Estimated Read Time: 5 Minutes

Everyone wants to play with the big dogs, but if you’re a small, local or regional bank, you might need to rethink that strategy.

If your bank is playing strictly with numbers, trying to compete with larger banks based solely on financial factors, chances are that you’re barking up the wrong tree.

Rather than continuously trying to climb that impossible tree, only to slip right back down again, maybe you need to find a new tree. 

If you take away all the metaphors, what we’re really saying is that your Northern NJ bank needs a new marketing plan. You need to stop trying to win the game with numbers and start outsmarting your competitors with carefully crafted marketing strategies. 

Sure, change can be scary, especially when you have to change the way you do business. Change is also necessary, though, especially when you want to set your bank apart. These marketing strategies for banks can help you do just that.  

Emphasize the Community Connection 

While your Northern NJ bank may not have as big of CD rates as online-only banks, you have something else that they don’t. You have a community.

Being a local or regional bank means greater opportunities for community connections. Not only does this help you, but you can also help your community.

If you want people in your area to invest their money with your bank, it’s important to invest in them. This type of marketing is often called, “cause marketing”, and it involves anything from helping to build homes to sponsoring children’s sports teams or participating in local food drives.  

So, while you might not necessarily beat out that big bank when it comes to customers looking for CDs, when Jane Smith around the corner needs to refinance her mortgage loan, she’ll know to turn to you. She’ll know that your bank has the community’s best interests at heart. She’ll know she’s a person, not just another number.

Inject Personality in Your Marketing 

So, what’s the culture like at your bank? Has anyone asked you that before? Well, it’s time to start thinking about it.

Does your bank pride itself on staying up-to-date with the latest trends, or is it more traditional? Whatever your culture, you want it to be a cornerstone of your company. It should shine through in everything you do, especially in your marketing strategies.

Marketing strategies for banks that seem like robots run the company lack the personality that is needed to connect with real humans on a meaningful level. Highlighting your bank’s culture and the values and employees which shape it will show current and potential customers that they can relate to and trust you.

Modernize Your Brand

There’s nothing wrong with holding onto traditional values, as long as that doesn’t hold your bank back. Whether it’s a haircut or a fresh new outfit, we all need a revamp every once in a while, and the same goes for your bank’s brand. Consider crafting a new message or creating a new logo to convey modernity, all while still reflecting the fact that your bank aims to provide the same level of customer service it always has.

Make Your Marketing Specific

Now, if you’re going to rebrand, it’s not as simple as just choosing a new image for your logo and running with it. Easy there, bud. Rebranding and creating new messaging requires a little more thought and effort in order to make sure that your marketing is both specific and unique.

Say you want to rebrand to emphasize that in this digital, fast-paced work, your bank still offers great customer service. That could work, but, is it specific enough? “Great customer service” is a vague term to begin with, and too generic to market well.

Think about what your customers really want. Maybe their idea of better customer service is a new mobile app, while yours is more bank tellers. We all tend to make assumptions and generalize, but that’s not going to work for your bank marketing strategy. It’s important to make your marketing strategies specific and thoughtfully tailored to your customers’ needs and wants.

Invest in Great Content 

Ready for a wakeup call? Ads don’t do it for customers anymore, especially younger customers. Yup. That’s right, and that’s why content marketing is the new best thing.

Content marketing gives your bank the opportunity to provide organic, informative and even entertaining content to prospective customers. It provides a platform for you to speak to them, even if it’s not in real life and in real time.

Study your target audience and create blog posts, videos, infographics, and other types of content that are tailored to different segments of your market. And don’t forget to find out which social media platforms they’re using and start getting social.

Interacting with your audience allows you to better understand what they need from you, or, what you need to help them understand.

Say that your bank surveyed members of your local NJ community and compiled a list of the reasons why people are hesitant to do business with your bank.

Let’s say that the top reasons are:

  • A limited number of branches
  • Not open on weekends
  • Restricted hours
  • Perception of weak digital security

Content marketing is able to easily and immediately address these issues. Maybe your bank has a terrific mobile app that minimizes the need for extra branches and additional hours. Write About it. Perhaps it’s because of the limited hours and branches that your bank is able to offer the lower rates it does. Write about it.  As for digital security, you can always write about your standards and certifications to show that your bank takes security seriously.

It’s also never a bad idea to look at what your competitors are doing and the content they’re putting out. You always have to stay ahead of the game.

Stop focusing on numbers and start focusing on the people who matter to your business. That’s how your bank is going to set itself apart. Whether it’s by highlighting your employees or zeroing in on your customer’s needs, changing the marketing strategies for your bank will change the way people see your company – in a good way. Change is good, don’t be afraid.

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