How a Credit Union Marketing Agency Can Put You One Step Ahead

When most people hear the word “credit union,” they usually don’t rush to their car with enthusiasm for a visit — yet credit unions and banks are important pillars of commerce, stability, and success in most communities.

 Just because credit unions play a highly functional role in most people’s day-to-day lives, doesn’t mean your brand can’t speak to your community’s values and become an icon people look forward to engaging with. A credit union marketing agency can transform your business – and your band – quickly and easily. Here’s how:

Break outside the box with fresh credit union design ideas

After the 2008 financial crisis, many credit unions and banks struggled to rebuild consumer trust. Using social media, creative advertising, and generating thought-provoking or helpful blog content can strengthen your customers’ trust.

As an example, Wells Fargo’s “Earning Back Your Trust” campaign features billboards, YouTube videos, and social media posts all aimed at acknowledging and addressing why their customers stopped trusting them after the crisis. Efforts like these humanize your brand and make complicated subject matter more accessible for the average person.

To strike the right tone for your campaigns to ensure your credit union is still professional and educational while showcasing your human side, partner with a credit union marketing agency like BIGEYE to create unbeatable content.

Freshen up your user experience with new content

Partner with an agency to take a quick pulse check on your website and highlight low word count or low-traffic site pages. Once you’ve identified these weak areas, decide whether content could be combined into another page or expanded upon.

As a rule of thumb, most pages should have 1,000 (or more) words to ensure each digital touchpoint is meaty and meaningful for visitors. This deep content also signals to search engines that your brand is an authoritative voice in the space and that it should be ranked higher in search results. 

Provide valuable services online

This last recommendation may be a little more difficult to implement, but worth the effort. Whether you use a website or app to accomplish this goal, make sure your customers can perform some services online without visiting your brick and mortar location.

For new or lapsed customers, this is a way to entice them to choose or return to your brand. Once you have them hooked, they will keep coming back for your services.

While it may be unrealistic for your credit union to adopt Bank of America’s complete digital banking style, a top Florida marketing agency can help you determine what services you can provide that will be of value to your customers and then successfully market those within your community.  

Contact us today for a free consultation on how our credit union marketing agency can help make your credit union more engaging than ever.

7 interesting content ideas for good bank marketing

To some, banks may seem by nature a tad on the boring side. How much fun can it be, really, to collect and distribute money all day?
Actually, if you talk to people in the profession, it can be a whole lot of fun to be in the business of marketing dollars and cents to the masses. You have the opportunity to assist individuals and businesses alike with their finances, offer loans to help personal and professional dreams come true, and teach customers of all ages the philosophical and tangible benefits of saving money. Employees also agree the now infamous mantra of “banker’s hours,” coupled with the stability, and agreeable compensation, adds up to a winning combination.

A bank’s blog can be an excellent place to show the world that while your location may not be as wacky and wild as a theme park, at least the perception by customers and employees is that it is a hugely interesting place to be. A good bank marketing team has the potential to devise plenty of useful, entertaining and SEO-friendly content that readers will enjoy – and hopefully even share – on social media.

While creating so much captivating content on the regular has the potential to be quite time consuming, if you’re someone who also finds banking enjoyable, it won’t be too hard to find all sorts of interesting topics to share.

Here are 7 interesting content ideas with the proven potential for good bank marketing payoff:

Definitions

Your average consumer may understand the basics of savings or checking accounts, but may not know much more. So a blog post that explains concepts like how interest is compounded could be of great use. This education could cover everything from a basic savings account rate to higher rates on larger loans. It could also talk about the industry’s traditions and processes – people love learning about how and why about any unfamiliar industry as long as things don’t get too complex.

Community efforts

Local and national banks are often encouraged to raise money for charity. This could be for a project supported by the entire organization as a whole, or via an area fund-raiser. A blog can describe fundraising efforts taking place, how customers may become involved and contribute, or as a means of “show and tell” for how well an event was executed.

Focus on employees

A great way to offer a personal connection to customers is to highlight the staff. Perhaps on a weekly basis, share a profile about a different employee – how long they’ve been employed with your institution, what they like about the branch or company, their general interests, or maybe even a helpful financial tip or two or their favorite financial product. Featuring your employees has the potential to double as content that educates consumers services offered, or special promotions, within a specific branch. Employees will really engage and become excited when its their turn to be a headliner.

Focus on customers

Another way for people to feel connected is public recognition. If you have longtime, reliable customers, you should include an occasional post about them. With so many choices for banking out there, people might be curious why someone chose a particular institution for his/her personal or business needs. Your customer service staff may know, or you can request testimonials via mail, online, or in-branch comment cards.

Financial literacy strategies

Financial assistance is always appreciated at all stages of someone’s life, from a child trying to learn the basics of saving, to teens with their first checkbook, to college students trying to balance a budget for the first time. Couples and new families always welcome solid advice, in the same manner as people approaching retirement age and beyond.

The value of banks

With much continued financial uncertainty, consumers are bombarded with suggestions for everything from local credit unions, to investment advisors, to gold merchants. If feel strongly that banks remain the smartest solution for the consumer or business owner, tell why. Odds are, there is an audience that’s waiting to receive your message loudly and clearly.

Analysis of larger financial topics

Along with educating readers about your local branch office’s activities and banking in general, an author can serve to better explain finance-related news stories, and their potential impact on local customers. Recent examples might include Greece’s bailout, or Puerto Rico’s default. Conclude each post with an encouraging thought or anecdote about the importance of money management.

Interestingly, the banking industry as a whole may be going “back to boring,” at least according to the predictions made by Bloomberg.  After years of banks trying earnestly to be anything and everything to all levels of customers, plus offering all sorts of products and financial services not necessarily related to basic transactions, the industry may be trying to find its way again by slimming down – and focusing on critical needs first. So now, is better time than ever to begin a blog explaining this new shift.

Looking for more riveting content ideas to increase deposit and loan growth – and introduce the “fun” side of your bank’s brand to your current and prospective customers? Contact us today for a dose of added creativity!

Seven smart ways banks can utilize paid ad campaigns

It would be oh so simple for a bank to forgo newer methods of communicating – such as social media.
After all, to someone less familiar with social networks like Facebook and Twitter, these online channels all seem like places where people personally love to play, not conduct or discuss serious business. And financial institutions – especially the ones that have been around for awhile – often like to uphold a solid, traditional image, far from anything hip and trendy.

Unfortunately, as any teen or twenty-something can tell you – or maybe should be telling your institution’s decision-makers – today and tomorrow’s customers are actually the ones spending time on these networks. Like it or not, they’re the audience banks need to connect with – to some extent – if you want to remain profitable. If you manage your brand properly and tell your story well, you can still use modern platforms and search engines as outreach tools to describe your longevity and values. The difference is, you need to show your current and prospective customer that your institution is not only in touch, but also looking toward the future.

Beyond a basic social media presence, or hoping users “like” or follow your bank’s activities, your bank marketing ideas should also consist of spending money for additional exposure. Most larger social networks and search engines now encourage businesses to pay to put their messages in front of more people, or at least target different demographic groups of potential customers.

Like many other industries, bank marketers also have the ability find other ways to purchase advertising, whether it’s buying common keywords that customers may use when conducting a search, or running online ads designed for a specific target audience. Though budgets may reflect a preference toward financial marketing approaches that are low to no-cost, in the current online economy, you are definitely able to obtain a farther reach – and likely a better return – if you’re willing to make the investment in a paid ad campaign.

Here are 7 smart ways banks can utilize these paid ad campaigns to generate the greatest ROI

Facebook audiences won’t see everything you put out there – The actual number is a little vague, and depends on your audience, in tandem with Facebook’s method of determining what individual users see. While Facebook states that your audience will organically see just 16 percent of your posts, no matter how interesting or clever you make them, other media professionals and search experts say this figure may be as low as 2.27 percent for pages with more than 500,000 likes. (If “organic” is a new term for your marketing team when used in this context, it describes how people come across your information naturally, on their news feeds. Your inorganic reach means that you can pay a bit extra to have more seen by a larger audience.) Facebook offers a variety of payment options, from a small daily amount over time for a certain-sized audience to larger amounts designed to reach more people.

Consider boosting – Along with creating a paid campaign for your news feed to be seen by a larger target demographic, Facebook business page owners also have the option to pay to boost the reach of individual posts, placing them higher in people’s regular news feeds. This could be handy for a particular promotion, event, or contest. It also is a good tool to measure the amount of traffic with or without boosts for similar campaigns. If you see a noticeable spike in participation – such as actual new business and “real life” customer activity — it could be a good indicator that investing in boosting truly attains tangible results.

Frequency works – Just like the old adage states that a marketer shouldn’t buy an old-school newspaper, radio, or TV ad for only one day for an ongoing campaign, it is also advised that you not run a Facebook business page, or a post, for just a short time. Even though you may be following best practices and posting new material several times per day, not everyone will be checking in regularly to see it. Or, with all the clutter out there, they may not notice your ad or post the first few times it appears. It is wise to plan on running any campaign for at least one month – this will give you a longer-term view to gauge your response rate over time, and then you may adjust your message, or the scope of it, as needed.

Target your audience – As unbelievably cool as the fantasy would be for every Facebook user to see and love your bank’s message, it’s a smarter bet that not everyone among the 1.65 billion active users will care about your bank’s ads. So when you’re planning your paid bank advertising, you may be able to target your ideal potential customer by selecting gender, age, geographic location and similar demographic information. This will be a better use of your budget by appealing directly to people who are more likely to want to know more info about your institution rather than “anyone out there.”

Try other networks – Other social media companies also allow you to buy general and targeted ads, especially if you think potential customers will be using their services. LinkedIn, for instance, is more of a professional network, lacking the games and general feel of Facebook. This site focuses more on workplace networking, so there are posts about economic sectors, employment trends, management strategies, hiring tips, and labor issues. Banks wanting to attract certain potential customers or employees on LinkedIn can purchase ads and target everything from certain job titles to geographic areas. Though actual ad space is limited to a few dozen characters, you may include a call to action. This demographic group should be quite familiar with you, and in turn, want to know more.

Run multiple campaigns at once – Since marketing is always in motion, it’s smart to focus on one more than one prong at a time for all of your outreach. This is also of benefit for your audience – not every online user will use every network. Some may prefer Facebook, but others may frequent Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, Snapchat, or any of the common platforms or search engines more regularly. Running multiple campaigns simultaneously will also provide you with a chance to customize your message for different platforms, and adjust as needed.

Easy-to-see results – A good bank PPC campaign has the potential to provide all sorts of data –  starting with who was reached and how they responded to your message or multiple messages. Google Ad Words or similar analytics programs share both high and low points, including the most frequently clicked keywords, where people came from, what percentage went directly to the landing page, how long they stayed, and what times of the day, week, or month saw the most activity. If you’re working with someone proficient with Google AdWords, you will also have access to a general Return on Investment figure based upon how much you spent and your overall reach. Actual conversions from the campaign to customers can also be a strong indicator.

Overall, creating a bank paid search campaign can be a fun way to connect with potential new users, while also enhancing relationships with existing customers. While facilitating paid ads via your institution’s social networks may be considered “unchartered waters,” the return is well worth the investment, with campaigns that may be customized, and that offer measurable results. For more information on the paid advertising approach, and the development of the best strategy to meet your needs, contact our team of digital experts today!

How to develop a successful bank conversion marketing program

As featured in an earlier blog post, millennials represent 92 million in the United States and are reaping the benefits of improved financial conditions after bouncing back from the recession hit. These young adults are ripe for new banking relationships and considering new bank products to suit their needs, such as checking and savings accounts. This is the perfect time to convert them into new banking customers but how does one do that with one of the most fickle generations?
Establishing a well-planned conversion marketing strategy is key to success realization. There are numerous formulas and methodologies from which to choose. At BIGEYE, we use a proprietary model called the BIGEYE Conversion Matrix™ (BCM). It starts with preparing your data set, followed by activating your conversion optimization program and unlike other methodologies out there, works with both online and offline conversions.

BIGEYE Conversion Matrix
BIGEYE Conversion Matrix

Here’s how a conversion marketing program may look like for a bank:

Audience data insight

It’s important to not only know your audience but to immerse yourself in understanding them. For example, millennials were born into technology, the Internet, read blogs, and are practically tethered to their mobile devices. It’s also important to note that these young adults are not especially brand loyal and highly influenced by their peers.

Market and audience segmentation

In addition to pulling demographic, psychographic, ethnographic, and technographic insight on your audience, one must also consider the target market(s) and segment the audience into more groups. For example, your branches may be located between a couple of neighborhoods and your audience may be a mix of individuals and companies. The approach toward attracting one segment may be significantly different than the other.

Program KPIs, goals, and objectives

One of the most important stages of establishing your BCM data set is defining your vision for success realization. What are the key performance indicators, goals, and objectives? How will you measure success? Most likely the answer will contain a number of items such as number of new accounts opened, number of bank products upsold to existing bank customers, in-branch appointments booked, number of live chat sessions, branch and ATM location look-ups, etc.

Metrics and benchmarking

Once your KPIs, goals and objectives are defined, it’s important that a form of measurement and benchmarks are set. You may feel that your conversion marketing program is successful but in order to prove your instincts in quantitative terms, you will need to run your result data through the metrics.

CRM planning

Using the right customer relationship management tool and setting it up effectively will ensure that every conversion is organized for future action to be taken. By spending some time planning your CRM strategy, your bank can build an ongoing email marketing program and alert your customer service representatives of a customer inquiry.

SEM planning

Finally, the success of your conversions is tied in part to the quality of traffic your website and/or landing pages receive. A carefully designed search engine marketing program that integrates organic with paid search strategies, will help drive the exact audience you are seeking to convert.

Running your conversion marketing program

How To Develop a Successful Bank Conversion Marketing Program
Once your BCM Data Set is complete, you are ready to launch your program. For new accounts, you may wish to set up dedicated landing pages that are custom designed to provide content specific to the audience segment you wish to attract and the product or offering you wish to feature. One of your landing pages might feature your small business checking account products with clear call-to-action (CTA) messaging directing the user on how to take action. Another landing page might focus specifically on your “no fee” checking account products with a clearly stated “Apply Now” CTA button.

Once your landing pages are created and your SEM program is pointing to them, you will want to test multiple versions of each page to maximize your conversion performance potential.

Some oHow To Develop a Successful Bank Conversion Marketing Programf the elements you can test are as follows:

Color – Does the blue button perform better than the red one?

Copy – Are there certain words that resonate more with your audience than others?
Images – Is the photograph you’re using showing someone that is too old or too young? Maybe it’s not the correct ethnicity or the activity of the subject is all wrong.

Content Positioning – Does the user have to scroll down to far to find the CTA button or form? If so, consider trying a version of the page that brings that more prominently above the fold.

As your bank introduces new products, features, branch locations, etc., you will want to make updates to your program so that they correspond accordingly. The more targeted, relevant, and tested your program is, the more conversions you will receive.

In search of additional ways to establish – and maximize – you bank’s conversion marketing program? Contact our team of experts today to devise an innovative approach that both attracts and retains profitable customers.

Assessing the Future of Mobile Payments and how it will impact you

If you’ve thumbed through a timely Fortune Magazine article, or visited the publication’s website recently, you might be aware of the company’s marketing stance regarding the use of Apple Pay, a new automated payment feature on the iPhone 6. While paying with a phone is certainly interesting (and is, in fact, already commonplace in countries such as China and Japan), this technology has actually been available for several years, yet Apple is just now incorporating it into its devices. So, what’s all of this highly anticipated buzz about? As with most Apple-branded technology, it’s safe for marketers to assume that there may be more to the story than meets the eye.

In its first week, Apple sold 10 million of its iPhone 6 devices, which offer a bundle of newly introduced features and upgrades, while also incorporating this Apple Pay technology. With Apple Pay, in addition to payments, the device also incorporates Passbook capabilities, allowing users to manage boarding passes, movie tickets, and gift cards easily from their iPhones. This new functionality also allows businesses to synch contact information with Passbook, and in turn, providing the capability to push special discounts and notifications directly to their customers’ phones.

The primary issue thus far with this payment and Passbook technology is that it hasn’t really caught on. In some ways, redeeming gift cards and coupons in this manner seems more burdensome, especially when customers are already relying on plastic cards for nearly all other processes. Even Apply Pay projections seem to imply that within the year, only 2.5% of payments will be mobile. However, Apple aims to have made a genuine attempt to remedy this by bringing merchant banks and card issuers onboard, and by employing Touch ID fingerprint technology, all in an effort to ensure the highest level of fraud protection.

On the other hand, there is one interesting trend to note – more companies are embracing mobile payments as a means of developing relationships with customers. About 15% of Starbucks’ transactions are now completed using the company’s app. In a world where the app-based payment trend doesn’t seem to be gaining much traction, certain businesses have honed in on what it means to have the ability to convince the user to make a mobile payment in this fashion. App payments make purchases more efficient for the purchaser and allow the business to collect information from the user, including: favorite orders, amount spent, and frequency of purchase. Interestingly, customers appear to willingly provide this information in exchange for a reward, and a business may even establish reward parameters, such as after a user spends a certain amount.

[quote]Perhaps we aren’t entering a world where all of our payments will be made from our phones, but rather, where we’ll make purchases from places we shop frequently – all from our phones.[/quote]As companies continue to move in this direction, opportunities exist to capture even more targeted data to help tailor strategies to meet client needs, while also reducing associated costs.

As previously mentioned, the ability to make payments from one’s phone has been in existence for quite some time, however Apple has a unique, innate ability to allow its technologies go mainstream in a short period of time. As we have recently seen, 10 million more people have access to Apple Pay than they did just weeks ago, and as a result, we may be adopting a new paradigm that leads to business being conducted solely via mobile devices, thereby eliminating the need for debit and credit cards as we know them. Despite the fact that we might see early adoption in only a few companies, if the technology catches on and proves valuable, there may come a day when Apple Pay is as common as debit and credit card point-of-sale machines are today.

As a result of this shift in thought processes, marketers will also be able to continue to send relevant information to customers based upon purchasing behavior. For example, one auto company already sends automatic notifications each time its customer is due for an oil change, offering discounts based upon their user activity on the app.

Will Apple Pay be a game-changer? Probably not –  well, at least not within the next decade. But, if nothing else, this emphasis on mobile payments reinforces the notion that we’re living in an era where mobile is truly at the forefront. Marketers should aspire to continue to find new ways to reach people, starting with their smartphones.

To discover how your business may become better equipped to provide an enhanced user experience, including Apple Pay, and employ targeted strategies that attract satisfied, returning customers, contact us today to determine how we may assist you!

Online Reputation Management In the Banking Industry

Social media is an important channel of interactive, two-way messaging for many industries, and banking and financial institutions stand to greatly benefit from using this medium to help distribute information. Although social media outlets provide opportunities for banks to engage with current and potential customers, there are also obstacles that banks must overcome to implement a successful social media strategy. One of the most complex issues facing financial institutions in this realm is that of online reputation management.

While some banks seem to be behind the times when it comes to adopting social media and new technologies, it is not always because of a lack of desire to integrate them. Rather, these financial instructions face a number of challenges in the area of digital reputation management, namely in facilitating a large volume of comments – and not all of them positive.

One major challenge in managing the client feedback issue is the allocation of resources dedicated to social media management. Limited resources pose an even greater challenge to a company that has so many client-facing interactions in touchy circumstances. For instance, a person who has just learned that his bank has foreclosed on his home might direct his angry tirade at the financial institution. This situation has the potential to lead to a very public outburst on social media. This customer service orientation skews the purpose of instituting a successful social media program.

Even in cases where banks might have the allocated resources to maintain control of customer relationships via social media, another threat to implementation of a successful program pertains to federal and state regulation. In this regard, there are numerous stipulations in place as to what can, and what cannot, be done on social media. In fact, it’s so highly regulated, that in some financial service industries, these companies are forbidden from “liking” others’ content, as it may be considered an endorsement. Along the same lines, in some cases banks cannot “share” content unless it has been vetted for regulatory purposes by a professional association. [quote]With so many legal and regulatory mandates in place to how social media managers may address certain issues, these efforts can become more complicated than in other industries.[/quote]

Luckily, banks are not without options. For instance, they can implement social media listening to help inform them of customer service issues before they become larger, unmanageable issues. One approach is to integrate a plan that encourages positive feedback and reviews, which has potential to catch fire and become contagious among the audience.

In fact, the team at BIGEYE’s Orlando marketing agency has significant experience in working with financial institutions to help develop their social media marketing campaigns, incorporating strategies for digital reputation management as a component of the plan. Through ongoing digital research and strategic planning, we can help your bank address these needs to implement a successful social media initiative, while keeping in mind resource management to implement cost-effective solutions.

If you’re interested in learning more about how BIGEYE’s social media team can offer valuable insights to grow your business’ reach through proactive social media measures, please contact us for a consultation, and to learn more about our services.