Success - 3During the Louisiana Credit Union League’s recent marketing conference, Taylor Wells, Matt Purvis and myself had the opportunity to conduct a “Tear it Up” session.” Attendees brought various marketing pieces to the workshop and then panel offered their feedback regarding how to improve them (or “tear it up”). We reviewed e-mail campaigns, YouTube videos, billboards, direct mail, newsletters, statement inserts and all sorts of other material.

During the session several general trends emerged regarding how to improve the marketing pieces at your financial institution. Here are the top 10 principles:

  • Cut the copy—As marketers, we tend to write way too much. We cram our pieces with too much data and information. Once your piece is crafted, review it and reduce the copy by 50%.
  • Make pieces scannable—People do not have time to read all your marketing (see first point above). White space is your friend. Stop the long paragraphs and just use bullets and numbers.
  • Use tips and stories—People love stories. So use them in your marketing. Consumers also crave quick financial tips and information. So provide it.
  • Let the visual dominate—Consumers are drawn to pictures. Make the visual element the key to any of your marketing pieces.
  • Avoid clip art—It’s cheesy, looks cheap, and makes you come across as a mom and pop shop. Invest $25 in a good picture rather than using something from clip art.
  • Watch acronyms—We’re all guilty of using them from time to time. The financial industry is full of them. Try not to shorten your name or your products.
  • Entertain and relate—Use humor and make yourself personable. People don’t want a sales pitch; they want to be entertained. Financial institutions are boring so look for ways to spice up your marketing.
  • Avoid placing text over images—When you put text over an image you make the wording hard to read. Let the picture speak for itself and make sure any text is around, above or below the image.
  • Video is powerful—Drop those traditional annual reports and brochures and replace them with clever video. Remember that YouTube is the number one search engine for consumers under the age of 30.
  • Reposition your pieces—You are producing great stuff (and great copy). So use it in more than one place. This is especially important if you are using a content marketing strategy. For example, you can turn a three minute video into multiple shorter segments you can use on your website, YouTube channel, e-mail campaigns, etc.

All marketing needs feedback. Even if you don’t have the luxury of showing your pieces to a panel of peers you can use the above tips to improve your efforts.