As the country reopens and moves away from the lockdown mentality, financial services enterprises in the US need to understand customers’ evolving needs and concerns and steer away from content geared towards the hard sell of products and services. Both from a marketing and user experience perspective, it is critical for SEOs to understand how COVID-19 has reshaped how people search, spend, and live.
iQuanti’s Michael Bertini (Sr. Director, Search Strategy) shares his insights on the latest trends observed:
1. As Search Behavior Evolves, So Must SEO Tactics
We’ve seen an 8%-9% decline in search traffic in financial services, within the field of banks and credit unions, due to the coronavirus. There has been a shift from desire-based purchases to essential purchases. Your SEO content and outreach need to demonstrate your understanding of these changes, not fight against them.
2. Don’t Stint on Any Marketing Channel
With social media and content consumption on the rise, this is not a moment to pull back from any specific marketing channel – be it favoring organic channels or cutting social for SEO. Social and video engagement has gone up dramatically throughout the pandemic – financial services organizations should invest in creating impactful rich-media assets.
The focus should be on finding new ways to connect with people and move forward with leads.
3. Content is Being Consumed Faster Than Ever
Consumers stuck at home have been living on social media feeds, news sources, and their favorite websites, and that’s where you need to be if you want to be seen or even considered in the purchase journey. Use Google Trends searches as jumping-off points for lifestyle content that relate well to your target audience and which tie strategically back to your products.
Your content needs to be supported by social, paid campaigns, display campaigns, and, most importantly, digital PR.
4. Anticipate Changes in What Consumers Need, In-Branch and Online
It is vital to keep all your online information as current as possible during this constantly changing situation. For example, if your local branch hours have changed, that needs to be updated on your Google My Business page.
“’New Normal’ isn’t just a cliché”, says Michael, “The impact of COVID-19 and quarantining on consumer choices can hardly be overstated, and these social changes and evolving consumer needs should be thoughtfully integrated into any competitive marketing strategy.”