The first blog came on the scene in 1994. Since that time, credit unions and banks have either embraced the marketing tool, given it haphazard attempts, or ignored the opportunity altogether.
You might be surprised to learn, then, that we still suggest blogging as a tool for credit union and bank marketing teams. In fact, as we audit marketing materials for credit unions around the country, we’ve found that content is still king and the financial blog isn’t dead. It’s just changing.
Here are six reasons why.
Consumers today crave authenticity. They want to know your credit union or bank like they know a friend. They want to know they can trust you.
Alliant Credit Union has an outstanding blog called “The Money Mentor.” You can check it out here. They update the blog regularly (a key blogging best practice) with financial tips and tricks that aren’t trying to shove Alliant CU’s products or services down readers’ throats.
Think about this: what if your website made readers feel the way your members feel when they walk out of your branch after an outstanding experience? Well-written and well-timed blog content has the power to do just that.
SEO, search engine optimization, is what tells Google and other search engines to put your content above another websites’ content. It determines how relevant you are to the user’s needs. A blog helps produce regular content, which helps boost your SEO, which helps get more eyes on your website.
According to digital marketing expert Neil Patel, 93 percent of all online experiences begin with a search engine, and 75 percent of users never scroll to the second page of search results. If you want that 75 percent to find you, then you have to utilize a content machine like a blog.
Financial education is one of the greatest gaps in credit union service today…especially if you’re trying to reach millennials.
For example, Money Under 30 found that 78 percent of millennials believe their financial state will improve, while an Edelman study found that only 52 percent of affluent millennials and 30 percent of nonaffluent millennials have enough savings to cover six months’ living expenses.
Clearly, there’s a financial education gap here.
Your blog is an ideal place to provide that education. By providing these educational resources on a consistent basis, you position your credit union as the expert. And who do people come to when they need financial help? Experts.
People today aren’t reading, they’re skimming and they’re watching. So why have a blog (or a blog about blogging) in the first place? Because a blog doesn’t have to be written! Your credit union blog can be a series of financial resource videos, meet the executive team interviews or member testimonials.
Cisco predicts video content will make up 85 percent of U.S. consumer Internet traffic by 2020. Wirebuzz found that viewers retain 95 percent of the information conveyed in a video, versus 10 percent conveyed in text. Use your blog as a prime video opportunity.
We often coach credit union marketing executives looking to save time and streamline their marketing efforts to use a “hub and spoke” content marketing strategy.
This highly effective approach puts your blog at the center of your marketing content. Everything else—Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc.—comes from the blog. The way you display the content will look different for different platforms, but starting with one piece of content takes away the stress of trying to create unique content for every platform.
6) You’re reading this blog, aren’t you?
If the content is valuable, relevant and helpful, people are going to read it. Period. They might not read every word, but they will click on your content, get the highlights and walk away with a greater appreciation for your credit union as the expert.
A few bonus tips for stellar blog writing:
- Keep paragraphs and sentences short. These are key to website readability.
- Limit industry jargon. Extra points if you can eliminate it all together.
- Change up your topics. Don’t always right about financial products.
For more insight on how to successfully integrate blogging into your marketing mix, check out this previous blog post from my colleague Taylor Wells.