Credit unions lack the broad industry awareness banking does, even though they're better suited to care for their customers. As member-owned entities, credit unions have deeper connections to their community and customers. Caring for their customers so they appreciate, remember, and share with friends is part of their appeal, aside from being an effective and efficient way of retaining customers and appealing to potential ones.
Having a solid marketing plan makes a huge difference in their relationship with consumers and overall performance by making it clear what credit unions have to offer. Consider these seven credit union marketing strategies for maximum ROI to let your community know you’re there for them.
1. Develop Consistent Branding
Developing a consistent brand identity makes it easier for customers to understand who you are. That makes it easier for your customers to trust you. Aside from building trust, it also establishes identity and authority — which in turn increases revenue.
Eighty-one percent of consumers said they need to trust the brand to buy from them. Consistent presentation of a brand also increases revenue by 33%. It’s a crucial strategy of any marketing plan and one you should make a priority.
Whether you decide to use an in-house marketing person, marketing partners, or a combination of the two — the key is to be consistent throughout all channels. You want cohesive wording and graphics, so your customers know what to expect from you with every interaction.
2. Become a Staple in the Community
Since credit unions are member-owned, they’re well-positioned to become a welcomed member of the community. Donating to local organizations and helping people in need demonstrates genuine care. Networking with business leaders in the community makes you a local household name.
Consumers not only appreciate socially responsible businesses but expect it nowadays. Seventy-one percent of millennials expect companies to take the lead on the social issues they find important. As a result, companies are increasingly linking their brands with social impact initiatives.
3. Develop Customer Insights
Credit unions are uniquely positioned to understand their customer's pain points and can address the unique needs of each demographic. That allows you to cater to your specific customers rather than create broad awareness with people who won't visit your establishment.
Just 7% of credit union members are aged 18-24 versus 18% of the total U.S. population, and the average age of a credit union member is 47. With this information in mind, you'll want to primarily appeal to adults 40+ rather than 18-year-olds. You'll want to build more in-depth buyer personas to pinpoint customer insights to help you develop better customer experiences or expand into a younger market.
4. Become an Educational Resource
Personal finance isn't a well-known topic despite its importance. Offering easily accessible information helps people establish themselves and makes them feel better about their spending habits. Meanwhile, it establishes your brand as a resource.
There several ways to establish your brand as an educational resource. To name a few:
- Blog posts and guest blogging
- Online Classes and video content
- Email Newsletters
- Social Media posts with tips, tricks, videos, and more
- Step-by-step guides
- Case studies
5. Don't Dismiss Digital Advertising
Digital marketing helps establish your credit union in the local community. Search ads are still huge for driving awareness of financial entities since 85% of consumers use the internet to search for local businesses. Pay-per-click ads increase local awareness, and 79% of marketers say PPC is hugely beneficial for their business.
It's also important to note that email marketing and retargeting are fantastic ways to retain interest because finance-related purchases and decisions often have long customer journeys. Consumers often search a while before they get a mortgage or open an account. Email marketing and retargeting can keep your brand at the forefront of their minds while they're exploring their options.
6. Reward Customers With Useful Promotions
Branded promotional items that are useful help keep your brand on people's minds and often receive a lot of customer appreciation. These items act as constant reminders of your brand, making you easier to remember. In fact, 9 in 10 people can recall the name and logo on a promotional product, 83% are more likely to do business with the company in the future, and 82% had a more favorable impression of the brand.
Possible options for promotions can include:
- Branded pens
- Stress balls
- Piggy banks
Or consider using items for kids to occupy them while their parents are in your offices, like little branded toys or coloring pages.
7. Drive Traffic to Your Website
Web traffic is incredibly important. After all, you have a website and want people to visit. However, only 20% of businesses receive more than 1500 monthly visitors to their site per month, while only 15% receive over 2500 visitors per month. Increase traffic to your website with optimized SEO, or promote on different platforms like social media. You could also attract audiences from guest blogging to develop stronger customer relationships.
While getting traffic to your website is essential, it's only useful if your website is engaging. Create content that attracts visitors and keeps them involved and interested when they land on your site.
Pro-tip: Educational material draws people to sites, but you can also include seasonal interactive items (like specific holidays), hidden information, or fun facts about your company to spark interest and attract audiences.
Credit Unions Are in a Strong Position
Credit unions are in a solid position to provide customers with many benefits when they take advantage of consistent branding, social responsibility opportunities, customer insights, educational resources, digital advertising, promotional items, and traffic-driving website content.
Strong credit union marketing strategies go a long way toward getting your name on the top of people's minds. Letting people know why you’re in a unique position to care for their financial needs helps you grow your business while making your marketing go further.