Credit Union Marketing Tips for 2020 and Beyond

2020 has not been an easy year for anybody. People and businesses alike are struggling. Unfortunately, many credit unions are as well. As marketers, we’re accustomed to putting a positive spin on things—of selling an easier way to a better future.

It’s hard to see how to do that well, right now. So, let’s pretend for a minute as though part of that brighter future is already on its way. Let’s imagine a world recovering from Covid-19.

How do we market credit unions in that world? Here are a few ideas.

 

1.    Create a Credit Union Facebook Group

Groups and pages are very different beasts. Facebook pages are designed to help businesses build audiences, create advertising campaigns, and track ROI. In short, they’re all about selling to people—and they cost a lot of money.

On the other hand, groups are about building community. You can’t advertise in groups, and you can’t track the ROI of your activity there. However, you can rest assured knowing that your posts get a lot more organize reach—and people feel more invited to participate in discussions.

Don’t think of groups as a place to sell. Rather, think of them as a place to establish and strengthen relationships with members and your community. That is worth something.

 

2.    Go Back to College

If they qualify for membership, consider tabling at the local community college or university at the beginning of each new term. It’s a fantastic place to build awareness—and with a desirable member segment, too.

College students just entering campus are young adults in need of financial guidance. They may be new to the area, and they’ll probably be around for at least 4 years. Not only do you get new, younger members, but you provide them a sense of belonging in their new locale… and all the other benefits that credit unions offer.

When you’re tabling, remember that people love free swag. Don’t just tell people you’re around! Give them a free canvas shopping bag, pens for the semester, or something else useful that they can remember you by.

Credit union marketing strategies frequently leave out younger demographics. Don’t make that mistake!

 

3.    Gamification and Rewards

Be honest: how much is a member worth to you if they have only a checking account? More importantly, how much is that account worth the member?

Gamifying membership doesn’t have to be difficult. Is an account complete with just a checking account? Or a savings account? Adding a credit card, opting into eStatements, and setting up overdraft protection might also be on the roadmap. A little progress bar toward “account completion” is one heck of a motivator.

And as for rewards? Reward members as they complete their accounts. Plus, a little kickback from a local grocery store, a few cents back per gallon at the pump, or other little ways to incentivize using your credit union’s card will go a long way. Members will appreciate your looking out for them.

 

4.    Marketing Automation

Here’s the truth of the matter:

You’re going to schedule social media posts. You might even pay for social advertising. You’re going to send marketing emails. You’re going to track member behavior online. You might create landing pages, make video calls, or add a chatbot to your site.

Marketing automation can handle all of that. Plus, if your credit union is serious about sales, you’ll get a full CRM, too.

Marketing automation allows you to handle all of the above (and more) in less time, with fewer people, and with a single tool.

 

5.    Host Challenges

If social media has taught us anything, it’s that everyone loves a good challenge. The ice bucket challenge, lip dubs, Harlem Shake videos, TikTok dances…

People don’t need a reason to enjoy a challenge—they’ll happily join on their own. And you may just completely boost your member engagement.

But if you do want to provide a reason, think about what kind of challenge you’d want to host. Who can make the best credit union meme? Who can create the best credit union TikTok? Who can donate the most cans of food to the food bank? All of these challenges offer member engagement, content or action for the credit union, and awareness for the community.

Then, think about prizes that fit. The prizes should benefit the member, the credit union, and the community at large, if possible.

 

Further Reading

Credit union marketing is going to be very different in the near future as we all continue to grapple with the Covid-19 pandemic. Compassion and empathy are paramount. Sales and profit should come second to ensuring people are happy, healthy, and comfortable.

But we all have jobs to do. And marketing is one of those jobs.

Some of these marketing tips can be used immediately. Others might have to wait until the world reopens for business as usual. In the meantime, we hope you stay safe and stay healthy.

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