Contextual Advertising Strategies for Marketing Financial Services

example of a contextual advertising campaign to illustrate marketing financial services

Consumer’s banking behaviours have changed in recent years, with most generations now embracing digital banking. In fact, RFi Group research found that 71% of consumers globally are now using digital banking channels weekly—a 3% year over year increase. This shift to digital banking means that strategies for marketing financial services are evolving, too. 

This rise of digital banking has mirrored the growing consumer habit of seeking information online before making a purchase. This means there’s no better time than now for marketers to use digital advertising for finance campaigns. And with consumers spending time researching online, there is growing value in aligning marketing messaging with the content that consumers are reading about. 

Contextual Advertising for Marketing Financial Services

Finance marketers can tap into this consumer behaviour by leveraging contextual targeting to target users based on the environment in which an ad appears. This strategy places focus on the consumer’s current frame of mind to show an ad that is hyper relevant. 

Contextual targeting is different from behavioural targeting because behavioural relies on a user’s past actions to understand the kind of purchase they are likely to make. Instead, contextual uses algorithms to target ad placements based on keywords, website content, and other metadata. 

Understand Your Customer’s Journey

Finance is differentiated from other categories, like consumer packaged goods, because consumers don’t tend to switch between financial products and services frequently. Therefore, when marketing financial services it’s important to understand your customer’s journey so that you can not only capture new clients, but nurture your existing client base. Nurturing will help increase customer loyalty and satisfaction so that you can increase customer lifetime value (CLV).

The customer journey tells you how your customers go from awareness and consideration to conversion and evaluation. This insight into your customer’s frame of mind is exactly what you need to effectively target using contextual advertising. Finance marketers can use their understanding of touch points to make sure that contextually placed ads reach consumers at the right moment. 

For example, if you’re selling an education savings plan, you might target content that is relevant to users who are new parents. Seeing an ad for an education savings plan while reading a blog about baby development will encourage a parent to think about that long-term investment’s value for their child’s future. 

Since their child is still young, they may not be ready to start an education savings plan, but the ad has created that first touch point in the consideration stage. With a clear understanding of the customer’s touch points, retail banks can make meaningful connections with potential consumers, and nurture existing ones. 

Reach Consumers Based on Life Stage

There’s a broad variety and range of finance products and services, from chequing accounts for first time bankers, to credit cards, mortgages, and retirement savings plans. This broad range of products means the audience for financial products is diverse, and therefore, your campaign targeting should be diverse, too. You can use contextual targeting to reach these diverse audiences based on stage of life. 

Many milestones in life, like starting school, getting married, or having a child, correlate with specific financial products. Look to your customer profiles to understand what stage of life your ideal customer may be in, and target them accordingly. For example, a student starting university might be looking for their first credit card, or a couple that’s just gotten married might be looking to purchase their first home. You can leverage contextual targeting to place ads on pages that your target audience will likely be looking at online. 

A recently married couple may start browsing articles that cover “steps for buying your first home” or “how to qualify for a mortgage.” With contextual advertising, you can place ads for your mortgage products on those pages so they reach an audience that is in a receptive frame of mind. In another scenario, a bank might want to attract more students to their student chequing account. That bank could implement contextual advertising to target content that is popular amongst university-aged students. 

Get Started With Contextual Advertising

With contextual advertising, finance marketers can ensure they are reaching the right audiences, in the right frame of mind. By evaluating your customer’s journey, you can pinpoint the stage of life that your target audience is in, and use contextual advertising to reach them as they prepare for, or are in the midst of, a life milestone. 

There are other benefits, too. Contextual advertising isn’t constrained by privacy legislation because it doesn’t collect or use information about users. And, since contextual advertising campaigns are served programmatically, you can use many different formats to serve your ads like native, display and video, and you can review real-time metrics and optimize for maximum performance. 

Want to get started with contextual targeting? Request a demo to learn more about StackAdapt.

Erin Hynes
Erin Hynes

Content Marketing Manager


Erin is a content marketer with experience crafting thought-provoking content that drives awareness and supports customer acquisition. She is also a travel writer and podcaster in the tourism space.