Marketing Minute: Ways to diversify marketing to reach new members

The following is the first article in what will become a monthly feature in the New York Minute highlighting ways that credit unions can connect their brand with members and the community, provided by Vibrant Brands, a strategic partner of the New York Credit Union Association.

You diversify your investment portfolio, so why not do the same with your marketing? As a credit union, you’re working with individuals in all stages of life. Whether it’s a young family looking to finance their first home, or an entrepreneur opening a business account, you likely have a product to fit everyone’s financial needs.

When it comes to promoting these products, credit unions need to think beyond their typical marketing strategy. Why? Credit unions are all about nurturing relationships with their members, and a diversified marketing approach is the best way to make sure your community thinks of you first for their financial needs.

Here’s why all credit unions should consider diversifying their marketing efforts:

  • Meet members on their path. Everyone has a different journey in life, and credit unions strive to be the financial partner all along the way. Diversified marketing means more opportunities to stay top of mind for your current members and anyone who can benefit from a relationship with your credit union.
  • Deepen member loyalty. If you’re creating meaningful content across multiple platforms, you can communicate with members and potential customers from all different angles and stages of the consumer journey.
  • Gain actionable data. By diversifying your advertising streams and organic content channels, you gain useful data you wouldn’t have otherwise discovered. Trying new strategies helps you better understand your audience while learning what works.

Build a diverse marketing plan
Rethinking your typical marketing mix is easier when you break down 1) what your goals are, 2) who you’re marketing to, and 3) how your product or service will bring value back to the consumer. By understanding what you’re trying to accomplish, you’ll have a better idea of who you’re directly trying to reach, which will then help you determine what outlets and messaging will get their attention. As a rule of thumb, brands should incorporate paid and organic strategies into their plan for the most exposure.

Here are key takeaways to consider while developing a well-rounded and diverse marketing plan:

Ramp up your email marketing
Email marketing is one of the best ways to build relationships with members and partners. There are 4 billion daily email users, and 99% of them check their inbox every day – sometimes up to 20 times a day. Any contact who subscribes to your mailing list already has some sort of interest in your credit union. Even if they don’t open your emails, they’re still seeing your business name and remembering you’re available when they need it. With data management tools, you can categorize your contacts and send them tailored content based on their interests. The more they see content relevant to their needs, the more likely they will continue to engage with you. 

And, you are your members’ go-to for financial content, right?

Own content on your website
Members think of their credit union as a financial expert – it’s one of the reasons why they choose to bank with you. To further establish your credibility within the industry, credit unions should consistently house original content on their websites. Blog posts, product pages, and online resources can help boost your social content and improve your Google search ranking over time, making it easier for potential members to find you when they start hunting on search engines.

Mix up your advertising
Social media ads can be great in a pinch, but if they aren’t paired with search and display ads – or even more traditional forms of advertising – your brand is missing out on more purposeful exposure. Each type of paid advertising offers advantages and interacts with people at different stages of their consumer journey. Additionally, a diverse marketing strategy can help brands reach individuals of different ages and interests.

Over-the-top (OTT) ads, or streaming TV ads, tap into the 74% of households in the U.S. that own a connected TV and can effectively reach millennial and gen x consumers (especially when paired with Facebook and Instagram ads). Gen Z individuals, on the other hand, favor short-form content through platforms like TikTok and Snapchat. Advertising through those channels, while also creating tailored content for those specific platforms, can help your brand stand out to younger folks. More traditional routes of advertising, like billboards, newspapers, radio and broadcast television, are still an essential piece of your advertising strategy, as they can help you reach older generations more efficiently.

Be sure to check here next month for our next Marketing Minute, and stay in step with the latest credit union marketing and branding tips and trends.

Vibrant Brands, a strategic partner of the New York Credit Union Association, provides branding and marketing services to credit unions across New York and the Northeast. Learn more about how the Vibrant team helps credit unions connect their brand with members and communities through impressive design, smart messaging and targeted, impactful marketing campaigns.

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