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Top 10 Reasons to Start Your Blog Title with the Number 10.

Type the phrase “blog writing best practices” into your Google search field and what do you get? A whole host of sites that talk about why you should build a number into your blog title. Here are just a few examples:

Marketinginsidergroup.com: “9 SEO Best Practices for Blog Traffic and Engagement”

Socialmedia.com: “5 Reasons Readers like Numbers in a Headline” 

Venngage.com: “Why 10 is actually the best number to use in a blog title.”

The list, as you can imagine, is endless. As for the title of this blog, I followed the advice of the so-called experts and incorporated a number… and not just one number, but two! Hopefully, that will skyrocket this blog to the top of everyone’s organic search and garner twice the number of visits.

It is true, though. Blog titles with numbers are far more likely to get to the top of the SERPs (search engine ranking pages). I’ve also learned, as you can see from my title, that for some reason the number 10 is the best number to use, so that’s what I did.

I find this whole number thing fascinating… and not just a little puzzling. So, I thought I’d dive in and see what it was all about. I must admit that what I did learn was fairly interesting, and I’m happy to sum it up for you. After all, it’s the least I can do after luring you to my blog with a “10” in my blog title and the promise of a ten-point list of some kind. Accuse me of click-baiting if you must, but I just don’t have 10 reasons… I only have 3. Sorry.

Simplicity is king

The pundits say that numbers appeal to us, smaller numbers in particular. And, that makes sense to me… which is why I think that the folks who claim that 10 is better than 3 are wrong! Simplicity makes things easy because we know what to expect right out of the gate. With a blog that has a number in the title, we know exactly what we’re getting.

According to SocialMedia.com: “All else being equal, a headline with numbers in it will yield more traffic than a headline without. That’s been proven enough times that it should be indisputable by now. If you’re going to write a blog on how to be a better sous chef, you might as well headline it with “7 Ways to be a Better Sous Chef”; because you’ll get anywhere from 10-20% more traffic than using “How to be a Better Sous Chef”. So, I guess it’s important that the reader know that they’re not simply getting one or two tips, which might be too few. Or, 12 tips, which might be too many.  It’s important that they know that they’re getting 7… a perfect number of tips.  As Goldilocks once said, “this number of tips is just right…”

An authoritative source?

Blog titles with numbers convey authority, and people tend (not always) to turn to authoritative sources when seeking information. Numbers lend credibility. When we say, “sure, more people read blogs with numbers in the title,” that claim certainly doesn’t carry the same weight as saying, “studies have shown that blogs with numbers in the title generate anywhere from 10-20% more traffic.” As bettermarketing.pub points out: “The headline, The Key to Writing Good Headlines doesn’t compare to 7 Keys to Writing Good Headlines. It not only encourages readers to click, but sounds like it has genuine, reliable information.” Would 12 Keys to Writing Good Headlines be even more attention grabbing? Why not 15, then?  Just think of the possibilities!

Time is of the essence

SocialMedia.com says that “a headline with a small number conveys the message to the reader that it's a quick and easily read, while a large number indicates more of a reading investment. Either way, you are letting your reader know in advance what to expect.”  And that’s what people with a limited amount of time want to know; that they don’t need to spend a whole lot of time reading your blog.  Although why, then, if the supposition is that people are pressed for time, would the number 10 be more effective in a blog title than the number 3? Go figure. As it is, most people only read, according to salesforce.com, about 28% of the words in a blog post anyway. Which almost makes you wonder why bother at all?

Lastly, there’s more to writing a great blog than putting numbers in your blog title. Don’t forget to break up your text with short, bold subheads; ironically, like the ones I used here. Yet another consideration when writing a blog that you hope will score well with search engine algorithms? Length. How long should your blog post be? Ask Google with the search phrase “ideal blog length” and see what you get. Is it 300 words?  1,000? 40,000?  I think I will leave that topic to another, much lengthier blog… with, of course, the number 10 in the title!

As always, I would love to hear your thoughts. 

About Bank Marketing Center

Here at BankMarketingCenter.com, our goal is to help you with that vital, topical, and compelling communication with customers; the messaging that — developed by banking industry marketing professionals, well trained in the thinking behind effective marketing communication — will help you build trust, relationships, and revenue. And with them, your brand. To view our marketing creative, both print and digital – ranging from product and brand ads to social media and in branch signage – visit bankmarketingcenter.com.  Or you can contact me directly by phone at 678-528-6688 or email at nreynolds@bankmarketingcenter.com

 

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A blog about… blogging!

Time flies, doesn’t it?  It’s been almost two years to the day that we posted a blog about the importance of getting into the social game.  Now, we’re back with a similar discussion. This time we’re posting a blog about, you guessed it, posting a blog!  Why? Social media marketing has taken on an even greater importance over the last two years and, well, blogging has become an even more important component of social media marketing. 

As we discussed back in January of 2020, the key to growing deposits, customers, and revenues is growing relationships. That hasn’t changed. What has changed is the way consumers behave, and at the heart of it, a watershed shift from in line to online.

Take customer service, for example. Customer service has always been an important component of a bank’s offerings, right? According to tech consulting firm CapTech, in their 2021 Innovations Study, communication with a company using online chat has increased 18%, from 28% in 2020 to 46% in 2021. Another statistic? 54% said they would always choose a chatbot over a human customer service rep if it saved them 10 minutes. Goodbye human being, hello chatbot. I’ve found that online chat customer service has come a long way over the last couple of years and I guess we have advancements in technologies such as AI and Machine Learning to thank for that.  This is just one example of how critical your “digital presentation” is.

So, it’s no surprise that banks have been working hard over the last 2 years to execute against strategies that make social media marketing an integral part of their overall marketing.  And blogging should be a major focus. Not only can blogging connect with your customers, build relationships, increase brand awareness, and generate sales leads, it’s efficient, effective, and measurable. Blogging facilitates interaction, interaction equals engagement, engagement equals relationship, and relationship equals loyalty and (ideally) increased revenue. 

Blogging can put a face on your digital presence.

A website isn’t exactly the most personalized consumer touch point, is it?  And we all know how important a personalized experience is to our customers.  A blog can put a human face on your bank which, while it can’t take the place of a face-to-face, in-branch encounter, helps make your bank feel more personal, and more accessible.

Blogging helps people find you.

Start by thinking about the size of your website. How many pages are there?  Probably not that many, right? And think about how often you refresh/update the content on those pages. Probably not that often. This is where your blog comes in. Every time you create and publish a blog post, search engines consider that yet another indexed page on your website.  This means that with each blog, you’re creating one more opportunity for your site, through that blog post, to show up on the search engine results page (SERP) and drive traffic to your website in a prospect’s organic search. 

Blog content can take many forms.

Obviously, your social media marketing consists of, well, social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Every time you create and post a blog, you’re creating content that 1) you can share across your social platforms and 2) people who see it can share with each other. So, with blogging, you’re not only strengthening your social reach with the blog itself.  You’re also creating a web of engagement points that connect with each other and ultimately lead everyone you’ve engaged right to your website.

Blogs can drive long-term results.

Hubspot says: “Imagine you sit down for an hour on Sunday to write and publish a blog post. Let’s say that blog post gets you 100 views and ten leads on Monday. You get another 50 views and five leads on Tuesday as a few more people find it through social media. But after a couple of days, most of the fanfare from that post dies down, and you've netted 150 views and 15 leads. It's not over.” Since that post is now ranking, it means that for days, weeks, months, and years to come, you can continue to get traffic from that blog post. That’s because a blog post can bring traffic to your site long after its first posted. In fact, according to Hubspot, “about 90% of the leads we generate every month come from blog posts published in previous months. Sometimes years ago.”

Is this a comprehensive treatise on blog posting?  No. There are a number of additional benefits to blogging that we haven’t discussed here. And, there are a number of companies out there that can advise you on how to get the most of your blogging, from software and templates to guidance on creating a blogging editorial calendar. My hope here is that you’ve learned just enough about blogging “to be dangerous,” as the saying goes.  It’s a terrific tool for engaging customers and generating leads, so get out there and give it a try!  Oh, and by the way.  We’ve been taking our own advice. By blogging and posting regularly, we now find ourselves on the first page in a “bank marketing” organic search. So, yes, it works!

About Bank Marketing Center

Here at BankMarketingCenter.com, our goal is to help you with that vital, topical, and compelling communication with customers; messaging that will help you build trust, relationships, and with them, your brand.

To view our marketing creative, both print and digital – ranging from product and brand ads to in-branch brochures and signage – visit bankmarketingcenter.com.  Or, you can contact me directly by phone at 678-528-6688 or email at nreynolds@bankmarketingcenter.com.  As always, I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject.

 

 

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Get Your Message Out.

Financial institutions have a tremendous responsibility, now and in the coming months. Because right now, your customers are engaged in the financial struggle of their lives.  According to the 2019 U.S. Financial Health Pulse report, less than 30% of Americans are considered financially healthy enough to get through a single month on their savings.  When asked about their financial status, 54% reported “struggling” and nearly 20% described themselves as “vulnerable.” And, sadly, that survey was conducted even before Covid-19 swept the nation.

Your customers need your assistance. They need your assurance.  As their financial institution, what is your message going to be? Here is some of the messaging we’ve created for our banks, which they in turn have put to good use reaching out to their customers.

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CARES Act Loans now available

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act allocated $350 billion to help small businesses keep workers employed amid the pandemic and economic downturn.  But with 35 million small businesses in the US, these loan dollars will be distributed quickly. Make sure that your small business owner customers know about this opportunity!

Client Spotlight: Equitable Bank

Alison Larson, Vice President, Marketing Director at Equitable Bank, needed new creative that she could use to let her customers know about SBA Loans that could be available to small businesses. She was able to customize our “Coronavirus SBA Loan - Shot In The Arm” layout to perfectly match her bank's brand and get the message out to her customers via social media.

"That particular one I added to LinkedIn with some links to content I thought our small businesses might be interested in. I may add it to Facebook, too."       - Alison Larson

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They’re Safe. And So Is Their Money.

Customers are still very concerned about their safety… and the safety of their accounts and investments. Provide them with the peace of mind they need with messaging that assures them that you’re taking the necessary steps to ensure both their personal health… and wealth.

Client Spotlight: Lifestore Bank

April Hartzog, Marketing and Process Coordinator at Lifestore Bank, wanted to guide her customers in alternative ways that they could still access her bank's services. She was able to easily customize our “Coronavirus - You Don’t Have to Walk In” layout to focus on online and mobile banking, and even included steps to make it easier for her customers to get started.

"I really appreciate the groundwork being done already by Bank Marketing Center. As the only person creating marketing and communication pieces for our bank and updating the website with current information, I just did not have time to create anything from scratch. It was fast and easy to find a layout that worked and to edit it.”           - April Hartzog

 Client Spotlight: American Nation Bank

Kevin Butler, Executive Vice President at American Nation Bank, decided to go in a different direction giving his customers peace of mind during unpredictable times. He needed to create content that reflected what his community needs right now. He was able to customize our "Coronavirus - Economic Stimulus” layout to focus on his bank’s payment deferment options so that customers seeking financial relief knew what actions they could take immediately. 

"We are in a constantly changing environment. New government programs along with waiting for guidance from the government as to how to implement them are a struggle. Yet we need to be united in our message as to the overall strength and stability of our banking system. We need to encourage calmness in a time of stress."  - Kevin Butler

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Signs of the Times… Unfortunately.

Closing branch offices? Let customers know with closure signs that are quick and easy to customize and print in whatever quantity you need.

Client Spotlight: United Republic Bank

Amy Keltner, Executive Assistant & Marketing at United Republic Bank, needed to quickly inform her customers of a temporary Saturday closure of the bank's lobby without spending too much time developing content. She was able to customize our “Coronavirus Closing - Temporary Closure” layout to inform her customers about alternative ways they could still access their accounts and bank services.

"During this ever busy and mind-boggling time in keeping things going, it is great to have these various templates and not having to create the wheel but just make it your own.”         - Amy Keltner

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For more information on how BankMarketingCenter.com can help your bank with the critical messaging needed during this Covid-19 crisis, contact Neal Reynolds at 678-528-6688 or nreynolds@bankmarketingcenter.com

 

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The Negative Review... Is there Such a Thing?

 

In one of our more recent blogs, we talked a bit about the benefits of social media. Since then, we’ve been hearing from some financial institutions that, well, weren’t convinced that a social media marketing program was right for them.

Their reasoning?  Negative comments.

Is that a legitimate concern? Well, the honest answer is yes… and no.

The reasons behind the “yes” answer?  Negative comments and review about your business on social media can be costly. Research has shown that a negative comment can cost your institution approximately 30 potential customers.  That is, however, if that comment or review is not responded to in the appropriate way.  Which brings us to the “no” part of our answer.

Let’s face it.  There’s a lot of truth to the old adage that you can’t make everyone happy, no matter what you do or how you do it. Taking this to heart, you can begin to understand that perhaps negative comments and reviews are not the worst thing in the world.  Why is that?

Be Proactive

We need to start with being proactive with our social media management.  That means staying ahead of potentially negative comments by “diffusing” them before they even appear.  This is accomplished through positive comments.  Integral to your social messaging is the message that you welcome comments.  Invitations such as “tell us about your experience,” and “don’t forget to mention your great experience on our social media,” will ideally keep the positive messages flowing on your social platforms.  When someone sees one negative review surrounded by 7-10 positive ones, the negative effect of that one comment is greatly diminished.  It provides an additional, positive perspective and that’s critical to your social marketing success.  And, believe it not, a negative comment can even “add legitimacy” to your social messaging.  Sad to say, people tend to question the legitimacy of platforms such as Yelp and Facebook when they show only positive reviews and no negative ones.

Take the high road and take it quickly.

Another step to take in keeping your platforms working for you in the event of a negative comment is this: Act quickly.  Individuals watching your social media are just as interested, if not more so, in how you respond to a negative comment than the comment itself. 

A great example of this:  Capital One’s response to one hundred million Americans having their personal information, transaction data, credit card numbers, and social security numbers stolen by hackers.  When they announced that "no bank account numbers or Social Security numbers were compromised," but then listed tens of thousands of bank account numbers and social security numbers that were compromised, they caused a “Twitter storm” that took months to subside.

Here’s something you must consider that other businesses needn’t. As a financial institution, there are always security threats when any account holder info is made public, even just a name.  Customers who post to your sites may not be thinking about the fact that others are watching. If for example, a customer has a concern about a particular service you offer, one that they’re taking advantage of, it’s best to take that conversation out of the public view.  Let the individual commenting know that you’re sorry that they feel the way that they do, that you understand, and that you’d like to speak with them further, but privately.  The last thing you both need is a hacker getting into the conversation.

Monitor your Platforms Regularly

By keeping close tabs on the dialogue you’re having with your customers – and responding promptly and in a productive way – you’re creating personal relationships that can then become mutually-beneficial business relationships.  You can also learn from your social interactions. Perhaps many people are complaining about/commenting on a similar topic, service, or member of your team. Perhaps those complaints are legitimate. Social media comments can help you gain insights into how customers, and potential customers, see your business; very useful information when you want them to do business with you! So, don’t let the potential for a few negative reviews or comments deter you from social media marketing.  See these comments, instead of negative, as opportunities to build relationships and with those relationships, your business.

For more information on how BankMarketingCenter.com can help your bank with Social Media, here’s an article on social media marketing that we feel is worth reading.  You should also feel free to contact Neal Reynolds @ 678-528-6688 or nreynolds@bankmarketingcenter.com