Credit Union Marketing Trends in 2021

Credit unions are constantly changing with the times to keep ahead of the competition. To stay current, it is time to take a look at what tendencies are on the horizon for the rest of 2021 and beyond. This blog post will cover top credit union marketing trends and how you can start implementing them to improve your chances of success.

The marketing landscape is changing continuously for the financial industry. To keep up with the latest trends, use the following tips for successful credit union marketing.

Implement digital financial tools

Consumers today are more aware of cutting-edge technologies, which is resulting in increasing demand for self-service banking and other digital-based services (such as financial digital tools). In fact, digital banking stats expect that the total number of mobile and online banking users will surpass 3.6 billion by 2024.  

Through digital tools, consumers can take better control of their finances than ever before. As credit unions continue to experience mounting competitive exposure in the marketplace, the financial industry will ultimately shift toward innovative digital tools that are mutually beneficial to financial institutions and consumers alike. 

Credit unions should invest in innovation to make the transition to a more technologically driven future. Leveraging payment solutions and other delivery channel technologies will enable you to provide a variety of modern mobile cooperative financial services that maintain savings and income within the movement.

Use chatbots to improve customer experience and collect user data

Chatbots are computer programs designed to simulate conversation with real humans. Credit union marketing departments widely use chatbots to offer faster and more direct communication with consumers. 

Some of the advantages of chatbots are that they are easy to deploy, do not consume a lot of time, and can be used to answer simple questions via instant messaging applications. Furthermore, bots are designed to help the customer during the day, but they also collect valuable information about the user, which is a part of banking content marketing efforts.

Bots may be beneficial for automating routine tasks, responding to typical client inquiries, and even closing deals.

Build individual member experience

In the ever-changing world of banking, credit unions are turning to new strategies to stay competitive. One of the most comprehensive strategies is to focus on members. According to the annual American Consumer Satisfaction Index survey, credit unions “fell 2.5% to a score of 77 on a 100-point scale” – behind banks by one point. The more you can focus on your members, the happier they will be, which will ultimately lead to higher customer satisfaction.  

Financial institutions must meet the expectations of educated consumers for a consistent, highly personalized experience across all digital and physical touchpoints, or else members will switch over to another organization. To effectively satisfy customer demands, you should first understand them. Knowing customers’ needs will allow you to match products and services to customer behaviors and intent dynamically. 

Connect with your audience as a part of your credit union marketing campaign

When it comes to credit union marketing trends for 2021, the first thing to keep in mind is who you’re marketing to. You may need to create online and offline events and programs for your target audience. By doing so, you can build trust and long-lasting connections. 

For example:

  • Newsletters. This is one of the most significant ways to reach a target audience in a more personalized manner. Make sure that the language and tone are light and conversational.
  • Infographics. You can make your content more visual by using infographics and videos. People are 30% more likely to send payments faster when persuaded by visuals.
  • Social media engagement. Create social media polls to ask customers about their needs and pain points. It will give you the chance to understand where improvements are needed. Ask the right questions to receive feedback.
  • Content marketing. Provide valuable insights and establish yourself as a thought leader.

Digitize your processes to attract a younger audience

With the proliferation of mobile devices and online marketing, credit unions need to focus on using their digital presence to help engage with younger users and those who want to interact outside the traditional banking content marketing system. 

The millennial market has shown itself to be more receptive than past generations to leveraging new technologies. Millennials are the most active online bankers of all ages. They tend to search offers online, with 31% of them using apps to discover deals.

So, it makes sense for you to consider utilizing these new technologies to further your business. Keep in mind what your customers’ needs are based on their age range. For example, when you think of millennials, it would make sense to consider their struggle of financial uncertainty during these times and propose services accordingly that address their concerns and economic demands. 

In summary

In 2021, a tremendous planned marketing strategy can play a critical role for credit unions. By following and implementing a rapid change in marketing trends in digital banking usage, you will be excited to see what positive impact it can bring for your credit union development.

Tempesta Media’s managed service solution assists financial services firms in generating profits and boosting engagement. We can help scale your strategy to enhance your client base through our extensive experience in digital marketing. Content, social media, and influencer marketing are all seamlessly integrated into our managed service solution for the financial industry to produce revenue for you. 

Contact us to optimize your bottom line performance while minimizing your costs.

The key to marketing success is customer pain points

Your goal as a business is to solve customer pain points. But where do you start? How do you know what problems to solve? The key is research.

Customer pain points refers to the problems your customers face and how your products or services resolve those problems. If your marketing does not take into account the pain points your customers encounter, it will only be misunderstood – or worse, ignored. In order to effectively market your business, you must answer three important questions.

What problem is your product or service solving?

How do you know exactly what problems your customers are having? The easiest way is to ask them about the biggest challenge they are facing related to the product or service you offer. For example, if your company sells baby tubs, you would likely target mothers. And you might ask them this question: “What is the biggest problem you have with existing baby bathtubs?”

If you find out that the biggest problem your customers are having is that it takes too long to find the perfect water temperature for their babies, then you could create an infant bathtub that automatically heats the water to a preset perfect temperature. In doing so, you would solve a very specific customer pain point. You will also fill a niche that your competitors may have ignored.

Discovering customer pain points requires the right tools and the right approach. Many companies fail at this stage because they assume that they know what their customers are thinking or feeling, or that they already have the full picture of these pain points.

Without proper research, you might spend a lot of time and money on product innovations, product launches, and marketing that doesn’t match with what your customers truly want and need. Instead, they will go to your competitors who are addressing their actual concerns.

Part of the challenge is that finding customer pain points requires some time and investment in research.

Important tools that you can use to your advantage to learn more about what customers need include:

  • Qualitative customer research: This type of research uses open-ended questions and conversations with customers to learn more about what they are thinking. Common ways to collect qualitative research are focus groups, phone surveys and questions, and in-depth interviews. You can also record interviews and analyze them to see facial expressions and non-verbal reactions to your questions.
  • Qualitative sales research: Your sales team is a great marketing resource. They listen carefully to customers to try and figure out what problems they are experiencing that your product or service could solve.
  • Customer surveys: Asking your customers for their opinions helps you learn more about what they want and need. Many customers are more than willing to share opinions with a company if they believe it will help improve products and services in the future.
  • Online reviews: Online reviews allow you to hear directly from customers after they interact with your brand or your competitors. You can aggregate review data to find trends that will help you create better marketing campaigns.
  • Social conversation monitoring: Social media gives companies unprecedented insight into what customers are thinking in real time. Set up tools and alerts to monitor what people are saying online, and join the conversation yourself to listen and learn.

What need is your product or service filling?

Although every targeted market in every industry is different, most customers have a common set of needs that your company must fulfill before they will consistently engage. These needs include:

  • Feeling special– Customers want your products and services to make them feel special or important. For example, a few years ago, Barclaycard introduced the first crowdsourced social media credit card in the industry. Unlike most credit cards, Barclaycard established its benefits and rewards based on customer suggestions that were put to a vote. The ideas with the highest number of votes became standard policy, including profit sharing.
  • Responsiveness– Your business should be responsive to what your customers tell you. One of the main customer pain points identified by Zappos was that its phone representatives did not have the authority to make changes without getting supervisor approval. So Zappos gave all its representatives the authority to do whatever it took to make a customer happy. After quickly implementing this change that addressed customer concerns, the company’s reputation soared.
  • Reassurance -What is your company doing to provide reassurance to customers that you will stand behind your products and services if something goes wrong? Having a liberal return policy is good, but Amazon took it to the next level when it offered a two-year worry-free guarantee for its Kindle Fire HD Kids Edition. The two-year warranty covers anything that happens to the tablet; for two years after purchase, Amazon will replace the old Kindle with a new tablet for any reason, no questions asked. This gives customers absolute assurance that the company stands behind its product.

What value does your content provide?

Remember: Anything that helps solve customer problems should be an integral part of your marketing strategy. And good content, including blog pieces, podcasts, webinars, video tutorials and eBooks, can help educate customers. It will give them tips and tricks for using your product or service and provide valuable information for their industry.
Your products and services are not the only things that can solve customer problems. In fact, providing actionable information to your customers increases the authority of your business and provides invaluable credibility. So when you are creating content, treat it the way you would your products and services. Make sure that each piece of content informs, entertains, answers questions and resolves problems.

Solve the right problems

You cannot market to your customers until you understand what their problems and needs are. From there, you must determine how your products and services provide a solution. But it is equally important to remember that you cannot solve all the problems your customers have. The more you hone in on a specific want or need, the more likely you are to attract their attention.
You should not think of customer pain points as something negative, but rather as the reason that your business exists. Because once you start looking at your products and services from the point of view of your customers, everything you do, including marketing, will be more targeted and more effective. To learn more about how we can help you create content that will solve your customers’ pain points, contact us today.

Content marketing for revenue growth and increased leads: Part 4

In our last article we learned how to qualify your leads. Today’s post focuses on all those email campaigns and nurturing efforts once you’ve captured a new lead.

Using content marketing to nurture your leads

So, to recap: you are now an SEO master, and visitors have begun to flock to your site. You’ve developed a great landing page, and you’ve figured out how to get the right people to visit that landing page. You’re passing out free content and getting email addresses in return. So all these leads must be converting into customers, right?
Not so fast. You better be nurturing those leads.
Lead nurturing involves a lot of sincere listening. Find out what your prospects need and give it to them to keep them engaged and moving toward conversion. The best nurturing campaigns deliver the right content at the right time and contain valuable relevant content assets.

Benefits of lead nurturing

Lead nurturing activities help to build and maintain communication, increase engagement and identify opportunities to segment your audience and deliver more customized experiences, among other benefits. Lead nurturing also helps to provide a steady flow of new leads and helps to shorten conversion time.

Ways to nurture a lead

  • Email them.
  • Give them a newsletter.
  • Offer a product demo.
  • Invite them to an event.
  • Call them.
  • Chat with them online.

Things to remember when nurturing a lead

  • Listen to them. It’s really not about you or your company. It’s about hearing their pain points and helping them to solve their problem.
  • Educate them. Based on where they are in the funnel, give them the content they need to move to the next step.
  • Track everything. Be ready to respond to what your data is telling you. Have they not reached out lately? Call them. Did they not respond to a piece of content? Ask their opinion.

Lead scoring

Lead scoring helps you to assign a value to each lead and allow your sales team to focus more intently on leads that score higher. Typical ways to calculate a lead score include assigning a weight to different attributes, such as demographics, online behavior and email and social engagement.

Lead nurturing best practices

Here are some best practices to ensure that you are taking care of your leads:

  • Get personal with them.
  • Educate them based on where they are in the funnel.
  • Segment them properly.
  • Listen closely to what they have to say.
  • Keep track of everything!
  • Don’t stop until you close the sale.

The marketing home stretch

Start 2019 off right by using December to set yourself up for success

The year is rapidly coming to a close. Marketing has received or about to receive their finalized 2019 budgets. The race is now on to use the remaining days of the year to position your department, division or company for success. Here are a couple of tips that can help get 2019 off onto the right track.

Get new systems up and running now

For many companies, December is a slow month for business. For marketers, this is the ideal time to purchase, install and configure new content marketing platforms and other Martech solutions. Work with your vendors so that subscriptions start up in January, but the setup process starts in December. As January 1 rolls around and your content marketing program is optimized, your competitors will still be brushing the dust off of their computers.

Leverage remaining 2018

For most companies, whatever budget money remains at the end of the year or quarter is lost and cannot be carried over into 2019. Nearly every company has some level of perishable funding remaining. Use the remaining money to purchase pre-paid annual subscriptions today. Doing so also can help your department lock in volume pricing or other savings. Tempesta Media offers prepaid annual subscription options.

Plan ahead

An often overlooked area of content marketing is editorial calendar development. Use December to finalize your content production calendar for Q1. If possible, order content assignments in advance, so that finished pieces are ready to deploy January 1.
The first weeks of January are always hectic. Using December to prepare can be the difference between success and struggle in 2019.  Let us help make 2019 a prosperous year for you and your company.

Why you should add infographics to your marketing strategy

Every individual takes in information and learns differently. Some people remember what they read rather than what they hear and others learn when they see things written out. According to research by the Social Science Research Network, most people (65 percent) are visual learners and process information based on what they see.
This statistic is very important for content marketers who often get stuck in a text-only world. Adding visuals to your written content such as photos and videos is important. Today, marketers are also embracing infographics because they can quickly deliver information to the user. In fact, according to AnsonAlex, a technology education website, publishers who use infographics grow traffic an average of 12 percent more than those who do not. Digg revealed that since 2007, infographics on their social network have increased by 250 times.
What are infographics?
Infographics make use of a mix of text and a variety of visual images in order to tell a story and convey statics and other information. Such visuals include charts, diagrams, graphic designs, maps, drawings and colors. When well-designed, an infographic can enhance statistics that would otherwise be boring and make them interesting. Or, an infographic can simplify a complicated topic or instructions and make it much easier to understand. It’s a visual shortcut for deep data.
Overall, a good infographic is visually engaging and, most importantly, fits into your content marketing strategy in a way that supports your marketing goals. An infographic shouldn’t distract so much that it becomes confusing to the consumer, muddles your message and disconnects the customer from your brand.
Novelty or not?
Some people may argue that the “cartoony” effect to convey important data is simply a novelty. However, if you want to get a message across, visuals do this effectively. In fact, according to the Visual Teaching Alliance, the human eye can register 36,000 visual messages per hour. That can kind of impact on a consumer can mean everything to a brand.
The major consideration should always circle back to the target audience. Infographics can be an incredibly valuable tool if used correctly. Just like incorporating photos or video, you can’t just decide to add infographics. Your content must be compelling and relevant to your target audience. If it is not, it becomes just a novelty, a fun way of showing off some information. If your customer is not going to care about that content, it will not matter what it looks like visually.
Where to start?
In an article for Business 2 Community, Kevin Johnson, a Digital PR + Social Media Manager for Fusion 360, a content marketing and SEO agency in Utah, says bluntly that, “The problem is, many infographics produced today are pretty horrendous. Many are confusing or simply fail to provide relevant facts.”
Infographics are best designed by people who have a great visual sense. Using or hiring a graphic designer is worth the investment. That said, many times graphic designers are focused on what they know best: creating imagery. They aren’t always experts at spelling or fact checking. Thus, before handing off information with data and text, be sure everything is accurate. Business Weekly notes that 80 percent of the work in creating an infographic is not in the design, colors or fonts, but in the gathering of data and checking.
The goal of an infographic is to create quick bites of information that can be quickly digested. As a January 2014 article in Forbes noted, “When your content is compelling, design can and should be used to communicate this information.” Putting data together in a way that is neat and orderly provides a lesser chance of misinterpreting facts and figures. Thus, an infographic cannot simply be visually appealing, it must convey accurate information. When the graphics look great and the content is correct, this helps convey that you are an expert on a topic. This will have positive effects on your brand.
Also remember to keep it simple. Having too much accurate information all over the design weighs heavily on the overall visual appeal. Keep infographics clear of clutter and put in only the most important information. Too much text in an infographic makes it just as difficult for a customer to digest as a lengthy written post. Designers should also limit colors and fonts.
Be the brand
In addition to being clear about your message, infographics can help tremendously when it comes to building brand awareness. Think about what you see day to day. Do you immediate recognize a red can with white lettering as Coca-Cola? Do you see a “swoosh” and know it’s a Nike athletic item? Creating infographics that incorporate your company’s colors and logos help to immediately tie the information to your company. Consumers will recognize your infographics and your brand awareness becomes successful.
Make them shareable
Most infographics are created for online publishing: websites, blogs, social media. When you decide to incorporate infographics into your content marketing strategy, make sure they are engaging and appealing enough that consumers will want to share them. Do not impede the process; be sure that every infographic you post is easily sharable. You want to “go viral.”
Creating infographics that are evergreen allows for republishing at a later time. Start a library of evergreen infographics that help promote your overall strategy and recycle them. Track engagement with Google Analytics to see what is most successful: what gets the most initial engagement and what gets shared. Monitoring these metrics helps identify future opportunities for infographic creation and use.
While infographics are typically online and make for easy sharing, also consider printing them as well and handing them out at events, trade shows and other appropriate public gatherings. Make the infographics part of your overall collateral and put into brochures, flyers and booklets.
If you have a content marketing program, or are planning one, download our ebook:  100 mistakes businesses make when starting, optimizing and scaling content marketing programs.  Learn from the mistakes of hundreds of other companies.  100 mistakes walks you through common and uncommon challenges that they faced with their content marketing programs.

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