Inside Marketing: Maximizing ROI With Digital Branding

stream of bubbles containing cartoon digital icons representing digital activity such as chat and sharing
By Kerry Eagan

4 minutes

Two areas of consideration for enhancing your credit union’s digital presence in 2022

While the age of the average credit union member remains in the mid-40s, it is important to recognize that this age range is no longer held strongly by Gen X. Instead, the eldest millennials—otherwise known as the first digital natives—are turning 40 this year, and their expectations should not be taken lightly. A quick Google search paints a picture that has been discussed for years in the financial services industry related to these preferences: easy online account opening, a user-friendly mobile app and the ability to transfer between accounts seamlessly and instantly.

The pandemic pushed financial institutions of all sizes to up their digital game, which has spurred credit unions to face a bigger digital challenge: successfully marketing themselves as a modern way to bank while maintaining a “people-over-profits” marketing message. Here are a few key considerations to enhance your credit union’s online presence in 2022.

Give Your Website the Attention It Needs

Having a modern, mobile-friendly and easy-to-navigate website has long been crucial for a successful digital strategy. Acting as a digital storefront, some members may only visit a credit union branch when opening their first account. Now, I know you might be thinking, “Obviously. Our website is fine.” But before skipping down to the next section, first ask these questions about your credit union’s website:

  • When was the last time the style/template was updated? Between the fast-moving nature of the internet and the pandemic’s shift to digital-everything, if the website was last refreshed before 2019, it may be time to consider an upgrade.
  • Do the images portray diversity in race, age, sex, gender and/or religion? Diverse visuals can help potential members see themselves as a member of your credit union.
  • How many clicks does it take to find the member login page, open an account or speak to a representative? While attention span differs between ages and contexts, there should be clear indicators in your website metrics on which actions are the most important for members and prospects visiting the site. Make sure these actions are easy to find within a small number of clicks.

A well-designed site can be your No. 1 salesperson and allows potential members to learn more about your credit union any time and from anywhere. Much like having regular training for associates, consider auditing the website on an annual basis.

Maximize Time Spent on Social Media

Social media continues to be a good way to connect with existing and potential members, but what platforms are the best investment for credit unions? From Facebook to TikTok and everything in between, each social media site and app has its own personality. Before putting all of your social spend and time into one platform, determine a specific strategy for each unique audience.

  • Facebook: Often the first thing people think of when they think about social media, a credit union Facebook page can come up high on Google results and serve as an excellent tool for addressing customer service issues. However, the user demographics are moving away from a younger audience. A recent study found that baby boomers and seniors are rapidly adopting Facebook, making it particularly important to develop content relevant to these members or prospects.
  • Twitter: With 73 million users in the U.S. alone and the ability to quickly publish bite-sized content, this platform is great for SEO. Credit unions should consider using it to monitor trends and, similar to Facebook, address customer service issues.
  • Instagram: According to a recent study, millennials currently make up the largest generation using this platform, with Gen Z coming in a close second. As Instagram is visually heavy, consider content that is community-focused and provides a relatable brand experience. If posting pictures with members, remember to always get consent before publishing.  
  • TikTok: As the newest popular platform on the scene, TikTok is currently targeted towards early adopters and younger generations, with a heavy focus on sound and music. However, there are still many different age groups on this platform, and it will continue to diversify over time. This platform would be appropriate to use if you have an enthusiastic team that wants to participate in family-friendly TikTok challenges to promote the credit union as workplace or community for members.

Due to the large number of social platforms in existence, including LinkedIn, Reddit and YouTube, social media marketing may seem overwhelming. The good news is that your credit union doesn’t have to be on every medium to be successful. Focus on a few platforms that make sense for your target audience, and you will be able to reach the right members at the right time and place.

Taking a fresh, modern approach to social media and website design can seem like a daunting task, but when monitored and consistently maintained, these platforms can serve as practical member recruitment and engagement tools. Don’t wait until you have to make these changes or risk looking outdated. Instead, keep your credit union’s digital branding approach on the front burner of marketing initiatives for the best results.

Kerry Eagan is a marketing coordinator at William Mills Agency, the nation’s largest independent public relations firm focusing exclusively on the financial services and technology industries. The agency can be followed on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or its blog.

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