Pub. 14 2024-2025 Issue 1

The Power of Blogging

Enhancing the Community Bank Social Media Marketing Strategy

Content (marketing) is king. Not only that, but over the last few years, few months in fact, social media marketing has taken on an even greater importance. The opportunities that arise from messaging across social media platforms, in particular, are enormous.

The key to growing share of wallet, deposits, customers and revenues is growing relationships. That hasn’t changed. What has changed is the way consumers behave. The watershed shift from in-line to online had begun to take place well before COVID, but the pandemic certainly accelerated it. The result has been an exponential increase in the opportunities community banks have to build and solidify personal relationships. It’s this personalization, as you know, that’s at the heart of the community bank brand.

It’s no surprise that banks have been working hard over the last few years to execute strategies that make social media marketing an integral part of their overall marketing. Blogging has become a major focus for forward-thinking banks. Not only can blogging connect you with your customers, build relationships, increase brand awareness and generate sales leads, but it does so efficiently, effectively and measurably. In short, blogging facilitates interaction, interaction equals engagement, engagement equals relationship, and relationship equals loyalty — and ideally, increased revenue.

Let’s talk about a few of the benefits:

Establishing Expertise and Authority: Consistently publishing high-quality blog articles enables your community bank to showcase its expertise and establish itself as a trusted source of guidance, services and products. By providing valuable insights, tips and advice on topics such as personal finance, small business banking, mortgage loans and financial planning, community banks can position themselves as go-to resources for financial information and guidance. Over time, this continues to build credibility and trust among customers, leading to stronger relationships and increased loyalty.

Driving Website Traffic and Engagement: Regularly scheduled blog articles serve as valuable content assets that will drive traffic to your website and increase engagement on your social media platforms. By sharing blog posts across social channels and driving visits to your site, you’re giving visitors the opportunity to learn more about your products and services. Additionally, blog articles provide opportunities for readers to comment, share and interact with the content, fostering community engagement and conversation. A lucky side benefit? Those visits are measurable, which means your blogs are providing valuable insights into audience behaviors.

Enhancing Search Engine Visibility: Start by thinking about the size of your website. How many pages are there? Probably not that many, right? And think about how often you refresh/update the content on those pages. Probably not that often. This is where your blog comes in. Every time you create and publish a blog post, search engines consider that yet another indexed page on your website. This means that with each post, you’re creating one more opportunity for your site to show up on the search engine results page (SERP) and drive traffic to your website in a prospect’s organic search.

By consistently publishing fresh, relevant blog content that incorporates targeted keywords and phrases, you’re improving your organic search rankings and attracting more traffic from search engines like Google. This, in turn, increases your bank’s visibility and exposure to those potential customers who are actively searching the World Wide Web for financial information and services.

Building Relationships and Trust: Consistent blogging provides regular touchpoints for a community bank’s customer experience. By taking on common questions, concerns and challenges faced by customers through your blog, you’re demonstrating your understanding of your customers’ needs. Over time, this, too, fosters trust and loyalty among customers, leading to long-term relationships.

Showcasing Community Involvement: In addition to providing financial insights and advice, blog articles also offer community banks an opportunity to showcase their involvement in the community and highlight your values and corporate social responsibility initiatives. By blogging about employees and customers who are “stars,” and your participation in charitable community events, for example, you can demonstrate your commitment to making a positive impact in your community. Doing so strengthens your bank’s brand and the perception that you are a caring and responsible corporate citizen.

Driving Long-Term Results: Hubspot says: “Imagine you sit down for an hour on Sunday to write and publish a blog post. Let’s say that blog post gets you 100 views and 10 leads on Monday. You get another 50 views and five leads on Tuesday as a few more people find it through social media. But after a couple of days, most of the fanfare from that post dies down, and you’ve netted 150 views and 15 leads. It’s not over.” Since that post is now ranking, it means that for days, weeks, months and years to come, you can continue to get traffic from that blog post. That’s because a blog post can bring traffic to your site long after it’s first posted. In fact, according to Hubspot, “about 90% of the leads we generate every month come from blog posts published in previous months. Sometimes years ago.”

Benefitting From Flexibility: Obviously, your social media marketing consists of, well, social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, X and Instagram. Every time you create and post a blog, you’re creating content that 1) you can share across your social platforms and 2) people who see it can share with each other. So, with blogging, you’re not only strengthening your social reach with the blog itself. You’re also creating a web of engagement points that connect with each other and ultimately lead everyone you’ve engaged right to your website.

Is this a comprehensive treatise on blog posting? No. There are a number of additional benefits to blogging that we haven’t discussed here. And, there are a number of companies out there that can advise you on how to get the most of your blogging, from software and templates to guidance on creating a blogging editorial calendar. My hope here is that you’ve learned just enough about blogging “to be dangerous,” as the saying goes. It’s a terrific tool for engaging customers and generating leads, so get out there and give it a try!

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