Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Get Engaged (to Younger People)

When we talk about engagement, we have to talk about the "m" word.


There's a lot of fascination around this word. Seriously, do a quick Google News search using just that word and you'll be a combination of amused/horrified. Baby boomers are so lucky they grew up in a world without internet and didn't have to hear/see people talking about what kind of people they are all the time. 

However, there's no denying that millennials are a valuable demographic to...everyone, mostly. And this isn't a new trend. Historically, young people are the most valuable demo to advertisers and brands because, well, they buy stuff. 

And because they buy stuff (a lot of stuff, really) they need a strong financial institution to show them how to invest, where to put their money, give them long term financial education, etc. However, in regards to credit unions, this is easier said than done. 

*Because this article is about millennials, the rest of the blog will be accompanied by gifs.

Really, all financial institutions have a problem with younger consumers, it's just that credit unions are already fighting an uphill battle in terms of awareness. As we've mentioned here before, studies have shown that less than 50% of Americans are aware of credit unions and the services they offer. Even fewer reported seeing credit union ads. Obviously, this makes us feel a bit frustrated.

But there are ways to combat the problem. 

First and foremost, your financial institution needs to be constantly, constantly creating content for a younger demographic. And no, not just gifs, but compelling content that provides financial advice relevant to their lives as young adults. A recent study done by NewsCred showed that 55% of younger individuals would trust a financial institution more if they received helpful, unbiased content from them. 50% said they would stay loyal if the institution provided high quality content. 

The study also showed that 18-24 year olds are less deterred by commercial messages within content. 

So what kind of content are we talking about here? We personally believe that social media is a huge part of this. Why? Because people, young, old or middle-aged, want to engage with brands. It's the world we live in now. And if you're on Facebook, great start, but if you're just on Facebook, you're a few years behind in this content game. People are expecting content from you brand from multiple sources, and they'll want variety from those sources, too. 

It's not enough to just write articles about how to plan to pay off student loan debt, you have to: 

a) Present those articles in a compelling style (e.g. infographics, texts with image, videos, etc.) 
b) Share them in interesting ways 
c) Give people a chance to engage with them 

You may not think there's an interesting way for your brand to be on Instagram, but it's only because you haven't thought of the best way yet (and no, it's not sharing memes). 

And also, be honest with yourself: when you were in your early to mid 20s, did you want to read articles about finance? Do you want to do it now? The content should always lead back to finance but that doesn't mean you article just has to be "Here's how to save money" (read in a Ben Stein voice). It could be "10 Places You Could Visit if You Start Saving Now." 

Basically, the content to engage with your younger members is already there and the tools are already at your disposable. You just have to realize that there's more than one way to use those tools and go to work.

(pictured: Your reaction to this blog)