5 Tips for Credit Unions to Build a Successful Marketing Strategy

Tony Moncini

Tony Moncini About The Author

May 4, 2021 2:45:00 PM


5 Tips for Credit Unions to Build a Successful Marketing Strategy

Credit unions are in an amazing position to pivot with the changing trends to digital due to their quality services. As member-owned entities, credit unions have unique leverage in their local communities to care for and engage with their target audience. With the right plan of action and an inside look into essential marketing tips, you can quickly get your marketing strategy off the ground.  

People who use credit unions already appreciate the customer service they get with them over banks. With these additional tips to building a successful marketing strategy, you'll be well on your way to growing your financial institute with the next big marketing idea. 

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Define Your Target Customer 

Screen Shot 2021-01-19 at 3.32.57 PMKnowing your target customers is key to understanding how to resonate and speak with your audience. Credit unions can cater to various age groups and various customer journeys, which is why you need to determine which groups are most likely to use your services and gain a better understanding of their preferences to accommodate them. 

Creating buyer personas and determining customer journeys helps you connect with your consumers where they are in their financial journey. Since credit unions fulfill both business and consumer needs, you'll need to make separate plans for both. 

Factor the generational differences in banking needs among consumers into your research. Gen Z is at the beginning of their financial journey, while Millennials are buying homes and planning for retirement. Baby Boomers are pulling from retirement accounts and receiving inheritances that they want to invest. Their differing stages affect their financial goals, and you can use that information to determine which marketing will resonate best. 

Become a Thought Leader 

Companies have steadily switched from prioritizing products and services themselves as superior in their marketing to promoting their brand as a whole. Consumers now value brand trust over products in their purchasing decisions. That’s why becoming a thought leader sets you apart. 

Content marketing can save the day by allowing credit unions to offer financial advice to build trust and customer loyalty. Blogs and eBooks, as well as financial, mortgage, and retirement planning calculators on your sites or apps are all great ideas to get you started. These allow you to be helpful regardless of the consumers’ life stage. 

Content marketing generates more than three times as many leads as outbound marketing while costing 62% less. Younger generations prefer financial institutions that educate them. Up to 70% of young consumers prefer to learn from articles or blog posts instead of traditional advertising. 

Embrace Digital Channels 

Digital channels are a crucial way to reach consumers when they're thinking about their money. You can do it in several ways like PPC, SEO, social media, mobile, and more. However, email marketing is a particularly great tool for providing information and reaching customers. 

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Email marketing allows you to collect feedback and surveys, send timely campaigns, and personalize content, and it collects market data to know which audiences are most receptive. 

It's by no means the only marketing strategy you need to be successful, and you should never rely on one strategy no matter how great it is. However, it works well alongside traditional marketing tactics. 

When you integrate email into your marketing strategy, you can expect an average return of up to $42 for every $1 you spend

Optimize Your Website For Success 

Your website leaves a crucial first impression on customers and is a substantial investment. If it's not up to par for visitors, they won't hesitate to leave your site for another one. A quality website is essential because even a 2-second delay in load time can cause 87% of traffic to leave. Make sure your site can handle your traffic, otherwise it may cost you customers. If you're unsure where to start with improving your website, consider some of these ideas: 

  • Make it mobile-friendly. 
  • Appeal to search engines AND consumers by prioritizing content that offers your customers significant value, making sure it’s optimized for relevant keywords. 
  • Update the design using web builder platforms, like WordPress or SquarespaceIncrease website speed by optimizing image quality, improving server response time, or reducing redirects 
  • Improve customer convenience by offering tools they may not have realized they needed, like budgeting tools, expense tracking, or finance calculators 

Offer a Fantastic Experience 

Screen Shot 2020-12-29 at 11.48.59 AMLeaving a positive impression builds trust and lets customers know you're supporting them. Credit unions may already be known for their excellent customer service, but you'll have to make it an experience to stand out. People no longer just favor companies with good customer experience but expect to continue having a relationship. 

Some ways to offer a fantastic experience: 

  • Offer appreciation gifts 
  • Create and maintain emotional connections 
  • Keep experiences with customers consistent and positive 
  • Personalize experiences to your target audience and customize them to meet their  stage of the financial journey 
  • Be responsive and polite in customer reviews and feedback 

Bonus Tip: Work With a Media Partner 

Credit unions offer great deals for consumers because they are member-owned and member-serving. More people would benefit from joining credit unions, but they aren't aware of the option and opportunity in most cases. Working with a media partner can help you develop an effective marketing strategy that brings more brand awareness and growth. 

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Topics: Strategic Planning & Research