Using Digital Marketing to Grow Your Loan Book

Greg Serandos

Digital marketing, in particular social media marketing, is the best, fastest and most cost effective way to acquire new customers and to offer new products and services to your existing customers. Instagram, Facebook, Google, TikTok, YouTube and other social networks all provide digital advertising to consumers and businesses, but these platforms are different in many ways.

Facebook owns Instagram, but their respective user bases are very different. Facebook attracts older and Instagram focuses on younger audiences. Google is used by almost all of us, but their subsidiary YouTube’s users are more than 80% male. TikTok may seem like a teenage distraction, but they are the most powerful social network for Millennials and the GenZ crowd to such an extent that musical artists launch new music on TikTok, and if they go viral, they are successful. 

Some financial institutions have resisted digital marketing, or don’t quite get it right. But it’s easier than it may seem, and it doesn’t need to ‘break the bank’, so to speak.

As a local or regional financial institution, it’s imperative that you ‘go digital’ to fend off large banks and their massive marketing warchests. Most major banks make it their business to drive costs out of their businesses. This often comes as a consequence of customer relationships and customer service. Branches are closing, call centres are understaffed, and often it seems impossible to talk to a human being when you really need to.

Conversely, credit unions and other local financial institutions have built relationships with families over a period of years, if not generations. There is a branch in your community. Somebody is always reachable by phone. 

By adding digital marketing and digital communication channels such as Instagram and YouTube, and Instagram, local financial institutions have a clear advantage over major banks. There are four steps you can take to quickly acquire new customers using digital marketing tools:

  • Identify your target audience
  • Improve your customer experience
  • Use tailored messaging
  • Segment your audience

1. Identify your target audience

There is no greater waste of resources than pushing your advertising campaigns to the wrong people at the wrong time with the wrong product. Data-driven marketing helps brands avoid this by cutting through the clutter to reach the eyes interested in your product or service. 

Moreover, once you have succeeded in identifying those online users, you’ll want to build a basis for acquiring them as repeat, loyal customers. The best way of doing this is by having insight into who those individuals are and to target them. 

Instagram, Facebook, Google, and even TikTok know their audiences better than they know themselves. They know who is looking for loans, for example, and what they need the money to buy. Furthermore, they know the window for which they will be making a borrowing decision. The social media platforms know where they live, what they do for a living, and how much money they make. And this is just one digital channel. Email marketing is, generally speaking, the most cost effective channel for communicating with customers and subscribers.  

By utilising social media, you can easily identify target audiences and grow your loan book.

2. Improve Your Online Customer Experience

Credit unions and local financial institutions have built strong relationships with communities, often spanning generations. After all, it’s human experiences that people hold on to – even cling to – especially in the Covid era. Sure, digital technology can handle transactional tasks better, cheaper, and faster than people can manually, but the human touch still matters. That’s why just 15% of US consumers bank exclusively with a consumer fintech.
Successful financial institutions of the future will effectively blend traditional relationships with digital efficiency, speed, and convenience. This is especially true when it comes to borrowing, which has more of an emotional component than, say, savings or investing..
The truth is, most major banks have outsourced so many processes and driven so much cost out of their business that, unless you are a high value client, their service levels have fallen dramatically. This is the opportunity for local financial institutions like credit unions to augment strong relationships with really great digital experiences. The secret is to always be customer centric at every step of the customer journey.

3. Use Tailored Messaging to Build Highly Targeted Campaigns

With highly targeted, unique campaigns consisting of personalised messaging for each customer, businesses can build solid customer relationships and a loyal customer base. 

Organising your data will help you create all your content with greater intent for better engagement. With information about your customers’ interests, lifestyle, and online activity, you can craft content that they would like to see. Your messaging should be unique and consistent across your chosen channels to capture your audience’s attention and to position your brand as a reputable source. Tailored messaging will make you memorable over your competitors fighting for similar customer recognition.

4. Segment Your Audience

In the digital age, offering a personalised customer experience is achievable by segmenting your audience. Segmenting your audience tends to every interested pair of eyes at various stages in the sales funnel. As an example, perhaps several potential customers have not completed their applications; a friendly prompt to consider completing the purchase is appropriate targeted messaging at this phase. 

Because your customers are at different stages of the buyer’s journey, you must craft separate messaging to help urge them forward. Personalization is another integral part of successful customer acquisition as it aids the automatic updating of customer data. Personalization also provides direction regarding which platforms are most suitable to yield the best possible results for your offerings. 

How Luna Connect Tracks Digital Marketing Success

Your website analytics will tell you the ‘lead source’ of visitors to your website, for example, how many people came from Google, etc. Once the visitor arrives at your website, Luna Connect will tell you what happens once they are on your system. You will be able to see how many started a loan application, how many submitted, and every step in-between. With this data, your lending institution will be able to fine tune advertising spend by online channel to improve effectiveness and grow your loan book!.

Greg Serandos
Greg Serandos is CEO of Sausalito Digital Advisors. He advises FinTechs and financial institutions on strategy and marketing. He can be reached at