Like many other industries, digital transformation in credit unions has completely altered how business is conducted. In order to stay competitive, credit unions must have a digital marketing plan that makes sense for the business itself and the customers it serves. Many financial institutions offer comprehensive banking options, so digital marketing services are necessary to make your business stand out from the crowd.
Many strategies exist for helping financial marketers catch the attention of potential customers, but some are more effective than others. Learn more about digital marketing and how it can help your business grow and thrive in an ever-changing industry.
Digital marketing strategy refers to any type of advertising that is done online. This can include social media ads, email marketing campaigns, website banner ads, affiliate marketing, and so much more. Digital marketing for financial institutions seeks to attract more customers by spreading the word about your brand and how your company can meet the needs of prospective customers online.
Aside from increasing brand awareness, it can also help to establish a brand personality. Depending on how you digitally market your financial institution, you can help customers associate your brand with positive traits like reliability, trustworthiness, fun, or any combination of other attributes.
Brand personality may not seem important for banks, but customers want to do business with a brand that shares their own values. Financial marketers can drastically increase their customer base by establishing their business through digital marketing.
Digital banking was a service reserved for only a few financial institutions. Now, it has become a more widespread service among the banking industry that even small credit unions can offer their customers. Digital marketing is necessary because it allows credit unions like yours to control the narrative about who you are and what you offer.
There is still plenty of value in using other marketing methods, like mail ads, billboards, and commercials, but you can get far more exposure by delving into the world of digital marketing too. Why? Because approximately one-third of U.S. adults are online "almost constantly," and 85% of U.S. adults use the internet daily.
Failing to keep up with digital banking trends can make it difficult or impossible to reach huge numbers of potential customers, which can cause your business to get left behind by your competitors who have adopted it. Just because digital marketing is important for financial institutions doesn't mean it's always easy to get started.
Credit union marketing has several challenges that can stand in the way of getting your message out and acquiring new prospects with a digital marketing campaign. Credit unions consistently struggle with the following when it comes to digital marketing challenges in their overall bank marketing strategy.
Privacy concerns continue to grow in the digital space, and data leaks occur too often for consumers and financial institutions to feel comfortable. The FDIC issued a report in 2019 outlining the risks that can come with digital marketing.
Social media platforms and websites used to market financial institutions digitally may pose significant security risks. Credit unions that fail to comply with privacy regulations may be sued or face other negative consequences.
Compliance management is a definite challenge for financial marketing teams using digital platforms. Still, financial institutions can greatly benefit by enlisting the help of a member onboarding platform, like Cotribute, to ensure compliance every step of the way.
One of the biggest challenges financial marketers face regularly is consumers' lack of trust in credit unions. This is partially due to privacy concerns from financial companies experiencing hacks and data leaks in recent years.
The good news is that a quality financial marketing campaign can help build trust in your brand over time by conveying your business as trustworthy, genuine, caring, and honest. You can also build trust by offering free tools and answers to common questions that are easy to access on your website and ask for nothing in return.
Technology moves fast and is always changing, making it difficult for businesses in many industries to keep up. This is especially true in financial institutions as new tools, practices, regulations, and compliance measures are constantly emerging. While it's important to stay on the cutting edge of new technology to bring the best service to your customers, it's a mistake to adopt every new technology that emerges before making sure it makes sense for your business and those you serve.
Your business can keep up with technological advances by reading about new solutions and practices and carefully weighing whether those measures could provide enough benefits to justify the initial costs. You can even test new forms of technology with demos before you jump on the bandwagon to be certain it is right for you.
Digital marketing has been around for several years, though it continues to undergo changes and evolutions especially as new digital channels rise to attention. The benefits of digital marketing remain the same, including the ones below.
The main benefit of digital marketing is that it allows companies to reach groups of people they may not be able to with other marketing methods. Digital marketing empowers companies to increase their online presence, which can improve brand recognition, boost engagement, and ultimately attract new customers.
Your credit union's online presence can be a huge asset to your financial marketing strategy by guiding customers to the first stages of the customer journey. This can eventually drive more sales and open more checking accounts.
Because financial institutions must build trust, using the sales funnel to guide clients to sign up with your organization gradually is a far better customer experience. Digital marketing allows financial institutions to collect and analyze data that can show how customers progress through the customer journey. This makes it possible to identify which areas could be improved for a more seamless experience.
Digital ads can help customers get to the beginning stages of the sales funnel and remind them about your services to guide them further along the customer journey. Retargeting ads remind those who have visited your social media pages or website about your services.
It is especially helpful if they started the checkout or sign-up process and didn't continue. Retargeting and reminder digital ads can keep your brand front of mind and increase the likelihood that prospective customers will come back and choose you when they're ready.
Banks have several digital marketing options at their fingertips, but some are more effective than others. Many of the most effective financial institutions use the following strategies to increase their customer base and remain competitive in the industry.
Current members already clearly like your business enough to invest in your services, which means they may be receptive to increasing the amount of business they do with you. Gentle guidance to higher-tier products or services through email marketing, social media marketing, and direct contact with existing customers is a key marketing strategy for increasing sales.
Pay-per-click or PPC refers to digital ads that cost a company a certain amount of money every time someone clicks on one of their ads. PPC ads are displayed on websites or search engines, and they can range from costing as little as a few cents to several dollars per click for more competitive keywords.
Google Ads is one of the most well-known PPC agencies because it offers many tools and analytics to help you better connect with your target audience. You can get started with Google Ads and other PPC companies by investing as little as a few dollars daily to see how it works.
Websites that are clunky and make the process of signing up for services are sure to drive away customers, even those that really want to do business with you. Web design and conversion rate optimization ensure that your website is easy to navigate and that there is as little friction as possible for customers to sign up or perform other desired tasks.
Fully optimized websites are a pleasure to use, making customers want to come back time and time again. Creating simple digital onboarding templates is also an effective way to increase conversions.
Some marketing professionals think email is no longer worth investing in, but email remains one of the best ways to reach existing and prospective clients. Most people check their emails daily, often several times a day, and email marketing is one of the least costly digital advertising methods.
Search engine optimization involves adjustments to your website that help it to rank higher on search engines. This can help more people discover your business when they type in keywords, improving brand awareness and increasing the number of leads you have.
Content marketing is an essential aspect of the customer journey, as it provides consumers with content that doesn't link directly with sales. Content marketing can be educational videos, online guides, helpful infographics, or anything else that establishes your brand as an authority and helps somebody solve a problem. Customers that benefit from your content marketing are far more likely to come back to you when they are ready to purchase a service since they have already found you to be a helpful resource.
Event marketing is a type of marketing that promotes a business or product through some kind of experience or event. When done correctly, event marketing allows people to learn more about your services, and it can create a positive association with your brand. Financial institutions can host events on their own or collaborate with nonprofits or other local businesses to provide a fun and engaging experience that makes your business stand out among the crowd.
Digital marketing offers plenty of room for innovation and creativity. Many larger financial institutions have launched unique digital marketing campaigns with great success, and some of these strategies can work just as well for credit unions.
Most people don't associate financial institutions with games or fun, but Wells Fargo has gamified savings in its app to help people make better choices. Within the Wells Fargo app, users can set goals and participate in challenges, like bringing their lunch to work a few times a week or setting up an emergency fund. These challenges motivate users to save, making using the app more fun, too!
Mastercard set up a YouTube channel several years ago, and the company regularly updates documentary-style videos highlighting industries and financial literacy. This helps cement MasterCard as an authority and makes the corporation seem more personable and caring. Credit unions could follow suit and tell success stories or highlight their charitable efforts to improve their brand image.
Many financial institutions have already discovered the power of business partnerships. Acorns partnered with Expedia to offer investment matching when users booked trips with the travel service, spreading the word about this promotion with a targeted email campaign. Partnerships can benefit both parties and give financial institutions a significant edge over the competition.
Although many financial institutions prefer to use more traditional marketing methods, many others have found that a digital engagement platform makes the entire process simpler and more effective. At Cotribute, we offer tools to help unions reach new members and grow their businesses. Read more about our platform on our website today!