What Financial Services Advertisers Need to Do to Succeed on Facebook

Financial Services Buys into the Digital Ad Space

Over the years, digital advertising and the financial services industry have grown closer and closer together. Financial services ranks third highest in overall share of total digital ad spend across all industries. In 2015, total US digital advertising spend grew to all new heights, reaching $58B. Financial Services industry owns 12.3% of total Digital Ad spend, or $7.2B as of 2015. This is a 14.5% growth in spend from 2014, and eMarketer estimates this growth will reach $8.2B in 2016 and $10.9 by 2019.

Highly Regulated, but Highly Motivated

As you would assume, the Financial Services industry highly regulated and scrutinized. SEC regulations around financial disclosures, user privacy, and data security are just three of the biggest factors challenging the digital activities of advertisers in this industry. Yet, even these strict guidelines don’t have to stop advertisers from reaching their customers digitally. Facebook is a great place for advertisers to build trust, increase awareness, and turn first-time customers into lifetime advocates.

Target the Right Audience, the Right Way

Facebook targeting allows you to find the right customer segment based on specific demographics like age, gender, and location. College students, for example, are more likely to be interested in opening a first checking account, where as young professionals are more likely to be interesting in making a larger investment. You can also target based on life events, so it’s possible to advertise specifically to newly married couples who may be interested in investing in a first home or starting a family.  

In addition, advertisers have the opportunity to target customers using their own first party data, creating what we call Custom Audiences, as well as targeting users that look like existing customer groups, or Lookalike Audiences. The targeting method you select should compliment your audience’s place in the customer lifecycle. So for example, Acorns, a financial services company, launched its micro-investing app, by using Custom and Lookalike Audience targeting for Facebook mobile app ads. Acorns’ goal in this campaign was to reach mobile investors and acquire as many new customers as possible. Acorns created a Custom Audience based on those who had already installed the app. Using that same list of previous app buyers, the company targeted ads to Lookalike Audience lists target potential new users. In the end, the company saw that 33% of all acquired users derived from Facebook. In addition, the app became the number 1 financial services app in the US for nearly a week in the Apple App store.

Just like selecting a targeting method, it’s important that your ad creative mirror those you are targeting. If you’re targeting young couples looking to secure a loan for a new home and are in the comparison phase, create a video ad campaign that highlights all the different options your company has to offer as well as testimonials from past couples who’ve had a great experience with your brand. Alternatively, if targeting an audience that’s already shown interest in your company, like one of the above couples, use creative that will compel them to act and drive a real business result, like by notifying them of a current promotion offering deals to newly weds.

Meet Your New Friend, Direct Response Ads

Direct response campaigns, aimed at driving real action, are a great way, particularly for financial services advertisers, to communicate an offer to users. Unlike eCommerce purchases where a customer’s purchase journey can take place in a matter of minutes, your customers will take may begin a journey online and finish it in another channel, including a bank branch or a call center. However, current customers and prospects would respond to an offer, for example to get cash back rewards by signing up for a promotion, or receiving a discount on monthly fees by getting a friend to become a new customer.

Invest in the Future

Digital advertising has proven a smart investment for financial services advertisers, for more reasons than one. In an industry where customers expects personalization, care, trust, and privacy, there is much to be gained by targeting customers with the right message, at the right time, and in the space where they are spending much of their time. In addition, use that customer data to help gain valuable prospects that can become brand advocates in the future.

To learn more about how you can unlock your CRM data with Salesforce Active Audiences, to better target advertising across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Display, check out our whitepaper.