The internet has opened up the planet in a way that few imagined when that first banner ad went live. Back then, you could ignore online marketing in favor of local, traditional campaigns. These days as members get younger and mobile phones make the internet even more accessible, ignoring your website and your presence online is the same thing as ignoring the millions of members who won’t find you. Optimally, every credit union gets their own in-house team. Practically, this just doesn’t fly in an industry that is understaffed and committed to giving members profits instead of a glossy campaign. Online marketing companies solve this problem, and luckily there are several in your market.
There are literally thousands of companies that either specialize in, or at least offer, some form of online marketing support. Since the first banner ad went live a decade ago, an entire industry has sprouted. It’s a veritable smorgasbord of companies promising to get your website to rank better on search engines, build your brand via social media, get links back to your website via sponsored content and press releases, build landing pages and manage your AdWords, AdSense, Analytics and every other ad-related product you might need. Their touted strengths may vary, but all of them guarantee that they can take any website in any industry and rank it.
What some forget to mention is that they usually have hundreds of clients in a range of fields. While the practical applications of online marketing do remain the same in any industry, there’s no denying that every brand is unique and knowledge of the industry it serves is immensely valuable. A credit union looking for an online marketing partner would be well served to hire any number of larger agencies, but the best bet for credit unions is to reach out to online marketing companies who have made their niche in the cooperative market.
To that end, several online marketing firms are doing just that. When WesCom Credit Union ($2.4 Billion, Pasadena, CA) realized there was a need for such a company, they decided to grow their own so to speak. Wescom Resources Group, a CUSO geared towards credit union marketing was launched in 2002.
iDIZ Incorporated, founded in 1998, has specialized in credit union marketing since it’s launch. They work with credit unions of all asset sizes, offering branding, websites and product campaigns/promotions. Most of their work is custom for a specific credit union. Realizing that budgets vary exponentially, they recently launched www.cuSoup.com for marketing budgets on a diet. This site offers credit unions the opportunity to go cooperative on their marketing campaigns by collaborating on creative and then share the content produced on their behalf.
These are just two examples of the options available to credit unions of all asset sizes. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all of the options out there, be aware that there is an industry out there waiting to help.