Community banks and credit unions sometimes make an unfortunate misstep, believing marketing’s focus should be on consumer products and services only. But, when you approach creative content and storytelling strategically, in fact it can support multiple areas—including commercial business lines like lending and treasury services, personal banking, and more. What’s more, you can use content—including social media content, long-form content, video, and digital placements—to highlight some of the highest-value and most interesting and connective relationships your bank has. And, when you do it correctly, these seemingly small pieces of content and short-term campaigns compound into long-term growth. Stated another way, when you prioritize strategic storytelling about larger-deposit customers, you start to paint a picture that makes your organization incredibly relevant in your market over time.
1. Highlight a business client.
Highlighting specific commercial clients have three key benefits. First, it’s interesting content that people stop scrolling to look at. Second, it helps you build goodwill with that client. Third, it shows off the kind of high-value relationships your bank or credit union forges to other potential clients. Now for some practical tips: Create a simple video that shows off the experience of entering the business’s storefront or brick-and-mortar location or perhaps use a photo that shows off the product or service. Something unique happening at the business—like a cute office dog or an endearing couple that launched it into existence. Feature them, and provide some context for who they are and why their story is interesting. Make the caption for your social posts mostly about the customer and the care you put into these types of relationships will certainly shine through.
2. Share updates from food and clothing drives.
As giving season kicks off, look for opportunities to go behind the scenes. Provide updates as the clothing drive receptacle becomes increasingly full. Share stats from the benefitting organizations about the impact of drive items like food, clothing, hygiene products, and other essentials. Look for ways to translate donations into a context that’s tangible. So, instead of saying that a certain number of pounds of food was donated, explain that it’s enough food to feed a certain number of families for a given period of time.
3. Position lenders to be authentic.
When lenders put out compliant content that’s well-aligned with the marketing team’s messaging and storytelling efforts, everybody wins! There are many ways to do this, including stories about lenders that highlight their backgrounds, unique niches, and favorite customers. Even more effective is a combination of content produced by your bank or credit union and content that comes directly from these sales agents. Some ideas: Try a weekly pro tip video posted to social medial by a specific agent. Note the question you’re asking and let the lender provide a quick, helpful answer that shows the breadth and depth of their knowledge on the topic. Another idea: Provide lenders with madlib-style templates that give them easy ways to share their favorite customer stories.
4. Highlight some of the longest-serving members of your team.
One way to show the longevity of your organization’s service to the community is to speak to the tenure of employees within your organization. This has a two-fold benefit in that it also signals to potential employees that your culture is one that folks join and stick with. Talk about the way this highlighted employee has advanced within the organization with flashbacks to the years and decades prior that give context to the story. Sharon Anderson, president of Tennessee-based Williamstown Bank, uses LinkedIn often to give context to and humanize her own unique career trajectory of service. “Twenty two years ago I was approaching my senior year of college and needed a summer job,” she wrote in a LinkedIn post, explaining the happenstance of signing on with a temp agency that placed her with the bank she would lead some two decades later. The story is powerful, and speaks to her knowledge of the industry, but also her community and her roots that run deep within it.
5. Put your team to the test.
Look for opportunities to have a little fun with your team and its senior leadership. Where there are trending moments, culturally relevant happenings, media that catch fire, and other buzzworthy things happening, look for ways to get in on the momentum of their virality. Indeed, it’s quite difficult to produce a viral piece of content out of thin air, but if your approach is to capitalize on the momentum of something people are already talking about, you’re halfway there at the starting line. More practically, use trending audio in mediums like Reels and video. Around the holidays, make a pledge to do something silly or interesting in honor of a good cause. Instead of doing a simple interview, spice things up a little with a unique approach to questions or answers or both.
6. Get social with long-standing campaigns.
Maybe you have a longstanding contest or giveaway: Perhaps it’s a calendar contest where you challenge community members to submit stunning photos as part of the annual calendar, then choose a winner. Perhaps you do an annual campaign that recognizes and sources great stories from members of your community who selflessly give back. Or maybe you do an annual pumpkin carving contest or a challenge that asks people to show off their gameday spirit. These are great opportunities, especially when you make the leap from an email reminder and a social post to a multi-channel, participation driven contest or giveaway. Getting these campaigns onto your social channels helps them reach more people and gives you more opportunities for them to reach and engage more people. In doing so, they become annual traditions that gain more and more traction each year.
7. Team up with nonprofit partners to tell an impact story.
Relatable, human experiences translate into great stories. As a community-focused financial brand, you’re already working with so many organizations as sponsors, partners, volunteers, and supporters. Look for ways to dig deeper than the monetary contributions you make by following the impact of those donations all the way to the people and families they affect. Some content ideas: Connect with a nonprofit partner and discuss how you might be able to tag-team an impact story. Ask: “Is there a person whose experience we can highlight through a mini-interview and some nice photos we can post to our social channels? Tag-teaming this content expands your audience by getting it in front of not only your financial brand’s followers, but the organization’s followers, plus the person at the heart of the story and their networks. This approach has the compounding benefit of highlighting the great work the organization does and spreading more and more awareness for it. It’s worth noting that oftentimes nonprofits will already have a subject or story in mind and are eager to work together to educate the community on their impact.
8. Post a throwback featuring a multigenerational customer.
Sharing a glimpse into the long-lasting relationships your bank or credit union has fostered can be incredibly impactful. It not only showcases your institution’s stability and trustworthiness, but also highlights the depth of your connections with the community. A nostalgic photo or story can evoke emotions and remind your audience of the enduring value your financial institution offers. It’s a powerful way to communicate that you’re not just a bank, but a trusted partner in the financial journeys of families and individuals. When you tell these stories thoughtfully and authentically, you create a narrative that resonates with your audience, reinforcing your position as a reliable and relevant financial institution in the market, and potentially drawing in new deposits as a result.
9. Interview a commercial client with a unique business.
Showcasing innovators, business leaders, and entrepreneurs sheds light on the diverse range of businesses your institution supports while also highlighting your commitment to local economic growth. These interviews can provide insights into the challenges and successes faced by local businesses, creating a relatable and inspiring narrative for your audience. It’s an opportunity to celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit and demonstrate your institution’s dedication to helping businesses thrive. These stories resonate not only with potential depositors but also with other businesses in your community, potentially leading to additional commercial clients and, subsequently, increased deposits.
10. Launch a deposits campaign with touchpoints across channels.
To truly supercharge your efforts in growing deposits, maximize your reach and engagement with both existing and potential depositors via a multi-channel campaign. Your campaign can encompass various digital and traditional marketing channels, such as social media, email marketing, PPC (Pay Per Click) campaigns, and personal outreach from your sales and business development teams. The key to a successful campaign is consistency and a clear, compelling message. When potential depositors encounter your campaign across different platforms, it reinforces your message and the value your institution offers. Plus, it provides flexibility for individuals to engage on the channel of their choice, enhancing the overall customer experience. By strategically planning and executing a multichannel deposits campaign, you can effectively target your audience and guide them towards taking action, all while strengthening your brand’s presence in the market. This approach can significantly contribute to the growth of your deposits and the long-term relevance of your bank or credit union.
Take the Next Steps
Need a hand thinking through short- and long-form content and how to use these mediums across channels and in a unified fashion to drive deposits? Social Assurance is here to help. We work with community banks, credit unions, and financial brands to help bring content to life across platforms.