Community outreach — How your bank can make a big impact (and get more customers)
With so much emphasis on online marketing and digital advertising, it’s easy to forget that one of the most powerful ways a bank or credit union can reach people is in the real world. We’re not talking about TV, radio, or print ads (although they can help) — We’re thinking of something a bit more grass roots — Outreach and giving something back, through networking, education, and other activities to help teach people about their financial options.
As a local bank, you thrive when you get out there. It’s a great way to raise awareness, educate customers, help your community, motivate your employees, and let people know you care about them. These events matter because they’re a great way to build trust. By investing your time, effort, and money into community and financial education events, you’re creating powerful change. People get something out of these events, and when they do, they’ll remember it was your bank that helped to make things happen.
Relationships between a bank and its customers can last a lifetime, so creating trust with people is a vital first step to bring them onboard. That starts by sharing something that genuinely useful — Here are some ideas on how you can do that.
Holding free classes, seminars, and forums on money and finance. Generally, people don’t know enough about finance and money to make the best informed decisions. One of the ways to change that is to share easy to understand information and free courses that educate people on how to get the most out of their money, for example:
Encouraging children to save — Aimed at getting young people interested in saving for their future. Showing how powerful compound interest can be over time, and why starting to save now can give you big rewards in the future.
Planning for retirement — Educating people on how important good retirement planning is. Letting them know about their options when it comes to the different retirement plans and funds that are available. Encouraging them to start saving for retirement right now.
Good financial management and budgeting — Teaching people how to use their money wisely, including working out how much you need to live each month, income, expenses, and disposable cash. This can be tied in with saving for the future for life events like getting married, planning for a vacation, having children, buying a house, and making big purchases.
Buying a house — Talking through the process of getting on the housing ladder. Covering deposits, mortgages, moving, and other financial protections you’ll want to have in place.
Protecting yourself and your loved ones — The need for insurance and life assurance. How to manage financial risk and make sure that all the people and things you care about are protected financially.Partner with your local schools, colleges, further education classes and community organizers to create opportunities to teach others.
Professional networking – Get involved with your local Chamber of Commerce and Better Business Bureau. Look for other opportunities to network with business owners and executives.
Ask entrepreneurs about any new plans for expansion or other opportunities. Find out about their financing and provide alternative solutions. Provide advice and support, answer questions and let people know about your products and services. These events are a great way to build up your authority and visibility with other local businesses.
Sponsorship is another great way to increase awareness of your bank and brand, while giving back to your community. There are bound to be lots of local opportunities for sponsorship, whether that’s the Little League, the Humane Society, charity drives, or anything else that gives back. Think about how you can enhance your visibility:
- Have your employees attend the event as advocates.
- Do branded giveaways of items people want.
- Setup a booth providing free financial advice.
- Be a speaker at the event.
In addition to donating money, you can also encourage your employees to donate their time and effort by giving them paid time off for community projects.
These might all seem like simple approaches, but sometimes going ultra-local really is best. Putting some time, effort, and money into community outreach and helping people gets your name out there, which can be great for winning more customers.
Have you attended an event that you thought was really amazing – let us know what it was and what made it stand out to you.