If you’re like me, you look forward to setting New Year’s resolutions. But whether you resolve to eat healthier, read more or reconnect with family and friends, you know that by sticking to your commitments, good things will happen and your goals will be achieved.
What about your credit union and its goals? Chances are you’re doing a good job – maybe even a great job – serving the Latino community. You’re reaching them in meaningful ways and supporting various social, educational and financial causes designed to win their trust and build long lasting relationships. But who else knows about the goodness and success of your efforts?
I’d like to challenge you to make a special New Year’s resolution for your credit union: In 2020, continue to serve the Latino community as well or better than you are currently, and make it a point to tell the world about it.
Good news doesn’t have a season, and the challenges faced by the Latino population, especially immigrants, are always present. The work credit unions do to serve Latinos is critical to helping many of them have a trusted partner to achieve their financial goals with. Your work with the Latino community aligns with the credit union member-service mission of people helping people. Publicly broadcasting your efforts and their successes helps the Latino community trust and thrive, which helps credit unions grow.
Here are some ideas to help you meet the goals of your New Year’s resolution:
Develop a Latino Services Communication Plan, one that identifies service highlights throughout the year and ways to leverage those highlights. Include methodologies, objectives, steps toward achieving those objectives and measurable results. Find your communication niche in the Latino community. As the saying goes, failing to plan is planning to fail, so make this the first step in defining and outlining your efforts.
Target media outlets and other influencers who you know will help carry your message. Local publications and broadcast stations thrive on meaningful news for and about their audiences. Understand their preferences, “hot button topics” and target messaging you think will appeal to them. Every newsperson loves an exclusive, and working directly with reporters, editors and broadcasters is the best way to create a relationship that will lead to future opportunities.
Take appropriate advantage of available news options. Know the difference between a good news story and effective op-ed topics. Invite TV news teams into the credit union for newsworthy (and visually appealing) celebrations, or volunteer experts for on-air talk shows. Establish appropriate staff as subject experts who can speak knowledgeably about Latino and immigrant issues in print interviews or as part of panel discussions. A good source is a reporter’s best friend, so strive to become one.
Take your message to the street, literally and figuratively. Look for opportunities to address social organizations like Rotary Clubs or church congregations. Be willing to work with local or state government bodies seeking information for passing regulations or legislation. Partner with other reputable social groups that share a common purpose with your credit union in serving the Latino community.
Finally, use your imagination. If your resolution is to serve the Latino community and tell the world, how far can you extend your reach as an influencer to achieve your goals? Remember that credit unions started as someone’s good idea and blossomed into a global cooperative financial movement in the span of a few generations. For someone with a good idea, a dedicated heart and boundless energy, anything is possible.
Good luck with your resolutions and happy New Year!Leave a comment
Digital transformation is the new buzz phrase across many industries, including financial services. And while optimizing consumers’ experience should be the focus of digital transformation, a successful strategy isn’t one-size-fits-all. It’s important for credit union leaders to recognize that different consumer segments have different needs and wants when it comes to their use of digital tools.
A new eMarketer study, U.S. Hispanics and Digital, reveals some of the unique digital characteristics of the Hispanic consumer segment. According to the study, the Hispanic “digital divide” has mostly closed, with about eight in 10 Hispanics now using the Internet.
However, fewer than half of Hispanics have home broadband and nearly a quarter of Hispanic Internet users don’t own a computer. Meanwhile, nearly seven in 10 Hispanics have a smartphone, and their daily time spent using mobile (3 hours) is more than an hour higher than non-Hispanics.
Digital video is popular among Hispanics, with 47 percent (vs. 32 percent of total respondents) saying they use streaming services such as Netflix more than they watch traditional TV. Additionally, Pew Research Center’s January polling identified 78 percent of Hispanic adults as YouTube viewers, compared to 73 percent of total adults.
Hispanics also tend to be active on social media. Nearly two-thirds use social media, and about half are on Facebook. Data also suggests Hispanics are less likely than others to have a negative view of digital advertising.
With these findings in mind, below are some best practices for credit union leaders to consider for enhancing the Hispanic digital experience.
Optimize for mobile. Make sure your website and digital banking tools are mobile-friendly to accommodate Hispanics’ smartphone-centric behaviors. If your credit union doesn’t have a mobile app, consider implementing one.
Opt for speed over complexity. Because many Hispanics don’t have home broadband and likely rely on their smartphone carrier data to access the Internet, make sure your website and digital banking tools aren’t overly complex. Large photos and fancy animations are fun but can be difficult to load on a phone that’s not connected to WiFi.
Prioritize video. Video’s ability to grab consumers’ attention, create immersive experiences and spark engagement makes it a powerful means of communication, especially with Hispanics who over-index on digital video usage. Consider making video a key focus of your Hispanic marketing efforts.
Adjust advertising budgets. Because Hispanics tend to use digital video and social media more than they watch traditional TV, advertising on places like YouTube, Facebook, and other mobile channels may be a better use of advertising dollars. The average cost of a 30-second primetime television commercial during the 2016-2017 season was $2,500. Think for a minute (or 30 seconds) about how many mobile and social media ads your credit union could deliver with that kind of investment.
As with any Hispanic outreach strategy, the most important thing to keep in mind in your digital transformation journey is that different segments should not be treated as a single, undifferentiated market. Understanding various consumer segments and how they engage digitally is the first step to providing an exceptional consumer experience.Leave a comment
Google recently surveyed more than 4,500 U.S. Hispanics ages 18-64 about their preferences related to online sources, digital ads and search. The study found U.S. Hispanics use online sources at a higher rate (54 percent) than the general population (46 percent) throughout the purchase journey. It also found:
How can credit unions and other organizations dedicated to serving the underserved Hispanic community meet them where they already are – online and on mobile? Below are a few examples of online and mobile resources being tapped by organizations to do just that.
Putting a twist on the GoFundMe model, PayPal just launched Money Pools, a service that lets people create pages to fundraise for a specific item or effort among family and friends. Could this become a digital tanda? Although the service is too new to have data on usage rates, the focus on family and friends could resonate among many within the Hispanic community.
Social Media Influencers
Connecting with Hispanic consumers online requires not only understanding where they are, but also how they want to be connected with. Google’s study found that including culturally relevant content – food, family and traditions – resonates with U.S. Hispanics online. Consider incorporating content that Hispanic members care about or that which is unique to the Hispanic experience. While not as important as culture, language also matters. For some U.S. Hispanic consumers, Spanish and bilingual content are signals you want to engage with them.Leave a comment
There’s no question social media is an important channel for engaging Hispanic consumers. According to recent research by Viant, nearly 50 percent of Hispanic shoppers reported they had either discussed a brand online with others or used a brand’s hashtag in social messaging (this compared to 17 percent of non-Hispanic shoppers).
Analyzing social media habits by channel, Viant said Hispanic Millennials are more active on Twitter and Instagram compared to non-Hispanic Millennials. However, the amount of time spent on Facebook is relatively similar between the two groups.
Another platform that should not be discounted is video. In its report How Hispanic Consumers Engage with YouTube, Google shares some interesting insights:
— 75 percent of Hispanics go to YouTube first when they want to learn more about a product or service by watching a video
— Nearly 1 in 2 Hispanic smartphone video viewers look for video content relevant to them as Hispanics and are more likely to watch ads that contain aspects of Hispanic culture
— Of U.S. Hispanics who visit YouTube at least once a month, 60 percent watch videos in English always/most of the time; 28 percent watch videos in English and Spanish equally; and 12 percent watch videos in Spanish always/most of the time.
— 83 percent of Hispanic video viewers will read or post comments, watch recommended videos or like or rate videos
BEST PRACTICE: To achieve the best results when engaging Hispanic consumer segments through YouTube and other social media channels, ensure the content is culturally relevant and language appropriate.
How One Credit Union is Engaging Members on YouTube
Ascentra Credit Union in Bettendorf, Iowa, is leveraging the power of YouTube to engage consumers through a video series called Ascentra Making Cents. New videos focused on financial topics like credit scores, the home buying process, spending plans, tax returns and the credit union difference, are available monthly on Ascentra’s YouTube channel.
The credit union is currently in the process of adding Spanish subtitles to the videos using funds it received from the 2017 Warren Morrow Hispanic Growth Fund Grant for Hispanic Outreach.
“This will give us some content in Spanish that we can share on social media to interact in a new way with current members, future members and any Spanish-speaking individuals worldwide,” said Alvaro Macias, Ascentra’s AVP of community development. “These videos will be shared with our community partners, such as Habitat for Humanity Quad Cities, Esperanza Legal Assistance Center and the Floreciente Neighborhood Association – a predominantly Hispanic neighborhood in Moline, Illinois, for them to share through their networks.”
Ascentra also has a highly successful Facebook page, with nearly 2,500 followers and frequently updated content focused on Ascentra’s community involvement, as well as product and service updates.Leave a comment
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