4 Digital Ad Best Practices for Credit Unions

August 27, 2018 Judi Ratto

Credit unions have a unique offering that banks don’t: they’re member-owned not-for-profit cooperatives, with a focus on local communities which allows for more personalized support.

However, some myths surrounding credit unions can discourage people from joining; namely, 1) people believe they must be a member of a special group or demographic, so often think they’re ineligible, and 2) CU ATMs aren’t readily available, so accessing money when away from home may be difficult. Understanding these pain points for potential members offers an opportunity to dispel them through your advertising messaging.

Where and how you reach prospects is just as important as the message you share. According to eMarketer, more than half of all media ad spend in the US will be digital by 2020, and mobile advertising, specifically, will take 60% of all digital ad dollars. With more and more customers banking online, it’s vital to have a strong footprint in the digital space. Here are some digital best practices we’ve mapped out to ensure you’re staying competitive:

1) Separate Budgets & Campaigns by Product

Different products come with different consideration periods, audience targeting needs, and seasonality. For example, auto loans and checking accounts have a shorter consideration period and higher application volume. However, mortgage and HELOC require much longer consideration periods, more specific audience targeting, and result in lower application volume due to the nature of the product. Knowing which products you want to market and when will allow you to break out your overall budget in an efficient and productive way.

2) Target Big Bank Customers

The ability to pinpoint your target audience is critical to a successful campaign, whether targeting your site visitors, lookalike audiences, or browsing behaviors. As part of your strategy, you may want to consider layering in third-party data specific to big banks and their customers, otherwise known as “conquest targeting.”

3) Invest in Video Advertising

Video is becoming one of the most popular types of media consumed, despite its higher cost than a traditional banner ad. It’s engaging, tells a story, and invites the viewer to get to know your brand better. As a top of the funnel strategy, video is an excellent branding tactic to spread awareness, connect with your audience on a deeper level, and leave them with a lasting impression that readily guides them further down the funnel.

4) Use Your Data to Retarget & Upsell Current Members

The financial services industry has an advantage as a leader in online services, with millions of customers logging on daily to check their balances and complete transactions. Few credit unions take advantage of their vast customer data because of privacy concerns. It’s a marketing gift; a lucrative opportunity to promote your new credit card or auto insurance discount to an existing customer you already know well, but only if you know how to track this customer as they move across different channels and devices. Additionally, you can create lookalike audiences, i.e. people who behave like your members and have the same browsing habits and interests as them, ensuring the people you’re targeting are likely to be interested in your offerings.

Credit unions are the people’s banks–a unique model of banking that gives power to their members and communities. Despite having a generally more trustworthy reputation than most Big Banks, credit unions may be missing chances to draw in new members due to some long-standing misconceptions. But now is the time to dispel the myths, engage unhappy Big Bank customers, and make potential members aware of the benefits Credit Unions offer. Educate consumers through advertising superior service, lower fees, higher interest rates, and other added values that your credit union offers. Keep these best practices in mind to do so, and you’ll see growth in no time.

Learn how LA Financial Credit Union was able to boost awareness and target new audiences in the digital space, resulting in a 20% growth in loan applications.

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