Engage Your Credit Union's Members at the Intersection of Education and Marketing

by Tiffany Parnell, Senior Copywriter - 03/22/16

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Positioning your credit union’s message to stand out in a hyper-competitive marketplace starts with creating relevant, educational content.

When it comes to crafting compelling content, financial marketers actually have a slight edge. Their organizations are uniquely positioned to fill a significant need: improving financial literacy.

In order to take charge of their finances, people need a working knowledge of such topics as interest rates, retirement accounts, and how to compare lending opportunities. But gaps in these crucial skills exist. In fact, the January 2016 Global Financial Literacy Study revealed that roughly 60 percent of adults in the United States have at least one credit card—but only 34 percent could correctly answer questions about compound interest.

As not-for-profit organizations, credit unions are committed to making their members’ lives easier. To that end, many already provide educational resources in the form of in-office materials or financial seminars. But imagine the impact educational efforts could have if materials were housed in one, easy-to-access location, such as a custom blog, e-newsletter, or magazine.

Learning about Money Matters

In 2015, the Content Marketing Institute published a white paper about the evolution of content marketing in the financial sector. Among the published takeaways, authors noted 82 percent of financial marketers were striving to build brand awareness and enhance consumer engagement.

Building brand awareness has traditionally revolved around promotional marketing strategies that touted a brand’s services and clearly highlighted unique attributes that differentiated the brand from competitors. But recent trends in financial marketing mirror those of other industries, which means it’s time for marketers to start moving away from overly promotional tactics.

Content marketing differs from traditional strategies because it’s consumer-centric rather than organization-centric. It still tells a brand’s story—but it weaves those details into articles, infographics, quizzes, and other pieces of content designed first and foremost to provide information that is applicable to consumers’ everyday lives.

Helpful Content = Engaged Consumers

Before you can launch a successful custom content strategy, you need to consider your member base. Maybe your credit union is designed for people in a certain profession and your members are mostly middle-age to older adults who are thinking about their children’s college education or retirement. Or maybe you’re trying to increase your market share to include young adults looking to purchase their first car or home. These audiences have different needs and concerns, and the financial information they seek will be just as diverse.

Identifying your target audience ensures the messages you provide are relevant and useful. But that’s only one piece of creating compelling content. You also need to create information your audience wants to read and that is easy to understand. If you’re considering a digital strategy, such as a blog, don’t be afraid to include financial calculators and quizzes. Print and digital formats can also support articles and infographics—facts, statistics and other information that are presented in graphic, visually appealing formats.

Resist the urge to include lists of your applicable services with every article. Instead, include quotes from your organization’s team of experts to lend credibility to your articles and brand. And use call to actions at the end of pieces that link to information on your website or include phone numbers readers can call for more information. By providing the information your consumers need and subtly positioning your organization as a go-to local resource, you’ll increase consumer engagement and foster trust and consumer loyalty.

Ready to educate and engage your members? 

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Topics: Financial Marketing, Content Strategy

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