Sep 20 2021
Ben Larrison

5 Financial Services Advertising Tips and Tricks


If you are in the financial services industry, the competition for customers is fiercer than ever.

Digital ad spend for the financial services industry is expected to hit $24.49 billion this year, and will climb to $30.75 billion by 2023. That’s nearly double what the industry was spending back in 2019.

There’s a good reason behind the jump: customers are re-approaching financial services en masse in light of a rapidly changing world. Nearly three-quarters of Americans said they’re revisiting their financial planning due to the pandemic, which is fairly unsurprising given the economic chaos of the past 18 months. Additionally, by 2024, more than 79% of American adults will be using digital banking—a trend that has accelerated with both COVID and the continued growth of fintech companies.

Between the impact of COVID-19 and the rise in digital banking, financial services companies have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reach customers when they’re re-considering their financial institutions of choice. Whether you are a fintech startup, a hundred-year-old Wall Street institution, an insurance company, or a local credit union, it’s never been more important to differentiate your brand and stand out from the pack.

Here are five tips to help any financial services business in their digital marketing campaigns:

Financial Services Advertising Tips

1) Video

In an incredibly competitive field, you want to make sure your company stands out. A video ad (or a series of video ads) can help give your brand personality in a way that resonates more than just words. Plus, with US adults watching an average of 2.5 hours of digital video per day, it’s a good way to meet consumers where they are—whether that’s a streaming platform, a news/information site or a social media feed. Speaking of which...

2) Get Social

In today’s data-rich world, personalization is key, and few places are better for ad personalization than social media. Two-thirds of customers say they expect financial services companies to understand their unique needs and expectations, which means it’s critical you demonstrate that type of personal attention in your ads. By utilizing social media’s unique ability to target hyper-specific audience segments, you can create ads that feel especially relevant to the specific needs and expectations of different customers.

3) Think Local

Even in an increasingly global and digital world, customers care about the impact a business can have on them locally and/or in person. Nearly half of all Google searches are seeking out local information, and 72% of consumers that conduct a local search subsequently visit a store within five miles. This is where geo-targeted ads come in. If you are a finserv institution with brick-and-mortar locations, geo-targeted local ads can steer customers directly to your doors. Meanwhile, if you are a digital-only brand, you can use geo-targeted local ads to demonstrate the convenience of your online offerings...which could help customers avoid having to do such location-based searches in the future. Either way, it’s a valuable part of any financial services brand’s ad campaign.

4) Look Toward the Future

With the economic uncertainty brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, Millennials and Gen Z are growing increasingly interested in their financial futures and/or turning to financial advisors for help. According to astudy by Northwestern Mutual, 19% of Millennials and 25% of Gen Z said they didn’t have a financial plan before the pandemic but are looking to develop one now, and more than one-fifth of both Millennials and Gen Z said they didn’t have a financial advisor pre-COVID but are seeking to work with one now. Financial services brands should make a concerted effort to reach these customers now, as they look to establish financial relationships that could last for years to come. (One way to reach them? Read up on Gen Z and the future of digital advertising.)

5) Direct Taps to the Apps

With this spike in digital banking and an overall move toward digital for all things finserv, financial services companies have an easy choice when it comes to the CTA for any digital ad: their apps. A Salesforce study found that 68 percent of customers say COVID-19 elevated their expectations of companies’ digital capabilities, and “implementing new technology” simultaneously became the top priority among financial services leaders during the pandemic. Directing customers to your app—and using an ad to demonstrate the app’s top customer-centric features—will help you show off any new investments you’ve made in your tech, while appealing to today’s more demanding customer base.

More Finserv Marketing Trends

Want to learn more about financial services marketing? Check out the four trends shaping financial services marketing, or take a look at our Finance in 2021 infographic for additional insights about the consumer and market trends driving change this year.