Acquiring and retaining commercial and small business memberships are an important part of credit union business operations. Throughout 2020, we supported the development of a marketing strategy aimed at increasing awareness of Atlantic credit unions’ small business products and services among current and prospective small business owners/members.
To help us reach our goal of increasing awareness, a series of tactics were deployed to help us align with our strategy. This included sharing testimonial style videos and content through our financial blog, HonestMoney.ca. Despite challenges facing small businesses as a result of COVID-19, business membership had a net increase of 162 members in 2020 and Atlantic Business Magazine’s readers named credit unions the Best Financial Institution in Atlantic Canada for Small Businesses.
To promote credit unions’ small business offerings, a mix of online paid media, earned media, and owned media was applied, as well as providing credit unions with materials to promote to their membership.
- We developed a small business campaign and partnered with a media buyer, Time + Space Media, to develop a paid media strategy targeting our audiences on the channels we knew they frequented. To augment the regional marketing efforts, we provided materials and tools for credit unions to promote at the branch level to easily connect with their current and/or prospective business members through direct mail, radio, email marketing, website, social media, in-branch, etc.
- In June 2020, we joined credit unions across the country in the #loyal2localchallenge to support small businesses in our communities. As part of this initiative, we gave each Atlantic Canadian credit union employee $25 to spend at a local small business of their choice to help provide financial support to local businesses impacted by the pandemic. The initiative resulted in $67,000+ spent at local businesses and generated social media conversations, over 2 million media impressions, and most importantly encouraged conversations to support local.
- To help audiences understand the credit union difference when it comes to small business, we partnered with two social media influencers who started their business in 2020 with the help of their credit union. We shared their story through a four-part video series generating thousands of brand mentions and interest/inquiries for our small business offering.
- Through our sponsorship of Your Two Cents (a web series that aims to inform the next generation how to be savvy with their money), we promoted videos featuring small business stories and tips for starting a business.
We interviewed seven small business members and created videos to share their business stories and testimonials from their experience of working with their credit union, sharing their stories through our owned channels such as Honestmoney.ca and Atlantic Credit Unions social media.