New auto loan campaigns have always been a standard practice of banks and credit unions, so how do you stand out this fall with an auto loan campaign that drives results? If you’re new to the industry, you may not know where to begin. So, let’s start with some marketing basics and see how we can apply what we know about creating high converting campaigns to a new auto loan campaign.
Start with Data
If you’re not already using analytics to drive content and strategy, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity. Before beginning any new campaign or piece of content, I like to sit down with one of my favorite tools (or secret weapons) – Moz. Moz’s keyword planner (and similar keyword research tools) is a good place to start in order to gain some insights into the search volumes of specific terms and phrases. When you type “auto loan” and “car loan” into the keyword planner, not only are you are given the search volume for each (search volume is calculated by how often a term or phrase is searched for in Google each month) but you are also given a list of suggested keywords and their search volumes. These are often extremely helpful because they provide you with additional search queries individuals look for when making the decision to purchase a car and take out an auto loan. “Car loan” and “auto loan” resulted in finding a few other highly searched terms that will be key in determining what content to include in the auto loan campaign. The terms I noted were auto loan payment calculator, car loan calculator, how to get a car loan, and auto loan rates. Now that we know what people are searching for, we can give the people what they want!
Define your Audience
The next step in our campaign building process will be to define the audience we want to target. For this specific campaign, we know we want to segment a target audience who does not currently have an auto loan. You can even use analytics tools like Google Trends to find specific geographical locations where there are high volumes of searches for auto loans, segment your data by location, and market to those individuals. To take it a step further, depending on the data you have available, targeting by households more likely to purchase a new vehicle or segmenting a specific age group who are more likely to purchase a new vehicle, could be an effective way to really drill down your audience.
Creating the Content
Now that we know who we’re talking to, let’s take what we learned people are interested in and create our content strategy. Building out your auto loan campaign should include multiple touchpoints along the way. These are typically a combination of communications via email and direct mail (such as letters and postcards). When crafting the message of your campaign, consider appealing to your audience’s pain points and then offer solutions. Purchasing a new vehicle is a big commitment, and finding an auto loan can often times be the most stressful part. So, for example, sending a message like, “Auto loans have never been easier” accompanied by a “how-to get an auto loan” infographic depicting each step in the auto loan process can help build brand awareness, set you up as a trusted partner, and visually simplify a seemingly difficult process. Infographics are a great way to easily catch attention and cut through the clutter by utilizing the “show” and not “tell” philosophy.
We learned in our initial research that people are searching for payment calculators, so another piece we can include in our content strategy could be a communication that highlights a payment chart and offers a payment calculator. By sending a few strategic “carrots” to your prospects and customers, you can begin to gauge qualified interest in the product you’re offering and warm them up for the hard sell.
Once you’ve begun to generate buzz around the idea of purchasing a car and applying for an auto loan, it’s time to send a communication that focuses on your specific offer and highlights your competitive advantage. Emphasize your terms and interest rate. Are you offering any incentives like cash or a gas card? Add a finishing touch of personalization by sending the message from a specific loan officer and include their direct contact information.
Now you’ve created a strategic campaign that is sure to drive the conversions you’re after. Don’t forget to have fun with it and help make banking an enjoyable experience for you and for consumers. And always remember, after you build out a solid auto loan campaign once, you can automate it for continuous opportunities.
Need help with automation?
With Core iQ, banks and credit unions are finding it easier to build and plan their marketing strategies to grow deposits, loans, and relationships by automating triggered emails, mailing letters, and sending postcards.