Although this post is geared towards credit unions, the point is that when there is a national push, or national news related to our brand or product, use it as a catalyst to increase awareness locally.
The Credit Union National Association has arranged for the message to run hourly on the iconic CBS Screen on famed 42nd Street through July 4, a location that more than 450 million people pass through annually, and some 60,000 cars drive through daily.
This is a great opportunity for your credit union to raise awareness locally. While most credit unions can’t afford a billboard in Times Square, there are other public relations opportunities you CAN do, for relatively no cost.
- Last week was Credit Union Youth Week. Mention the importance of financial literacy at an early age, and what your credit union is doing to ensure kids are smart about money.
- It’s almost graduation time. College debt has reached an average of $24,000. Do you have tips for graduates or families to wrangle out of control student loans? Or did your credit union help a student who was in over their head? These types of stories are always peak a journalist’s interest.
- News of consumer saving is still top of mind. One in four Americans have more credit card debt than savings. Use this as a way to tout your workshops and programs for your members and in the community.
- Most credit unions are already active in their communities, and support local efforts and projects. This is a great time to take on additional community projects or attend more networking events. Your staff might be your greatest asset, and by putting them out in the community, they can help bring in new members, or foster the relationships of current members.
Raising awareness about credit unions is key to the health of the credit union industry. Elevating credit unions in the minds of consumers is not something that happens overnight. It’s a continuous effort that relies on all credit unions and all credit union leaders.
April 10, 2013
When people need advice, they turn to their family and friends. They ask everything from “where should we eat tonight?” to “need a great babysitter” to “looking to change doctors…”
Why wouldn’t they ask about financial institutions?
This is where your members come into play. If you’ve taken care of your members, offered awesome customer service and treated them like a person, and not a number, they’ll tell others.
Traditionally, word of mouth is defined as ”news being spread from one person to another through spoken communication.”
In 2013, “word of mouth” comes in other forms too:
- a Facebook comment or post.
- an email forward.
- a twitter reply.
- a person giving another a direct mail postcard or other printed material.
- a simple and casual “you should try my credit union.”
A 2012 study by Nielsen says 92% of people trust recommendations from their family and friends, above any other form of advertising.
And Pew Research’s 2013 State of the Media found that people hear about news and events mostly from their relatives and neighbors and friends, than from traditional news sources like newscasts, radio or newspapers.
An interesting tidbit from the Pew Research: significant percentages of people now get most of this news through email and social networks, and they follow up even more often than those who receive news in conversation.
Although email and social media is important, don’t forget the importance of face to face conversation and relationship building.
People trust their friends and family. By focusing on your current members, you elevate the awareness of your institution, and even credit unions in general, with minimal cost and expense. It’s easier to retain and accommodate your current customers (members) than to recruit new ones.
February 10, 2013
Originally written for credit union marketers and posted on the Kansas Credit Union Association’s website, but any small business, nonprofit or other small organization could use these tips.
Super Bowl Sunday has come and gone. With half of the nation watching for the game, and the other half only for the commercials, it can be a high stress event for those behind the scenes, a venue for brands to show off their best advertising, and a night where anything can happen.
Last time I wrote about the three things I liked about this year’s Superbowl. Here’s two things marketers can learn from the 2013 Super Bowl:
A blackout in the stadium during one of the most watched live sporting event? Uh-oh. Although only half the lights were out in the stadium, some of the coaches’ headsets were affected by the outage. During the 30 minute delay, no one was really sure what had happened.
Having the lights go out inside your credit union probably would be a manageable problem, but what if you detected a possible security breach on your members’ accounts? Communicate immediately, and regularly to both those affected (your members) as well as those reporting (the media). Even if there is no new information, an update is appreciated and shows you are working on the situation… because no one likes to be kept in the dark.
During this Super Bowl Blackout, Oreo totally newsjacked the situation. The definition of newsjacking is the process by which you inject your ideas or angles into breaking news, in real-time, in order to generate media coverage for yourself.
Minutes after the lights went out in the Superdome stadium, Oreo posted this ad to Twitter:
As you can see, it has generated more than 15,000 retweets so far. And got people talking about Oreo cookies.
Of course, Oreo had a 15-person marketing team already assembled to respond to anything that happened during the game.
Your organization may not be able to do that. But you could newsjack a national news story that reported one in three Americans don’t have enough savings to last three months. Offer tips, or inform the media that your credit union has financial literacy seminars. Coordinate an interview with one of your members who your credit union helped get out of debt.
You don’t have to jump on it in mere minutes like Oreo did. But the quicker you respond, the more likely you are to get coverage. Who’s the smart cookie now?
February 3, 2013
1. Jeep made us cry with this commercial. Our men and women in uniform get me every time.
2. Oreo’s marketing people were on it. They posted this photo to Twitter just minutes after the lights went out at the stadium. They took national news and used it to their advantage. Could it be newsjacking?
“Power out? No problem. You can still dunk in the dark.” Here’s how they did it.
3. Dodge Ram “Farmer” commercial. I’m from Kansas. Enough said.
January 8, 2013
Originally published on CUinsight.com, a credit union and financial news media site. Although this is geared toward how credit unions can use storytelling as an outreach tactic, any organization can benefit from telling your customer’s or member’s stories.
The American Red Cross has proved it’s a networked nonprofit that has embraced new technologies and knows how to use social media effectively. Their latest Storytellers campaign allows those who directly benefited from the non-profit’s services to tell their story through video storytelling.
This caught my eye, because here at the Kansas Credit Union Association, we’ve talked a lot about using more video and decided to incorporate something very similar to this Storytellers campaign as part of our 2013 annual meeting.
The idea is simple. Use real people, telling real stories of how an organization helped them. This is right up the credit union alley! The philosophy of credit unions is people helping people. So let’s start showing others how we do it.
Your credit has helped a member buy a house, when they thought they would never be homeowners. Once they get settled in their home, ask if they’ll take you on a video tour of their home. What might come through on the video is the excitement of owning a home, and how they were able to do it, thanks to your credit union.
OK, not a real fancam, but similar. Ask your members if they’ll participate in your “faces” of ABC Credit Union. Take out your video camera (or smartphone) and record a simple 5-10 second video: “I’m Susan, and I’ve been a credit union member since 2010.” Or “I’m Scott and I’ve been a member of ABC Credit Union for 11 years.” Compile them into a short video and post it on your social networks. It’s a great way to put a “face” to your credit union.
People Helping People.
Now let’s turn the focus from your members to you. Most credit unions do some kind of community service. Whether it be walk for charity, teaching a free financial literacy class, or delivering school supplies to kids in need, be sure and document the activity. It puts your employees out there, and shows consumers, and more importantly, your members, that your organization really is not for profit, not for charity, but for service.
Keep in mind these videos do not have to be super-duper Oscar-worthy films. Simple shots, uncomplicated graphics and a clear message are all you need. Don’t limit yourself to just using video, incorporating still photos works, too.
A picture is worth a thousand words. People are drawn to images and video. They view and watch them, and they share them. Show your members, your community and potential members how credit unions can change their lives.
December 15, 2012
InSites Consulting recently released their report Social Media Around the World 2012. They asked survey respondents what they shared on social networking sites regarding brands and companies.
Two of the top three results are important:
- Experiences you had with a brand: 49% (Read this as 49% of people using social networks posted about the experiences they had with a brand).
- Services you received from a company: 41% (Read this as 41% of people using social networks posted about the services they received from a brand).
Another interesting tidbit is that when sharing information about products and brands online, the vast majority of the content is shared in a positive way.
Why is this important to credit unions (or any business or organization)?
Half of people using social media are talking about the experience they had with a certain company. Credit unions are founded on the philosophy of “people helping people” and our motto is “not for profit, not for charity, but for service.” If people are talking about their experiences and service they received from a company or organization in a positive way, this is where credit unions can shine.
Give your members a reason to talk about the excellent service they received from you. Go above and beyond to make each member special. Enable your member service representatives or your front line staff to make someone’s day.
The survey also found that consumers reach out to brands…eight out of ten consumers want to help in co-creation of company projects. But it’s no surprise that most brands are not open to these kinds of relationships.
Don’t you want your member’s, or a consumer’s input? Don’t credit unions exist solely to serve their members? Why not ask them how to improve? Start by crowdsourcing something fun…ask them what prizes they want to see available at your annual meeting or even have them vote on your next meeting theme.
Members want to feel as though they have a say in what goes on at your credit union. This is your chance to find what exactly what they are thinking.
In their Social Media Around The World 2012 report, InSites Consulting polled 7,827 consumers across 19 countries.
December 1, 2012
Content marketing is big. It’s one of the latest and greatest ways to keep your organization top of mind, in a “skip-this-ad, fast-forward” world. And it’s never been easier to do with the current technology available including websites, blogs and social media.
In a recent article, the Content Marketing Institute listed 42 content marketing ideas for 2013. Here are four of my favorites…and I’ve added my own ideas on how how smaller organizations (like credit unions) can leverage these ideas.
Consider that less content may mean more impact.
Similar to the less is more mindset, you don’t have to push out content on every single topic related to your business. Focus on four topics a year, and really make an impact to your members and consumers. Consider shortening your articles too. People are busy and have to manage multiple distractions every day. A short, crisp read is better than a long in-depth story.
Develop a list of top 100 questions coming from your customer base.
This can seem a bit daunting, especially for smaller organizations. If you are a credit union, how about just the top five financial hurdles your members are trying to get over? Or the top three biggest concerns for them in 2013? Use Facebook, email marketing newsletter and your website to crowd source and gather ideas.
Target one traditional marketing initiative that can be enhanced with content marketing.
Make sure your content marketing strategy aligns with your traditional advertising. Are you promoting a great auto loan rate? Why not write about consumer tips for buying a car? Incorporate one of the tips into your traditional paid advertising, and include a “for more tips, visit ourwebsite.com.” Point them to your article on your website. Push it out on your social networks too.
Take research findings and use them to build a six month campaign with at least 20 independent content pieces.
That’s a bit much for a credit union with a staff of five. How about just twice a year? The Consumer Trust index just came out, revealing that customers are more satisfied with the banking services provided by credit unions than those by the big banks. Can you add to the story with statistics and information about your credit union? Have you increased your membership? Has one of your employees gone above and beyond to help a member? You can use national news to your advantage by focusing on the local aspect for your media contacts.