Let’s face it — credit unions have a certain image. This usually involves a hometown sort of prestige that comes with images of older citizens, conservative values and local grandeur. None of these things scream “digital marketing,” and yet that’s the era we’re in. No matter whether this image of a decades old, well-established, “mom and pop” credit union is correct, that’s what comes to mind when talking about this industry. This is your hill to conquer.


Part of the problem lies in how credit unions market themselves. They usually aren’t as large as competing area banks, and therefore don’t have as much of a marketing budget. Credit unions also have to spread their budget thinner as they have local marketing vehicles like mailed fliers and paper advertising to worry about, unlike other businesses that focus more heavily on online advertising.


Don’t worry — if you’re a credit union owner or work as a credit union marketer, you do have fairly easy options available to you if you want to bring a credit union into the 21st century with regards to advertising presence.




1. Instagram


Sometimes all you need to appeal to a more modern audience is to integrate yourself into modern channels. In this case, you’ll be taking what people consider to be a dated business and inserting it into the latest and greatest social media channel: Instagram.


Instagram offers your credit union a variety of benefits, some of which are explained here by The Financial Brand.


  • Modern clients are on modern social media channels. Credit unions that want to attract new blood should look no further than Instagram. It’s easy to reach millennials and young students who are in need of banking options via these platforms, and there is no shortage of users to target.
  • Instagram offers a human touch to an “inhuman” business. Financial institutions get a bad rap, and there are a myriad of reasons why. Credit unions that want to shed that cold, robotic exterior can benefit from Instagram marketing that gives them a more human edge.
  • Credit unions benefit from visual marketing. Visual marketing pulls back the curtain on a sector that doesn’t have a lot of traditional visual appeal.


2. Personalization


Modern marketing is all about the human aspect of advertising. Recently businesses have taken to throwing out facts and figures as a means of convincing and have instead gone with a more emotional approach. This is what it means to know your audience — you understand them on a human level and know what makes their mind move towards certain decisions.


Personalized, human content also helps further establish a credit union as a more personable business. It’s easier for consumers to connect with personal content rather than facts and figures all the time. Are both important? Yes. However, an even mix of more personal content with content related to banking issues is key.


How do banks get more personal? By staying local. Whether it’s the story of a member (used with permission) or user generated content related to the community, there’s a lot of marketing potential in local communities.

3. Demographic Restructuring


Credit unions need to realize they aren’t marketing enough to modern demographics. While they may keep older members in mind because of their loyalty to the credit union, millennials and older teens are routinely left out of credit union marketing strategies.


The reason these age groups are so important is because these consumers are the new blood of banking. They’re looking to open their first checking account so they can deposit work checks, or looking for a bank to borrow from to lease their first apartment. And even if credit unions DO consider younger adults a marketable demographic, they likely aren’t marketing to them in the ways they should be.


Financial establishments can’t market to 20-year-olds like they did in 1980. Millennials like mobile marketing, social targeting and engaging content. Do your current strategies meet this criteria?


Looking for more credit union marketing ideas? Take a more in depth look at how you can incorporate user generated content into your strategy to provide a more personalized feel for your customers.