Banking on Digital Growth
Banking on Digital Growth

Episode · 4 months ago

113) #ExponentialInsights: Building Your Website’s Financial Brand w/ Laura Dolan

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

I’m turning the tables on you in this one. After over 100 episodes as your host, I surrender that seat to Laura Dolan, Senior Content Marketing Manager at Optimizely, as she interviews me about building a website that sells.

In this episode we discuss:

  • Why a glorified online brochure won’t cut it for your website
  • Strategies for calls to action (CTAs)
  • Cognitive load and intrinsic cause
  • Trust, video, and communication techniques
  • Behavioral economics and building your content strategy gear-by-gear

Check out these resources we mentioned during the podcast:

You can find this interview and many more by subscribing to Banking on Digital Growth on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or here.

Listening on a desktop & can’t see the links? Just search for Banking on Digital Growth in your favorite podcast player.
 

So I'm willing to bet that yourfinancial brand website is nothing more than a glorified online brochure. Andbecause it's a glorified online brochure, your financial brand islosing millions of dollars in loans and deposits. But don't worry because inthis special inside digital growth episode, Laura Dolan, senior contentmarketing Manager optimize lee, turns the tables on me to ask a ton of greatquestions that I know will empower you to transform your glorified onlinebrochure into a website that sells so that you can maximize your digitalgrowth potential. You're listening to banking on digitalgrowth with James robert lay a podcast that empowers financial brand marketing,sales and leadership teams to maximize their digital growth potential bygenerating 10 times more loans and deposits. Today's episode is part ofthe inside digital growth series where James robert shares, answers to some ofthe biggest digital marketing and sales questions he gets from the digitalgrowth community. Have a question you want to get answers to on a futureepisode, visit www dot go ask jr dot com to submit your question today. Nowlet's go Inside digital growth greetings and hello, I am James robert,ley and welcome to the 113th episode of the Banking on Digital Growth podcast.Today's episode is part of the Inside Digital Growth series and it is aspecial episode because I'm going to unlock access to a fireside chat thatwas hosted by the financial brand and I was a guest joining Laura Dolan, seniorcontent marketing Manager, Optimize Lee who turned the tables on me. NormallyI'm the one who's asking the questions, but this time she asked me a ton ofgreat questions That I know will empower you to transform your glorifiedonline brochure into a website that sells that your financial brand cangenerate 10 times more loans, 10 times more deposits and ultimately maximizeyour digital growth potential. This was such a great conversation. It is loadedwith tons of practical insights that I know you can apply going forward. Wetalked about how you can identify the three primary goals for your websiteand why one of those goals matters most to your future growth. We also talkedabout how you can position your products beyond commoditized bulletpoint features that every other financial brand does on their website.And we see this, we see the pain that this causes when conducting digitalsecret shopping studies for financial brands. And then we also talked abouthow you can finally break free from just some of the broadcast marketingtactics that are plugging financial brand websites through the power ofpersonalization, through the power of optimization, through the power ofexperimentation. I'm actually surprised that it's been 113 episodes and Ihaven't really covered the subject the subject of building and optimizing awebsite that sells before and maybe just one or two others. It's such animportant topic, it's actually one of the areas that we focus on first forfinancial brands in our banking, on digital growth program. And because ofthis, I want to make a special offer to you because we're getting ready tolaunch a new episode for the podcast. The new series called clarity callswhere I'm going to be bringing on a guest from the digital growth community.It could be you, I guess from a financial brand, I guess that hasspecific questions about digital marketing cells, leadership strategies.And during, let's just say a 10-15 minute conversation, we're going totalk through a question, a question that you might have and then providenot only you, but also the dear listener with clarity So that you cancontinue to move forward to make progress along your digital growthjourney with courage and confidence because after guiding now over 560financial brands along their digital growth journey, I know if one of youhas a question, There's a very good chance that at least 50, if not 100 ormore, have that same exact question. So when it comes to building andoptimizing a website that sells either now or after you listen to this episode,if you have a question that you'd like to get answers to simply text yourquestion to 83 to 5495792 Yes, that is my personal cell phone because I'd loveto invite you on as a guest for a clarity calls episode to talk throughyour question together. I'm really excited about the upcoming claritycalls because it's, it's a great way...

...for all of us to continue to learntogether, to grow together to win together. Now let's get into thisfireside chat conversation I had with Laura Dolan to empower you to build andoptimize a website that sells so that you can maximize your future digitalgrowth potential. I want to start off by setting thestage as we discussed how the build and optimize the website that sells tomaximize digital growth James robert. You have described financial brandwebsites as being glorified online brochures. Tell us a little bit moreabout what that means and what some financial institutions are doing withtheir sites today that demonstrate what not to do. Well, when we look at thelandscape, the glorified online brochure, we can go down ananthropological journey all the way back to, let's just say 1999 whenFinancial Brand websites were first being built, they were literally takingthe brochures out of the physical branch location and utilizing that copyand those same bullet points to build their websites and then flash forward.20 years later, we're still seeing the same blocks of content blocks of copybullet points from a content perspective that has just made its wayover the years from one generation to the next to the next, typically everyfive, 2, 7 years on average, the financial brand is building a newwebsite along those lines of why is it a glorified online brochure? It'slooking at a single call to action and we're going to talk about that today,of why we need different calls to actions for different stages of thebuying journey. And then I think most challenging is all financial brandwebsites are pushing and promoting the same thing. We have great rates, wehave amazing service and we have these laundry lists of look alike productfeatures and so with that in mind it would be great laura if we could justget some perspective from the audience right now of where they feel like theyare and so let's go ahead and launch a poll and get some perspective into whattype of website do you feel that your financial brand currently has? I alwayslove audience feedback while we're firing up that pole James robert. Umyou mentioned C. T. A. S and I just wanted to ask one of my favoriteaspects of experimentation that I've conducted throughout the years is howmy audiences behavior changes with different calls to action and how theyrespond to different phrases and make different conversions based on thosequotas upon looking at the analytics. It's actually quite interesting whenyou look back on it as you move further away from the glorified online brochure,just to bring back everything full circle here and develop our websitesinto more of a narrative. What is the story we want to tell through Sita'swhen we look at our hero or the consumer and our goal is to help themmove forward with confidence. What are the types of Sita's that build theconsumer courage? Well, when we look at the state of CTS today, they're what wecall our direct Cts are direct calls to action and those C. T A s are typicallyoffered at the very end of a consumer buying journey once they've comparedall of their options and have built up enough courage. But we need to stay tomove higher up in the buying journey into what we call transitional calls toaction, which are ideal for the consideration stage of the buyingjourney. And so those would be something like request to call back. Wealso have clarity calls to action which are just when someone begins theirbuying journey. And the reason that this is critically important is andwe're seeing this right here with the polls is when we have just a direct C.T. A. And we're seeing around 50% feel that they have a glorified onlinebrochure, 30% aren't really sure. And then only about 20, feel like they havea website that sells, that's generating different types of leads. That's thegoal when we're talking about these different types of CTS, directtransitional and clarity is because as people enter into your website, theyare at different stages of your buying journey. And only 2%, only 2% of peoplethat visit the website for the very first time are actually going toconvert on that first visit. And so we have 98% who need to come back multipletimes. And if we can capture their information early and often we can thenguide them for to help them build up that courage to help them build up thatconfidence to ultimately click the apply button to click the open accountbutton and then convert them into a lead for a loan or deposit. Absolutely.And when it comes to experimentation with a C. To a lot of it is very simple.It could be as simple as what color is the button? What is the tone behind? Itis in the second person or is in the...

...first person and in my experience withthe Ceo is the first person. C. T. A. Garners a lot of clicks and it's allabout playing into that personalization in your content and in your message onyour site. Uh huh. First person sita's do outperform third person Cts Or theremight not be any perspective for that matter. So for example, I want to openan account. I want to apply for a loan versus click to apply versus just applyeven if we add that first person. And that's intentional because you'reliterally inviting people into the story. I think a lot about the oldbooks choose your own adventure and when you think about a direct C. T. A.I want to apply for a loan, there are opportunities to even optimize the nextbest step there which is really at the end of the day. That's the mostcritical path, right? That's where we actually get the loan, that's where weget the deposit. And so when someone clicks the, I want to apply for a loan,I want to open an account. Well then they have a choice, they could open itonline, they could call in uh, to the call center and talk to someone. Theycould schedule an appointment. And so what we have found is throughexperimentation. A B testing through optimization is if we can providemultiple paths, even at the point of conversion, we actually increaseconversions because now people want to apply in different ways, forms andfashions. Yeah, it's amazing that since the Covidshutdown, even post Covid, now, a lot of companies can get creative withtheir Omni channel marketing and planning and the top of funnel leadgeneration. And so when you're offering that many options to your audience,it's an unlimited way for them to get in touch with you. So let's sayeveryone is working from home now, instead of making an appointment,driving a half hour to go to your bank lender, you can do a zoom call, youcould do a phone call and zoom calls, don't have to go away just because theworld is starting to open back up. I think it's actually a great way to stayin touch with your audience, stay engaged with them and give them thepath of least resistance getting in touch with you. Once again, it allcomes down to choice, It all comes down and it's not about you, it's aboutproviding choice for the perspective account holder and so you're right asthe world opens back up, branches opened back up. I I feel there's anopportunity to continue to apply the lessons that we've learned through theCovid experience and not just easily fall back and revert to those patternsand just think Covid never happened. You know, it's January February of 2020.Video communication. Video communication is something that Ireally hope financial brands continue to double down on because it is theprimary way to humanize a digital experience. And what we have foundthrough research is that video communication is actually increasing innumber coming out of the Covid experience and it's one that I can seejust financial brands doubling down on within the year or two to come. Yeah, Ithink if we could take anything away from Covid as a silver lining, it'sdefinitely, it's caused a lot of companies to pivot and be innovative ina time of crisis where they had no choice if they had to go from brick andmortar to virtual, they had to be prepared for that and, and kind of easeinto that with their new business processes and marketing strategies. SoI think it posed a lot of challenges. But in a good way, I think we're comingout of it on the other side, having learned a lot and having to be reallyresourceful. I remember I wrote an article and it was probably April orMay of 2020 and the thesis of the article was using video to communicatecourage and to communicate confidence. Because when we're talking aboutfinances, people are feeling especially now more than ever they're feelingconfused, they're feeling stressed, they're feeling frustrated becausefinances has an inherently high cognitive load. And so that's wherevideo can come into play. So that if we're having a conversation like this,92% of all communication is body language. And what we have found from alead generation standpoint, the faster that we can get a prospective accountholder in touch with another human being at the financial brand. Whetherthat be connection made is through email, whether it be over the phone viacall center now via video or some type of live chat. The higher propensitythat there is for conversion and that's...

...why we come back to this idea ofdifferent types of calls to action for different stages of the buying journey,direct, transitional and clarity cts. I'm glad you brought up the concept ofcognitive load, which simply means the mental energy a task requires forcompletion. Can you go into more detail of how the supplies and digital senseand how companies can leverage it to optimize their websites? Yes, cognitiveload is an interesting study and that's where we need to really start lookingat the intersection of marketing, of cells of technology, of human behaviorand how all of this collides. Because there are three types of cognitive loadthat we need to be aware of, particularly when it comes to buildinga website that sells. There's what is called the intrinsic cognitive loan,meaning the inherent difficulty of a subject matter. And as I mentionedbefore, money has a very high intrinsic cognitive load attached to that. And sowhen someone is visiting that website from that empathetic lens, we have tounderstand the state of mind that they're probably in. Take for example,buying a home, I want to buy a home. I have that dream. It's a goal. Maybe I'ma first time Homebuyer, Maybe I'm a second time Homebuyer. And it's notsomething that I do every day like a mortgage lender does, but it'ssomething that I might do to maybe 34 times in my life. And so I'm alreadyentering end up buying journey with some stress. Am I going to be approvedfor that mortgage? Am I going to be able to get the home that I love? Am Igoing to be able to get the home that I can afford? And so that's the intrinsiccognitive load. Then we have what is called the extraneous cognitive loadand that is the complexity that we add by how we communicate by how we presentourselves. And so when we think about a website and a website that sells a lotof this comes from the communication patterns I. E. Content I. E. Bulletpoints and so those bullet points can then just be simply transformed into.We'll just call it iconography because the human brain can process images andicons 60,000 times faster than the written word. So for example quicktests if you have bullet points on your website just take those use iconographyto get some white space in between so therefore it doesn't feel so confusingand overwhelming to receive that information. And finally the thirdpoint of cognitive load is what is called the jermaine cognitive load. Andthat is where scheme is in frameworks come into play of how we interpretinformation, how we receive information visually once again. And when we thinkabout schemes and frameworks that is the U. I. The user interface for theuser experience of the website to bring it all back together. And when you talkabout intrinsic cognitive load and you're talking about basically how tolay out your website coming from a content background. Something I used toteach in my workshops back in the day and what I tell my freelance writersnow is make sure you have something at every scroll depth. And what that meansis try to avoid a wall of text, Don't write a blog, that's just words, breakit up with whatever tools at your disposal you have. If you want to put agift in there if you want to be playful, if you want to put a video, if you wantto put an infographic to illustrate some of your points made me take it outof the text and put it in an illustration. You'd be surprised howmuch better that content is digested by your audience and how much lessintimidating your website can be. And I'm glad you mentioned buying a house.My husband, I bought two houses in the last two years. I didn't plan on it. Wesold our house in Arizona last year because prices were insane, moved toOhio and bought a much bigger house, just a few 1000 more. So the market isinsane right now. But I say all this to say having gone into this process twiceand just dealing with that already intimidating factor of I need alone, amI going to get approved? How much money is going to cost us? Can we make themonthly payments? And one thing that comes up is the concept of trust. Yes,just because you're approved for a loan, You need to make sure you can actuallyfollow through and still pay that loan back. Um, it's one of the things thatattributed to the crash of 2008 was a lot of people were approved and thoughtthey could make those payments and found that they couldn't, luckily wehaven't run into that problem ourselves personally. But yeah, it all comes downto trust and a lot of it is what is put on their websites, the kind of contentthat they have, their how easy it is for the process to get alone and getapproved. And that's where, you know, a couple of things come top of my mind,you mentioned scroll depth. I think there's an inherent fear to put a lotof content on the site, particularly on the product page because we're stillbeing held back by broadcast marketing...

...days of newspaper. Everything has to beabove the fold. But now if we look at human behavior, people are conditionedto infinity scroll. I mean that's like that's where instagram comes back intoplay. That's where Tiktok, there is no page break. You can just keep scrollingand scrolling and scrolling. And so you look at the way the UI, the U. S. Andthe visual representation and we'll call them content blocks. Because if wego back and we look at historically how websites have been built, they've allbeen driven by design. My recommendation is you take the processand flip it on its head and you build the website driven by a content firstapproach let the content inform the design. So once you have the pieces ofcontent that you need, the types of content, whether that be written,iconography, video, e books, downloadable guides, for example, whichis a great lead generation, then you can wrap the design around the contentotherwise you get locked into these quote unquote content gel cells. Andthat's why I think so many marketing teams get frustrated because they'relike, well this is what we've been left with. This is all we can utilize. AndI'm like no, when you take a content first approach, you have lego buildingblocks of content modules that you can build and move around accordingly.Because all of this, like you said, does come back to Trust and Trust isthe currency that we trade on in today's digital world. And it can takedays, weeks, months, even years to make enough deposits into a consumers trustfund that sits between their brain. It can take minutes as we've learned fromthe Robin Hood debacle and some of these things that are going on rightnow with crypto, it can take minutes to just lose everything. And so we have tobe intentional with the way that we're building trust. And I think that'swhere user testing and a B testing come back into play. Because we can alwaysask the question when we do user testing, do you feel like you can trustthis website based upon what you see in the way that is being presented, Secretshopping, if you will, do you feel like you can trust this? And then the followup question to that is how does it make you feel it's fragile? It's a veryfragile situation when you're dealing with money, it's probably the mostdelicate asset that we have and anyone we deal with, we want that hope andthat trust that is my information and money safe. Is it going to be encrypted?Can I trust these people? Is everything secure? And a big part of presentingthat and expressing on your site is tell them how it's going to be safe,tell them how you're being set apart from your competitors and why youshould be the choice for your audience and your customers for them to toinstill that trust so that they do want to do business with you. I agree. Andwhen it comes to instilling trust, I want to come back to the subject hereof digital secret Shopping because Secret shopping is a part a key part ofongoing optimization strategy. Because if we think about building a website,as I mentioned before, to open things up historically, financial brands havebuilt websites every 3 to 5 years, on average, maybe at the far reaches sevenyears. That's a long time. I mean, just imagine, step back, imagine yourself asa digital retailer. It's e. Com, e commerce. Imagine if amazon or Zapposor any major digital retail, chewy dot com updated and optimized, quoteunquote their website every 3 to 5 to seven years, they wouldn't be here. Andso now there's the opportunity to think of our website and not just as abrochure, but as more of an e. Com like experience that is guiding someonealong a buying journey. And so for us to gain those insights, I want to pullthe audience. I'm really curious to see what type of digital secret shoppinghas ever been conducted on a financial brands website. So please take a minute.What type of secret shopping have you conducted on your website? Is itquarterly from a quantitative standpoint? Maybe it's heat maps? Is itquarterly from a qualitative standpoint? Maybe it's live external observation ofusers. Is it combining both quantitative and qualitative? Quarterly?Maybe you're doing none of the above right now and doing something else? Ormaybe you've just never secret shops your website before. I'm curious to seewhat we have here laura because this is a key part of ongoing optimization. Solet's see what we have, 65% have never secret shop their website before, 17%are doing none of the above, only 9% are doing quarterly heatmap studies, 4%are doing quarterly live observational studies and only 5% are combining thetwo together. And that actually matches...

...somewhat to the research that we'vedone before on the subject here where we found that 94% of financial brandshave never undergone any type of digital secret shopping study on theirwebsite. Yet 72% on this was pre Covid. We're conducting ongoing secretshopping for their physical branch locations. That's incredible. And I can't stressenough coming from a content management managing standpoint, it's imperative tostay one step ahead of the audience and doing that through digital secretshopping, you've got to deliver the right content at the right time so weknow what the appropriate audience is going to receive and digest that willresult in a conversion and that is the chief simply by asking the rightquestions. So my question to you James robert, what questions have youdeveloped over the years by conducting qualitative tests for financial brandsand which ones have generated the best feedback. So we need some context ofwhy this is important to begin with. When We look at the digital consumerbuying journey for a financial product, we have found 87% of those consumers,or 87% of consumers start a financial buying journey online. Now the questionis what happens to the other 13%. What we found through these interviews andthis has been part of just our secret shopping study process. We asked Ifthis were to test, how would you start this experience? The other 13% said,well we would ask a family member or we would ask a friend or we'd go to socialmedia and then we'd go to google. So essentially 100% of all shoppingstudies are all shopping journeys will begin online either directly orindirectly, and then navigate through that website. And this is why TrustTrust must be built long before someone has a conversation with someone in thereal world. And that's a big difference because if we go back and lookhistorically from like a traditional marketing perspective, there are twopoints on that buying journey. There was some type of awareness, broadcast,direct mail, tv radio that drove traffic into a physical branch locationand in that physical branch location experience, that's where Trust wasreally establish, because it's very hard to establish Trust broadcast. Butnow Trust can be established through and must be established through thewebsite. And so some some questions that the audience can take away andreally think about because you're right, optimization comes from getting reallygood at asking really good questions. Right? And so two and I'm referencesbefore, but I want to come back to them when you seek a shop, a website, Getvery focused, get very targeted with what you're looking to shop, whatyou're looking to optimize your not trying to boil the ocean here, becausewe can look at probably 3-5 major product lines or major experiences.Pick one, focus on one every 90 days. If you can just make one smallincremental improvement, that's what we're looking for here. Because thosequestions that you can take away based on the page that I just saw, like,let's, for example, coming back to mortgages, let's say we're testing amortgage page based on the page that you just saw. Do you feel like you cantrust community financial brand? And that's a binary question. That's a yesor no. And then the follow up to that is okay, how does this page make youfeel? And so now it's going to become a little bit more open ended? Well I feela little bit confused here. Why aren't they showing me any rates? And we seethat a lot on the mortgage side, particularly with with financial brands,they don't want to show rate. They'll typically send them off to a thirdparty if they have a third party relationship. And then the follow upquestion to that is imagine that you're buying a home, what would you do next?Where would you go? And then just observe that that behavior andparticularly when running qualitative studies here, they will then talkthrough those next steps. And it's great to do some competitivebenchmarking. Don't just test your financial brands website, do somecompetitive benchmarking. So for example, based upon the shoppingexperience today, what was more helpful for you? Was it this institution or wasit this institution or this experience or this experience? And then I thinkit's all about the moment of truth based upon this digital shoppingexperience, how likely would you be to refer this financial brand to a friendor family member? And that question alone? It opens a lot of eyes becausewe have a perception that and I've had this experience, there was a financialbrand, they had a quote unquote, award winning website from, you know, from anindustry association and they were so...

...happy and we did conduct secretshopping studies for them. And in the real world it was a horrible, horriblefeedback. And but they took it with grace, they took it with a growthmindset And they realized that they had a lot of room to be even better tooptimize the experience. And as a result they continued to increaseconversions between 300 to 500 every single year because they'recontinuously optimizing these different experiences. Now. In addition to secretshopping from a quantitative and qualitative, I think there's a betterand even better way for the audience to get started and that is just conductingsome very simple A. B test, much easier to do here. Technology has transformedour world and digital has changed the way consumers shop for and buyfinancial services forever. Now consumers make purchase decisions longbefore they walk into a branch if they walk into a branch at all, but yourfinancial brand still wants to grow loans and deposits. We get it. Digitalgrowth can feel confusing, frustrating and overwhelming for any financialbrand, marketing and sales leader, but it doesn't have to because James robertwrote the book that guides you every step of the way Along your digitalgrowth journey, visit www dot digital growth dot com to get a preview of hisbest selling book banking on digital growth or order a copy right now foryou and your team from amazon inside, you'll find a strategic marketingmanifesto that was written to transform financial brands and it is packed fullof practical and proven insights. You can start using today To confidentlygenerate 10 times more loans and deposits. Now back to the show. You canstart as simply as testing two different types of CTS. As we mentionedbefore, you can test some of your email, some of your newsletters that you sendout and try some different subject lines and see what's open more. You cantry different uh, nav displays or layouts, different colors, differentfonts. I mean the possibilities are endless and my advice is just neverstop improving. Putting into your business plan plan for a quarterlyupdate every year. Just look at your analytics, look at where your painpoints are, see where conversions aren't happening and just narrow yourfocus on that one part of the website and just see what it's going to take toimprove now, coming from an S. C. O. Background, one huge misconceptionabout S. E. O is that results are immediate. They are not things taketime. And I'm going to quote my beloved father here when he told me when I wasyounger the three teas things take time and all good things come in good time.And in this situation when you're optimizing your site, expect 4 to 6months to see some improvements and it's not the end of the world if ittakes that long and you could always be improving the frequency is up to you,you can do it quarterly, you can do it monthly, but start instilling into yourbusiness plan. So it doesn't seem so intimidating. The whole concept ofimproving your website, it could be very daunting. But if you just kind ofwork it in and plan for it, I promise you, it's just going to come naturally.That's one of the things I want to make a point around is from a prioritizationstandpoint. People always ask, where do we start improving? And so I look atthis from from another acronym. Everyone needs a little bit of TLC intheir life. We all need, we all need a little bit of traffic. We all need someleads and we all definitely needs some conversions. And so from anoptimization prioritization, I would start at the very bottom, I would startworking my way from the bottom to the top, meaning I would start optimizingthe conversion experience and what does that look like practically speaking,you mentioned a B. Testing calls to action, we can test first person. Do weget more conversions that way? What about colours? How do colours go on toplay? Because I see just simple color changes, pulling things off of the page.This is where some heat maps come back into play because for example, if yourC T A s on a heat map from a quantitative point of view is only 20%or scrolling down. So now we're looking at a scroll mouth only 20%. See that CT A. And this is probably more important to be aware of on mobile,only 20% are seeing that move that CT up higher on the page to where you get80% of people seeing that sita. And I guarantee you you're going to increaseconversions. The other point here is so you got CTS, your forms, right? Theapplication experience and I know a lot...

...of financial brands feel like theirhands are tied Because they're working with 3rd parties. But this is where weneed to put some pressure on these third parties. What type ofoptimizations are they doing on these third party forms for deposit accountsfor loans? Because if we're relying on them, we can make our website as thebest as possible. But at that moment of truth at that true point of conversionthen, you know, things can go out the window. That's where we found over theyears deploying a system that we developed, call it pre applicationsystem, meaning capturing a first name and last name and an email address anda phone number on our website. So now we're getting improved conversionmetrics before sending them off to the third party because if they go afterthe third party and then they abandoned that application, that third party mayor may not be following up and nurturing that abandoned. So these arelike some very small practical things that, you know, I was just talking withfinancial brand in our program and they generated just last month alone, I wantto say 20 or 30% more conversions by focusing on the abandoned applicationwithout doing anything else. And that's why we start here at the bottom atconversion. Then we can move up to the middle stage of the buying journey,which is the lead. So, and that's where we're looking at transitional calls toaction, downloading a buying guide, taking a quiz, for example, and thenutilizing marketing automation to nurture those leads to the point ofconversion. And finally back to your point with S E O. I think S E O. Isabout to see a new golden age for multiple reasons. We've got 3rd partycookies crumbling and a lot of people don't know this just yet. So I hate tobe the bearer of bad news here because I feel like that's all I've been doingover the last week and a half is informing those in our program that youknow what this is coming down the pipe. Iose 15 has come out with an update,Bios. 15's come out with an update to where in Apple Mail. Iose Mac, youriphone is no longer going to fire off the tracking pixel. So what does thatmean? It means that we will start to become blind when it comes to thingslike email, open rate when it comes to things like email click throughs andthis is so early on, I don't have an opinion on it beyond the fact that ifwe're seeing third party cookies crumble, we're seeing the inbox nowstarting to be impacted with data privacy and I'm 100% an agreement forall of this. I'm big in the data privacy. That's our actually yeah,that's an extension of ourselves. But almost my marketing mind is like, wellwhat are we gonna be left with content and S E O. And I've had a financialbrand who has worked to double down their content production. They'reliterally operating like an internal media organization now and pushing out2-3 pieces of new content every single week. Articles that are theninterlinked with other product pages on their site and that's helped togenerate even more leads. But they didn't start doing that out of the gate.They needed to get all of their conversion aspects and elements putinto place first because if they started on the S. C. O. Content sideand then they started driving all of this traffic and they didn't have theconversion points, they'd be losing a tremendous amount of opportunity. Soit's almost like what opportunity are we losing today that we can focus oncapturing with some of these very small simple A. B. Tests and optimizations.Well, I want to go back to the point you made about form abandonment. That'sone way companies can leverage retention and retention engagement. Um,if you see that somebody started an application and abandon it, that isyour opportunity to reach out to them either via email, most likely email andjust kind of remind them and encourage them like come back and you know, maybeoffering incentives some kind of urgent prize on their end, behavioraleconomics, behavioral economics comes into play sense of urgency, definitely.And now we're gonna come full circle back to the point of video. This iswhere marketing automation can help pick up some of this because if you'regetting a high volume to get a physical outreach may or may not be a pickle,but I will tell you back to the point of mortgage. We studied this, we'vestudied this was the nation's top three, top five mortgage lenders and they arevery active whenever you start a mortgage application, but you do notcomplete it, you'll be getting phone calls, you'll be getting text messagesand you will be getting emails. But to me, it's like if you take that emailand you add a small videos in that email and their platforms out thereloom and video bom bom and multiple...

...others vidyard to where it's like, heylaura, it's James robert. I just saw you started this mortgage application.I understand things get busy kids, pets life in general, but I just want to letyou know that I'm here to help guide you every step of the way. Hit replyand let me know if you might be, you know, stuck with something Or give me acall at (555) 555 5555. And just that 32nd video is a way to differentiateyourself and humanize your digital experience to rise above all of the andnot many are doing this. There are not many financial brands are activelynurturing and re engaging with abandoned applications. So it's a, it'sa low hanging fruit opportunity. It's the advantage. It's the abandonedshopping cart. Like if you're on com once again and you leave something inyour car, you're going to get an email saying, hey, you got this in your car,here's a coupon, let's move forward. 100%. Absolutely. And I just, I justwant to switch gears here. I would like to switch gears and talk about the fourgears of the digital growth engine. No pun intended that you mentioned in yourbook, coming from an S. Ceo and marketing strategy background, I foundthis to be pretty powerful tools. So can you break down what these are forus and how financial institutions can implement these strategies to enhancetheir sites, definitely. So for those that are listening, I want you to thinkof four gears in your mind right now and these gears are interconnected,meaning one gear turns the next gear turns the next year. And I'm gonnastart by looking at the two most inner gears in what we call this digitalgrowth engine. And those two gears are number one, A website that sells. Soit's deploying continuous optimization every 90 days through qualitativestudies, through quantitative studies, through a B testing you have multipletypes of calls to action, but if your website is going to start generatingdifferent types of leads at different stages of the buying journey, then weneed a system to pick up and nurture those leads. And that's where marketingautomation comes into play. And historically, marketing automation hasbeen viewed internally by the financial services industry as more of this iswell, this is how we're going to nurture accounts that we already had.This is how we're going to cross sell, but this is where you can get doublevalue from marketing automation, not just from an onboarding and acrossselling capability, but from also a lead nurturing capability connected toa website that sells. So you've got a website that sells, you've gotmarketing automation working hand in hand together to generate into nurtureleads. Then if we go to the outer gear that's connected to the web site thatsells, that's where targeted ads and targeted emails will come into play.But as I mentioned before, with all of the disruption happening in the adspace and then now looking at the end box, that's where content and S E. O. Ireally believe we're going to see a new golden age of resurgence over the next2 to 3 years and so content drives traffic to the website. Those leads arethen picked up from the website via marketing automation and then the finalgear that where it all comes together that sells and service enablement.That's your crm that you're servicing component. And then another importantaspect or element of that gear is to activate ratings, To activate reviewsand to activate referrals because then the referral specifically, still themost trusted marketing channel in 2021 can then drive people back to yourwebsite that sells and it just repeats the process all over again. Yeah, I can't stress this enough forfinancial institutions to have a robust content strategy and that's eitherhaving a blog program, having a newsletter go out maybe every week orbi monthly and being president. Social media companies should not shy awayfrom social media right now there's a lot to be said for lead generation andjust kind of staying present on the feed, whether it's posting four times aweek or posting a link to your blog, just stay top of mind however you canand just kind of go after the channel that you feel is most conducive foryour platform, whether it's linked in facebook, I don't know how relevantinstagram can be for mortgage lenders, but maybe showed that the houses thatare being sold and put it on your instagram feed and people will be,would be inspired that way to take the plunge and get alone and get approvedand you just never know, you never know what can inspire people and that's whatI love about marketing. So I love about content is that there's so many optionsout there that the possibilities are endless. Yes, you know, I want to touchon that point about like, like very practical here when it comes toproducing content to fuel your digital...

...growth engine, because every single oneof those years is going to need some type of content to turn the will toturn the gear. You mentioned mortgages, alec Hanson over, loan depot has beendoing a fantastic job, educating and empowering his mortgage lenders toreally feel more confident about producing andputting out content in social media, jennifer Beast and I just had her onthe banking on digital growth podcasts. She started her Youtube channel in 2017And in four years she has racked up over 4.5 million views simply simply byanswering the questions that people have about buying a home. And this canwork, this can work as well for, you know, starting a business on thecommercial side, this can work on the consumer side, managing debt, creditcard and what platform. I'm not so interested in the platform becausethat's going to come down to the persona and where the ideal marketsegment that you're looking at targeting hangs out. But I'm moreinterested in what's the, what's the system ization, what's the operationalperspective of content, not only production but also promotion. Becausethat's where I think a lot of financial brands get held up. How are we going toproduce all of this content? Start with a big piece of content in mind and tome, video or voice, you know, video cast podcast is a great way to beginthis interview. Louisiana Federal Credit Union is doing this now. They'vebeen doing this, going back to the start of the pandemic to wheremarketing is no longer involved in this initiative. Business development is somarketing has now empowered business development to produce this content viafacebook, live streams. Marketing is then able to take the transcript andthen now turn that into articles. So it's all unique original content andit's just this continuous perpetual engine that they're able to take fromthe articles, pull out quotables, pull out a sound bite, pull out a videosnippet and then drive that traffic back into the article via the video. Soit's just, it's, it's about, I really think strategy and process and systemIzation versus doing a little bit here, doing a little bit there, the more thatyou can systematize and operationalized, the more you can optimize. And I thinka big part of that is telling your story, kind of story selling it andcoming to your audience from a more personal platform and putting a lot ofyourself into it so that it's more relatable throughout your book. You usethe phrase health first sell second, which is a great mantra and I thinkit's one where I feel many financial financial institutions are missing themark. How can the Finn Serv industry use this mantra to their advantage inan effort to establish trust among its customers? Well, you know, I'm going tocall out the industry here because when we look out at let's take content orads or emails for that matter, the way that a lot of this is positioned, itpositions the financial brand as the hero in the stories that they tell andit's narcissistic marketing, it's narcissistic cells, it's about us andI'll never forget. I was at a conference, I was like 2012 and theSpeaker said we need to tell a better story and I saw everyone in theaudience like nod their heads and I'm like yeah, I agree. And then he went onto make his next point, I'm like what does that mean? We need to tell abetter story, like how does that actually work? And so we spent a goodtwo or three years here studying story, narrative structure, storing frameworksand architecture is going all the way back to literally like ninth grade. Imean if you think about ninth grade literature, that's where we started toget perspective into how stories are told and and what are the patterns. Andthere's really only seven ways, there's only seven story arc types. There'sonly seven ways to tell a story. But regardless of what those are types are,there can only be two heroes, there can be your hero, your protagonist. Andthen when we introduce the second here is the anti hero, it's the antagonists.And if we're positioning ourselves through our communication, whether itbe marketing, communications sells communication doesn't matter to thechannel, if it's all about us and what we do in our great rates and areamazing service and are lookalike laundry list of product features. Well,we're positioning ourselves as the hero and so in the consumer's mind, they'relike that's the anti hero because in my story that I tell myself as a consumer,I'm the hero. And so this is where the story selling methodology comes intoplay and it goes like this. We have a consumer persona that has specificquestions and concerns, who meets a...

...helpful And the key word is empatheticguide that must first build trust through content. Because if you go backand you study story and art types and narrative structures, every hero needsa helpful and empathetic guide, but the hero doesn't just automatically trustthe guide. The guide has to build trust. And if we're thinking about thisbuilding trust digitally trust, as I mentioned before, is the currency inwhich we trade content is how we build trust. Content is the glue in what Icall the pyramid of human relationships, but that the foundation of everyrelationship we have respect, then at the pinnacle of that relationship wehave love and in this particular case love is going to be commitment when Iclick apply, but you have to respect me first before I can love you. But tobridge the gap between respect and love, it's Trust and trust is built on twothings what you say and what you do and in this particular case here, it allcomes back to content. Fantastic. I could not agree more with that. And Isay when it comes to experimentation and content, just have fun with it.Just constantly be improving the experimenting, trying to garner moreclicks anyway, you can there's no right or wrong answer with how you want toimprove your business and your site. I'd be really curious. I'd be reallycurious to come back and let's pull the audience here knowing that Narcissisticmarketing is all about us and our great rates and our amazing service and itcould be from a marketing site on the sell side, but I'd like to pull theaudience when we think about specifically the website and thecontent and the way that we're communicating via our website throughcontent. Let's take a second and pull the audience thinking about how youposition your financial brands, website content. What role are you playing?What role do you play in your digital communication? Are you positioningyourself as the hero and be honest? And if that's the case, there's no judgmentare you position yourself as the helpful guide? And a lot of that comesby offering different types of calls to action, transitional calls to action,downloadable buying guides, quizzes, etcetera, not just calculators, butmore deeper types of content? Or maybe you're just not sure right now, Butit's a great question to really go back and think about of how you can maybetake on the role of the helpful and empathetic guide because think about itwithout Obi wan Kenobi, there can be no luke skywalker without Mr Miyagi, therecan be no daniel son and the karate kid. So every hero needs a helpful andempathetic guide. And that's why for us as financial brands, we can take onthat role and that role begins by the content in which we communicate and theand the way that we position ourselves in the mind of consumers. Those weresome fantastic examples you gave there. I love it. So, let's take a look, let'ssee, let's see what the results are here and we are very curious. So that's great. That's fantastic.That's fantastic that we're seeing more financial brands trending towards beingthe helpful and empathetic guide. So about 60%. The helpful empathetic guide.41%. Either the hero or I'm not sure. So it's a great opportunity to continueto double down. And once again, the point of this whole conversation isoptimized on. So if you are playing the role of the helpful, an empatheticguide already, let's look for ways that we can take that double down on it anddo even more to guide people in the communities that we serve beyond theirfinancial stress towards a bigger, better, brighter future. I love it isabsolutely the best advice that I've heard today and uh you know, you'reyou're the financial expert, I like to say I'm a content experts. So hopefullyuh to conflated today, helped give a lot of help and a lot of guidance toour audience out there. Yes, very much so. I want to leave the audience withsome thoughts here, like, what do we do next? Because that's the most importantpart of it all we've talked about a lot. I I really encourage you to take thetime to write down three key insights that you've gained, one of the biggestinsights that you've gained. So write down three key insights and then justwrite down one thing that you're going to commit To do next. And that might bea commitment to, let's start optimizing our website every 90 days, and we'regoing to do that by just picking one product that we're going to focus onone journey, and that might just be conducting a B test for call to action.It might be conducting a B test for a headline and might be conducting a Btest for a form or it could be something deeper like a digital secretshopping study. But when you think about this idea of optimization andprioritization, remember start from the bottom and work to the top. Optimizedconversion points, optimized lee...

...generation and then optimize fortraffic. But please please do not wait 3 to 5 to seven years to optimize yourwebsite. And once you get 90 days down then you can look for optimizationsprints every 30, every 60 days. And then you build that habit, then it'severy 30 days. And then when you build that habit it's every two weeks. And atthat point you're really really turning over a lot more optimizationopportunity. And I want to make this very practical once again and why thisis so critically important because think about, let's just say you get1000 applications a year for a product line. And since we've been usingmortgages, we're gonna stick with that theme here. So 1000 mortgageapplications and let's say the average net interest income those mortgagegenerate is $4000. So over the course of the year 5000. Now, we're not goingto get every single one of those, let's just say we're going to get 80% ofthose approved and funded. So those are completed mortgage applications. So 80%approved and funded. What we can do is take 800 times 4000, that's $3.2million right there in net interest income. Now, my question to you is ifwe take the time to optimize this mortgage buying experience and let'sjust assume that we increase conversion rates, uh, 10%. So now we've got anextra 100 approved, not approved but converted mortgage applications, takingthat same percentage of 80% of those are funded. Now we've got 80 moremortgage applications times $4000. That's an extra $320,000 right there byjust running some very simple optimization. And A. B test neverassume don't assume anything because it's a lot of like untapped knowledge.It all comes back to looking to the consumer to provide insight into wherewe might be inadvertently be causing some conflict or increasing thecognitive load. A. B testing optimization can really prevent that. You know, this was such a funconversation with Laura and now that you have some very practical actionsthat you can take, that you can apply some even today to either build oroptimize a website that sells so that you can maximize your financial brandsfuture digital growth potential. Once again, I do want to hear from you.What's on your mind, what questions might you have text them? Text thosequestions, text your biggest digital marketing cells or leadership strategyquestions that you have right now to 83 to 5495792 Because once again I wouldlove to invite you on as a guest for our upcoming clarity calls series thatwe're getting ready to launch. Talk through those questions with you,answer those questions, provide you with clarity so that you can continueto move forward and make progress along your digital growth journey withcourage and with confidence. And remember the only bad question is thequestion that goes unasked as always and until next time be well. Do goodand make your bed. Thank you for listening to another episode of bankingon digital growth With James robert. Ley. Like what you hear, tell a friendabout the podcast and leave us a review on apple podcasts, google podcasts orSpotify and subscribe while you're there. To get even more practicalimprovement insights, visit www dot digital growth dot com to grab apreview of James roberts, best selling book banking on digital growth Or ordera copy right now for you and your team from Amazon inside you'll find astrategic marketing and sales blueprint framed around 12 key areas of focusthat empower you to confidently generate 10 times more loans anddeposits. Until next time. Be well and do good.

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