A recent Financial Brand study showed that 18% of banks and credit unions are currently blogging. Some, like those from Wells Fargo, are engaging and informative mouthpieces. Others are unfortunately no more than extended bank advertisements. Think about it: would you go out of your way to read a bank brochure for fun? Still, the fact that many bank blogs fail shouldn’t keep your bank from making an effort. After all, blogs allow you to regularly upload new content and drive outside traffic to your site, both of which help increase your Google page rank. Perhaps more importantly, blogs establish a dialogue between your bank and your customers. With these factors in mind, here are some do’s and don’ts you should consider when creating a blog your customers will want to read.
1. Before you start – It seems as though many banks jump on the blog bandwagon without first thinking of a strategy. Banks should apply their usual pragmatic nature to their blogging efforts as well.
- DO enlist multiple authors to give readers different perspectives
- DO create a posting schedule and stick to it
- DON’T wait until the day the post is due to think of a topic
- DON’T forget about the blog for a few weeks
- DO ask coworkers from every department for topic ideas
- DO establish a set of rules and regulations with your compliance department regarding blog topics
2. As you go – People usually don’t go out of their way to read advertisements. If anything, they go out of their way to avoid them. If you want people to visit your blog, be sure to offer them a valuable experience.
- DON’T treat your blog as a bank brochure
- DON’T only use your blog as a promotional tool
- DO put a spotlight on the positive ways your bank interacts with the community
- DO engage your readers with information that interests them
- DO offer a glimpse into the internal culture of your bank
- DO present your products and services in a way users can understand
3. In response to feedback – The goal for your blog is to create a conversation with others. It may be uncomfortable at first, but banks must drop their guard and actually interact with users if they want their blog to be successful.
- DO respond to comments
- DON’T offer personal financial advice
- DON’T block negative comments
- DO respond to negative comments swiftly and helpfully
- DON’T think like a banker
- DO think like a reader
At Onsearch Interactive, we believe those last two points are the most important for bloggers in the banking industry. Blogs can help destroy any negative preconceptions readers may have regarding banks and replace them through positive communication. We can help you design a blogging strategy for your bank and facilitate the dialogue between you and your customers. Contact us for more information.