Digital Marketing Strategies For Credit Unions
Marketing has gone digital and credit union marketing is no exception. In today’s day, it is imperative for credit unions to monitor their online presence, create quality content, manage their social media profiles effectively and put forth an ongoing SEO strategy.
According to Inc.com, 86% of consumers say search engines are very important in the buying and decision making process. Negative reviews online threaten hard-earned search result rankings.
Credit union Search Engine Optimization (SEO) reputation is a systemic task within an overall business strategy. While you may not be able to completely remove unwanted content from the Internet, you can mitigate the impact it has on your organization’s online reputation by implementing strategic SEO techniques. Even with a strong reputation, the following steps can help boost your financial institution’s placement among search results, which is of the utmost importance. According to a study conducted by online ad network, Chitika, the top listing in Google’s organic search results receives 33% of the traffic, the second position receives 18%, and the traffic continues to drop as the placements descend.
As consumer behaviors evolve, trends in search continue to move toward providing localized results that are delivered quickly and accurately to a mobile user. For this reason, it’s crucial to implement a strategy that is focused on getting your credit union’s name in search results relevant to your member’s industry and location based on positive interactions relevant content.
Creating a Digital Marketing Strategy for your Credit Union
Step 1: Audit your existing presence.
Do searches on your own credit union and your industry to see what type of content is ranked. Remember, when looking at the results it’s important to not just look at what others have been posting, but also what their content – including your own- says about your reputation.
You will likely notice a few main content categories:
Consumer Reviews: Due to the rising prevalence of social media, review sites, and the sinking trust in purchased advertisements, consumers are turning to online searches in order to see what others have to say about a credit union’s services or experience. According to a survey cited by Time Magazine, 9 in 10 consumers state their investment decisions have been influenced by online reviews.
Social Media: No matter which platforms you’re active on, what is your credit union’s self-published content saying about the state of your organization, and what are fans and followers saying about you? From Facebook Reviews to unmanned platforms, there’s plenty of room for an online reputation to plummet in the hands of social media if not properly maintained.
Owned Content: Are you publishing ‘How To’ articles, news articles, or any other unique content? What type of image is your own content creating? Ensure you’re consistently publishing content that makes you positively stand out among your industry and connect with target audience and their specific financial needs.
Step 2: Maintain or Address the Existing Content
- Delete What You Can
If the content is self-published by your credit union, clean up your image by deleting all questionable content or outdated information that may make you appear less savvy. Keep in mind there may be a delay in search engines taking note that the content is no longer on the Internet and removing it from results.
- Is Anything Illegal?
In late 2013, the Federal Financial institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) disbursed guidelines for what financial entities are allowed to share through social media. Failure to comply with these types of guidelines will not only damage your credit unions reputation, but can also result in serious legal action to be taken against the organization.
- Reply to Posts and Comments
Do your absolute best to respond, address and resolve any posted grievances. The best way to counter negative feedback is by responding in a manner that best reflects your credit union’s dedication to quality service to their members. This not only helps to directly mitigate any negative posts, it can also help bury search results.
Step 3: Create an Identity Hub
Purchase domain names that have your organization’s name and any relevant keywords for the types of members you service and direct these URLs to your main website. You will also want to link your active social media platforms, blogs or other posts to your credit union’s site to help guide search engines to the hub.
Step 4: Post Unique Content
- Post, Post, Post!
The more content that is curated by you and posted on your own website, social media platforms and blogs, the better. Relevant, keyword-rich posts will get picked up by the search engines and help move this positive content to the top of search results.
- Competing Posts
You may not be aware, but Google likes to only rank one result per domain name page. Because of this, you may notice a negative post about your services on a high traffic news site such as Huffington Post, try your best to have another article posted on that domain page for a better chance of bumping the older, negative post out of search results and replacing it with the new link. One way to accomplish this is to create a profile on that news site using your credit union’s full name, and include as many links as possible pointing to your website, social media and any other platforms in your description. Also, link to this profile from the rest of your web touch points.
Step 5: Consider Hiring Someone to Actively Maintain Your Online Identity
If you are an active and growing credit union, it may be beneficial to hire an agency to manage your search results reputation. A proven agency can create a proactive, integrated SEO strategy including content planning, public relations, crisis management and web development to help your company stay ahead of the curve.
With these five steps in mind, you can change the impact of a potentially harmful negative web presence and cultivate a positive online identity. It is crucial to have a firm grasp on what members are saying about your credit union’s services.