Payday Loan Advertising after the Google Ban
After Google, Bing and Facebook banned Payday Loan companies from advertising their products, direct acquisition of new loan borrowers has gotten more difficult. The move is especially troublesome for those companies with small marketing budgets, as the market leaders have built brands that enable them to continue funneling in new payday loan, installment & title borrowers without aggressive acquisition focused advertising.
The primary strategy for payday loan, installment, title and line-of-credit lenders is to build their own brand. Building a compelling marketing proposition with the creative to match, and spending considerable budget on advertising this brand, are no longer optional in order to create a long term competitive advantage.
Balance sheet lenders must bring a sense of real world legitimacy to their offerings in order to get business without relying on tactics at the bottom of the acquisition funnel. These tactics include PPC, affiliate and targeted SEO keywords that place lenders in front of potential borrowers at the moment they need access to small dollar loans. While it’s great to be there at this stage of the acquisition process, in order to build a lasting loan portfolio that doesn’t rely on one fickle media company (like Google), lender brands must literally be inside their potential customer’s head before they make their loan decision.
To gain this brand awareness in terms of media channels, we recommend TV, outdoor, print and direct site sponsorship in addition to programmatic marketing; of course, budget permitting. On the ‘earned’ side of media, lenders should focus on Public Relations, Content Marketing and Organic Social Media – again to bring a sense of real-world legitimacy into prospective borrowers minds and to create brand awareness.
Lenders should also employ direct acquisition tactics, in addition to building a brand. If there is not enough budget to do all of this, we recommend focusing on acquisition. We live in the real world, and those lenders on a shoestring budget will have no other choice. For direct acquisition (those bottom of the funnel tactics) we certainly recommend lenders to employ lead generators, programmatic display advertising (RTB and Retargeting), SEO through content link building on quality sites (no shady stuff!), email advertising and perhaps even snail mail direct marketing.
[Be aware that direct mail marketing, unless well targeted, typically results in <1.5% conversions! Expensive… After reviewing 15M+ first-time customer acquisition conversion rates, CAC’s (Customer Acquisition Costs) ranged from $198 – $395+.]
One interesting detail is that payday lenders can still use Google’s display network via Google’s Adx; one of the largest programmatic exchanges. If that continues, it demonstrates that this was merely a public relations move for Google, with their most visible property (paid search) as the only place this ban is in place.
This article was contributed by Bart Burggraaf who is a partner at MediaGroup Worldwide, a niche financial services marketing agency. Get in touch if you need any help with your marketing as a payday, installment, title, or line-of-credit lender.