Marketing has never been more important for banks and credit unions and they will have to get creative if they want to bring in new customers in 2021. Today, the competition is greater than ever as they are competing for consumers with the major banks and the many rapidly growing FinTechs.
That’s why we compiled this list of bank and credit union marketing ideas. Use these eight strategies to keep your bank or credit union competitive in a crowded market and attract the all-important millennial consumers.
Here are 8 Unique Bank and Credit Union Marketing Ideas
- Give Away Free Money and Alert the Media
- Offer Free Downloadable Content and Calculators
- Offer Free Information Sessions
- Run a Social Media Contest
- Solicit Customer Ideas and Do Good with Guerrilla Marketing
- Humanize Your Bank or Credit Union Using Social Media
- Highlight Your Expertise by Creating Thought Leaders
- Participate in the Sharing Economy
1. Give Away Free Money and Alert the Media
Free money will always attract a crowd. And if your bank or credit union is looking for publicity, giving away free cash can be a great way to do it. The Industrial Credit Union in Bellingham, Washington took a creative approach to the free money idea, swapping out random $20s for $50s in their Christmas Bonus campaign. They alerted the press and were able to boost both awareness and traffic to their multiple branches and ATMS.
2. Offer Free Downloadable Content and Calculators
Consumers love helpful tools, especially when they are free. Offering premium, complimentary but gated content and calculators such as a mortgage calculator or a financial planning checklist can be a great way to offer value to your customers while also identifying potential leads. The options for content here are endless, so get creative and create tools that you know will resonate with your audience. And don’t forget to gate your premium content and tools — by requiring that a user fill out a brief form that includes their email address before they are able to access the content.
3. Offer Free Information Sessions
Banks and credit unions can help build their brand awareness in their community by hosting free financial planning information sessions for parents and students at the local middle and high schools. Offering something like a college planning session is a great way to get in front of your target audience, parents and students, that will soon need to take out loans. This is a chance to highlight your different loan offerings and ensure your bank or credit union is top of mind when these students and parents are actually ready to take out loans. It can also be a great opportunity to build awareness for your bank or credit union with the community and inform younger students that may not have opened their first bank account yet about your services.
4. Run a Social Media Contest
Running a social media contest can be a super easy and rather inexpensive way to increase your social following and build brand awareness. For example, Northeast Credit Union has run many social media contests including one they did targeted towards local college students called Love Your Campus. A contest where students could win a $100 gift card and also pick an organization at their school to receive a $100 donation. To enter participants had to post a photo of them on their campus to their social media account with the hashtag #LYCampus, tag Northeast Credit Union, and follow the Northeast Credit Union account. By having people post on their own social media accounts their followers learn about the contest and will likely want to enter which makes promoting the contest extremely easy. A contest like this is not hard to put together and the criteria for entry and the giveaway can be whatever you want.
5. Solicit Customer Ideas and Do Good with Guerrilla Marketing
Ask customers and members to take part in some sort of naming contest or competition. Pay someone’s bills for a month. Cater lunch for the local firefighters or teachers. Or better yet, create a unique financial services marketing campaign that engages your members and customers all while giving back to the community. That’s what TD Bank did in their #MakeTodayCount campaign. They asked customers what they would do to improve their community if they had $30,000. Then TD selected the 24 best ideas in 24 communities and gave them each $30,000 to bring their ideas to life. The 24 selected customers had to complete their tasks within 24 hours. And it was all documented on social media. After the campaign was over TD Bank created a microsite to store all of the stories and continued to enjoy the viral effects of their YouTube video and Facebook shares.
6. Humanize Your Bank or Credit Union Using Social Media
Post-2008 banks have struggled to earn customer trust. Social media can provide a perfect medium through which to regain this trust and humanize banks and credit unions. Take Avidia Bank for instance. In order to expand their reach and humanize their brand, Avidia formed the “Avidia Smarties” group, which is a group of brand ambassadors in charge of representing the brand on and off line. The Avidia Smarties are in charge of engaging the community, meeting with local businesses and creating social media buzz. As Katelin Cwieka, marketing specialist at Avidia told The Financial Brand,
“People do business with businesses they know, like and trust. They see our Smarties in the community and on social media sharing the fun things they do at work and locals get an idea of who we are. We give back to the community and help small businesses. We’re not some faceless, cold bank.”
Being active on social also allows your bank to respond to any positive or negative feedback directly, helping you to connect with the community and bolster your brand image.
7. Highlight Your Expertise by Creating Thought Leaders
Banks and credit unions, especially the leaders in these institutions, contain a wealth of information. Banks and credit unions should leverage this expertise to produce rich content and create brand thought leaders who are able to share unique viewpoints and solutions. By publishing original content and research on platforms such as LinkedIn and authoring whitepapers and commentary, your bank’s thought leaders will build a following and can ultimately help your organization grow while simultaneously building brand equity. Here are 12 rules from Forbes for creating great thought leadership content.
8. Participate in the Sharing Economy
The sharing economy is here. Corporations that want to appeal to millennials know that participating in this sharing economy, perhaps through strategic partnerships, will help to ingratiate their businesses brand with this important consumer segment. For example in 2013, Citibank partnered with Motivate, the global leader in bike share, to create Citibike — New York’s bike share system and the largest in the nation. Each bike is wrapped in a Citibike wrapper with the Citibank brand clearly represented. Citibank members also receive 10% off of their yearly Citibike membership.
At SilverCloud, we take great bank marketing strategies and make them even better with a Customer Self-Service solution that integrates across mobile, internet and digital banking channels, to provide a consistent and intelligent buying experience for customers. You implement the marketing strategies and we’ll give you the most effective and robust web tool for growing loans, revenue and deposits. Learn more about Customer Self-Service.