Credit unions have a lot to offer members, with consistent reports of increased customer satisfaction and nearly 2x customer trust. Despite these statistics, credit union members consist of less than half of the economically active population, with many individuals automatically turning to banks as a de facto standard. These choices largely relate to banks offering more in terms of products like credit cards and services like digital banking, online portals, and apps. This makes credit union marketing that focuses on digital product and services offerings imperative for getting in front of consumers and competing with banks.
Credit Unions can improve this standard and drive more members by improving their marketing, especially around services, online availability, and digital banking. Integrating digital solutions and sharing those solutions with customers will ramp up marketing, allowing your credit union to connect with millennials and generation Z, target consumers who want more convenience from a bank, and boost new signups. We’ve put together a list of 3 marketing ideas for credit unions to do just this.
3 Credit Union Marketing Ideas
1. Focus on Digital First
Digital banking is becoming more and more popular, and for good reason. Consumers often don’t have the time or resources to go to branches. This is even more of a concern for credit unions, who frequently operate fewer branches, in cheaper, less commercial and, therefore, less convenient areas. Consumers are harder-pressed to find a convenient location let alone to visit it, making the availability of online or digital banking services all the more important.
If your credit union offers an app, online portal, or other digital banking services, these solutions are important to incorporate into credit union advertising and marketing. Here, your primary goal should be to 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. 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.
It’s also important to consider an app or a mobile website as part of your digital banking. While many credit unions don’t yet have quality apps, larger credit unions have been dominating the digital banking app scene for years. Most importantly you don’t necessarily have to develop solutions yourself; digital experience portals allow credit unions to set up online banking and digital app solutions relatively affordable, so your bank can offer digital services needed by customers without greatly increasing costs.
2. Use Big Data for a Personalized Approach
Big data and automation are increasingly important as part of banking and as part of credit union marketing. Here, big data allows you to personalize ads and content, sharing information in a way that is most useful to visitors based on previous searches, the point of entrance to websites, or where the individual came from. For example, if a user visits your website from a search term, automation allows you to share website content relevant to that search, direct the individual to information following their search, and so on. You can achieve this with landing pages or by using modular website design, where your AI determines content placement based on the individual’s search history.
Big data also helps with personalization in terms of creating a cohesive experience across sites. If someone visits your website from Facebook, they should have a seamless experience rather than a jump to different information, a different style, or even wildly different graphics. This also applies if someone is opening an app from a mobile web page, opening a web page from an app, or clicking on an advertisement. Your goal should be to create a seamless experience so that individuals are moved from one place to the next with no real disruption to interrupt the customer journey. Big Data allows you to automate this process, using existing data from apps, web browsers, and your own website to cater to individual needs.
3. Connect in the Real World to Build Awareness
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 and your ability to use community activity as a credit union marketing tactic.
Here, simple activities such as financial literacy classes, attending and investing in local events, and even actively recognizing members of your local community will drive awareness, build trust, and likely result in an increase in customers. For example, financial literacy programs allow you to integrate valuable content into schools, at events, and in your branch – teaching a target demographic how to handle finances, debt, savings, or any other financial topic of your choice. Offering free financial literacy resources will also benefit your local community by encouraging them to take on better spending and saving habits, reducing debt, and allowing individuals to invest more in their goals, their community, and the economy. And as an added bonus, Investing in financial literacy courses also helps ensure CRA compliance.
Similarly, attending events allows you to participate in and contribute to local events. It also means getting your name out there, while giving you opportunities to share information, offer workshops or financial literacy information, and free support to members of your community. While you won’t get an immediate return on value, you can use events to target customers, offer personalized solutions, build local trust, and share what your credit union can do in a real-world setting.
The real-world connection also ties into social media. Here, many credit unions work to recognize members, with highlights and stories or interviews sharing the achievements of local members. Credit Unions are one of the primary lenders to small businesses, entrepreneurs, and to homeowners, and those success stories are valuable, will drive awareness, and work as positive reinforcement for your brand.
Credit unions have a lot to offer for most consumers. However, many customers still choose banks because they want more or stronger features, different solutions, or simply aren’t aware of what their local credit union can offer. Taking advantage of these credit union marketing trends by highlighting digital solutions, sharing and connecting with people in the real world, and creating stronger and more personalized marketing will help to drive new customers.