A referral is a great way to land a new client. Expanding an existing client’s scope of work to include their sister company is even better. That’s exactly what happened to officially kick off Dittoe Public Relations’ partnership with Merchants Bank of Indiana (MBI).
Dittoe PR has worked with Merchants Capital (MCC), a company under the Merchants Bancorp umbrella, for more than four years. Throughout the ongoing partnership, Dittoe PR has secured impactful media coverage and created custom social media campaigns while working alongside Merchants Bancorp’s small internal marketing team. With the absence of an in-house dedicated social media manager, the MBI marketing team looked to Dittoe PR to assist with content development, take over daily management of its channels, and grow its presence on social media.
In addition to its banking services and financing for affordable multifamily housing, MBI wanted to bring heightened awareness to its other divisions including Small Business Administration (SBA), Agricultural Lending, Business Banking and Merchants Mortgage.
After a brief onboarding period, Dittoe PR created a custom social media strategy that included a profile analysis and breakdown of proposed management tasks, campaigns highlighting each division and sample creative assets. This initial strategy acted as a guide for the first six months of the partnership and has grown to be consistently updated on a quarterly basis with accompanying monthly and quarterly analysis reports and annual performance recaps.
Dittoe PR rolled out social media content by implementing an employee engagement campaign with a heavy focus on professional platforms such as LinkedIn and Twitter. By tapping into the existing professional networks of Merchants employees, Dittoe PR furthered the company’s impact and expanded its reach. This campaign began by highlighting employee work anniversaries and now includes other milestones such as retirements, promotions, industry awards, board appointments and other professional accolades.
To educate employees on the basics of creating and maintaining a presence on social media, Dittoe PR led an internal LinkedIn training with MBI executives and other employees under the Merchants Bancorp umbrella. Through the seminar, the team built stronger engagement rates with employees and turned active users into brand ambassadors, resulting in additional follower growth on the platform in the weeks and months that followed.
Additional custom campaigns were introduced in the first six months to highlight MBI’s work in its other divisions, which included leveraging employees as experts, promoting the success of each division, and tapping into ongoing American Bankers Association (ABA) campaigns and industry-related micro-holidays. Dittoe PR also developed custom design templates for each campaign to keep the Merchants branding top of mind with each creative asset. The signature “Merchants green” style has since become recognizable by banking industry peers.
Merchants Bank of Indiana Results
In the first year of the partnership, Dittoe PR developed a consistent posting strategy and engaging campaigns with branded content to achieve MBI’s goals of growing its presence and educating its target audiences. This content, when combined with the earned media coverage and thought leadership placements secured by Dittoe PR, increased Merchants’ credibility among the Hoosier community and its industry peers. MBI went on to receive both the FHLBank Indianapolis’ Community Spirit Award and the Indianapolis Business Journal’s HR Impact Award in 2022.
From March 2021 to February 2022, the Dittoe PR social media team achieved the following results across the four MBI channels:
- Grew followership by 47.3%.
- Earned a 39.5% increase in impressions.
- Increased engagements by 99.2% to earn a 9% average annual engagement rate.
- Directed 93.6% more link clicks to Merchants landing pages, with the majority of that growth coming from LinkedIn.
Through the remainder of 2022, Dittoe PR continued to see improved performance across MBI’s social media channels as a result of our evolving strategy. With new platform features, such as Instagram Reels, our team began leveraging more video content to expand our reach and tap into new audiences. For the year, Dittoe PR increased:
- Followers by 40.4%.
- Impressions by 228.3%.
- Engagements by 168.4%.
- Link clicks by 345.5%.
At the start of the partnership’s second year, Farmers Merchants Bank of Illinois (FMBIL), another subsidiary of Merchants Bancorp, also employed Dittoe PR for social media management support while they grew and trained their internal marketing team. Dittoe PR supported FMBIL with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram management from June to December 2022, earning:
- 24.9% increase in followers.
- 229% increase in impressions.
- 326.3% increase in engagements.
- 811.8% increase in link clicks.
As we look ahead to our third year in partnership with MBI, we’re excited to tackle new challenges and continue to ideate and deliver content that amplifies the work MBI is doing across each of its divisions.
“From stories in key trade publications to technical content creation, Dittoe PR excels at finding creative and effective ways to share Merchants Capital’s story. We love that Dittoe PR understands the value of translating PR outputs into real business value for Merchants Capital, providing us with opportunities to generate new leads and build rapport through earned placements and social media presence. We value Dittoe PR as a true extension of our marketing team and take pride in working with them every day.”
VP, Marketing & Communications Officer, and Chief Information Security Officer
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