Virtually overnight, the ways in which people interact with financial services have changed dramatically. Once limited to on-site encounters, complete with long lines, copious amounts of paperwork, and specific hours of operation, today’s world of banking, loans, and investments looks nothing like the rigid industry of a mere generation ago. These days, consumers can deposit funds, make payments, apply for loans, or make any myriad of financial transactions anytime, anywhere. Yes, even while lounging on the sofa in their PJs, watching Netflix on a Friday night.
While consumers are interacting in new and exciting ways, financial services providers are finding it necessary to find new ways to build awareness and shape perceptions among their target audience. Savvy companies are increasingly turning to integrated communications strategies to promote their organization as the premier choice. At Chartwell, we advocate a three-pronged approach involving a combination of earned, owned, and paid opportunities to keep your message sound, reliable, and visible.
Earned opportunities provide no-cost visibility through aggressive media and public relations strategies via local and regional media and influencers from within the financial services industry. Because they are presented by objective third-parties, earned opportunities raise an organization’s credibility, while positively impacting consumer awareness and perceptions. Examples of earned opportunities include:
- Media stories and pitches
- Bylined articles and op-eds
- Speaking opportunities
Owned strategies leverage content from your organization’s website, social media platforms and other communication channels to promote your financial services. All outreach, advertising, collateral, website, newsletters, social media, special events, and other “owned” communications are aligned with the message to reinforce a unique point of view and extend their life and reach. The following tactics may be employed to enhance your owned communications.
- Website updates
- Marketing collateral
- Social media
- Annual reports
Paid strategies focus on driving volume and brand identity through appropriate media and online outlets to ensure your messages, voice, and visuals are consistently placed in front of targeted audiences. Examples of paid opportunities include:
- Print ads
- Digital ads
- TV commercials
Integrated communications are like a three-legged stool. If even one of those legs is missing, the stool loses all stability. Likewise, a communications plan that is lacking any of its three critical components – earned opportunities, owned strategies, and paid strategies – loses its ability to reach the target market effectively and efficiently.