Having an effective marketing strategy is extremely important. Many bank executives stick to traditional marketing because that’s what they understand. But is there a way to improve upon traditional marketing?

Yes, and the answer is social media.

When explaining how social media works and the value of it to banks, sometimes we run into the problem of explaining it in a way that makes sense to executives. Social media is such a huge and new idea to the banking industry that understanding how it works can be a challenge, and understandably so.

But there’s hope for all of us.

We at #BankSocial had the honor of seeing Michael Stelzner speak once. He explained social media in a way that we had never heard before, and we believe that if you read this post you will begin to understand social media in a much greater way. It was so good, we just had to share it.

Here’s What He Talked About.

Think of your marketing strategy like a garden. In order for your garden to flower and bloom you need to water it. Traditionally (or perhaps still) you set up a sprinkler and it sprays water across your plants. But sometimes a sprinkler doesn’t work as effectively as you like. Sometimes, the water gets in the pool or on the weeds you fight furiously to get rid of. Sometimes, you spend hours trying to untangle the hose. And at the end of the month, you want to scream when you see your water bill.

Likewise, you need to water your marketing strategy in order for it to be successful. If you use traditional marketing you are using the sprinkler system, and traditional marketing comes with those same problems.

You Water The Flowers And The Weeds.

You spread your message to people who are interested and those that are not. You want all the people that are interested to grow and grow, but without having full control over who sees your marketing message allows for those weeds or uninterested consumers to grow too.

For example, when you pay for a billboard you have no control over who will be driving past it. So while some people who are interested may see it, many who are not are also driving past ignoring you.

Sometimes You Spend Hours Trying To Untangle The Hose.

You’re wasting valuable resources. You spend all this time trying to set up the sprinkler, angle it in the right direction, and bring it in and out of the garage. You are wasting valuable time.

For example, if your staff is working on purchasing advertisements and placing them in the appropriate places, but they are ineffective, your employees time could be much better spent doing something more effective, and bringing in new customers.

You Scream At Your Water Bill.

It costs a lot. In order to use traditional marketing effectively you have to pump out a ton of campaigns and it costs a lot of money. It’s hard to compete for SEO rank with Wells Fargo, if you are a small bank from Mississippi. You just don’t have the marketing budgets to do it. Even with that being said, you are pumping all this money into something that could be reaching the wrong people.

For example, that billboard you paid for. How much did it cost and how many leads did it bring in? All those drivers that sped past and barely looked at your billboard might as well be taking money right from your pocket.

So if this is how traditional marketing works. How can we improve the effectiveness of our marketing campaigns?

This is where social media marketing comes into play.

Maybe some of you who are avid gardeners have a drip watering system. These are newer, high-tech systems that allow you to deliver water exactly where you want it to go. This means no more spraying the pool and weeds, no more ridiculous use of resources, and less of a headache when your water bill comes in at the end of the month.

The Drip System Will Improve Your Marketing Effectiveness.

You’ll Only Water The Flowers.

You have so much control over the targeting, that your message will be reaching individuals who are already interested in your bank and its services. All those uninterested consumers won’t be tuning in or receiving your message which results in more of the consumers you want being reached.

For example, if you create a Facebook advertisement, it won’t show up on just anybody’s wall. You are able to specifically target the individuals who post, share, and like the same things that your bank provides.

You Can Work On Changing All The Light Bulbs.

So now you aren’t spending all this time on something ineffective. It frees you up to do other things that are more worth your while. Instead of untangling that hose you can move on to changing all those light bulbs that need changing.

For example, instead of having your staff work on finding advertising space in other publications, you can have them interact through social media. This interaction will continue to foster a bond with the community and result in more leads for your bank.

A Sigh Of Relief At The End Of The Month.

While social media does cost money for advertisements, it’s significantly less than other types. We don’t think we need an example for this. Less money is a good thing, especially if you are getting the advantages of creating the right targeting and freeing yourself to do more effective things.

So while traditional marketing was working for quite some time, the addition of social media has changed the game. It has allowed for an opportunity to target your audience even further, harness your resources, and avoid having to pay big bucks to compete with big name banks.

It is allowing our marketing gardens to flourish, bigger and brighter than ever.

It’s about time we all wake up and smell the roses. Do you agree?