Credit unions may not have the same level of advertising budget as traditional banks, but there are plenty of opportunities to outshine the competition. Instead of going head to head with banks, lean focus your credit union marketing on your unique strengths.
This Knowledge Center is a hub for you to delve into EVERFI’s findings and insights on:
- What is Unique About Credit Union Marketing?
- Credit Union Marketing Strategies
- Credit Union Digital Marketing
- How EVERFI Can Help Credit Union Marketers
What is Unique About Credit Union Marketing?
Credit Unions have a major advantage over most other types of financial organizations in that most consumers actually love working with them. 72% of credit union members are satisfied with their financial institution, versus 60% with regional banks and 52% with national banks. Focusing on the customer experience you offer in your marketing can help you stand out from the competition and make bank customers consider giving you their business.
Focus on Digital
Compared to local and national banks, credit unions often offer fewer branch locations and in less convenient areas. If in-person visits are the only way consumers can interact with your services, that’s likely to be a deterrent.
Most consumers should be able to start an account online, chat with customer service, request custom quotes for loans or mortgage, sign up for information content, and download brochures or product information online.
Boost social media and website marketing, building traffic to websites where prospective customers can sign up for an account, make online appointments, get quotes, or otherwise view everything they need to make a decision about choosing your credit union.
Get Into the Community
Credit Unions are often smaller, more community-focused and more customer-centric than big banks, which is one of the reasons why customers love them. However, many don’t invest back into communities in visible ways, which limits local awareness.
Hosting or sponsoring financial literacy for community members can be a powerful way to raise awareness.
Use Client Info
Most credit unions have more data than they know what to do with. Yours is no exception. Collecting data should be an important part of all credit union marketing strategies because you can use it to offer better, more tailored, and more personalized products and services.
For example, you can use simple automation algorithms to recommend products and services to customers based on previous usage. You can auto-approve individuals for loans and mortgages, so they can see what they qualify for and their interest rates before they ever shop with a competitor. You can also use big data to recommend account upgrades and changes at key moments, such as when individuals are graduating from college, buying their first home, or purchasing a car. You already have the data. You just have to use it to deliver personalized offers or solutions.
Credit Union Digital Marketing
Since credit unions have tight advertising budgets, turning your attention to digital marketing can help you spend those dollars efficiently. With low barriers to entry and tight tracking capabilities, digital marketing offers a low risk way to test advertising and measure ROI.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for Credit Unions
What’s even better than advertising? Getting exposure for free! That’s what SEO offers. If you rank well on the first page of Google or another search engine, you are essentially getting free advertising.
What’s more, SEO cannot be replaced by direct advertising. The average internet user can tell who is only advertising and will typically look right over your ads. In fact, organic results will get over 90% of clicks over paid search ads.
We have a whole article that goes more in-depth into SEO for Credit Unions, but here are the main ideas.
Key Points of SEO for Credit Unions
- Keyword Strategy & Optimization – In order to drive qualified traffic to your site, you need to find out what your members are searching for. Thorough keyword research will help you figure out which search terms you want your credit union’s website to begin ranking for.
- Quality Content – You have keywords that you’d like your website to rank for, now you need to generate web pages and blog posts that will rank well in a search engine query. The days of “keyword stuffing” and fluff articles that just list the keywords over and over are long gone. Google now ranks websites based on how well they answer the searcher’s query.
- Online Reviews – Online reviews are the lifeblood of any financial institution. Encouraging and responding to genuine reviews online will help build confidence in your credit union and is the most effective form of advertisement.
- Local SEO – While ranking well on Google and getting traffic to your website can be helpful, it is useless if you are not attracting the right, namely local, customer. The best way to make sure that you are attracting local potential customers is working on your local SEO ranking.
Paid Advertising (PPC) for Credit Unions
Getting to rank well for competitive terms is difficult and anything but an overnight process. In order to quickly see results from digital marketing efforts, it is likely that you will have to employ pay-per-click (PPC) advertising.
PPC advertising has a host of benefits for Credit Unions.
PPC Benefits for Credit Unions
First, you can tailor your paid search ads based on specific keywords. For example, if someone is looking at houses, you can advertise your mortgage loans. You can make sure that potential members are viewing your credit union’s specific landing pages, based on what they are searching for.
Second, when you pay for online advertising, you can determine which exact landing page the user will end up on from clicking the ad. With organic SEO, the search engine determines which page turns up, but when you pay, you decide. Take advantage of this by providing useful information. If the customer only sees an advertisement on the landing page, they will click to another website quickly. In order to keep the user interested, make sure that your information is interesting and highly relevant to what they are looking for.
Next, be sure to include a strong call to action that encourages them to reach out, fill out a form or provide you with their email address. The key is to turn them from a webpage viewer to a customer and a call to action on your landing page will facilitate that.
Another benefit of online paid advertising for credit unions is that your ads can target an extremely specific geographic area. Credit unions need to advertise to their local areas. With organic SEO, you could be serving your content to someone in another city, state or country. However, when you pay to advertise, you can ensure that your webpages are being viewed by the most relevant, local customers.
Website Conversion Optimization
Getting users to your site through advertising or SEO is great, but what happens once they get there? In order to stay ahead of the competition, your credit union’s website must convert. Employing credit union website best practices means that you not only attract users but convert them into members.
Besides being mobile-friendly, attractive, and having great content, your site needs a solid call to action.
Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) for Credit Unions
The call to action needs to be placed prominently so customers can see where to apply what they were just learning about. Typically, a call to action works best as both a button to press and a link in the text.
The call to action makes it easy for customers to act while they are still on your page and reading your content. If they have to search your website to find where to apply for a car loan, for example, you may have lost them. To convert a casual reader into an actual customer you need to have a well-placed call to action.
Using a split-testing tool like Google Optimize on your site allows you to test different calls to action in order to continuously improve their user’s experience and drive higher and higher volumes of leads.
How Can EVERFI Help Credit Union Marketers?
EVERFI is an international technology company driving social change through education to address the most challenging issues affecting society, including financial wellness.
EVERFI partners with financial institutions in order to:
- Reimagine your approach to CRA compliance with online and in-person K-12 education programs.
- Reach, attract, and retain new consumers with branded, online financial education – right from your website.
- Expand your workplace banking offering and deliver increased value to your commercial partners.