybe it’s not effective, but we’re also opening accounts in branches. And so sometimes we’re tracking things just in the platform that they exist. And ignoring the reality that if we’re running a brand awareness campaign, that’s not going to necessarily be reflected in just immediate representation, just the same as if we were running a consistent ad in a newspaper, and we had our logo or some information about our institution, in the newspaper every week, we’re probably not going to see immediate results from that one ad, we need to repeat that message. So sometimes our tracking, we have to realize it’s a longer term view of increasing awareness or increasing adoption for that product. Now, we don’t want to rely solely on organic posts, we’ve talked about some of the challenges of that. And then, you know, we want to figure out how to have some consistency or advertising. So increasing, you know, your paid social budget. You know, one of those things is just hitting that promotion. But every once in a while and saying, hey, maybe we just need to boost some of our posts and keep some of that activity going. I think for a lot of us, that’s just where we need to focus, hey, let’s let’s just put a boost on a budget every week. And maybe it’s, maybe it’s finding some bigger opportunities to boost those as well. Another one can be, we see this really common that? You know, we’ll create an idea of what might be good social content, but we don’t always stick to it. So a lot of times will will say, Okay, what we’d like to do is focus this percentage of posts on this type of, of activity, maybe it’s a brand awareness, we want to focus 80% of brand awareness. Now we want to focus 10% of our posts on tips or tricks or, you know, knowledge transfer education, and then you know, maybe we want to focus another 10% on product Just throwing those out as examples, but the problem is, a lot of times we don’t stick to that. So when we see banks that are overachieving in social media, they’re often putting labels connected to each one of those posts. So then at the end of the day, they can track those and say, Yeah, actually, we did stick to this formula, we posted, you know, a fourth of our posts had to do with community activities, and the nonprofit’s or, or other community functions that we’re serving. You know, you can see that when you start to label those posts on the front end, and then you can ensure that you are covering a broad spectrum of subjects, you’re getting engagement on those subjects, and you’re consistent. Now another one is, is thinking about how we improve our post frequency. For some of us, we’re just not posting enough. I think, I think that can be a huge issue. Challenge too is that, you know, sometimes we we just need to, you know, experiment with posting different types of posts. We’ve talked about a number of times, but, you know, if you’re posting photos, you know, on most of your posts on Facebook, figuring out how to get that one video post every other week, or, you know, moving that up, will help your results pretty dramatically because people value videos, they’ll value the fact that there’s something moving as they’re scrolling through their Facebook feed. They’ll also recognize that Facebook will promote videos higher than they do photos, and a whole lot higher than they do links. So if you’re posting only links to your site and other other sites, it’s a great reminder to come back and say, You know what, maybe we need to vary those up a little bit. Some of our posts should be photos and videos, when we do it assembled quarterly or monthly report. That’s one of the things that We report on it’s not just the activity as a whole, how many posts do we make, but we’ll break those down and then say, here’s how many videos, here’s how many photos and here’s how many link posts we made. And that reminds us that, hey, maybe we need to change up those or maybe we do have a good balance in those terms.

Now, you know, we do also want to track, you know, the target the most successful opportunities. And that’s the reminder that I have in here is when we’re posting, so sometimes what we look at when our optimized times are to post, we skew it based on our, you know, like we do most things, we have a bias and so we think, hey, when I show up to work, that’s when I’m on social media, or when I’m at home, maybe I post on social media. We do find some of those trends to be pretty accurate that mornings and evenings had tend to be really popular times for social media posts. But the There are other other times that might be that might creep in there too. So I think that’s an important thing to consider, especially for platforms like Twitter that are really a real time platform. Another thing we want to talk just briefly about is testing our calls to action. Now, calls to action can take on a lot of different forms, it could be that we’re doing a giveaway, it could be that we’re trying to get somebody to open an account, or participate in a lending opportunity or reach out and schedule a meeting. But it could be that our call to action is join us. It could be that we’re saying, Hey, we’re participating in this nonprofit activity. We’re entering in that time of year where a lot of nonprofit activities are happening, I had to this week. So when we hit those activities, it may be, hey, we’ve got a table at this event. Come join us. We’d love to have a dialogue at this event. celebrate with us at this event. And those are great options. unities to just remind people that you’re there, and you’d love for the community to take action with you. I think that’s really the leadership role that a lot of community banks are, are doing really well is saying Come with us, when we’re going to these activities is a great opportunity for you to really have some, some leadership in those conversations, and to really highlight some of the activities and let let your community know how you’re active. Show some of the people that are active. I think these are a couple of great examples of opportunities. And I love seeing that we’re we’re bringing bankers out into the wild, right? I think that’s part of the fun of it, is we’re saying hey, here, they’re there. These are three dimensional shots, you know, seeing someone out in the field, literally out in the field, as new Tripoli is there or, you know, on the left seeing here’s the territory Things that we’re collecting or we’re active in, as we’re thinking about those November, December posts, I think those are really important.

Alexander Lahargoue 48:07
How should we begin to balance posts, boosting these community posts and those that promote the products that we’re offering?

Ben Pankonin 48:14
Look, I mean, as a community institution, we do a great job of helping people in the community. And I think the way we do that is by telling their story. And I think a lot of times when we focus on that nonprofit being the hero, or more importantly, the people that that nonprofit is serving, I think that’s where we really begin to highlight the power in those stories. So if we’re going out into, you know, a farmer’s field or, or we’re going out into those locations and we say, We want you to understand the story of you know, this person, or what is happening there, and we boost that post. Those are going to get a tremendous amount more engagement, you know, we do feet see increased engagement. When we see photos of people, we also see an increase of engagement when we see a story that resonates with people. So it should have that character in our story, it should show what they overcame. And it should talk about how they’re how we’re, you know, helping to be essentially a guide to that person, or that nonprofit or that activity. So, uniqueness oppose, is also a great fun reminder that these few examples were just a lot of fun. You see a tremendous amount of color in these photos. You know, it’s kind of one of those things when you can glance across a, you know, in this case, just a slide deck and see why there’s a lot going on. That’s exciting in this photo, I kind of wish on the top right when if they got just a little bit closer to the pink car. I think and then you know, I think there Some ways we can get a little bit more artistic. But, you know, there’s a really fun environment, to getting in and seeing so much activity in these posts. So I think, you know, finding just really unique things happening in your community are fun. And there’s a lot of ways to test how we can, how we can help, you know, different groups to create different things. So if you’re headed out to that, you know, Christmas event, you can come in and try to find the weird, you know, I think I think that’s one of the things that we miss a lot of times, you know, we, we sort of are looking for, the thing that really resonates with our brand are things like that, go find the weird stuff. Yeah, go go find that, you know, nonprofit when you’re at that activity, and you’re saying, Hey, this is the story that they’re trying to tell is, is of helping people. Maybe you want to show all of the people. You know, I was just at a nonprofit event. This weekend, I had to introduce the Executive Director for that nonprofit. And so I was standing on the stage and So, you know, I just took, like one step back while they were showing the promo video, I took his photo behind him, so that you could see the, you know, his silhouette. And then all, you know, several hundred people at that nonprofit activity. And then I just texted it to him said, Hey, I know you’re going to need Twitter traffic. Here you go. So that, you know, that provides him that opportunity to build that relationship allows you to help tell that story. But I think those are great ways to say, Hey, you know, I’m now telling the story of my friend Matt, and his involvement in that nonprofit. And I think those are really valuable ways to think about it is that I’m not just telling the story for my own, you know, my own use, I’m helping him tell the story of his nonprofit, so that it can have a better result in our community. So there are a lot of things in this in this webinar this week, and a few things I want to recap with you we will be sending out the results to our Our marketing and compliance survey in the coming weeks. So stay tuned for that next month’s webinar, we already have a topic and that topic is going to be about thought leadership. And so we’re going to be talking about how you can become a thought leader, how you can develop thought leaders within your institution. And we’re going to be talking about, you know, how you can market that throughout the end of the year through 2019. There’s a lot of really fun stuff in there. I might pull some examples from some friends of mine who do marketing and advertising for the NFL, will pull some of their their thought leadership as well. But, Alexander, thanks for joining with us today. Thank you so much for having me. And thanks for sharing a little bit of your expertise in content creation. Oh, my pleasure. We we hope to read some more things from you soon.

Alexander Lahargoue 52:47
Yep, absolutely.

Ben Pankonin 52:48
And you next week, we’ll have our next month. We’ll have some other people on our webinar as well. But thanks for sticking with us. If you have comments or questions, you know, feel free to shoot me an email, send us a Tweet. There’s plenty of ways to get ahold of us. If you’ve got ideas or questions. Please drop us a note. And in the meantime, have a wonderful Thanksgiving. It’s hard to believe that that’s coming up so quickly. Yes, but have a good start to your holidays and we will catch up with you in December.

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