Founded in 1870, WesBanco is a financial services company that delivers large bank capabilities with a community bank feel. Operating over 200 financial centers in 6 states (IN, KY, MD, OH, PA, and WV), WesBanco saw tremendous site traffic and new customers due to the change in banking relationships coming out of COVID-19 that they wanted to continue to grow. They looked to maintain and increase site traffic and conversions even after a strong year (due to the pandemic-influenced, increased demand), but faced several challenges. They sought to increase brand awareness among a younger demographic while facing strong regional and national competition of big brand names.
WesBanco has a strong customer base among Boomers, however, they aim to grow their overall brand awareness among younger generations in order to continue hitting ongoing growth goals. WesBanco strives to be the partner of choice for the next generation and all their financial needs. Therefore, they needed a strong brand-centric strategy to generate relatable awareness that would convert prospects within the target audience into new, lifetime customers.
Partnering with Brunner, WesBanco’s agency of record, the team developed a strategy that targets Gen Y and Gen Z with Over-The-Top (OTT) media, a prime channel for reaching a younger, targeted demographic group. Because much of OTT’s media requires logins and passwords (think Hulu, Discovery+, etc.), the ability to target and understand audience behavior is generally richer and more reliable than other digital media channels, especially with the eventual extinction of third-party cookies. Brunner leveraged OTT to not only reach a new audience and improve brand presence but also to provide a testing ground to understand the types of audiences that respond best to different ads. The channel and targeting strategy along with a strong content strategy, lead to positive results.
After the strategy rolled out in 2021, OTT began generating approximately 4MM impressions and over 100K site visits per month. Prior to OTT’s implementation, session and application generation were down compared to 2020, but are now up consistently YoY. This channel alone now makes up 10% of overall site sessions to WesBanco.com, and 9% of overall site applications. Brunner was also able to further refine and build audiences based on the ability to prove actual (versus perceived) target audiences for WesBanco’s core products and services. Additionally, the OTT media helped to increase brand paid search clicks and impressions.