What’s the one thing?
This is the logic: If people trust your bank enough to place their hard-earned (or stolen) money in its care, they probably won’t be averse to you teaching them how to manage their finances.
It follows then that a bank should be an authority on finance and money management, dispensing valuable advice (in its area of expertise) to engage its online audience and win new customers over.
But most Nigerian banks are only interested in hawking their products indiscriminately, sharing news items they have no business sharing and pretending to be busy with customer service. Shame.
Does your (Nigerian) bank run a blog that breaks down budgeting, loans and other important finance information into bits that almost anyone can digest easily?
Take your eyes off the likes and shares, what is the actual value of the updates on your bank’s Facebook page?
On Twitter, what is the ratio of useful financial information your bank provides to its automated customer service responses?
About 1:9, maybe.
Is your bank struggling to appeal to its audience’s varying interests?
Yes, and it’s not working.
Of course, it’s not working. You’re not BuzzFeed.
You’re not even expected to be BuzzFeed. That’s not what banks are for.
So instead of trying to be everything to everyone and failing badly, specialise.
Start building a reputation for providing practical and insightful information that everyday people can use to manage their money better.
1. First, a blog.
A simple, endlessly scrolling page on your bank’s website (i.e. www.yourbank.com/blog) is good enough. The fancy design and standalone domain can come later.
2. Create useful content.
Hire an in-house content writer who specialises (that word again) in financial writing. You could also pay external contributors to send you articles regularly and hire an editor to, well, edit their writing.
+ Develop a content strategy: a detailed plan that covers why you want to create content, the nature of the content, what it’s supposed to achieve, how it’s going to be created, how it will be distributed and how you’ll measure its success.
+ Posts on the blog have to be consistent. Develop a schedule and follow it.
+ Focus on creating articles that will remain relevant for a long time.
+ From experience, Nigerians love lists. Make them often.
3. Spread the word.
Distribute articles from your blog on social media regularly. Create a weekly newsletter and place an unobtrusive subscribe button on the blog. If your content is valuable, people will want that newsletter in their inboxes.
+ Got advertising money? Promote your most-read articles on Facebook.
+ It’s okay to share articles multiple times on social media during the week. Use different quotes from articles to keep things fresh.
+ Check out Buffer. It’s a great tool for scheduling social media updates.
+ Pro tip: You can crowdsource content for articles by starting conversations on social media (Twitter in particular). Just ask a question on any subject of interest.
4. Measure success and optimise.
Set goals (numbers, numbers) and define what success means to you where your blog is concerned.
For a start, you need to be able to answer these questions:
How many people visit your blog every day?
How long does the average visitor spend on the blog?
What are the most-read articles on your blog every week?
Has your bank’s Twitter following increased significantly since the blog was started?
When do you get the most clicks on article links posted on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn?
What are the sentiments expressed in comments people leave on the blog?
Should there even be a comments section?
Have there been fewer complaints since the blog was started?
Are people asking about your bank’s products on the blog?
With what you learn, you’ll be able to improve the blog’s layout, the quality and nature of your content and how it is distributed.
+ You need Google Analytics. It’s an eye-opener.
+ Use bit.ly to shorten and track every link you post on social media.
I’m always happy to help. Send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call me: 08096303479.
All the best.