We are often asked to help new clients craft a thoughtful content strategy that will resonate with Credit Union members and potential new members, and most often there’s one common suggestion… Tell Your CU’s Story!
Authentic storytelling is an essential part of connecting emotionally with people online, and for Credit Unions it’s no different. This emotional connection is what will then spur people to action. But your branding and strategy must alighn with your message and it’s all got to be REAL!
Your Branding & Your Story
So let’s start with the basics… is your online branding in order and consistent with your story? Graphics must be polished and consistent, with a clear Call-to-Action (CTA). And these visual cues must relate back to your larger mission and the story you are trying to communicate.
So, if you decide to highlight real world testimonials for your 3rd Quarter marketing message, make sure that your graphics also highlight those same stories. Find members who are willing to share their experiences with your CU, and then show them at work, home or play, featuring some key words they’ve shared about the benefits they’ve received banking with you.
It’s ineffective and unauthentic to hawk a generic car loan promo while also featuring this kind of testimonial messaging. Weave it all in together. It will be more real and less overbearing. Have a member talk about how much money your CU saved them with a car buying service on a used car or the auto loan they got to pay for it! This will work MUCH better!
Your Mission & Your Story
Another problem we run into a lot with new clients is that they often think just being active online, and particularly just posting on their CU’s social media accounts, will lead to progress. Unfortunately, that’s NOT always the case. If getting lots of ‘likes’ on Facebook is your definition of progress, then yes, you’ll probably be making some headway.
But the mission of a Credit Union is to serve members, so we try to emphasize more concrete ROI metrics, like new member growth, new loan applications, and website traffic, as well as other online engagement with members. All of which indicate progress toward the larger mission, serving more members.
Sharing real events and member experiences better communicates the value of your products and services to your members and potential new members. When someone is online, particularly on social media, your message is competing with the MOST emotional content in that person’s life! This person’s Facebook newsfeed is filled with posts by friends, family and other loved ones.
So, to compete in that sphere, your content needs to fit into this space NOT stand out like a blatant advertisement. This is why emotion and storytelling works so well! If you can find a few members who are willing to share their real experiences working with your CU, this is the BEST way to gain the trust of your online audience. These personal stories will fit in with the other content on the social media platform and also resonate with the individuals you are targeting.
Your Advertising & Your Story
One last point that we must make is that there is a very big difference between advertising and more authentic marketing. The “Branches and Broadcast” strategy of CU advertising past is just that, in the past. In today’s inbound marketing environment people are out there online, searching for what they want, WAY before they set foot inside your brick and mortar location.
It’s a CUs job to make sure that members find your services when they are looking for them, and they are looking ONLINE. A few website banners or some nice graphics on signage isn’t going to get the job done! CU’s have got to keep up with the times and think outside the box.
We recommend staying top-of-mind with members even when they are NOT in the market for a loan or credit card. This will often involve interacting for interacting’s sake. Sometimes the value of a smile or a laugh is just that, it’s a non-financial impact that builds rapport and trust with your audience. Though it’s not easily measureable, it will humanize your brand and will likely bring someone back for future conversions.
You will need to walk a fine line of attracting rather than annoying your audience online, and this can be tricky. Continuously evaluating your content and assessing what works and what doesn’t work is important to this process. You won’t get it all right, all of the time, so remain humble and be ready to change things up when they are not working. These best online marketing strategies are in constant flux and ever evolving.
For more from Social Stairway on Credit Union Social Media and Email Marketing please visit our website (http://socialstairway.com/)or contact us today at email@example.com! We would love to hear from you!