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5 Tips for Community Banks to Generate Leads

Due to the rising competition from national, fintech, and other financial services companies, community banks must use the right strategies to create relationships and target their marketing efforts to generate and convert more leads. Below are five tips to help your community bank create and convert more prospects into customers.

1.    Identify and target your niche market

First, identify and define your niche market to reduce competition. For example, local small business owners, first-time home buyers in specific zip codes, or college loans for minorities. To directly connect with local leads, utilize local resources such as networking events, community outreach programs, and local charity sponsorships. Outreach programs, like hosting one-on-one free consultations at your local bank, offering mortgage calculations, support of local social causes, or just talking to people at a networking event, will help you meet people who generally need your services.

2.    Offer free financial education online tools

Offering free online tools, information, and consultations can be a cost-effective way to build trust, generate leads, and draw customers into your funnel. You can create courses, webinars, videos, blogs, articles, and guidebooks that help people understand finance and investment. Not all customers looking for free tools become paying customers. You can work to filter out unwanted users by asking customers to opt-in if they are interested in a follow-up call to discuss specific financial services and how you can help.

3.    Make use of social media channels

Many local business owners and individuals use social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Encourage your sales team to spend at least 30 minutes on social media channels daily, depending on your target audience. For example, if your target audience is small business owners, LinkedIn is your best bet.  Spending additional time exploring relevant social media channels will help you identify potential leads. Have strategies to make real and personal connections with your prospects. For example, send a personalized direct message offering a follow-up phone call to discuss how you can provide value when it comes to banking.

4.    Differentiate from other banks

Find something that differentiates you from your competitors and makes it work as part of your digital marketing pitch. For example, you could stand out by suggesting that you provide low-cost loans to women-owned small businesses in specific zip codes or provide a year-long consultation to new borrowers.  Focus on differentiating yourself by being genuine, trustworthy, and supporting the social causes in your community.

5.    Be creative with personalization

Whether you’re reaching your leads on social media, through email, or with SEO and web content, it’s essential that you know your audience well. Identifying a specific audience when creating content will allow you to develop a more personalized approach. Consider a customized approach when contacting and connecting with people, talking to them in person, or following up on social media. For example, check a new connection’s LinkedIn page or small business website before connecting with them. Ask what they want or need upfront and be genuinely interested in their needs. Be creative about a non-digital approach while targeting high-end leads. For example, having coffee with your new connection or sending them a paper brochure or information to their physical office or address can make a difference.


With the rising competition in the finance industry, your competition will always be there, and you’ll have to continually work to generate leads. While there are many tools your community bank can use to do so, you can stand out with creative offers that add value to your customer’s needs. Be sure to personalize your message to convince most consumers to connect.

Key Takeaways

  • Identify and target your niche market
  • Offer free financial education online tools
  • Make use of social media channels
  • Differentiate from other banks
  • Be creative with personalization