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How Fintech Startups Can Rebound from COVID-19

Summary

Fundamental changes to our daily lives draw corresponding trends in media consumption that will continue to have a significant impact on digital marketing. The goal is to find the diamonds in the rough without the need to completely take a sledgehammer to your marketing efforts.

Summary

Fundamental changes to our daily lives draw corresponding trends in media consumption that will continue to have a significant impact on digital marketing. The goal is to find the diamonds in the rough without the need to completely take a sledgehammer to your marketing efforts.

If you’re a fintech startup, odds are you’ve already had conversations on budget cuts and maximizing efficiency after crazy market fluctuations. Add to that a lack of knowledge on how the market will react to COVID19. Then layer on top an abrupt loss in revenue many companies suffered. What a cocktail of uncertainty.  

One of the first affected channels and business organizations during times like these tends to be marketing. Most people believe it’s a switch that can be turned on and off. The sledgehammer approach, as it were.

In the aftermath of the last recession in 2008, ad spending in the U.S. dropped by 13%. If you break it out by medium, newspaper ad spending dropped the most at 27%, radio spending dropped by 22%, followed by magazines with a decline of 18%, out-of-home by 11%, television by 5% and online by 2%.

Nonetheless, there have been a number of studies going back nearly one century that point out the advantages of maintaining or even increasing ad budgets during a weaker economy. But we’re not just saying that because we’re a digital marketing agency. Promise.

Our sentiments exactly.

As a matter of fact, we’ve suggested to some of our largest accounts, that it makes sense for them to pause their marketing efforts. For us, it’s about providing value. Which is why we’ve created this guide to help fintech startups rebound from COVID19.

If you’ve already taken the sledgehammer approach to limiting (see: erasing) marketing budget, or lost significant revenue and need to figure out how to make up for that, this is the guide for you.


The first thing you’ll want to do is get a scalpel instead of a sledgehammer


What does it mean to use a scalpel? It means looking at your previous marketing campaigns and diving deep into the data. This will help you do a few things:

  1. Find new budget where none existed
  2. Reduce wasted spend
  3. Improve your Return on Investment

Get rid of wasted spend and find some marketing wiggle room

The beauty of diving into the data is the ability to first discover where you’ve been wasting spend. The $500,000 you had earmarked for PPC ads? If you dive into that data, you could look at saving 2-5% of that budget by combining public data, keyword reporting, and conversion metrics to discover irrelevant ads and spending.


See how we lowered monthly spend by 22% and still increased conversions by 140%


By identifying and saving wasted spend, you now have some extra cash to look for opportunities to re-invest. Where would you want to re-invest that money?

The first thing that you should always think about is the audience’s needs. What do they need and expect, that they aren’t getting from your competitors? Start with the data you already have.

Finding new opportunities

The process of audience research can feel a lot less intimidating when you break it down into smaller pieces. You don’t need a ton of audience research tools to get started.

Use chat logs and customer service transcripts to find niche topics to dominate

Instead of manually poring through every single line in your chat logs, you can drop those chats into an Ngram analysis (ngrams are phrases that range from two to five words, sometimes more). With natural language processing you can glean insights, find common topics of concern for customers, and expand your research based on those terms.

Sync with your sales team on common questions and concerns

These folks are on the front lines of dealing with customers. They can share valuable insights with you since they work closest with customers and are a font of knowledge.

Combine all the data to drive more sales

By combining the information from your customer logs and your sales team with PPC data (looking specifically at keywords that mention your brand), and general questions about the niche topic you operate under (consider Answer the Public or SEMRush), you can build a robust FAQ center that not only addresses topics of concern to potential customers, but actually drives sales.

This technique worked really well for a customer of ours, where implementing this strategy helped turn their FAQ center into a conversion machine. Their faqs ended up being the highest source of “assisted conversions” (meaning the page that pushed a visitor to decide to go to the product page and convert into a customer) in a short time.

Determining ROI and how to prioritize what’s next

If you find yourself having tough conversations about the impact of your online campaigns, check out these formulas for estimating digital marketing ROI: 

Determining project profitability

The formula for calculating the ROI (Return on Investment) of digital marketing is simple. If you have all the information, simply plug it into the below formula:

(( Gross Profit generated by the project – Cost of the project to the business )


( Cost of the project to the business ) * 100% )

PRO TIP: If your company is publicly traded, consider using financial statements (such as 10-Ks) to demystify any ‘unknown’ portion of the equation.

Determining ROAS (return on ad spend) for advertising campaigns

Understanding ROI and profit margin in addition to analyzing ROAS is how you can determine what constitutes a true return of a campaign. Ultimately, this enables stronger decision-making as it relates to optimizations, budget allocation, and more. Here’s the formula to use to determine ROAS:

( Revenue generated by paid campaigns


Ad Spend of paid campaigns )

Estimating SEO ROI

When estimating the performance of SEO, search volume and Organic traffic are always great leading indicators. But at the end of the day, it all comes down to revenue. Although estimating the ROI from SEO efforts is a well-known challenge, it’s possible to get a guesstimate to help give you some direction.

Step 1: Determine Estimated SEO Revenue per Month

SEO RPM = (( Total Monthly Search Volume * Click-Through-Rate ) * (Conversion Rate)) * Conversion Value

Step 2: Determine SEO ROI

(( Estimated SEO Revenue per Month – Cost to Implement Strategy )


( Cost to Implement Strategy * 100 ))

Conclusion

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly altered the digital landscape in less than a month. Trends are changing with each passing day. 

By analyzing search trends, brand alert monitoring, mining chat logs and discovering new themes to invest in, your company or brand can create strong, but sensitive-to-the-times marketing campaigns that actually answer the quickly changing needs of your customers.

These fundamental changes to our daily lives affect the trends you’ll see in media consumption. This will continue to have a significant impact on digital marketing beyond COVID19. Your marketing goal should be to find the diamonds in the rough, while avoiding taking a sledgehammer to your marketing efforts.

And most importantly, stay healthy, and stay home.

Resources

Seer Interactive’s Hub of Marketing Resources: As another agency that’s married to data, we use a lot of the same formulas and tactics. Their resource center is incredibly expansive, and worth checking out.

Free Influencer Marketing Software During COVID19: Intellifluence is a great influencer marketing tool, and for any small business that’s been adversely affected, they have a program to help you build brand awareness without much cost.

Free Food Delivery: If you can’t afford to purchase the necessary food items for your family, Full Cart is designed to help you out. They’ll send an order of food your way free of charge. And it actually tastes good, too.

Mental Health Services: If you’re suffering mentally from COVID19 or shelter in place orders, NAMI is a great resource to work through what’s ailing you.