Establishing a presence in the world of Web 2.0 seemed like the logical next step for Travis Credit Union (TCU). After extensive market research, the credit union learned that approximately 75% of their members are referred by existing members. Since TCU had a broad base of members that were already strong advocates for the credit union, getting them on a social platform would allow them to promote TCU even more efficiently.
TCU launched their TCU-Tube Viral Video Contest in the summer of 2008. They asked their members to post a video "that depicts what you enjoy doing, and how Travis Credit Union has helped you do it." The success of the video contest deepened usage of the online channel by members, helping justify further investment in a Web 2.0 strategy.
VP of Marketing and Product Development Cathy Rios explained many of their members either had a YouTube account, or were sufficiently familiar with the technology, making YouTube a sensible place for TCU to host video contest. YouTube also scrubs all uploaded videos for viruses, automatically converts the video file, and hosts the video on its own servers, saving TCU valuable time and resources.
Travis created a group on YouTube, and instructed contestants to upload their video to the group by the end of October for their chance to win the $500 grand prize. On this same page, the winner was announced, making TCU's YouTube page the central hub for the contest. Afterward, the winning video (above) was featured on their TCU-Tube site, created in response to the contest. Now, TCU-Tube is part of their 21 and under portion of their website, along with various instructional videos educating visitors about bill pay, online banking, and other financial needs.
An Early Victory
As Product Manager John Ferver noted, one of the main goals of this contest was to increase traffic to the website and broaden awareness of TCU. To this end, the contest was a success. There was a significant spike in the number of monthly visits, and more importantly, 18% of visitors had never been to the site before. Further, average time spent on the site increased by 40%. The addition of video content compelled visitors to stay at the site longer, increasing TCU's potential for promotion and cross-selling new products and services.
The TCU-Tube contest is just one component of a comprehensive online strategy. In addition to creating their new 21 and under site, TCU joined Facebook earlier this year. To generate interest in the credit union’s presence, they announced via their e-newsletter and their quarterly magazine that if you "Find us on Facebook; you could win a $100 gift card."
On this page, TCU highlights other contests their fans may be interested in, such as the Swipe-and-Sign contest, where members can win $500 by using their TCU credit cards. They also plan to use their Facebook page to announce an upcoming Member Referral Campaign, launching April 15. By using their Facebook page to announce contests and offers, TCU makes proper utilization of the channel by giving members and non-members a compelling reason to visit their page.
TCU has built up a significant online presence, doubling the number of members joining online per month in 2009. The online channel is seeing about as much activity as one of their medium-sized branches. According to Rios, thanks to the efficiency of social media, new members are acquired "at a significantly lower service cost," a win for the members and a win for TCU!