ANZ Uses Instagram to Target a New Generation of Banking Customers

The financial services sector is not renowned for its speedy adoption of digital media, but embracing social platforms such as Instagram is playing an integral role in the Australia & New Zealand Banking Group’s (ANZ) marketing and communications strategy.

carolyn-bendall-image-smallThe ANZ bank is investing one third of its media spend in Australia on digital, which includes search, display and paid social, says Carolyn Bendall, head of marketing, ANZ Australia. 

“We all live in a digital world. It obviously makes sense that a marketing strategy follows through with this,” she says.

ANZ has been at the forefront of the Australian financial services industry in its use of digital mediums, but it remains cautious and strategic in its approach.

Digital is new and therefore often untested, says Bendall. “It is our philosophy around new media and emerging media to get it right and do it well and then we scale.”

That means coming to any new platform with a clear strategy and “clarity around your objectives and then delivery on experiences,” says Bendall.

For ANZ, Instagram seemed like the inevitable platform of choice, following positive engagement with images on the bank’s Facebook and Twitter pages. 

“Even before we launched our presence on Instagram, we had already been moving to more visual content for Facebook and Twitter as that was driving higher engagement,” says Bendall.

The bank’s Instagram account was launched in 2014 as part of its annual sponsorship arrangement with the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. The highly visual nature of the GAYTM campaign in 2014 and again in 2015, made Instagram an obvious platform, notes Bendall.

“Our objective was to set up on a platform where both ANZ and our community could easily share visual content and connect and track this content easily, for example via a hashtag,” she says.

In January, ANZ became the first bank in Australia to test Instagram’s promoted platform as part of its #rallyforgood campaign in conjunction with its sponsorship of the Australian Open. This initiative employed tennis champion Novak Djokovic – capitalizing off his four million followers on Twitter and his more than 700,000 followers on Instagram.


“We saw really strong results from this including a 24-point lift in ad recall for those exposed to our paid Instagram posts and a four times lift in association of ANZ as sponsor of the Australian Open,” says Bendall.

ANZ also has a dedicated Instagram account to support its sponsorship of netball in Australia, which compliments its Netball Nation Facebook and Twitter accounts.  

“As our target market of this account is netball fans who are predominantly young females, we’ve found Instagram to be a very effective channel to engage with them,” says Bendall.

“We are very focused on reaching younger audiences and being relevant to them, so Instagram can be a really great place for us to engage.”

Instagram is being used for the bank’s Job Ready initiative for example, which is aimed at graduates and students starting their first jobs.

Social campaigns with strong visual content such as #GAYTM, #Rallyforgood and #NetballNationDay, and actively posting about them, has helped to promote the bank’s presence on Instagram.

“We also generate a lot of awareness of our presence within the platform when we connect in with popular hashtags where relevant, or when we track hashtags about our brand and engage with the relevant posts,” says Bendall.

Diversifying across platforms is also important she says, though Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, are still the staples of the bank’s social media portfolio.

ANZ is the leading Australian bank when it comes to a presence on Twitter with almost 60,000 followers and 192,000 likes on Facebook (second to the Commonwealth Bank with 610,000 likes). 

“They [social media platforms] are not all the same, and the audiences are not all the same,” says Bendall. “It’s about understanding what your customers and audience are using, and understanding how to reach customers in the environment they want to be reached in.”

Related reading

Website landing page vector graphic