This first appeared on the Kansas Credit Union Association website. The post addresses credit unions specifically, but is good reference for any organization.
The new year is all about personal resolutions…things you will do to better yourself mentally, physically or emotionally.
But what about your marketing resolutions? Here are five things you can do to better your credit union’s marketing in 2011.
1. Enhance your website
When was the last time you took a long hard look at your website? Sure you update your special events or post new rates and information, but do you look at your site’s statistics (do you even track your website statistics?) Track your views? Review which pages garner the most traffic?
It might be time to freshen up your site. Content gets stale, graphics overlooked and pertinent information ignored. Change it up a bit. Even simply moving things around on a page might make a difference.
Is contact information included on every page of your site? It should be. Don’t make your users search for information. Your website might be the only contact a potential member (or current member) has with your credit union. Make it a good one.
2. Clean up your media list
With shrinking newsrooms, journalists are busier than ever. They don’t have time to read every press release that is sent to them, and your contact may not even work there anymore. Review your media list and make sure it is still current. Don’t just limit it to traditional media like newspapers, radio and television. Blogs are rising in popularity. Research relevant blogs and read them to see if their content is appropriate to your credit union.
While you’re at it, reach out to a few key media contacts and connect with them. Ask them how they want to be contacted and sent information (via e-mail? A phone call? Should the press release be included in the body of the e-mail or as an attachment?) Ask them what kinds of stories they want to cover in 2011.
3. Engage using social media
It’s time. Time to dabble into using social media. Yes, social networking is still new (Facebook is only five years old, you know) and can be scary, confusing and downright frustrating. But it can also be a great asset to your marketing plan. Start by monitoring your credit union’s name on the internet. Click here for step by step instruction on using Google alerts. Then, search your credit union name on search.twitter.com. See what comes up. You might be surprised. Have you ever searched your organization’s name on Facebook? (You must have a Facebook account to do this). Simply type in your credit union’s name (with quotes around it: “ABC Credit Union.”) Then click search. On the left side of the screen, click on posts by everyone. Is anyone talking about you?
After you’re comfortable with monitoring and listening to what’s being said about your brand online (if anything), set up a Facebook Page or Twitter account. Maybe a blog will work better. But don’t do all three. Just pick one and concentrate on building that community. You can always add more sites later. And guess what? If it’s not working, you can always delete the account.
4. Improve your e-mail marketing
According to e-marketer, e-mail marketing (along with social media) is slated to have increased budgets in 2011. Many credit unions use e-mail marketing to send member newsletters and other information. Is it time to revamp your e-mail marketing? Just like your media contact list, have you cleaned up your e-mail list? Have you added new sections to your e-newsletter?
If you are using a pdf attachment as your newsletter, consider using a free e-mail client like MailChimp. Other e-news service providers are low cost, especially if all you require is a basic package. E-news service providers can offer features like archived newsletters, link tracking, social sharing and much more. Here’s a list.
Maybe just adding a new column to your newsletter is all it will take to freshen up. Just like your website, changing out a graphic or just rearranging things on your e-mail may work wonders for you.
5. Increase participation in your community
A recent survey shows that consumers like organizations that are supporters of their local community. Consider joining your local chamber of commerce, or sponsor a community event. Partner with other organizations (credit unions, other cooperatives, any business) and host a career fair, celebrate a special event or participate in a parade. Is your CEO or President a great speaker? Pitch him or her to talk at one of your chamber’s events. Divide monthly networking events between your employees and ensure that one representative is at each one. Depending on how large your staff is, you may just have to attend one event each year. These are simple yet effective ways to connect with your community.
As many credit unions do during the year, continue to raise funds for other non-profits in need. Have a food drive in April, when supplies may have dwindled. Adopt a classroom from a school in need and supply next year’s school supplies. Or buy them a much needed computer for their classroom. The possibilities are endless.
What are your 2011 marketing resolutions?