Eye-catching, informative marketing mediums such as video and infographics can transform the way credit unions serve and educate members.
Social distancing and increased usage of digital channels has generated creative new uses for visual communication methods, such as video and infographics. But determining how and when to best leverage video applications requires careful consideration.
“While pre-recorded video will continue to gain marketing traction, live video will not become a default support mechanism for service because, like telephone and call-center support, video is a synchronous medium in which only one employee can interact with one member at a time, creating bottlenecks, wait times and bad member experiences,” submits Lee Wetherington, director of strategic insight at Jack Henry & Associates, Monett, Missouri. “I see video as a support medium limited to complex interactions between credit unions and members.”
However, Wetherington believes that educational videos will continue to be used to alert members to new remote banking features and help “new-to-the-platform” users better understand functionality. “As credit unions implement technology like ITMs (interactive teller machines) and digitized branch servicing, there is the opportunity for new marketing material to be built into these digital platforms.”
For credit unions focusing on financial education during the pandemic, video has become essential. Katie Hamilton, digital marketing manager for The BA Group, Northfield, Minnesota, shares the story of $202 million HomeTown Credit Union, Owatonna, Minnesota. The CU previously held regular financial education events at local schools and businesses but was forced to switch to webinars due to the pandemic.
“This provided the opening to hold virtual ‘Lunch & Learns,’ so members and the public could join the event from home,” says Hamilton. “The credit union also recorded these sessions, which provided content for its social channels and website, to be watched at any time. Another video series was also born, enabling members to submit financial questions, with a staff member answering via recorded video, then sharing it online.”
Additionally, static, text-heavy informational messaging once found on flyers, brochures and even websites are now morphing into meaningful and interesting infographics. For example, infographics about updated cleaning procedures, CDC guidelines, new branch hours or drive-up protocols have been widely utilized during the pandemic. These infographics can still be included on printed, physical marketing materials, but when leveraged digitally, they can include such interactive elements as animations or links to additional resources.
$2 billion USALLIANCE Financial, for instance, created an infographic that breaks down its online banking options to aid members in accessing or creating new accounts during COVID-19. The credit union, based in Rye, New York, has included an illustrated list of the features available via online banking—and, since the infographic is published on its blog, users can click the image to be directed to an online account-opening page.
$1.2 million Self-Help Credit Union, Durham, North Carolina, has leveraged both infographics and video to educate members and prospective members about its green lending and investment efforts. On its website, users can click through an infographic slideshow that explains the credit union’s commitment to advancing sustainability, including offering home energy loans and lending to green businesses, as well as providing Paycheck Protection Program financing throughout the pandemic. Below the infographic is a video featuring Melissa Malkin-Weber, sustainability director for Self-Help CU, and images of members and businesses the credit union has financed. Such images help personalize the credit union’s message of environmental sustainability, while informing prospective members, other financial institutions and agencies about the services provided in addition to the rationale and guidelines that drive the CU’s efforts.
By taking the time to design important information in an interesting way, credit unions can repurpose content across various channels (email, physical mailer, website, social media) to make their communication stand out, adds Wetherington. “This level of detail also signals how serious credit unions take the health and safety of members.” cues icon
Stephanie Schwenn Sebring established and managed the marketing departments for three CUs and served in mentorship roles before launching her business. As owner of Fab Prose & Professional Writing, she assists credit unions, industry suppliers and any company wanting great content and a clear brand voice. Follow her on Twitter @fabprose.