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February 20, 2014

Marketing Mobile Banking Apps On Social Platforms

There’s no shortage to the number of platforms a mobile marketer can use to promote apps developed for financial institutions, but it turns out that social media sites are providing the best ROI.

The recent mobile app discovery report published by AppsFlyer compares user quality, conversion rates and downloads across several channels, segments and categories, and states that common marketing channels include incentive-based ad networks, discovery platforms, social and search. The results of the report revealed that social channels were behind the improvement of volume, conversions and user quality in marketing campaigns.

Facebook also introduced the Mobile App Installs Ads that allowed mobile app developers to buy ad units inside the mobile news feed of the social network. The initiative lead to a total 25 million app downloads from Google Play Store and App Store eight to nine months after launch. Also, out of the top 100 grossing applications on Google Play and App Store, 40 percent have received Facebook advertisements from their developers.

These statistics have not only made banks, but also government-based financial institutions, realize the importance of social media platforms and this is the reason why they are leveraging the platforms to promote mobile banking apps and financial services.

Navy Federal Credit Union is an ideal example: it took only six weeks for the institution to generate revenue of $90 million in certificate of deposit sales and $96 million in new loan business sales, totaling $200 million in sales of banking services. What’s more intriguing is it only used Facebook to generate this amount of revenue.

Bank of Hawaii also created and hosted a game on Twitter and Facebook to make customers aware of its mobile deposit feature, an initiative that allows users to deposit checks with the bank’s Android and iPhone apps. The bank used this game and the feature to not only build its social following, but also promote its apps in the process.

New and existing companies can make use of the following tips to get started with their mobile marketing strategy:

1. Visual stimulation

Instagram is one of the apps that provides visual stimulation to customers —this is something Twitter and Facebook lack. Images shared on social media should demonstrate authority and be of the highest quality. Banks can also use a hash tag or two to get noticed in search and encourage comments.

In case of mobile apps, images should also demonstrate the features on offer. A mobile bill pay feature can be integrated into a login page where users can either use their credit card login or bank login credentials to access their online accounts.

2. Granular advertising

Marketing a mobile banking app on social media requires a combination of already-owned, converted and paid media. Targeted advertising comes into play: it should be combined with the nature of the application and then ad units should be targeted based on demographics, interests and companies the audience is already associated with.

Ad units can also be promoted with keywords and hash tags, but these should be carefully selected because targeting a large audience can translate into wasted outreach. Granular advertising will be the key for reaching the desired audience.

3. Content marketing

Content marketing is, perhaps, the best way to remind people there is not only an app available, but offer reasons to download it as well. There are several ways to go about marketing the app including videos, infographics, existing content, podcasts, whitepapers, case studies, videocasts, interviews and webinars.

It’s important to remember that, before anything else, marketers should leverage social channels to humanize the audience — this ensures the app will be downloaded and referred to in greater numbers. While automation may work for marketers promoting a large number of apps, the best returns are experienced with manual, real-time interaction with active members.

4. Social media apps

Social media apps are providing marketers a great way to drive engagement. For example, there is a widget developed by a company called GroSocial known as Puzzle Promo. Anyone using this widget can turn their promotions on Facebook into a puzzle game for more interaction.

Likewise, as mentioned in the Bank of Hawaii example, games can also be created to promote the app in a fun and engaging manner.


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Sam Peters is an avid blogger and a marketing whiz. Sam resides in sunny San Diego, California. If she is not writing, you can usually find her relaxing with a good book and her wheaten terrier, Kona.

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