Study conducted by bank sales consulting and training firm Clarity Advantage reveals a major opportunity to improve bank small-business websites; identifies six actions banks can take to improve small-business-website marketing strategy. Download Now
How can banks make their websites more competitive in the small business space? Six ways, according to bank sales consulting and training firm Clarity Advantage, which recently conducted a study of 100 bank small-business websites. The company’s primary finding: a lack of online content is the biggest improvement opportunity, with 84% of the websites studied falling flat in this dimension.
“Twenty-three million small businesses in the U.S. offer banks a tremendous growth opportunity; however, most of them are missing key marketing and sales opportunities on their websites,” says Clarity Advantage President Nick Miller.
Miller reports three key trends:
- Banks want to attract and engage business owners and be seen as relevant;
- Business owners need advice and ideas and are increasingly searching online for them rather than going to their bank branch, accountant, or attorney;
- Banks have employed a variety of web-based marketing strategies over the years (blog posts, articles, and interactive communities), but these haven’t always worked.
Offering online content that helps small-business owners build and sustain profitable businesses can benefit banks in many ways, according to Miller. “Useful, engaging content can increase a bank’s search engine ranking, elevate website traffic, drive potential small-business customers to key website pages, keep them on the site, and keep them coming back in the future,” he explains. “In addition, branch staff and business bankers can refer clients to the online content and engage them in discussion about the tools and information posted there, enriching their conversations and positioning themselves in a more advisory way.”
Miller and his Clarity Advantage team have identified six ways banks can improve their small-business-website content and compete more effectively for small business market share:
- Develop and offer content that captures, engages, educates, and supports small-business owners—solve business owners’ pain points at each stage of their business development rather than solely promote the bank’s products.
- Position the content so that it moves small-business owners along the buying path—include relevant and appropriate bank product references inside the content along with a web form that captures key small business owner information to be passed on to the bank’s small business sales team.
- Have a clear editorial strategy and offer a variety of content types organized around business owner pain points—develop a content strategy and curriculum based on a deep understanding of small business owners’ challenges, map the content to the curriculum, and deploy it in a variety of ways—articles, videos, business guides, eNewsletters, infographics, case studies of real businesses, diagnostic health checks, and eLearning.
- Make the content visible and keep it free of clutter—organize content so that it is easy for small-business owners to find what they are looking for the moment they land on the website.
- Make the content mobile friendly—develop HTML-based content rather than Flash so it can be accessed on all devices—computers, smart phones, and tablets of all types.
- Make the content interactive—engage small-business owners and keep them on the bank’s website longer by enabling them to actively participate with the content.
To download Clarity Advantage’s report on the State of Bank Website Content for Small Businesses, which summarizes the 100-bank small-business website study and includes examples of bank websites, go to http://bit.ly/1jt1MW5.
About Clarity Advantage: Bank sales consulting and training firm Clarity Advantage helps banks clarify, implement, and execute sales strategies to generate more profitable relationships, faster, with small and medium-sized companies, their owners, and employees, working with branch, field sales, and call center sales team members. The company also assists banks to attract and expand relationships with individuals and families. Visitors to Clarity’s website, http://www.clarityadvantage.com, can subscribe to “The Weekly Sales Thought,” a free eNewsletter and podcast focused on business-to-business sales techniques and sales management.