With increasing competitive pressures from banks, non-bank financial services companies, and other direct competitors, credit unions are exploring new ways to connect with their members and promote their services.
Credit unions face the challenge of competing against larger financial institutions with substantial marketing resources. Despite these limitations, credit unions can leverage their unique value proposition and personalized service to attract and retain members. This is where blogging can be a valuable tool in their marketing arsenal.
In this article, we will delve into the question of whether blogging works for credit unions. We will explore the benefits, including improved website rankings, member engagement, establishment of authority, and increased awareness. We’ll also provide some valuable tips to help credit unions get started with blogging.
Unique Challenges Credit Union Marketers Face
Credit unions operate within a unique framework where their marketing budgets are often limited compared to larger financial institutions.
These budgets must cover both new member acquisition and member retention efforts. Unlike big banks, credit unions typically allocate a significant portion of their marketing budgets to member retention, recognizing the importance of maintaining strong relationships with existing members.
According to a survey conducted by The Financial Brand, a credit union’s marketing budget should equal 0.12% of its assets.
These facts highlight the crucial role that existing members play in the success and growth of credit unions. By focusing on member retention, credit unions aim to cultivate loyalty, deepen relationships, and encourage long-term engagement.
Marketers can effectively communicate their value, provide educational resources, and foster a sense of community by investing in blogging as part of their content marketing strategy.
Blogging allows credit unions to share relevant and informative content that resonates with their members and potential members. It provides an opportunity to address financial concerns, offer guidance, and highlight the benefits of being a credit union member.
How Bigger Banks Are Out-Marketing Credit Unions
While there are exceptions, credit unions often face the challenge of being out-marketed by their bank competitors. Banks, with their larger budgets and extensive resources, employ various strategies to gain an edge in the market.
Credit unions must be aware of these tactics and adapt their marketing approaches accordingly to compete effectively. Here are three specific ways in which bank competitors are out-marketing credit unions:
Extensive Advertising Campaigns
Banks often invest significant resources in widespread advertising campaigns across television, radio, print media, and online platforms. These campaigns aim to increase brand awareness, capture the attention of potential customers, and create a perception of reliability and stability.
By leveraging the power of mass marketing, banks reach a broad audience and establish themselves as familiar and trustworthy financial institutions.
Advanced Technological Offerings
Credit union competitors quickly adopt and promote advanced technological solutions to attract customers. They leverage cutting-edge mobile banking apps, personalized digital experiences, and innovative financial tools.
These offerings provide convenience, seamless transactions, and real-time insights, catering to the digital preferences of today’s consumers. By embracing and promoting these technological advancements, banks position themselves as forward-thinking and customer-centric institutions.
Targeted Product Promotions
Banks strategically design and promote specific products to capture the attention of potential customers. They often offer attractive incentives, such as sign-up bonuses, cashback rewards, and promotional interest rates, to entice new customers and encourage them to switch their financial accounts.
Additionally, banks leverage their extensive branch networks to offer personalized consultations and exclusive deals. This personalized approach aims to establish a sense of trust and build long-term relationships with customers.
Credit Unions Must Leverage Their Strengths
Credit unions can adopt several strategies to level the playing field:
Differentiate with Personalized Service:
Credit unions can leverage their core strengths, such as personalized service and community focus, to differentiate themselves from banks. By highlighting their member-centric approach, credit unions can emphasize the advantages of a more personal and tailored financial experience.
Leverage Digital Channels:
Credit unions can invest in developing user-friendly mobile banking apps and online platforms that provide seamless and convenient experiences for their members. By embracing technology, credit unions can enhance their service offerings and meet the evolving expectations of their members.
Focus on Targeted Marketing:
Focusing their marketing efforts on specific niches or communities instead of competing with banks broadly in another way to drive membership and awareness. By understanding the unique needs of their target audience, credit unions can craft targeted marketing campaigns and tailor their messaging to resonate with their ideal members.
Blogging is a Credit Union’s Secret Marketing Weapon
Blogging gives credit unions a powerful tool to outflank their larger bank competitors by leveraging their unique strengths and establishing a strong online presence. By consistently creating valuable and informative blog content that resonates with their target audience, credit unions can position themselves as trusted financial resources and, more importantly, build a community of engaged members.
Through strategic keyword optimization and search engine visibility, credit unions can attract organic traffic to their websites, effectively competing with banks in online search results. Moreover, blogging allows credit unions to showcase their personalized service, community involvement, and member-centric approach, setting them apart from their bank competitors.
By effectively using blogging as part of their content marketing strategy, credit unions can level the playing field and establish themselves as go-to financial institutions in the digital landscape.
How Blogs Improve Your Credit Union’s Website Rankings
Consumers today prefer online banking over visiting physical branches, so credit unions need to enhance their online presence.
Blogging is crucial in improving search engine rankings and attracting organic traffic to their websites. By consistently creating high-quality and relevant content, credit unions can optimize their websites for search engines, leading to increased visibility and higher rankings.
Blogs Directly Engage Members
Blogging offers credit unions a unique platform to engage with their members. Through informative and insightful blog posts, credit unions can address members’ financial concerns, offer valuable advice, and provide updates on new services or offerings.
This fosters a sense of community and encourages members to actively participate in discussions, leaving comments and sharing their thoughts.
Blogs Establish Authority
By regularly publishing informative and well-researched blog posts, credit unions can establish themselves as authorities in the financial industry. Sharing expertise and knowledge through blog content demonstrates the credit union’s commitment to helping its members make informed financial decisions.
Over time, this builds trust and credibility, positioning the credit union as a reliable source of financial information.
Blogging Increases Awareness
Credit unions often need more awareness, particularly among younger demographics. Blogging can help address this issue by expanding its reach and targeting a wider audience. Credit unions can attract younger members and increase brand awareness by creating compelling content that resonates with their target audience.
Tips to Get Started
- Identify your audience
- Develop a content strategy
- Provide value
- Optimize for search engines
- Promote your blog
By following these tips, credit unions can establish a successful blogging strategy that effectively engages their target audience, enhances their online visibility, and reinforces their position as trusted financial partners.
Identifying Your Audience
It is essential to identify and understand who your audience is to engage them through blogging effectively.
Conduct market research to determine your audience’s demographics, interests, and financial needs. Understanding their needs and interests allows you to tailor your blog content to provide value and resonate with them.
For example, suppose your credit union primarily serves young professionals. In that case, you may focus on budgeting tips, saving for retirement, or managing student loans.
Developing a Content Strategy
Once you clearly understand your target audience, develop a comprehensive content strategy for your credit union’s blog. Start by defining your goals and aligning them with your overall marketing objectives.
Consider the topics that align with your credit union’s values, services, and your audience’s interests. Develop a content calendar to plan your blog posts, ensuring a consistent publishing schedule.
This will help you stay organized and maintain a steady fresh, engaging content flow.
The key to successful blogging is providing value to your readers. Focus on creating informative and valuable content that educates, advises, and solves problems for your audience. This will position your credit union as a trusted resource and help build credibility and trust.
For instance, you can write blog posts on financial planning tips, mortgage options, credit score improvement, or investment strategies. By addressing common financial challenges and offering practical solutions, you establish yourself as a reliable source of information and attract readers who seek relevant guidance.
Optimizing for Search Engines
To maximize the visibility and reach of your blog, optimize your content for search engines. Incorporate relevant keywords naturally throughout your blog posts to improve your website’s ranking in search engine results.
Conduct keyword research to identify popular search terms related to your credit union’s services and industry. Optimize meta descriptions, headers, and alt tags with appropriate keywords.
Creating high-quality and keyword-rich content will increase the likelihood of your blog posts appearing in relevant search queries and driving organic traffic to your website.
Promoting Your Blog
Once you’ve created compelling blog content, it’s crucial to promote it effectively. Share your blog posts across your social media platforms, leveraging the power of platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
Tailor your messaging to suit each platform and engage with your audience by encouraging comments, shares, and likes. Include links to your blog posts in your email newsletters to drive traffic and inform your members about new content.
Collaborate with other industry influencers, guest post on relevant websites, or participate in podcast interviews to expand your reach and attract a wider audience.
Remember, consistency, value, and promotion are crucial to maximizing your blogging efforts and achieving long-term success.
How To Make Your Blogging Program Work with Limited Resources
While these recommendations are, for the most part, straightforward, they require a level of expertise and time that many credit union marketers may still need to gain.
Typical credit union marketing teams consist of one to three individuals responsible for all offline and digital marketing programs, creative, collateral, and the website. Adequately covering these areas is virtually impossible without using some outside assistance.
While advertising and marketing agencies may be a credit union marketing manager’s first option, most are unaware that a new type of marketing solution is available to them: managed marketing services.
Managed marketing services are vertically-integrated specialists in one or more specific digital marketing disciplines. This means they go much further than marketing agencies by combining a deep marketing tech stack, specific industry expertise, and deep digital marketing knowledge in an outsourced marketing program.
The difference between a managed services provider and an agency is the managed marketing service shares your values and goals.
Blogging is a valuable tool for credit unions looking to connect with their members and enhance their online presence. By leveraging the benefits of blogging, credit unions can improve website rankings, engage with members, establish authority, and increase awareness.
By following the tips in this article, credit unions can effectively utilize blogging as part of their content marketing strategy and achieve long-term success in attracting and retaining members.
Facts & Data
A survey by Accenture found that 63% of consumers prefer online banking over visiting a physical branch. (Source: https://atonce.com/blog/how-credit-unions-can-use-blogging-to-attract-more-members)
A survey by CUNA Mutual Group found that 60% of credit unions’ marketing budgets are spent on member retention, while only 40% is spent on new member acquisition. (Source: https://atonce.com/blog/how-credit-unions-can-use-blogging-to-attract-more-members)
A survey by HubSpot found that companies that blog receive 97% more links to their website. (Source: https://atonce.com/blog/how-credit-unions-can-use-blogging-to-attract-more-members)
Accenture’s study shows that only 18% of millennials use credit unions as their primary financial institution. (Source: https://atonce.com/blog/how-credit-unions-can-use-blogging-to-attract-more-members)
“55% of marketers say that blogging is their top inbound marketing priority” (blog.hubspot.com), so creating your blogs is essential for attracting your target audience. (Source: https://www.soar.tech/blog/develop-a-blogging-strategy-for-your-credit-union)