When starting with new clients, one of the first questions we ask is 'are you prepared to blog weekly?' And the answer needs to be YES!
Now a lot of people completely freak out when we tell them this. But all is not lost! Here's some keys to attracting more Credit Union members with a well-developed and realistic blogging strategy.
1) Pay Attention to Your Target CU Member's Pain Points
The first task you need to conquer is to define your target personas. This is key to setting SMART goals, and creating a strategy and all content that you will curate and share. Then we blog about issues that will appeal to them.
It’s important that you don’t just blog about financial topics. Consider blogs about fun activities in your area, seasonal topics and leisure ideas that might be of interest to your target audience. And you should definitely blog about everyday problems your persona might be facing.
Research your targets by talking to other members in the same stage of life, talk to friends and family, and do research online. Create a persona by identifying demographics and personal characteristics, hopes and dreams, and worries and problems. Then use this list to inspire your content creation and curation.
2) Don't Write All the Content Yourself
In fact, you don't have to write ANY of it if you really don't want to. There’s great ways to outsource content creation or subscribe to blog content feeds designed specifically for CUs. One of our favorites isToday’s Credit Unions, which offers lots of content for a very reasonable monthly fee.
But my guess is you can find the time to create great content, without a ton of extra stress or worry. First, create a spread sheet of keywords and possible titles that you would like to share in the future. Then when it's time for a new blog, use this sheet and pick a title.
For us, we require that all full-time employees contribute 1-2 blog articles per month. We supplement these with guest blogs and outsource some writing. If you have your keywords set and have titles in place this really isn't that difficult. I firmly believe that the hardest part about a blog is writing a good title and coming up with a quality keyword to focus on.
3) The Title is Half the Battle!
Now, I just mentioned keywords, and maybe I lost you, but stick with me. Keywords are short or long phrases that your target audience might use to search for information online. So, for example, if your Credit Union is targeting young families, in their prime borrowing years, perhaps you should think about keywords around parenting or having your first child.
When blogging for a Credit Union you can put a dollars and cents spin on most things. Do a little keyword research (great tools: keyword.io, Google, HubSpot's keyword tool...) and you might come up with the keyword 'having my first baby.'
Now, if you've never had a baby, maybe you should pass this title off to another writer, but if you have kids my guess is that with minimal research you can take a pretty good stab at this one!
4) Don't Forget to Add a Call-to-Action (CTA)
Once the blog is done and posted there’s a few other important steps. First, you need to SHARE the blog as widely as you can. We send out emails every 2-3 weeks to subscribers with lists of recent articles and short summaries. You can do this for your CU as well.
You should also share blogs 2-3 times weekly on your CU social media, and make sure you include some ad support to increase the reach of these posts and drive more traffic to your Credit Union website.
Most importantly, you will want to capture leads from all this traffic, so with every blog you should include a call-to-action within your blogs and at the end of the article to encourage readers to take a desired action. This could be something simple like download our budget checklist, and then all you have to ask for is the lead’s name and email. You might also remind readers to subscribe for more great content.
5) Finally, Nurture Leads with Emails to Convert
This might be one step, but this part does take time to work. Remember that relationships are formed overnight so email your leads every week or so with great content, testimonials and other kinds of beneficial tips that they might find interesting. Keep in mind that the financial services buying journey can be weeks and months long, so don’t give up too easy.
But you will find that if you stick with this process you be able to impact bottom line revenue and member growth, and this is truly the ultimate marketing goal.
Originally published Oct 18, 2016 7:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017