Without a doubt, people today are looking for companies to provide them with valuable content. They are no longer interested in you disrupting their life and selling to them. When you provide content that helps people make informed decisions about something in life that is important to them, you have the opportunity to become a trusted advisor.
Too much of traditional marketing assumes that someone is ready to buy right now. It’s kind of like asking a girl to marry you on the first date. It’s just way too early for that. When we ask someone to look at me and buy right now, we’re expecting them to take the next step way too early and that will turn them off. Even worse, most times they will totally ignore us now and in the future.
It Starts with A Search or Scroll
You know how it works. You search on Google for something related to what you are interested in. Or, you go to YouTube and search for videos on how to build a deck, fix a leaky faucet, or where to go on vacation. Or maybe you are scrolling through your favorite social app and come across something that interests you. This is the type of content that we engage with. Eventually it likely leads to a company or person that provides the insights we are looking for with additional information on a topic, product or service. It’s about creating value. When we do this, it naturally leads to future influence and opportunities.
We Ask For the Sale Too Soon
In the financial services industry where I work with lots of clients, I see too many people ask for the “Sale” way too soon. It happens all the time. What’s even worse is that we are actually asking people to compare us on price before we have created additional value or enhanced our brand. Remember, when it comes to price (Rates and Fees) that’s a battle you can’t always win. Plus, rate shoppers are typically less loyal.
I know that rate is important in deposits, and if we want to grow assets, rate is a driver, but it’s still not the only factor that will make people stick with you. When customers and members believe in your brand, they will always be less rate-sensitive. Some of our best opportunities to engage people for loans come by highlighting payment – not rate. Rising C and B credit borrowers do not care about rate, they care about payment. How much can I afford each month is what’s on their mind. Except for 0% financing, when does any car dealer use rate as a pitch, they always focus on payment.
Content Adds Value to Your Marketing
Let’s get back to using content. During a loan marketing campaign, the use of content can look like this. Say you are thinking about a refinancing campaign for late January. Rather then just pushing your super-low rate (which by the way may not be the best), how about making your message more about them and their dreams. What about something like “6 Ways To Lower Your Monthly Payments During 2019 – More Money For You!” This type of content can be used as part of a Blog, on Social Media, or part of an Educational Email campaign. Obviously video content is really powerful and the best way to get your content seen.We should definitely be adding more video to our marketing mix during 2019.
You still can create your standard marketing around the re-fi campaign, but you’re not asking for the “sale” right now. You are creating engagement and building trust and value. Think about it, we usually ask someone to apply online, Call Us, or Stop by a Branch – and do it TODAY! I’m not saying these things are wrong, we’re just asking too soon. What about some other options to create engagement. How about content that allows people to learn more about how refinancing benefits them and saves them money? And then eventually you can tastefully mix in messages about why you are the best place to refinance.
Content Article Ideas
Since many credit unions and banks are looking for loans, here’s a short list of some content topics that would be helpful to consumers. These all would relate well and work with most loan marketing programs.
- The 5 Best Home Improvement Investments (Home Equity and Mortgage)
- Tips on Choosing the Right Contractor (Home Equity and Mortgage)
- Making a Splash With Your New Pool – Dive In With Confidence. (Home Equity)
- Smart Ways to Pay for College (Home Equity, Student Loans)
- 4 “Can’t Miss” Retirement Strategies (Deposits, Investment Services)
- Kitchen Remodeling Made Easy & Affordable (Home Equity, Credit Card, Personal Loans)
- Making Room for Baby (Home Equity, Credit Card, Mortgage)
- Do Your Homework to Get Your Best Car Deal
- Car Buying Nightmares – Lessons We’ve Learned (Auto Loans)
- Protecting Your New or Used Auto Purchase (Auto Loans)
You get the idea. Articles and content that help people and position you and your financial institution as a “Helpful Advisor” are going to create the trust and value that builds your brand. There are many ways to convert people who view this type of content into customers and members. Building marketing paths and through the use of CRM, Marketing Automation and retargeting allows us to convert these interested consumers into lifelong customers and members.
What Are The Content Obstacles?
Most people get the theory of how to use content. Unless you live in an offline world, you also start looking for information online. The 3 Primary Reasons marketers don’t use enough content are:
- Time – Developing content takes time. Many people just don’t have the time to create great content. If that’s the case with you, you should consider having someone create it for you. Not producing content is a bad idea. It’s easy to find people to do this for you.
- Money – Creating content takes both time and money. For some reason marketers will spend money on traditional marketing, but when it comes to content – there is no budget for that. It’s a lot less expensive than many forms of traditional marketing and right now, it’s underpriced attention. Keep in mind that underpriced, affordable content and ads on Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat and other social networks won’t remain underpriced forever. The more it becomes mainstream, the more it will cost.
- Conversion & ROI – Content does not always lead to an immediate sale. So many marketers have trouble selling the idea to the “Boss” since measuring ROI is a primary goal and they want to see conversions happen right now. Tracking clicks on content and building marketing paths is a process. Build a content strategy and you’ll see amazing results that will lead to sales.
Wrap It Up
Every marketer needs to be in the content creation game. Great content will allow you to position your company in the eyes of existing customers and members as caring about them and helping them to learn more about how to achieve their dreams. It will also allow you to engage new people with information they can use and ultimately why they should do business with you.
STOP SELLING and start engaging with valuable content and watch what happens!
Bill McKenna is the Vice President of Client Strategy & Growth at Colorworks and Membership Marketing. He’s worked with hundreds of credit unions and community banks during his 30-year career and helped them create powerful brands, grow assets, grow loans, attract new customers and members, and increase use of products and services. Membership Marketing has worked with more than 2,000 credits nationwide for nearly 30 years. Bill can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.