June 22, 2020

Data is everything. It helps us make informed decisions, learn from previous efforts and continue to improve our processes. We took the ultimate deep dive into every digital campaign we have run in the past four years to pull out some key insights that pertain specifically to financial institutions. 

What platform is best for running mortgage campaigns? What about CDs? Are my campaigns meeting similar benchmarks to other FIs? Now we have the answers right at our fingertips!

To do this, we pulled every bit of data we could from our own campaigns, sliced and diced it, and layered in the industry benchmarks to prepare this full presentation - thank you Wordstream for pulling these together every year! You’ll notice we are focused on Click-Through-Rate (CTR) data. This is because it’s the great equalizer in terms of performance indicators. It looks at the percentage of clicks to impressions your ads are receiving. As it’s a percentage, we can compare campaigns with wildly different budgets and targeting and still get a sense of how the campaigns are performing based on this one metric.

*A quick note on the YouTube/TrueView data - this is a relatively small sample size as many FIs are working to implement video into their existing marketing strategy.

If this is a TL;DR situation (we get it, lots of things competing for your attention), check out our top 5 takeaways below! Want to read the full report? You can download it below.

1. No Surprise - Google SEM and Facebook are the Winners

Facebook's recent changes have made advertising a bit more tricky (looking at you, Special Ad Categories), but if you want people to click on your ads, it’s still the place to be. Google SEM (text ads) are a given, if you want to reach people who are searching, you have to have SEM ads. What’s great is seeing benchmarks for both consistently being exceeded, and it’s not by bidding top dollar. Budgets are tight, we get that - we also know you win more by using dollars wisely.

2. Deposit Products Outperform Lending Products

This one was interesting. It’s not a huge difference, but it’s still notable. Though both product types garner lots of searches and activity, people tend to click through at a higher rate for deposit products. This could be due to the nature of loans being a bit more of an undertaking and therefore being completed organically, but still worth noting.

3. Asset Size Doesn’t Dictate Performance

Another way of saying this - budget size doesn’t (always) matter when it comes to campaigns that perform well. Sure, you can’t expect to do well with a budget of $5/day targeting New York City for CDs or mortgages, but you don’t have to be spending $500/day either. Whether you’re a small fish in a big pond, or a big fish in a slightly smaller pond, your strategy and tactics will determine campaign success - not just budget.

4. Don’t Discount Social

Social media doesn’t always get the best reputation for advertising financial products, but it consistently outperforms Google Display, and we almost always recommend Google Display (increased exposure/brand awareness, great for remarketing, still gets a lot of clicks even with a lower CTR). Social media has the ability to connect you to all generations, though notably Millennials and Gen Z, something that many FIs struggle with. So the next time you’re looking to promote a product, make sure you have at least one social platform in the mix.

5. Benchmarks Aren’t Everything

Yup. After all this work and data, we’re saying you cannot judge the success or failure of a campaign by whether or not you met a benchmark. We’ve had campaigns that didn’t meet the industry CTR benchmark, yet received record numbers of conversions, and campaigns that more than doubled the industry CTR benchmark get a minimal number of account openings. So many factors go into campaign success, from ad types, budgets, campaign structure, landing page experience, targeting, etc. that a benchmark is merely an indicator of general performance. So, what are benchmarks good for? Knowing if you’re doing the right things. If you aren’t meeting industry benchmarks, evaluate your campaign critically - is there anything you could improve? And if you’re exceeding benchmarks, try to take note of what is contributing to your enhanced performance so you can replicate it.

Ultimately one data point isn't enough to tell you how your campaigns are doing, but CTR is a great initial indicator. Want to continue the conversation? Reach out to us! We're always happy to chat and help with your digital efforts.

Fill out the form below to download our Historical Digital Benchmarks Presentation!