Three Inbound Marketing Tips to Increase Leads for Loan Growth

By Penne VanderBush06.29.2020

Inbound marketing can have significant impact on loan growth goals for many credit unions and community banks. Not all consumers have money to deposit, but most have a need to borrow. And, according to Google, there has been a significant increase in urgency to purchase, specifically from mobile devices.

If you are struggling with slumping loan growth numbers and there are not enough leads coming in to fill the pipeline, these tips will help you optimize your inbound marketing and boost annual interest income revenue.  

From car-buying to credit cards to home loans, the volume of questions asked by consumers is almost endless. Your financial institution must capitalize on this need for information during the research phase of a financial buyer's journey and position your loan content at the top of the search results. 

The "Near Me" Inbound Search Strategy

Think with Google reported in May 2018 that searches including the phrase "near me," that also contain a variant of "can I buy" or "to buy," have grown on mobile devices by over 500% in the past two years. Additionally, there was a 150% increase in searches including the qualifier of "now" and a 900% increase in searches showing an urgency of time such as "___ near me today/tonight." 

When drafting titles for your blog and pillar page content, don't hesitate to use the name of the town, county, or state that your potential customers live in.

Search engines can identify location phrases in content and return results to someone located in that area. Try adding phrases into your titles like "The Best Mortgages in Orange County" or "Leasing vs. Buying in Southern Texas."

However, location-based titles alone will not have the impact you're looking for if your institution's branch locations are not optimized. Ensure that you have Google My Business pages established and that you are monitoring them.

Inbound for "The Best" Searches

Similar to location-based searches, search phrases that include "the best" are also popular. Here are a few ways to capitalize on the consumer's desire to find "the best" of what they are searching for:

  • Use the phrase "the best" in the title of your content. If your loan product is not the best, that's OK. An honest evaluation of how your product lines up with the competitor will demonstrate that you are trustworthy and have the consumer's best interest in mind. That sincerity may be just what they are looking for in a financial institution and they might still choose you for their loan product.
     
  •  Demonstrate popularity. Trying the “everyone else is doing it” line on mom may not have worked but demonstrating the popularity of your product or service is a big influencer for shoppers. Include in your content (and on product pages) a number of people already using it. For example "10,250 members have our credit card" or "65% of our customers add GAP and MBP to their auto loans." Keep these numbers up to date to show authenticity. 
     
  • Reviews. The biggest influencer of all is reviews from other customers. Include testimonials and reviews in your blog posts, on product pages, and in newsletter content to attract more leads to your loan content and for your loan products. If other people are saying you are "the best" it helps potential customers believe it for themselves.

 Boost Inbound with Traditional Marketing

Inbound is not a set-it-and-forget-it way of marketing. Although your well-crafted content will start to attract new visitors through organic search, you should also consider boosting your reach with traditional marketing to get your loan related content 'on the map' with search engines. Try these strategies:

  • Use AdWords campaigns to attract more paid leads to your loan product pillar pages. This will also improve domain authority and lead to better search results and unpaid traffic in the future.
     
  • Share pillar pages and blog posts on social media channels and include them in your regular newsletters.
     
  • Set a marketing automation campaign to deliver some of your content to your existing email list to drive leads to your pillar pages. This works best (and does not look like SPAM) when it is in an educational newsletter or highlight email format. For example:

“Spring is home-buying season so we're sharing five new blog posts about home buying with our valued members. Already own a home? There is an article about maximizing your home's equity, just for you!”

If you have an amazing piece of loan content that you're willing to pair with an amazing offer, TV and radio are also channels you could consider to boost your inbound strategy. Say you have an amazing e-book on buying a home. You could end a TV commercial or radio spot with:

"Visit abcfinancial.com/home to download your FREE guide. The first 100 people to download the guide will receive a FREE consultation with a Mortgage Specialist for a FREE in-depth evaluation of your credit report, a FREE pre-approval for qualified applicants, and a FREE ABC Financial tote bag full of coupons and other items to help get you in your new home."  

This will not only generate hundreds of leads for nurturing and follow up, it will generate hundreds of qualified page views. Between this direct traffic and the backlinks from your nurturing campaign, all of this quality traffic will demonstrate to search engines that your loan content is valuable and it will move up in search results rankings.

Reprinted from FI Grow Solutions, a full-service inbound marketing agency that works with credit unions to improve the customer experience.