Can you believe it’s almost tax season? Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but it’s true. For many of us, this time of year brings thoughts of financial goals, budgeting, investment planning and debt reduction.

On the bright side, this season is primetime for the financial services marketers among you. Yet, in this highly competitive market, how do you ensure you’re finding and converting profitable customers? At Kenshoo, we have several tips to improve your bottom line.

1. Go Mobile on Search and Social

As you know, your audience is researching financial decisions on mobile. In 2015, Google found that mobile searches for financial terms related to mortgages, credit cards, loans, and life insurance grew 48% YoY. They also found that conversion rates for finance campaigns were 58% higher on mobile than on desktop. (Money Matters: Finance Trends Throughout the Year) Use Kenshoo’s mobile bid modifiers to automatically bid higher on these valuable mobile audiences and also take advantage of cross-channel attribution to optimize more holistically.

Facebook similarly found that their users — especially millennials — are crowdsourcing financial information on Facebook. In an average month, millennials drive 40% of the financial conversation on Facebook, generating 6.5M posts, comments, likes and shares. 76% of these conversations take place on mobile devices.

So, our first piece of advice is pretty simple. Be sure you’ve got robust search AND social programs up and running on mobile and that you’re considering some of the newer platforms too like Pinterest and Snapchat.

2. Use the Latest in Audience Targeting

Next, your success is largely determined by how effectively you find a qualified and profitable audience. Financial services advertisers have been successful by leveraging their own CRM database to find their customers or lookalikes online both in search and social. Continue the conversation with existing customers or take specific segments of these customers, i.e. high LTV or mutual fund customers and create lookalikes.

Another method that’s worked well is to tap into search intent. With Kenshoo’s Intent Driven Audiences, you can find users who’ve searched on your terms, seen your search results but haven’t clicked or converted and reach them with a Facebook ad. Taking this one step further, create lookalikes of this audience and exclude your existing customer segments to reach only new prospects. One mortgage company tested this approach and beat their goal by 4x.

When targeting new audiences, be sure to test your conversion window so that you can better understand how long it takes to convert. You will likely find that the window will be longer for social compared to search. Also, it makes sense to test new audiences for a minimum of two weeks to prove they’re performing well before scaling.

3. Get Creative with your Creative

Take advantage of new ad types to move your audience more efficiently through the conversion funnel. For search, if you haven’t already tried Expanded Text Ads, be sure to check them out. Kenshoo has an easy way to migrate your standard ads into this new format.

On social, consider Lead Ads to capture interest from your audience or Mobile App Install Ads to drive app downloads. Lead Ads enable you to capture customer information within Facebook instead of requiring additional clicks back to your site. Mobile App Install Ads take users directly to your app for easy downloading.

Creative testing is also critical. Even if you’ve had success with your creative in the past or believe you know what works, it never hurts to test. In fact, dedicate a small percent of your budget to testing with every campaign. One of our clients found that static images depicting money worked very well. Seasonal imagery also seems to perform well for finance advertisers. And, personalized messaging, i.e. state or region specific offers are most effective.

For social, Kenshoo’s Creative Manager makes creative development a breeze with smart cropping and template overlays that enable you to create hundreds or even thousands of ad variations to easily test. Then, to understand which is performing best, Kenshoo’s Analysis Grid allows you to group ads by up to 10 different attributes, filter by the performance that matters most and then analyze the data so you can understand what’s working best.

4. Optimize, Report and Optimize Some More

Ensuring you’re hitting your objectives is one of the surest paths to success. To do this, tap into a powerful optimization solution like Kenshoo’s Portfolio Optimizer. Its powerful algorithms enable both your search and social campaigns to be optimized towards your target ROI or CPA goals — or even to a custom metric that your business calculates to measure success.

For search, use Kenshoo Advanced Search to perform regular bid adjustments based on a custom metric like LTV. This custom metric enables you to distinguish performance and bid into the most cost effective positions for each group of keywords. You can also apply dimensions to compare performance across broader categories of campaigns, such as brand, non-brand, and re-marketing without restructuring campaigns or pulling multiple reports.

What Are You Waiting For?

Put these best practices in place today. If you’d like more information about our recommendations or how Kenshoo can help you achieve your marketing goals, please visit us at kenshoo.com/financialservices or CONTACT US directly.