With more consumers making financial decisions online than ever before, credit unions with websites that amount to nothing more than the characteristic digital brochure are missing the mark. While it can be tempting, don’t get caught up aesthetics alone. Redesigning your website isn’t merely like repainting the walls of a branch; in actuality, it’s more like a branch that needs to be dismantled and rebuilt altogether.
First, step back and contemplate how the new website can help to achieve the following goals:
- Lower acquisition cost of new members
- Deepen your relationship with existing members
- Improve operational efficiency in a digital economy
After deep discussions of these goals, there are many other areas to consider when planning to build a highly-optimized digital marketing and lead generation system. Start by exploring these eight fundamental areas:
- Define the goals for your new website. What do you like about your current website? What don’t you like? What can your new site help you do better?
- Refine your digital brand. Think about your credit union’s brand. Beyond colors and fonts, how can you best communicate your essence online? Use adjectives (trustworthy, honest, professional, etc.) to describe how you want your targets to feel about your institution.
- Establish benchmarks for future review. Understand where you are currently—in terms of search engine rankings, site traffic and online conversions (if possible)—and where you want to be down the road.
- Examine and evaluate the competition. How are your competitors reaching prospective members (or customers) online? What are they offering in terms of functionality that you’re not? Conversely, is there an opportunity to stand out from the pack?
- Consider technology platforms. What platforms do you need to build a website that sells? Consider referral, remarketing, social selling and video hosting.
- Define market segments. All marketing (whether online or traditional) begins with WHO. Who are your target members and how do you connect your brand with who they need you to be?
- Document digital journeys. What channels drive traffic to your site? And more importantly, which ones deliver the best ROI in terms of member conversion?
- Analyze digital content. Keyword research aside, what content do you have on your website that you want to keep? What should be changed? Added?
These are just a few thoughts to start the planning process: Investing in an in-depth discovery and planning session is key to get the ball rolling and help ensure your “digital branch” works for your members and credit union goals.