How Financial Service Providers Can Use Hyper-Local Advertising to Attract New Clients

08.27.2019 Cox Media

Advertising for Financial Service Providers

Smarter Advertising for Your Business

The advertising landscape is a challenging place right now for financial service providers like yours. Whether you’re a local financial advisor, insurance provider, community bank or credit union, you know that consumers of all ages are gravitating toward “fintech” business models that offer easy-to-use, convenient financial apps and online tools that entice potential clients to do everything either over the phone or online — nary the need of visiting an office. Ads from global banks and financial services companies with multimillion-dollar marketing budgets are crowding the market and driving up keyword prices online.

One of the best ways to compete these days is to focus on your strength: offering local, personal and trustworthy service. Let’s face it: Personal finance is stressful for most people, especially in the wake of the Great Recession. When it comes to managing their money, Americans are hungry for one-on-one assistance from providers with trusted reputations in their communities. They want guidance they can’t get from an impersonal app or a big bank that treats them like a number.

Don’t try to copy the advertising tactics the big guys use — and don’t do your advertising “by the numbers.” Instead, look to local advertising experts who can help you create a unique local ad campaign that reaches your specific target market — whether that’s women, Millennials or Baby Boomers — right in your neighborhood. Here are four advertising strategies for your local financial business:


Big financial services companies have millions of dollars to throw at online pay-per-click advertising. Instead of trying to compete in that arena, focus on online video ads that educate prospects about your services and expertise. Americans are hungry for financial education: Although 77% of Generation X consumers are saving for retirement1, 40% have no strategy for doing so and just 39% are working with a financial advisor2.  Meanwhile, just 37% of Millennials have a financial plan3 and only 24% have a basic knowledge of how to manage their money4. Yet, 73% of customers under 30 said they would pay for financial advice5. How can you reach these potential clients?

Cox Media can help you create professional-grade “pre-roll” online video ads to highlight how your company is a trusted retirement, investment or insurance advisor. They can even film around your town or region to drive home the “local” feel of your ad. If a prospective customer has searched for keywords like “retirement planning” or “how to invest,” or visited a competitor’s site, your ads can play before any video they watch as they continue to surf the internet. Your ads can even include advice to position your business as a trusted source; view this YouTube video for a sample of how you can demonstrate your expertise in a short ad.


If you think advertising on TV requires cashing out your retirement plan, think again. With cable TV, you can capture the attention of local prospects for about the cost of a tank of gas. (Click here to see what a 30-second commercial really costs — it typically surprises people.) No other medium has TV’s power to build brand awareness, cultivate an aura of authority and authenticity, and promote your reputation as an expert. Better yet, combining TV with online advertising has been shown to increase ROI on your ad spending by 60%6.

With its wide range of niche programming, cable TV allows you to pinpoint specific prospects by location, age, income and more. Create commercials that focus on saving for a first home or applying for a mortgage to air on HGTV’s “House Hunters” or “Property Brothers.” Target empty-nester Baby Boomers with commercials on the Travel Channel, explaining how you can help them achieve their retirement goal of traveling the world, or let HGTV viewers know about your affordable home insurance rates.

Two-thirds of smartphone owners use their phones to learn more about something they see in a TV commercial7, so make sure your ads drive viewers to your website. For instance, offer a free consultation and have them visit your website to sign up. Cox Media can create TV commercials you can re-purpose as online advertising or videos for your website and social media.


Mobile marketing isn’t just for Millennials anymore (although a whopping 82% of this age group consumes financial content on their smartphonesand many Millennials and Gen Xers manage their aging parents’ finances). Baby Boomers are the fastest-growing segment of online and mobile financial product users, and half of people older than 70 own smartphones9. Mobile marketing can reach everyone — in the moment.

Mobile advertising uses geo-location to find your best prospects no matter where they are. For example, if you’re trying to reach seniors, use “geo-fencing” to show ads only to users near or in local senior living communities or senior centers. Trying to reach affluent prospects? Geo-fence your ads to nearby downtown business centers or upscale neighborhoods. You can even use “geo-conquesting” to reach prospects waiting (and waiting …) in line at a big bank. Serve them ads that emphasize your community bank or credit union’s personable employees, and fast and easy service. Mobile ads also make it easy to track consumer activity so you can see exactly how your ads are working.


Trust and reputation are major differentiators for small financial services providers. Only 8% of Millennials trust financial institutions for guidance; 53% say they have no one they trust for financial advice10. Social media offers a perfect channel to build personal relationships with prospects and earn their trust.

Create “explainer” or educational videos on topics your target market cares about. Facebook is the most popular social media site by far — 79% of adult Internet users use it, and more than three-quarters of them visit daily — and lets you easily target specific markets11. Create an explainer video on “Starting a Child’s College Fund” and share it with new parents and grandparents in your local area. You can even edit the video (with Cox Media’s help) into shorter segments for Instagram and Twitter.

Build your reputation as a member of your community by sharing local news and spotlighting your firm’s local causes or charitable activities. When prospects see the real you on social media, it makes a much bigger impression than a global mega-bank’s generic posts. Film some testimonials with local customers to share on social media. Nobody tells your story like a happy client!

Then, bump up interest in your content by purchasing social media ads. Did you know combining Facebook advertising with TV makes viewers 29% more likely to buy12Cox Media offers affordable packages that bundle television, online and social media advertising.


Your clients get better results when you help them create a personalized planning strategy with diverse investments. The experts at Cox Media can do the same for your business. With our in-depth knowledge of your community, your customers and your market, we can help you plan integrated advertising campaigns that combine TV, online, mobile and social advertising to achieve your marketing goals.

Contact Cox Media at 1-855-755-2691 to speak with one of our local advertising specialists or click here to learn even more about your potential audience.


1The Motley Fool, “Attention, Gen Xers: You’re Making a Major Retirement Mistake,” September 26, 2016

2CBS/Money Watch, “Gen X Retirement Plans: Still Time to Catch Up,” September 8, 2016

3Facebook IQ, “Millennials + Money: The Unfiltered Journey,” January 2016

4National Endowment for Financial Education, Financial Capability Among Young Adults, 2016

6The Advertising Research Foundation, How Advertising Works, March 14, 2016

7Google, “Micro-moments: Your Guide to Winning the Shift to Mobile, September 5, 2015

8Engage: Millennials/, “How Financial Marketers Can Appeal to the Millennial Mindset,” April 11, 2017

9The Financial Brand, “Banking Fails to Meet Needs of Most Valuable Consumer Segment,” April 13, 2017

10Facebook IQ, “Millennials + Money: The Unfiltered Journey,” January 2016

11Pew Research Center, “Social Media Update 2016,” November 11, 2016

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