While in-person events are on hold for the most part, it doesn't mean that engaging with your community should be on hold as well. When you can't have in-person events, it requires that you use creative and often virtual means to build and maintain a valuable connection with prospective, new, and existing members of your credit union.
Here are seven ways you can engage with your community in the absence of in-person events.
1. Online financial webinars
Online webinars can be used similarly to how you would use an in-person workshop.
For example, if you planned to host a workshop on homeownership at a local library, you could turn the same presentation into an online webinar.
Not only are you able to share valuable information, but it's also a great lead generation strategy to add new potential members to your email list or to see which members might be interested in a different product or service.
Also, online webinars don't have to be a one-way communication street. With the right software, attendees can ask questions and feel like they're interacting with you live - just like at an in-person event.
Online financial webinars also allow you to partner with different community groups to reach different audiences. In doing so, you can share the desired financial information, and more people learn about your credit union and how you can support them with their banking needs.
2. Live videos
Live videos are another great way to connect with the members and potential members of your credit union.
The purpose can be similar to an online webinar, but live videos are often more informal.
You might not have the same promotional period or require that you collect email addresses from participants to attend.
You can also host live videos more frequently based on topics you think your social media audience would be most interested in.
Live videos can be hosted on various social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube and Twitter, depending on your audience.
3. Content marketing
While content marketing isn't always live, like a webinar or live video, it can deliver similar value and engagement with your audience. What's even better is you can do so consistently.
For example, creating weekly blog posts allows you to regularly provide value related to your finances, while also creating content that you can share with your audience via social media or email marketing.
Plus, when you utilize content marketing and implement SEO strategies, you can improve your organic ranking for your desired keywords, which is a win-win.
4. Social media
The odds are that your audience is on one or more social media platforms. Consider how you can use social media strategies to connect with them.
Share promotions, hold contests, introduce members of your staff; the options are endless.
There are numerous ways to take advantage of social media's popularity to maintain a connection with your audience and grow your audience, even when in-person events are canceled.
Another benefit is that using social media allows you to attract a younger audience since young people make up a large portion of social media users.
You will probably need to invest some money in boosting you social media posting to your audience, since organic reach on social media has dwindled to very low levels, even among people who follow your page.
5. Engaging email marketing
You can use email marketing to nurture your members or connect with them by sharing engaging content. While you should have a strategy that implements both, sending engaging emails to your members is a great way to remain in contact.
When you get a new member, they might not have as much face to face contact with credit union employees as they did pre-COVID-19. Still, with an engaging onboarding sequence, they'll feel connected with the person behind the credit union and that they're part of the family.
You can utilize automation and segmenting to send personalized content based on your members' financial wants and needs. Personalized emails tend to be more well-received by readers.
6. Text engagement
Like email marketing, you can use text messages to engage with your members and maintain a connection.
Also, text messages tend to have a higher conversion rate in terms of eyes on your content than email marketing or even social media, since most people will read a text message, even if they don't check their email or social media profile.
Since text marketing isn't yet widely used, your text messages aren't flooded with spam or content that doesn't interest you, that's why you want to read your messages. Use this sparingly and only when you have something really compelling to say, so that you don’t annoy your members.
7. Link building
Link building is an SEO strategy that helps you rank higher for your desired keyword. While this isn’t a direct method of engaging with your community, it sets you up to have a higher profile and visibility to that community.
Links are a significant factor in Google's algorithm. So, as you please Google, you rank higher, and more of your ideal customers can find your products and services organically. That leads to you being able to reduce your paid advertising efforts and reap the benefits of increased organic traffic.
Virtual Engagement With Your Credit Union Community
Credit union community involvement and member engagement don't stop because in-person events do. Instead, you can implement any number of virtual methods to build and maintain a connection with your potential and current members.
Whether it's text marketing, live videos, or social media, you want a strategy to maintain a relationship with your members.
Interested in learning more about how you can improve your credit union's visibility in the community that it serves? Click the button below to take a look at some of the most effective Local SEO Strategies for Credit Unions.