Middle of the Funnel Focus: This article is the second part of a three part series: “Why Financial Calculators are crucial to the Customer Journey”. Missed Part One Check it out here, Attracting More People to your Website At the Top of the Funnel?
Ok so you’re spending a lot of time and money to get qualified people to your website: SEO, SEM, PPC, and more paid media. Now let’s focus on the middle of the funnel. You’re getting a steady stream of visitors to your website, how do you increase engagement? What about time on site? How about pages per visit?
In The Financial Brand’s Digital Banking Report, a survey conducted among financial institutions worldwide found that 88% of respondents said that “improving the customer experience” was the most important digital banking transformation strategy.
Some Banks, like Capital One, have gone as far as to launch physical cafes to improve the Customer Experience and keep people engaged. If your website is your digital branch, you also want to focus on keeping people around as long as possible. That means offering more value before a transaction takes place. If you deliver that value on your website, you will see engagement numbers spike, decrease bounce rates, increase time on site, and watch your pages per visit grow
Why Engagement is Important
Feeding people the right information at the right time, in the right place is how your site can go from random click to trusted resource. With trust, you can build deeper relationships and become a go-to reference during key life moments.
A marketer’s goal should be to keep people engaged throughout the funnel, but it’s especially during that crucial middle part of the customer journey that you want to wow them. It’s not enough to just attract visitors to your site – you have to give them enough valuable information when they arrive in order to keep their attention. Better yet, if you can engage them beyond an extra click or two, you might earn a coveted spot in their bookmarks – and maybe even a like, comment, or share.
The more the customer keeps coming to your site, the deeper the relationship with your brand becomes. That’s because frequent, high-quality interactions are the building blocks of loyalty. If you’re wondering why it matters, this stat says it all: People are 5x more likely to do business with a brand they interact with weekly thand once a month.
On the flipside, without engagement, they will bounce right off and click on the next appealing search result and you could potentially lose them forever.
Banks and Credit Unions are no longer competing with other Banks for customer’s attention, instead they’re competing with a whole new landscape of fintechs and media sites like BankRate and Nerdwallet. Interactive tools help to level the playing field.
So what experience do people find most valuable?
The data shows that people are looking for experiences that are both personalized and interactive.
Interactive Content is key to increasing Engagement
Interactive content is a proven strategy for boosting engagement and consistently outperforms written content. One survey reports that 66% of marketers say engagement levels increased after introducing interactive content to their marketing plans. In another study by DemandGen, it was revealed that interactive content gains 2x more engagement than written articles.
So why isn’t everyone creating interactive content? Because it’s expensive!
A general rule of thumb for content creation, the more money you spend on creating a piece of content, the more time your audience should spend engaging with it.
Calculators are the best of both worlds, they really are the gift that keeps on giving. For the price of one long-form article, you can get a calculator for the entire year.
Personalized Content is key to the Customer Journey
When customers are searching for answers at life’s biggest moments, they need answers to their own unique questions. That’s why personal finance is so tricky – because it’s, well, personal. It’s impossible to create articles that appeal to all users because everyone’s situation is so unique.
With financial calculators, you are providing an opportunity to offer personalization at scale, without having to write thousands of different articles. Everyone can find the answer to their own unique financial situation in one easy-to-use interactive tool.
Yet, thousands of people can use that same tool and get the personal answer they’re looking for. In fact, 83% of consumers say they are willing to share their information to create a more personalized experience, as per Accenture.
So why isn’t everyone creating personalized experiences? Because it’s expensive!
You could potentially create hundreds (or thousands) or articles for every single unique financial situation but of course that would require an almost unlimited amount of money, a fully staffed editorial team, and an incredible ability to target the people visiting your website.
Calculators are the best of both worlds, they allow you to provide personalized answers to every single person that visits your website, without having to spend $500,000 on content marketing.
How Calculators Boost Engagement
Interactive design elements are ideal tools for engaging people who are in the middle of the funnel, aka, the evaluation stage of the buyer journey. For banking, this would be when the customer might be thinking about refinancing their mortgage or opening a savings account.
For financial brands, calculators are a no-brainer choice of interactive tool since they offer valuable financial insights to the customer, while also providing a pathway toward other helpful content. For example, calculators can help them figure out if a personal loan would benefit them, how much money they could earn by opening a CD, or what their monthly payment would be if they refinanced their home loan. After the personalized answers a calculator provides, and the trust that an authentic customer experience has built, people will be ready to take the next step and sign up.
That said, interactive tools like calculators must be built correctly in order to move customers along the funnel. Consumers are drawn in by tools that are beautiful, easy to use, and simple to understand. Give them a clunky experience, and they will surely bounce. On the other hand, well-designed calculators can act as a vehicle for bringing customers to the other products and services you can offer them.
The bottom line: Customer experience is the sum of all the touchpoints someone has with your company. If you keep someone engaged in the middle of their journey with interactive content like Signal Intent calculators, they’ll find the answers they’re looking for and be ready to take the next step faster. That is, you’ll increase engagement levels and move prospective customers further down the funnel.
As engagement increases, next up is figuring out how to close the deal. Don’t miss part three of our this Customer Journey series: “How Financial Calculators Convert More People to Customers”