by Lindsey Hefta, Director of Marketing
This year’s New Ideas Conference held in Deadwood, SD was extra for me. Extra what, you ask? Extra everything! Extra special because it was my first event on staff for Dakota Credit Union Association. Extra enticing because it was filled with timely topics and relevant marketing content. Extra collaborating as it was the first time I was able to meet and network with many of you!
One thing that rang true during New Ideas was the theme of storytelling, as Lee Wojnar, VP of Marketing, OBEE Financial stated in his engaging “eMotion: Storytelling” presentation and Lorraine Ranalli, Communications Consultant reiterated in her “Tell Your Story from the Inside Out” presentation. I think Lee said it best when it comes to marketing/storytelling, "It is not a sprint. It's a marathon. It takes time to develop."
What I feel many businesses, including credit unions, don’t know – is just that… how powerful and profound your own story can be. Whether your credit union is over a billion in assets, or just getting started, everyone has a story to tell: how you got your name; how technology has increased your member base; how your CEO drove momentum; your company culture; or even how Patricia in HR volunteers at the soup kitchen every weekend.
Which brings me to my point – storytelling is free. In a world where advertising is more expensive than ever, content creation around your story costs nothing. Utilize this. Emphasize this. Capitalize on this. What makes you different? What makes you stand apart from the other credit unions in the neighboring town? You get to write it. Make sure it is a positive story you are telling.
And you know what else is free? Word of mouth. Word of mouth is directly responsible for 19% of all purchases and influences as much as 90%. Tap into your current customer/member base as well as your own employees to help you effectively spread that story, that differentiator. Have those who know you best spread your message to the people they know? Presumably, those people may already have an association to your brand, your credit union. And best yet? Those people TRUST who they are hearing this from. According to Nielsen, 92% of people trust recommendations from friends and family over any other type of advertising. In this hyperconnected world where we rely on complete strangers’ reviews of a restaurant or clothing company, a single recommendation or positive meeting with your credit union from a KNOWN source --- immeasurable.
Word of mouth consumers are known to convert better because they already have a level of trust and confidence stemming from the person who recommended your credit union, from the person who told your story.
Word of mouth – completely extra, and completely free. Be purposeful in writing and telling your story.
Not sure how to start writing your unique story? I would love to discuss further! Don’t hesitate to contact me
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