The digital age, as it has with so many facets of daily life, has permanently altered how consumers use and view credit unions. Consider that today’s members only walk into a physical credit union branch an average of three times per year; in 1995, they visited a financial institution more than 24 times a year. Today it’s easier than ever before to transfer money, apply for loans, make deposits and payments, and get information—without ever setting foot inside a branch.
While consumer banking habits have changed, many credit unions have not changed their marketing and advertising tactics to keep up. And this is becoming a problem. Non-traditional services like Venmo, PayPal, Square, and Mint have formed the fin-tech digital wave and are crowding the financial services playing field. If traditional financial institutions want to compete, they need to embrace digital marketing.
Traditional Advertising vs. Digital Marketing
While we’re not suggesting you scrap your traditional advertising channels altogether, it’s important to know why they are limiting your reach and impact. The problem with traditional advertising is that it’s one-dimensional—it sends a single message and hopes that it is being received. There is the old saying: “I know that 50% of my marketing spend is working, but I just don’t know which 50%.” Digital marketing, on the other hand, allows for continued interaction with your brand, offers opportunities for consumers to take immediate action, and most importantly lets you track results. You can finally know which 50% of your marketing is working!
There are many channels for digital marketing, and certainly, credit unions are building their expertise in social, email marketing, effective website design, and video. Some of these channels are more fruitful than others, but it is important to measure all of your efforts to make sure you are indeed focusing on the most effective digital marketing campaigns.
Financial education is a great example of an effective digital marketing campaign. When credit unions offer their members online opportunities for learning, their customers and prospects have a chance to learn about confusing personal finance topics. If your member is engaging with your financial education, the member is also interacting with your brand. They are receiving valuable information, but they’re also spending more time on the credit union’s website, exploring, and simultaneously building trust in the brand. When they need a financial service, they are more likely to choose the brand that they’ve already come to respect. And—since they’ve created a free log-in to access the education modules—financial institutions can track consumer progress and follow up with other relevant offerings.
Learning why digital marketing matters is only the first step. For more information on how your financial institution can get started with digital marketing, download the complete guide here.