How Financial Services Spent $813K in Digital Advertising in Q2 2022 to Support Women-Led Ad Creatives

Content & Messaging
August 12, 2022
Financial Services

Key Takeaways

The brands in the competitive set invested $813K into women-led digital ads in Q2 2022. Here’s how:

Channel Identification

  • Brands allocated 37% of their total investment service ad budget to Paid Search ads and 27% to Display ads. 
  • However, brands allocated 30% of their women-led investment services ads to Display and 27% to Paid Search.
  • The channel with the highest share of spend towards women-led ads is YouTube at 22% in Q2 2022.

Advertising Trends

  • From Q1 2022 to Q2 2022, the competitive set decreased advertising spends by -52% for investment services. 
  • Display had the highest women-led advertising budget in the competitive set at $247K.
  • RBC had the highest women-led advertising budget in the competitive set at $282K.

Ad Creatives

  • Questrade focuses on women in ad creative by showing them actively engaging in financial conversations.
  • Ellevest highlights emotional-led ad copy by focusing on high value service as opposed to deals & promotions. 
  • BMO encourages investing for retirement using copy to note benefits like “effortless investing” and “meeting your goals”.
  • RBC includes women as part of the conversation for financial planning with their partners as well as on their own to “invest without compromise”.

The following companies were included in the competitive set for this analysis:

From January 2022 to June 2022, companies in the competitive set decreased their digital advertising spend for investment services by -52%. January 2022 saw the highest ad spend at $2.4M and June 2022 saw the lowest ad spend at $692K.

*Ad spend includes Facebook, Display, YouTube, Search.

Overall Questrade ($3.5M) spent the most advertising dollars in digital advertising for investment services. All brands except Ellevest (+62%) decreased their advertising spend in Q2 2022.

*Ad spend includes Facebook, Display, YouTube, and  Search.

In Q2 2022, only Paid Search saw an increase in spend of +50%, while Display, Facebook and YouTube saw decreases in spend of -76%, -74% and -48% respectively.

From January 2022 to June 2022, the competitive set invested $7.7M into digital advertising. Paid Search and Display ads saw the highest spending of $2.8M and $2.1M respectively, followed by Facebook ($2M).

Brands in the competitive set invested a total of $813K into women-led ad creatives. RBC ($281K) has invested in the most women-led ad creatives in the investment banking and advisor space in Q2 2022 while Ellevest has contributed the highest share of marketing to women-led messaging at 85% of their total ad spend. 

*Women-led ad creative includes any ad content that features women discussing, making decisions or navigating the financial space. It also includes seniors & emotional over quantitative ad copy.

Display ads ($247K) have seen the highest investment in women-led messaging in the advisor and investment space in Q2 2022, while YouTube has contributed the highest share of marketing spend to women-led messaging at 22% of ad content.

*Women-led ad creative includes any ad content that features women discussing, making decisions or navigating the financial space. It also includes seniors & emotional over quantitative ad copy.

Questrade has the largest Display ad spend ($207K) for advertising messaging geared towards women while BMO had the largest Paid Search spend ($193K). Paid Search is the only channel with spends from all five brands in the competitive set.

RBC had the largest Facebook ad spend at $119K and was the only advertiser with women-led messaging on YouTube at $158.7K.

The competitive set invested $247K into Display ads with an average CPM of $11.4 for ad content geared towards women. Questrade saw the highest investment of $207K, which is 84% of the total competitive set spend. 79% of ad formats were presented as HTML Gifs.

Questrade saw the highest spends on Display ads primarily with creative that features women in the forefront as not only working on their own finances but actively engaging and showing excitement about managing their finances.

Questrade’s top gif ads using women-led creative, $62K and $9.5K respectively, seek to infer the improvement of financial decision making through the support and service of their team.

Spend: $62K  Impressions: 6.2M CPM: $9.92
Click to view
Spend: $9.5K  Impressions: 771K CPM: $12.30
Click to view

Questrade invested $21K into a Display video that features a couple looking into getting a mortgage. Both parties equally research the possibility of getting a mortgage with Questrade and the ad features an advisor answering their questions to represent constant and consistent service from the team. 

Questrade also invested $20K into another Display video ad featuring a group of women having dinner together discussing investment possibilities that could help them with future retirement. The ad creative supports women engaging in financial planning and conversations independently and confidently.

Spend: $21K | Impressions: 1.2M | CPM: $18.4
Click to watch

Spend: $20K | Impressions: 1.1M | CPM: $18.4
Click to watch

BMO spent the most advertising dollars on Paid Search for content geared towards women in the competitive set at $193K. BMO had the highest amount of paid keywords (136) which generated the highest amount of Paid Search traffic at (79K) about +340% more traffic than average in the competitive set.

Ellevest is the only brand in the competitive set to include copy with “women” explicitly being advertised to. $10K was spent on the keyword “invest” to rank for people looking for value-based investments, an example of the copy includes “Where Money Works for Women”. However, including women in the copy hasn’t always been a strong strategy for Ellevest, the keyword “investorline” used a women-forward copy and saw a CPC of $40.9.

Spend: $10K | Traffic: 3.5K | CPC: $2.79 View landing page
Spend: $6.4K | Traffic: 157 | CPC: $40.9
View landing page

80% of brands didn’t include any copy with “women”, therefore emotionally-focused copy was highlighted for these brands. BMO spent $86.5K on the keyword “bmo online” to promote the opportunity to invest with planners for retirement linking working with a planner to finding success in retirement. RBC invested $255 on the keyword “rbc gam” to promote their story and the value and diversity of their financial professionals.

Spend: $86.5K | Traffic: 47K | CPC: $1.82View landing page
Spend: $255 | Traffic: 643 | CPC: $0.4
View landing page

From April 2022 to June 2022, Facebook saw a total spend of $184K and an average CPM of $4.9 across the competitive set. RBC saw the highest investment at $119K. Link posts were the most popular ad format with 52% of the ad spend.

65% of the competitive set’s Facebook ad budget was generated by RBC for women-led ad creatives. RBC spent $34K and $29.5K on two different ads with the same actors to portray a couple making financial decisions together. Ad copies focus on advisors being able to help with the process with subtle hints like “with helpful advice”. RBC also spent $19.6K on an ad featuring a woman making decisions in a way that works for her with the title “Invest without compromise”.

Facebook ad video previews unavailable.

$158.7K was invested into YouTube ads between April 2022 and June 2022, with RBC as the only brand in the competitive set to invest in YouTube with women-led creative. The ad creative is 6 seconds in length. 

RBC was the only brand in the competitive set with a YouTube ad geared towards women, the spend saw an average CPM of $13.2.

RBC invested their total YouTube spend, $158.7K, into one video in French that uses the same creative as one of their top Facebook ads. The video features a young women making financial decisions on her own as she has the opportunity to work with a financial advisor to make the right decisions. The ad is 6 seconds in length and encourages viewers to start investing by noting a minimum of $100 is all that is needed to start. 

Spend: $158.7K | Impressions: 12M | CPM: $13.2
Click to watch.
Spend is a directional approximation and does not include retargeting, or behavioural targeting

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