The idea of promoting brand awareness is great for businesses of all sizes, but often it’s a lot easier said than done.
Nodifi takes a look at some modern ways brokers and dealers can stimulate brand awareness without breaking the bank – with both time and money.
The pandemic has seen an evolution in consumer expectations with consumers heavily reliant on digital solutions (more so than ever).
For example, Australians, on average, spend 11.7% more time online today compared to 2018 – that now totals 6h 13m every day. Time spent using social media has also shot up by 18.2% to 1h 57m per day over the same time period.
Consumers are now far more likely and more willing to turn to online resources.
Fortunately, getting your brand out there in the online world is something all businesses can accomplish relatively quickly.
When it comes to finance and money online, Australians are not slow to adapt. Figures from the Australian Banking Association show that 80% of Australians say they prefer to check account balances, pay bills, or transfer money online and more than one third of Australians with smartphones use a digital wallet.
With that in mind, a digital centric strategy in 2022 is certainly relevant. However, that’s not to say traditional methods don’t play a part, because they do.
Get your databases in order
It’s not uncommon for businesses to, over time, develop huge numbers of client and prospect contact details.
These databases are a great tool for promoting brand awareness.
If your client lists are in a Google Sheet and/or Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, you’re on the right track as these programs offer fast ways to maintain a clean database.
Having a clean database allows for more professional correspondence as contact names are in a correct format and won’t have duplicates or missing information. Your analytics will also be more accurate with clean data.
Tips to a clean database
- Ensure that your client lists are clearly labelled with uniform entry, for example first and last names separated into different columns
- On both Google Sheets and Excel, use the “=PROPER()” function to format names to first letter capitalised followed by lower case. To do this, in a new column, simply enter =PROPER() with the cell containing the first name you’d like to format in the brackets. You can format entire columns without going cell by cell
- Remove duplicate and blank cells
- Don’t delete bad data entries unless you know they’re false or uncontactable
- Ensure that all of your team members know how and why to enter uniform data
Create and verify your Google Business Profile
A Google Business Profile allows your business to appear in Google search results.
If you haven’t done so, create a Google My Business account and set up your profile to include a short and shiny description with open hours and contact details.
Not only does it allow people to find your business but you’ll also appear more legitimate when showing up in Google search results.
If your business doesn’t have a website, act now. Having even a basic website can dramatically improve your online presence, legitimacy and general perception.
If you’re handy with design and have some creative flair, Wix is a good start in crafting your own website or using prebuilt templates.
WordPress is another good option, which includes premade templates. Basic templates start from under $100.
If DIY isn’t your forte, you can consider outsourcing to a professional website builder. While this is likely to be a more costly option, it can save a lot of heartache and you may end up with a better finished product.
Registering a domain name (the name of a website, eg. nodifi.com.au) is also relatively inexpensive but you’ll need to make sure your name is unique.
Regardless of which route you choose, your digital presence will grow exponentially with a website.
Using your client lists, create a monthly newsletter to showcase your expertise and to provide engaging content to your audience. Some engaging content ideas include; tips, topical insights, changes to your offering and even client testimonials.
Keep newsletters mobile friendly and lively with on-brand imagery and include people within your business as this keeps their names familiar to potential and existing clients.
Mailchimp is a top platform for creating newsletters as it includes templates and steps / options for crafting email campaigns.
You can upload your client databases and view results upon completion of sends.
Mailchimp pricing starts with a free package with a maximum of 10,000 sends per month. Paid options are also available should you require more generous allowances and/or enhanced features.
Hint: the first Tuesday or Friday morning of the month are a good time to send out email newsletters. Furthermore, the free Mailchimp package also includes a website builder.
Additional hint: a good way to stimulate new subscribers is to host a newsletter signup form on your website.
Delve into the world of Google Ads
Depending on your budget, running online advertising through Google Ads is a simple way to get your brand in front of your desired audience.
Google Ads have the ability to strategically target specific demographics in order to encourage them to complete certain goals, for example:
- Contact your business
- Visit your website
- Leave their details
- Fill out an online form
- Subscribe to a special offer
Ads can appear above or below search results pages, shopping tabs in search results, Google Maps and Google Play to name a few.
Find out more here.
Platforms like Facebook (Meta), Instagram, LinkedIn and TikTok all offer huge audience potential.
Creating a variety of posts like polls, promotions, did you knows, client testimonials, links to content and facts and stats can keep your profile fresh and lively.
Ideally, your social media content should be branded, consistent (in terms of posting and imagery) and aimed at the right demographic.
In case you’ve missed our previous blog articles, here are the best times to post depending on the platform:
- Instagram: Wednesday around 11am and Friday from 10am to 11am
- Facebook: Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 9am – 1pm
- LinkedIn: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 9am – noon
- TikTok: Tuesday until 9am, Thursday lunchtime, Friday 5am
- Twitter: Monday to Thursday between noon and 3pm
Did you know that in February 2022, TikTok was announced as the most downloaded mobile entertainment app in Australia as it reached 7.38 million users? The platform is great if you’re targeting younger borrowers aged 18-25.
Start by downloading the app and creating a few experimental videos. The app has a range of sounds, effects, filters and tools to help you create something unique.
Hint: the best TikTok videos get straight to the point, engage with a few curiosities and leave with a little mystery. This may seem vague and off topic in the finance industry so check out other videos for inspiration.
Creating content can be in the form of blog articles, YouTube videos, social media and even podcasts.
Some examples of content ideas that often resonate with finance seekers
- How-tos and instructional posts about building credit, applying for finance, etc
- Q&A or interview with an industry expert
- Lists of strategies or resources (top 10, 5 best, etc.)
- Case studies of differing client profiles
- Product reviews
When creating content, remember to
- Keep it on brand with imagery and tone of voice
- Fact check any specific figures or statements you release
- Ensure the audience understands any finance jargon terms
- Avoid delving into controversial topics
Why creating content is a win for businesses
Once you’ve created a content piece, you’ll be able to use it in more than one instance. Not only does content improve your visibility online as people search for related topics, you can also add it to social media, promote to clients and revamp it later down the track.
Also, content can appear in organic search results meaning that a good blog article, for example, will appear when someone searches for that topic – in other words, free exposure to your business’s website.
Hint: if you write a high quality blog article, you’ll be able to edit the content in the future and keep the URL, meaning fresh content in an established resource.
The finance industry is lucky to have a large number of awards from hosts like The Adviser and the MFAA (Mortgage & Finance Association of Australia).
Periodically, usually on a yearly basis, organisations host awards for various categories such a ‘best new broker’, ‘outstanding mentor’ and ‘best performer’, among others.
To enter, you’ll most likely have to submit a written response, business metrics and images / short video.
Entries are typically free but you may need a membership.
Even if you don’t win, getting shortlisted or even mentioned is a great way to get your name out there, especially in the finance community.
Like the awards above, the finance industry is fortunate to have some exciting events throughout the year.
Typically in capital cities, events range from award nights (like those above), guest speaker AMAs, business building seminars and more.
Attending these events allows you to network with other industry professionals, put faces to names and build relationships – things always important in the finance industry.
‘Getting your name out there’ may be a bit of a buzz phrase, but there are a lot of benefits from pursuing the idea.
The Nodifi business itself has embarked on a journey to get its name out there over the last 24 months, employing almost all of the above suggestions.Of course, keeping your name out there is a continuous mission for any business.