Crush B2B Lead Gen Goals with LinkedIn Sponsored Content

It’s a common story. Inbound marketers do their diligence developing buyer personas; cultivating content plans informed by keyword research throughout the buyer’s journey designed to attract and convert B2B leads. We launch our campaign to the world. Check for form notifications. Hours go by. Days. *DING* WE GOT ONE! – oh, wait… it’s a guest blogging service in Croatia.

Well, shoot. Here’s the deal: it’s not that the inbound research is necessarily wrong. But the content and conversion paths are a long game. Driving B2B leads with content can’t always rely on the grit of our organic and earned efforts. Especially in the short term. Take this data from Hubspot for example:

LinkedIn B2B Lead Gen

It usually takes 3 – 6 months before we start seeing the blogs we’re posting today really start picking up steam in attracting the contact volume that can start to scale our business. It takes 12 months to really go crazy.

So what’s a marketer to do? Help crush your B2B lead gen goals with some help from the social network built for B2B. LinkedIn. If you sell B2B, you should already consider LinkedIn marketing. What we’re going to look at today, is sponsored content.

LinkedIn B2B Lead Gen

Get to Know LinkedIn Sponsored Content

LinkedIn Sponsored content is the promotion of a post from a page that appears natively in the LinkedIn feed [psst, here are some post ideas.] You can include a link to your site or landing page or build a lead generation form within LinkedIn that lets LinkedIn users request content, information, or other contact from your organization with the click of a button. The form will automatically populate with information from their LinkedIn profile.

Because it behaves like a native post you get the benefit of the engagement functionality resulting in brand awareness via the social nature of the network. This reach is extended beyond that of your company page with the assistance of an ad budget.

LinkedIn B2B Lead Gen

Setting up Sponsored Content

Getting your sponsored content campaign up and running requires a LinkedIn advertising account. For a complete guide to doing that, check out the Getting Started with LinkedIn Advertising chapter in our LinkedIn Marketing Guide.

Some things to consider as you plan your advertising strategy.

  • Budget
    • LinkedIn, like most online ad platforms enable total and daily budget parameters. Bids can be set per click or impression if sending InMail. Because of the niche element of LinkedIn (focus on work) costs are generally higher than you’ll see on other networks.
  • Audience
    • There’s a multitude of options for targeting ads from audience development around LinkedIn profile parameters like job title, professional interest, industry. etc.. But another powerful tool is combining LinkedIn with your own data whether using matched audiences like those who visit your website or for account-based targeting. All of this is covered in depth in our LinkedIn Marketing Guide.

Aligning Sponsored Content with Inbound

The LinkedIn B2B lead generation goal crushing comes in when LinkedIn sponsored content aligns with a well crafted inbound marketing program. If your marketing plan and website is built to be a lead gen machine, give the machine some extra horsepower by plugging in another channel.

First, look to your personas when you build out your audience targeting in LinkedIn advertising. Structure campaigns around them, their stage in the journey, and use the LinkedIn Insights tag to create audience groups for people who engage with content as they move through the funnel, adjusting the content you show them during their journey.

Second, make sure that the audiences are aligned with the timing delivered in your email nurture sequences. The goal is to create a multi-channel soft touch to attract and nurture your prospects along their journey.

Finally, once a prospect has achieved the desired behavior, make sure to exclude them from LinkedIn sponsored content both to conserve ad budget but to also deliver a positive marketing experience.

For more information, here are some additional ways you use LinkedIn for Lead Gen.

3+ Social Media Marketing Ideas for Construction & Engineering Companies

Historically, construction and engineering companies have been known to heavily utilize one-way advertising including TV and radio ads and billboards, as well as offline face-to-face interactions and word of mouth. These may still work to an extent, but they are limiting in how far they can reach.

An active social media presence allows construction and engineering companies to reach a wider, more receptive audience than traditional marketing. Consumers are spending the majority of their time online. When they are looking for project ideas, answers to questions, or firms to partner with, they are turning to their online communities to find information and engage in conversations. Make sure your firm isn’t overlooked by putting the following social media marketing ideas for construction and engineering companies to work.

Marketing for Construction and Engineering

1. Build Lasting Connections by Being Engaged in Industry Conversations

The construction and engineering industries are constantly evolving. The professionals involved have great stories to tell whether they’re about exciting industry innovations, successes throughout projects, or admirable firm culture. There are many ways to engage with your industry and your target audience using social media; here are a few.

[LinkedIn for B2B is always a good idea. Checkout out our LinkedIn Marketing guide.]

Provide Educational Content on Regulation Changes

Regulations are constantly changing in the construction and engineering industries. Social media is a great medium to have discussions on how to best handle those changes. Make an effort to become actively involved in Groups on LinkedIn or Facebook that address regulations specifically.

Once you’ve started to build a reputation as a thought leader in your Groups, begin creating educational content such as blogs, videos, and infographics that will help others address the regulatory compliance issues your team has conquered. Share these resources in your Groups as well as across all of your social media channels in order to spread their potential impact to a wider audience.

Show Off Your Successes

Your clients and prospects want to know exactly how successful your firm is when it comes to completing projects and staying ahead of your competition. In a way, social media was designed around the idea of showing off a bit, and it’s a great medium to demonstrate your full capabilities. Here are a few ideas to get your humble brag motors turning:

  • Display beautiful photography of your finished work on Instagram, Pinterest, and Houzz
  • Boast about your team’s diversity and inclusion efforts on Instagram
  • Do “sneak peek” walkthrough videos of completed projects for Instagram and Facebook
  • Demonstrate how your firm is innovating using exciting, new tech on LinkedIn

Marketing ideas construction and engineering

Drive Referral Traffic

According to Econsultancy, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook account for 90% of all social referral traffic to business-to-business (B2B) websites, with LinkedIn accounting for more than half (64%). Being engaged regularly on these platforms will keep you visible to your target audience. Even if they don’t need your services right now, they’ll know where to find you when they do in the future. Here are some additional post ideas for LinkedIn to inspire you

2. Get Creative with Video Across Different Social Channels

Video is one of the most powerful marketing tools of our time. It helps draw in new followers and is an exciting way to provide valuable content that actually gets viewed. If you aren’t currently using video in your social media marketing, here is what you are missing:

  • Video content is the best performing content type on social and can help to increase brand awareness, interest, and conversions. (SocialMediaToday)
  • Views of branded video content increased 99% on YouTube and 258% on Facebook between 2016 and 2017. (Wyzowl)
  • On Twitter, a video Tweet is 6x more likely to be retweeted than a photo Tweet. (Wyzowl)

Video production doesn’t need to be extremely technical or time-consuming. According to HubSpot, 56% of all videos published in the last year are less than 2 minutes long, which happens to be the sweet spot for maintaining viewers until the end. Here are a couple of ideas to get you started with video marketing on your social channels.

Live Stream to Provide an Inside Peek at Your Operations

Outsiders probably don’t know what the day to day looks like in construction or engineering. Even your current clients that meet with you regularly may not fully understand how you make decisions and problem solve. Construction and engineering can be quite technical in nature so providing a raw, real-time inside look gives it a human touch and makes it more relatable.

[Before you stream, have a strategy. Here’s how to build a modern marketing strategy for your construction company.]

Live stream content is not only interesting but also beneficial to your curious clients and future prospects as it increases transparency and builds trust with your brand. It is a great way to get useful information to your followers in a way that is easily digestible.

There are many platforms to choose from for streaming. It may be worth it to diversify across several to target different types of audiences. Between four of the major players, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Periscope, there are over 1.1 billion hours of video watched each day.

On several platforms like Facebook and Youtube, when you start a live video, automatic notifications are sent out to pull in followers as you are streaming. A good practice while streaming is to have a moderator prepared to keep an eye on the live chat and respond in real time to questions or comments.

Easily Start a Vlog (Video blog) on YouTube Reusing Your Blog Content

80% of people now prefer videos over blog content and social media posts. All of those people may be skipping past the wealth of information in your blog simply because they’d rather watch or listen to it than read it.

marketing ideas construction engineering

This effort can be as simple as recording someone reading the information out loud. This is a bit more like a podcast because there isn’t a lot of visual value and will be a quick effort but doesn’t take full advantage of the power of video.

To really add value, you could bring in a designer to create a simple but engaging animation that demonstrates visually what is being said in the audio. Another popular strategy is recording a person explaining the content (memorized snippets of the blog) along with intermittent animation overlays to help demonstrate specific points.

3. Amp Up Your Social Media at Expos & Trade Shows

Trade shows and expos can be a powerful marketing and sales channel that allows for informative face-to-face interactions with current clients and potential prospects. In fact, 88% of exhibitors participate in trade shows to raise awareness of the company and its brand.

The key is getting attendees to not only notice your booth amongst hundreds but to be interested in what you have to say or offer. You can use social media to create a buzz and keep people informed throughout the show.

Use SnapChat Geofilters to Draw in a Crowd

You don’t have to have the biggest, most expensive display but everybody knows the booth at the show with excitement and a crowd draws in even more curious people. At your next trade show, utilize a SnapChat geofilter. This can create interest and draw people already at the show to your booth.

You can set your filter for the timing of the show and confine it to the specific location in and around the venue. You can utilize several pre-made SnapChat templates, or if you want to make sure it’s fully branded have your designers create a custom filter. It just needs to follow SnapChat’s custom creation guidelines.

Include your recognizable branding and your precise booth location so people can easily find you. Provide a reason to come to your booth, such as a free t-shirt or some other kind of swag. Most importantly, make sure when people do come to your booth, you help them take pictures using the filter and share to their networks.

[Don’t know how to get started with this? It might be time to work with a digital agency. Learn more.]

Live Tweet Q&A During On-site Presentations

If your business will be doing a live presentation or giving a speech, a Live Tweet Q&A is a great way to wrangle questions from your audience while also making them aware of your presence on Twitter.

This will require a well-advertised hashtag for questions to be submitted; make sure it is discussed prior to the speech beginning and is visible throughout the entire presentation.

For a smaller audience, you could have the speaker keep an eye on the hashtag and try to catch questions coming in real-time and work them into their presentation. But, this can be quite distracting for someone who isn’t well-versed at multitasking.

Another option is to have a moderator keep an eye on the incoming questions, they can sort them into categories, get rid of duplicates, and choose the best questions to be addressed at specified times throughout the presentation.

Pair this Q&A effort with a giveaway where a winner is chosen randomly out of new Follows from the audience throughout the presentation.

LinkedIn Marketing Guide

Conclusion

As you can see, there is a multitude of ways to creatively engage with and market to your target audience using social media. The most important thing to remember is it is all about making and building upon connections and being present, so don’t go in halfway. Committing to being fully engaged on one channel is better than being partially present across several.

6 LinkedIn Post Ideas To Drive B2B Eyeballs

Creating LinkedIn posts for B2B can be a challenge when competing with all the other noise on social. However, unlike some channels that are heavily influenced by friends and families, research from Marketing Profs found that while individuals have a slight advantage, brands bring a fair degree of influence on LinkedIn, making it a key part of your b2b marketing. 

Additionally, MarketingProfs found that LinkedIn members will engage with content when it’s educational or informative, relevant to their specific interests, and related to industry news and trends. 89% of people said say they are interested in industry news, and 86% said that want tips and best practices.

Here are a few of our recommendations on how to create LinkedIn posts for B2B to drive views and engagement while giving the people want they want.

LinkedIn Posts for B2B

Create Posts That Give How-tos and Tips

As mentioned above, people use LinkedIn to learn more information. They go to the platform to stay relevant in their fields and competitive with what their colleagues are doing. They want to learn from their peers and find interesting, useful tidbits of info that are applicable to their own career.

Looking for more info on LinkedIn Marketing? Download our guide.

B2B posts centered around giving your audience just that- useful information- will go far. Make your audience feel smart with posts that fuel their natural inclination to do their job better.

Create Posts about Your Company Culture

B2B companies have a much larger opportunity to be seen and followed on LinkedIn than any other platform. This is simply because many professionals still want to keep their work and personal social channels separate. That being said, LinkedIn is a great place to showcase your business’ culture.

Create posts that show what your culture is about. Please don’t just spew culture-related buzzwords all over your audience. Post photos of your team, congratulate your employees on their successes, showcase how you’re putting your mission into action by serving the community.

We love this example of how our partner Beehive Strategic Communications used International Women’s Day to showcase their culture through dedication to gender equality.

LinkedIn Posts for B2B

Create Posts Giving Predictions and Unique Points of view

LinkedIn is a great platform for your company to strut its stuff, so to speak. You’re experts in what you do, right? Use LinkedIn to prove it. Make your proclamations and show your audience that you know what you’re talking about. They likely are following you for exactly that reason already. Don’t be afraid to make bold statements about your industry.

Furthermore, since we’re talking B2B here, your prospects are likely looking to work with a company that’s confident in their assertions.

Check out these tips on how to use LinkedIn for lead gen!

Create Posts that Provoke Thought

On that note, the average LinkedIn scroller will be looking to engage and interact. They are eager to offer their opinion and sound smart. This is partly due to the fact that commenting gains them visibility, which you can use to your advantage. By declaring your own point of view or making predictions about the state of [insert topic here], you have the opportunity to open up a dialog. Ask questions, invite feedback, and inspire your followers to give you their opinion, too.

Make it a point to write specific posts geared toward igniting discussion on a weekly basis. The more engagement you get, the more likely you will be to show up at the top of the newsfeed.

Create Posts Using Your Company Influencers & Thought Leaders

Because “B2B” by definition is Business-to-Business, we tend to forget about the humans actually running the businesses. So, even though we’re talking about posting on a company LinkedIn page, you can absolutely let individuals speak through your company. Especially when it comes to video, which we’ll talk about next. Your employees are brilliant authorities on your core topics. Allow them to generate, lead, and influence the conversations you want to have.

Here’s an example from HubSpot. They’ve showcased VP Katie Ng-Mak. She’s breaking through barriers about what it means to be a ‘salesperson’ and opening the door for other like-mind individuals to do the same, sparking a dialog in the comments. This video really hits on all the sections above, too.

Create Video Posts

How far can you get in your own LinkedIn feed before you see a video? Starting at the top of my feed, I got to post #5 and it was a video of a dog hugging a goose. Can’t make this up. Maybe not the most relevant subject matter for LinkedIn…? BUT right below that was a video on personal branding and authenticity. She recorded it on her own personal device- no budget, no frills, no extra equipment. You bet I watched the whole thing, took mental notes on it, and went on my way. Note that this wasn’t a paid spot, either. But here is some info on using LinkedIn Ads if you’re interested! 

When generating LinkedIn Posts for B2b, if you’re an expert in your field, which we already assumed you are, people want to hear from you. And video is one of the easiest, fastest ways to accomplish that task. We can guarantee that almost everybody (save for those people who really want to be actors deep down) are going to be camera shy at first, but the reward of video is worth feeling silly at first.

LinkedIn Posts for B2B

 

6 Simple Ways to Use LinkedIn for Lead Generation

With more than 500 Million users, nearly half of which use it daily – LinkedIn offers a unique reach for B2B marketers and salespeople. Because of its emphasis on career, LinkedIn attracts often hard to reach buyers. If you’re looking for a niche channel and considering adding LinkedIn Marketing to your mix, you might be wondering specifically about LinkedIn lead generation tactics. Here are 6 easy to implement LinkedIn lead generation activities to boost your B2B sales and marketing on the business social network.

How to use Use Linkedin for Lead Generation

Continue reading “6 Simple Ways to Use LinkedIn for Lead Generation”

5 Reasons the HubSpot LinkedIn ad integration has us swooning

Hubspot gave us a nice Valentine’s day gift today – integrating LinkedIn ads to their ad product. As inbound marketers who look at a multichannel approach that includes ads – this is welcomed news (especially because we found a lot of problems with alternative solutions). On this Valentine’s day, we’re swooning over this product update. So what does this mean for B2B marketers looking to add LinkedIn marketing to their mix? What’s got us all excited about the Hubspot LinkedIn ad integration? Let’s break it down.

Benefits of hubspot linkedin ad integration

Seamlessly sync Linkedin leads with Hubspot CRM

This is probably the most exciting thing we’re looking at. Historically, you’ve either had to use third party tools like Zapier to connect Linkedin and Hubspot or assign someone manually to go in daily to download your lead list and update your CRM. Yuck! With the native integration to Hubspot, when a prospect submits a lead gen ad, they get created as a new contact in Hubspot (winning!)

Easily report ROI through the CRM

LinkedIn’s ad product is coming along from where it was even last year, but reporting ROI is still a struggle. Now, closing the loop at the contact level, you can report ROI either by assigning a static value to all contacts or with real data from your CRM’s pipeline and opportunities that flow into it from your LinkedIn marketing activity.

Auto tracking

Another area of challenge with LinkedIn ads, is referral sourcing and tracking. Ads don’t always seem to get tracked well in Hubspot – now, campaigns are auto tracked. Of course, you can still append additional parameters, but if the idea of tagging a bunch of blogs that you’re running as sponsored content sounds laborious – take a breath.

Close the gap on remarketing

Similar to Facebook, reaching customer and prospect lists with audiences is even easier now with a direct connection between your CRM. Shortening any step in a day full of tasks is a welcomed event.

Hubspot LinkedIn Ads

Very B2B friendly

What we’re most excited about, is that while Google and Facebook have their place, for B2B clients who really benefit from inbound, sometimes Google and Facebook is hard to advocate for in aligning with inbound further up in the funnel. Now, with the LinkedIn ads product for Hubspot, it feels truly useful across a customer’s journey and fully aligned with the mantra of being helpful.

Word of caution

When connecting, Hubspot will sync past LeadGen Forms. This has caused some weird timeline details on some portals we’re working in. The benefits of the sync going forward far outweigh any quirks with some of the retroactive data, but if you see some historical changes to the way you were tracking your Lead Gen Form contacts, be aware there is a historical sync that takes place.

Lake One’s Guide to LinkedIn Marketing

LinkedIn marketing holds a key place in a modern marketing strategy, especially for B2B marketers.  With more than 500 Million users, nearly half of which use it daily – LinkedIn offers a unique reach that other social networks struggle to compete against. Because of it’s emphasis on work, LinkedIn attracts often hard to reach buyers. Whether in niche industries or by titles – or high net-worth (41% of millionaires, have a presence on LinkedIn!).  

It’s no wonder that marketers flock to LinkedIn as an acquisition source. In 2017, Social Media Examiner found 81% of B2B Marketers and 44% of B2C marketers are leveraging the network in their marketing programs.

So with all this opportunity, you’re chomping at the bit to get a piece of the pie for your business. We get it. That’s why we created Lake One’s guide to marketing on LinkedIn.

Linkedin Marketing Guide

In a hurry? Email yourself a copy to read later.

Creating your page / Types of Posts / Grow your Following / Using Hashtags / LinkedIn Advertising / Measuring Success

Preparing Your Credit Union for Social Media Blunders, Catastrophe and More

Crisis lurks out there. It can be man-made or an act of God. Social media, unfortunately, is a risk factor. However, it’s also one of a crises best cures.

Last week, an employee at Max Credit Union sparked a controversy when they shared personal information about a member on the credit union’s Facebook page.

SOCIAL-MEDIA-CRISIS-MANAGEMENT

Policy guides use, but not all use can be pre-conceived

Well-meaning social media policies and guidance can protect organizations, guide use and mitigate risk. But in the Max Credit Union case, this was a case of a Common Sense gap.

It should go without saying “Don’t post account holder’s personal information on social media”, right?  Social Media Policies can only reach so far. They can’t conceive of every possible use or human conception.

Said another way. Social Media provides more than a marketing channel. It can be the very tool used to mitigate the crisis a credit union faces, even if IT (social media) caused the crisis.

As such, policies can not possibly conceive all use cases.

Social Media and Crisis, Cause & Cure

While policy can’t prevent all lapses in human common sense, the very channel that caused the crisis is often in demand to help solve the crisis. Regardless of disaster, social media is a powerful tool for your credit union to both mitigate a crisis and serve your members.

Social Media usage skyrockets during crisis events.  Expectations on social media are also high. According to the American Red Cross, in times of natural disaster, nearly 3/4 of all adults expect emergency responders to send help within one hour of social media requests being made.

Sure, your credit union isn’t an emergency responder. But you are responsible for timely and accurate information regarding the security the financial well being of your members. Additionally, supporting your community in times of crisis is a strong brand builder.

In their paper, Examining the Role of Social Media in Effective Crisis Management:The Effects of Crisis Origin, Information Form, and Source on Publics’ Crisis Responses, Yan Jin , Brooke Fisher Liu , and Lucinda L. Austin point out that”social media provide emotional support after crises through enabling [audiences] to virtually band together, share information, and demand resolution. This online participation during crises often is replicated in offline participation in crisis resolution.” (2011)

The need to prepare to mitigate crisis, self and nature made

So while a social media policy can’t have hundreds of pages for every lapse in common sense and included lines explicitly saying “you can’t post that,” not that that would be much value anyway, your policy can provide some guidance for situations conceived now and broadly in the future.

Here are a few items to consider in preparing yourself,  your team and updating your policies to manage through self-made and man made crisis. No policy at all? Check out our downloadable social media policy template for credit unions to get you started.

Define “CRISIS”

This is another one of those areas you can’t account for all possible variables. But try your best. Someone saying something mean about your credit union once on facebook, isn’t really a “crisis.” A one hour power outage on your block, not a crisis. You can use some broad strokes if you want but look at things like:

Reach – How many people are being affected by this event? Is it a significant portion of your membership? It could constitute a crisis.

Severity – On a scale of 1 – 10, how severe are the repercussions of this crisis. Repercussions can be a lot of things. Legal fallout, damage to brand, financial loss, and damage to property to name a few.

Duration – Is this a short lived event or does this event have long lingering effects?

Additionally the folks at Convince and Convert have some guidance on this topic as well. In particular what constitutes a social media specific crisis.

Name a crisis management team

You might already have a crisis communications plan in place for things like natural disasters, data breaches or other catastrophes. When social media is involved, take it a step further. Name a group of people who are responsible for the following things:

Handling public concern. These people will be online and offline. Someone in your branch(es) as well as a social media “command center.” This should be someone more senior who can be trusted and held accountability for staying on message.

Media spokesperson. There should always be a strong media spokesperson. Someone selected who is calm, collected and presents well with the media. This isn’t always your CEO, of VP of Marketing. This is someone who can handle a barrage of questions and put the media in their place when they need to be but also seen as sympathetic and compassion towards anyone affected by the event.

Internal spokesperson. Just like you need someone responsible for communicating with external audiences, you need someone as a point of contact for internal questions and concerns. This person also needs to be able to think fast on their feet and handle anything that might get thrown at them in a dicey situation but also someone who can show empathy when necessary.

Legal counsel. Finally. You need a legal counsel counterpart who can be available with a quick turnaround to provide guidance on statements, strategy and ensure compliance as you navigate the fallout from your crisis.

Conduct a post-mortem

Once the storm passes, and they always do, pull your crisis team together and few members fo you senior management team and those from the front line together for a round table. Here you will discuss the event. What went well, what went badly. The goal of this is to document the experience and produce a post-mortem document to add to your previous memo as continued guidance. The reason? No amount of planning can prepare for every situation. In today’s 24/7 always on world your digital channels serve a lot of masters from cleaning up messes in lapses of common sense to communicating in times of community crisis.

A social media policy can’t prepare and protect against all possible crisis but having a small team dedicated to quick reaction and analysis can prepare your credit union and position you to mitigate risk, reduce fall out and move through the crisis in the best possible light.

Have the last word

What say you? What did we miss or what would you add? Leave a comment and let us know.

Credit Union Social Media Strategy Series: The Underbanked

All this week we’re diving into the strategy behind reaching specific audiences through your credit union’s social media efforts. Yesterday we discussed reaching millenials and today we’re looking at the underbanked: who they are and what their audience profile can tell us about the strategy for our content and social media marketing efforts.

underbanked

Who are the underbanked?

Nearly a quarter of American households conduct some or all of their financial transactions outside the mainstream system. This population makes up our final segment: the underbanked.

Defining this group based on the audience profile we outlined at the beginning of this series is a challenge because the profile is diverse.  This audience crosses multiple demographic profiles. What is perhaps more helpful here is understanding the reason for this segment in the first place and how they consume technology.

Underbanked: Audience Profile

The underbanked are generally lower income, but  the underbanked are a highly networked segment with more than ¾ of the audience using social media.

The proliferation of social media use has come at the decrease in price for mobile devices and at the same time so has the possibility for financial institutions to reach this previously underserved market with solutions to their financial needs in medium that fits their lifestyle.

Media, P2P and Mobile are all forms of financial solutions that are actively making progress in this segment.

However, still many of the underbanked feel financial solutions don’t apply to them whether it’s because they don’t have enough money to make it worth their while, access is too difficult or they can’t afford the offering.

What’s important to keep in mind with the underbanked, not all of them have always been underbanked, and that not all of them are stuck in a cycle where they feel they don’t need financial products.  Life happens and access are often the biggest triggers of becoming underbanked.

Sources:

Social media strategy: reaching the underbanked

Platform:

Due to the highly social nature of the segment, being present and active is key. This may be the only way to consistently touch this segment with your message and move them down the funnel towards membership.

Message:

Messages should reinforce their potential. Nothing is out of reach and that everyone starts somewhere. Because they feel they don’t have enough to even get started, focus on how small things grow to big things and help educate along the way.

 Cross functional strategy:

Because they may not be likely to come into a branch immediately, work with other community groups to teach the importance of personal finance such as community education, church groups etc.  Get them connected to the story of “every little bit” starts building.

This is the start of strategy for the underbanked based on an understanding of who they are, what their needs are and how they interact with online and social media as it relates to financial institutions. You can build on this and adapt it to your local community and credit union needs.

This completes our series starting with developing the questions we ask in building an audience profile, then using an audience profile to build a strategy for specific audience groups: Mass affluent, millennials and today underbanked.

Hope you found the series helpful. What online marketing challenges is your credit union facing?  Tell us in the comments section.

Credit Union Social Media Strategy Series: The Millennials

All this week we’re diving into the strategy behind reaching specific audience through your credit union’s social media efforts. Yesterday we discussed the Mass Affluent and today we’re looking at the Millennials: who they are and what their audience profile can tell us about the strategy for our content and social media marketing efforts.

Credit Unions & Millennials

Who are the millennials?

Millennials, also called Gen Y or the Net Generation, are quickly becoming the largest generation since the baby boomers, and depending on who you ask, surpassing the boomer population by up to 7%.

Defined as those born between the early 1980s and early 2000s, there is plenty written about this highly sought after demographic.

Whether you think they are a lost causeon the rise or somewhere in between the fact remains they are influencers and they are not to be ignored.  But what makes them tick and what can we learn about who they are, their habits online and offline and what keeps them up at night that will inform our strategy?

Millennials: Audience Profile

The biggest challenge that faces marketers trying to reach millennials, is the generation span.

While every generation deals with span, targeting millennials today means you may be trying to reach those who are barely teens to those who are approaching 30 something. With such an emotional and financial maturity gamut, any attempt to paint the generation with a broad stroke will fail and your strategy will suffer.

In many ways, approaching this generation requires breaking it into 2 sub-segments. Those born early ‘80s – mid ‘90s and those born mid ‘90s to early ‘00s, no you have targets of those age 20 something to 30 something and early teen to 20 something. Still not perfect but a lot easier when you think of the state of mind of those who are 28 versus those who are 18.

Millennials: technology, responsibility and interests

Across the both age groups: Social media adoption of course is high in the generation that invented Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube etc. As a result of this always on, connected mentality high touch is something that resonates with the Net Generation. A direct interaction from a brand can quickly turn members of this brand into advocates.

Socially aware and thrifty, members of Gen Y are deal seekers but older Gen Yers, of all generations are the most willing to spend more to support companies who put good back into society.

For older Gen Yers, their top 4 priorities as they age are:  Being a good parent, Having a successful marriage, Helping others, and Owning a home.

When it comes to brand receptiveness, Gen Yers respond to brands who play into their creative spirit. 81% ( ¼  older and more than half younger ) of Gen Yer’s will try a brand because they sponsor an event for an artist they like.

Millennials & Money

And the most important thing? They have assets. While the Generation has been hit hard by the recession, Nielsen research points out that Gen Y makes up a larger percentage of those with $2 million + in assets than Gen X. Median income is $49,297. Narly 10% own their own business, about the same as their older counterparts we talked about yesterday. Millennials are in fact, a segment of the mass affluent.

Wealth (IPA) by Generation (Source: Nielsen 2013)
Wealth (IPA) by Generation (Source: Nielsen 2013)

Here’s where it gets interesting. The DIY nature of millennials extends to their finances. They bank, invest and buy insurance by themselves, online. They would prefer to never see an investment advisor by comparison to their older counterparts. This of course could change as they approach retirement, but today, they prefer to get their questions answered online and to do what they need to do themselves.  They are the heaviest internet banking demographic.

Sources:

So what does this profile of who they are and what their goals are tell us and how can it inform our strategy?

Social media strategy: reaching millennials

Platform:

Due to the highly social nature of the generation, being nimble and responsive to changing technologies is key. This is the generation that is considered early adopters and will influence what could be the next Facebook. Keep an eye out to what’s happening and test emerging platforms with this group.

Message:

Messages should leverage their interests heavily. Showcase your credit unions social responsibility, answer the questions they have about finance so they can take care of their finances the way they want and create an inclusive culture that puts a spotlight on members and team.

Crossfunctional strategy:

Because they reward social minded organizations, reach out to your community relations team and craft a strategy to highlight you activities via your social media channels.

Also, appealing to their creative side could be helpful. Reach out to your events and PR teams to find out if there is a possibility of sponsoring local artists or music events and make sure you’re live tweeting , instagraming or showing your credit union’s participation in the experience and encouraging engagement.

This is the start of strategy for the millennials based on an understanding of who they are, what their needs are and how they interact with online and social media as it related to financial institutions. You can build on this and adapt it to your local community and credit union needs. Tomorrow we’ll talk about using audience profiling to develop a strategy to reach the underbanked.

Credit Union Social Media Strategy Series: The Mass Affluent

All this week we’re diving into the strategy behind reaching specific audience through your credit union’s social media efforts. Yesterday we talked about the importance of audience profiling to social media strategy and explored some of the questions you look to answer when building a profile.

Credit Unions & Mass Affluent

Today we’re looking at the Mass Affluent: who they are and what their audience profile can tell us about the strategy for our content and social media marketing efforts.

Who are the mass affluent?

The mass affluent is a relatively new marketing segment defined by households with assets between $250,000 and $1 million not counting real estate holdings. Just over 10% of the U.S. population fit this classification and this population is highly liquid in their investment capability.

Mass Affluent: Audience Profile

As a segment, this audience skews to be an older demographic with more than 60% over the age of 55 and most don’t have kids or are empty nesters. From a career perspective they often work in finance, or management and many own their own business.

They embrace technology and nearly all are frequent users of social media. When it comes to their use of social media nearly half engage with financial institutions through social networking and more than 40% use social media to discover or consider financial institutions according to research from Linked. Of those that use social media to engage, discover and consider financial institutions,  more than 60% take action as a result of their engagements.

When it comes to engaging financial institutions online, the mass affluent are 51% more likely than the average to do so according to Nielsen research.

For hobbies and preferences: they are civic minded, and well informed leaning towards more journalistic or editorial style content.

Their major financial product interests are investment and retirement based being far more likely to show interest in: Money Market Savings, CDs, 401K, Stocks and Brokerage accts than the mass market.

Online, they tend to hang out on professional networking sites like LinkedIn and gain a lot of their information from news sources online.

H1 Social media strategy: reaching the mass affluent

Now that we have compiled a bit of a profile based on who they are, what they’re interested in for products and pleasure and where they hang out we can start to craft the foundation of a strategy.

Platform:

Since we know that LinkedIn is their platform of choice for social media we can put that at the top of our list for reaching this audience.

Message:

The messages should be informative. Lean on their interest in long form, educational material and provide answers to the questions they may have. Create the opportunity for Q&As and feedback. Capture their story as part of your story in the process and you’ll engage an emotional element that plays into their goal achievement orientation.

Crossfunctional strategy:

Because they are civic minded and hang out in other places online, engage your paid media teams and your PR or community relations team to find out if you can push your content into other places online that they may be reading by buying media placements. From a community perspective, find out what civic functions your credit union participates in and make sure you tell those stories through the social channels you’re using to reach the Mass Affluent.

This is the start of strategy for the mass affluent based on an understanding of who they are, what their needs are and how they interact with online and social media as it related to financial institutions. You can build on this and adapt it to your local community and credit union needs.

Tomorrow we’ll talk about using audience profiling to develop a strategy to reach millennials.