The 5 components of a successful strategy
Historically, credit unions have relied on traditional marketing techniques, such as developing brochures, investing in radio advertising, maintaining a strong website, conducting informative webinars, to draw in new members as well as keep themselves top of mind among existing members.
While these marketing methods are still relevant, credit unions must execute additional tactics that put themselves in a leadership position. To be truly visible to members and prospective members today, you must have a coordinated content marketing program that provides consumers with information that educates them on their unique financial needs and how to address them.
Content marketing is the creation and distribution of relevant and valuable content across digital channels to attract, acquire, and engage with a clearly defined and understood target audience. This new approach has become important because it presents credit unions with unique opportunities to educate members and potential members, monitor reputational risks and engage potential members interactively.
To create a successful content marketing strategy, there are five main components credit unions must consider:
Your content marketing strategy should start with search engine optimization, or SEO. This is the process of getting traffic to your site from free, organic editorial listings on search engines’ results pages. This requires knowing what members and prospective members are searching for – the actual search terms and keywords – and then ensuring those words and topics are incorporated into all content on the website.
2. Social Media Marketing
Because of the growing popularity of sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and others, social media has become an excellent place to share content. These sites also enable interaction with members and prospective members, where credit unions can ask for feedback or participate in relevant conversations to better understand members’ needs.
A great way for credit unions to increase their visibility is by blogging. Blogging positions institutions as leaders by generating informative content to educate members. Blog posts provide a way for credit unions to showcase their brand and personality as well as address specific questions or general best practices related to personal finance. Creating a schedule and generating content one to two times each month can increase leads by as much as 70 percent, according to content marketing company HubSpot.
4. Marketing Automation Platforms
When it comes to ensuring success for your content marketing strategy, marketing automation platforms are essential because they help convert prospects into leads. Credit unions gain the ability to post and manage all content, plus execute email campaigns and monitor SEO strategies, lead-nurturing campaigns, landing page analytics and so on. Marketing automation platforms also allow credit unions to measure the ROI of marketing activities – extremely important.
5. Dedicated Team
Planning and executing a successful content marketing strategy requires a dedicated team; therefore, credit unions should consider either partnering with an outside agency or assembling an internal team of specialists, including a marketing strategist, writer, social media experts and project managers. In addition, this team should be fully integrated with the credit union’s public relations efforts.
While traditional marketing techniques are still relevant, establishing key words, generating content through blogging, as well as having a responsive website and an active social media presence are key. Marketing is no longer solely about gaining new members. It’s also about engaging with existing ones by providing relevant, educational content that helps retain them as well expand on the relationship.
These components, coupled with a marketing automation platform and a dedicated team to plan and execute the strategy, enable credit unions to position themselves as leaders, build brand awareness, and successfully win over current and new members.
Kathryn-Amelia Simms is an account coordinator at William Mills Agency, the nation’s largest independent public relations firm focusing exclusively on the financial services and technology industries. The agency can be followed on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or its blog.
CUES’ Credit Union Management’s online-only “PR Insight” column runs the first Thursday of every month.