By Special Guest LaTrice Brewster, Marketing Director at Horizons North CU and 2019 Women of Metro North Nominee
Credit union marketers are always looking for creative ways to deliver budget-friendly content that the is unique and exclusive to their brand. Finding that unique mix is never easy and it will never be the same thing for every credit union. Below are a few tips that could help with keeping expenses down while still making a big splash.
How many emails do you swipe through without reading? A targeted message sent through the mail could have larger impact than some e-mail campaigns. Direct mail can be expensive, but using vendor resources can help control costs:
- Consider buying a list based on zip codes or within a certain radius of your location. Basic sorts should come with median income, median home value, and median age. You can ask your mail house to randomly select addresses that meet your sort criteria up to a certain budgeted amount.
- Do you only want to acquire new members? Ask to have list filtered against your member mailing list.
- If the campaign is small, consider having the mail house print and mail your item. In some cases, small campaigns are more cost effective when using a mail house for everything.
The case for using social media has already been made by others, but small CUs should look at what platform fits their needs and membership. Once you pick a platform(s) try and keep up to date with changes. Social media is constantly evolving, look for FREE tools that will help you promote your brand.
- Facebook Blueprint offers free short online courses. The series goal is to have users engage more with Facebook, spend advertising dollars. Overall the information they provide helps business users understand their platform better while offering advice that can be used across multiple platforms.
- Facebook may own Instagram, but they do not operate the same way. You can target paid advertising to both platforms, but organic reach is different. Reaching an audience with Instagram requires a different type of post than Facebook.
- Marketing in 280 characters can be tough, especially if you have a link, photo and disclaimer. Did you know you could schedule/preview non-promoted Tweets up to a year in advance on Twitter? Using Twitter ads allows you to schedule a Tweet for free. Click here for more information on this feature.
- Twitter Marketing Calendar here
Create Your Own Sponsorship
Most events have pre-packaged sponsorship levels. If there is an event you would like to sponsor, but it seems out of your price range contact the event organizer about a custom package. The worst that could happen is they say no and the best would be a custom opportunity unique to your credit union.
- Recently Horizons North Credit Union donated an inflatable arch to the Northglenn Police Department for Safe Street Halloween. HNCU has been attending the event as a community partner for almost 20 years. The donation was branded and will be used at the event in the future. Originally they were asked to make a monetary donation that would only be used to help celebrate the 20th Anniversary Safe Street. HNCU inquired about donating a resource that could be used at future events. Safe Street now has a resource they will use for years to come that is branded with a credit union logo.
Become a Community Resource
Credit Unions are known for being a part of the local community. Work on developing relationships with groups and businesses so they think of your credit union first. If you don’t have people reaching out to you, consider the following:
- Volunteering with Junior Achievement or similar organization.
- Reach out to local schools to see if they host “Finance Days” or similar events to help students and their families.
- Are you a member of your local Chamber? Do they host events that would be a good fit for your credit union?
- Offer to help SEG or community partners with their outreach or fundraising events.
Forget the Box
Every credit union has a personality. Work on defining what you want your members to remember about yours.
- You don’t need a huge budget for members to know your colors are “plaid.” Maybe taking a marketing risk could lead to more engagement and brand awareness.
- In 2016 Unity One Credit Union in Fort Worth, Texas won awards and saw huge visibility increase with their “Don’t Get Spanked by the Banks” campaign. The campaign slogan may not be right for everyone, but it was the outside of the box thinking that made the campaign exceptional.
- If you needinspiration, look to other industries. Consider the marketing you see at a convivence store/ gas station. Have you ever thought of using floor graphics in your member line? How many people have oil change stickers on their car windshields? How about using static clings for drive-up members as way to remind them of planned downtime for a conversion?
Learn more about LaTrice here, and if you see her, congratulate her on her nomination!