COVID-19 Digital Marketing Checklist
This handy checklist for credit union marketers will help you make sure you have your bases covered.
Right now, your members need you more than ever.
By leveraging digital channels efficiently and consistently, you can keep the lines of communication open and show your members that you truly walk the walk.
The sheer volume of information to communicate may seem overwhelming right now, so following is a handy checklist to make sure you have your bases covered. Not all of the following items may be applicable to your credit union, so don’t feel like you need to act on every single one. Many of the content updates you can likely do in-house, though PixelSpoke is happy to help as needed with content development, strategy, design and/or programming. We can also refer you to our partner agency for assistance with SEO and social/paid media.
During these uncertain times, we remain committed to supporting our credit union community and finding creative, Everybody Wins solutions to the problems we can solve.
*Last updated: May 7, 2020
Website Homepage & Navigation
- Homepage hero: Review the content in your homepage hero. Use this critical space to acknowledge the times we’re in and link to a page or resource hub with more information.
- COVID-19 resource page: It isn’t necessary, or advisable, to put all COVID-19 related information on your homepage, but be sure you link to this content from your homepage. We recommend a central page that links off to product pages, blog posts, and other resources as necessary. If you offer business services, you may want to consider a separate COVID-19 resource page for your business members.
- Imagery: Assess all photography on your homepage — now is not the time to feature a happy stock photo model driving his or her new car. Consider photos of people at home, working or doing chores or spending time with families.
- Promotions: Reevaluate all promotions on your homepage to ensure that they don’t come across as insensitive or self-serving. Focus on promoting products or services related to helping your members through the crisis.
- Navigation menus. While we don’t recommend revamping your entire website navigation, there may be a need to add some new product/service pages dedicated to loan deferment options. Also consider adding your COVID-19 resource page or page to your “About” or other relevant drop-down menu.
- Don’t forget about non-English speaking members. If your site is available in alternate languages, make sure all new content is translated and available on the non-English-language versions of your site.
Website Alert Tools
- Alert bar: Focus the messaging in your alert bar to short (1-2 sentence) announcements that are important to display globally throughout the site.
- Member login dropdown: If your login dropdown is configured to include an announcement or promo spot, use this space to communicate information of particular importance to members logging in, such as online banking features they can use in lieu of visiting a branch.
- Slide-up announcement: When the alert bar is simply too limiting, opt for a short one-paragraph block of text that will emerge from the bottom of the website screen.
- Alert overlay: Though overlays can make for a subpar user experience and should be used with caution, they work well for communicating urgent, timely information that you don’t want your website visitors to miss. These pop-ups can be global, or programmed to appear on specific pages — for example, announcing branch closures or re-openings on individual location pages.
Member Support & Assistance
- Contact information: If you have new communication channels (like SMS or live chat) and/or expanded call center hours, make sure this information is accurately reflected in your member assistance section and/or contact page.
- Form confirmation messages: If you’re getting deluged by contact form submissions and are taking longer than usual to respond, use the contact form confirmation message to set expectations on when a member can expect a response.
- Insite search: You can check top searched-for products/services in Google Analytics; use this information to ensure that members are finding the information they need. If “skip-a-pay” is a top search term but doesn’t lead to a helpful result, that’s your cue to create a dedicated page that will appear at the top of search results. Now might also be the time to invest in more advanced insite search options.
- Live chat: Make sure the option is prominently highlighted on your contact page, and throughout the site. If you’ve been thinking about implementing live chat options on your website but haven’t gotten around to it yet, now might be the time.
- Frequently asked questions (FAQs): Create a dedicated FAQ category related to the coronavirus. Check with your call center and/or any staff members responding to live chat requests and contact form submissions about the questions they are already receiving.
- PDF forms and/or application processes: Particularly for high-demand products and services like Skip-a-Pay or other loan deferment options, investigate secure online form solutions (we recommend Formstack) to make the application process as easy as possible for your members. If the form is for a product or service that may get a high volume of submissions (like the Paycheck Protection Program), you’ll want to make sure that your form solution can handle the anticipated volume.
- Video support options: You probably have a lot of tellers who are either working from home or spending a lot of time at your branches without many members coming in to visit. We’re helping some smaller credit unions link members to tellers via video conferencing tools, like Zoom or Google Meet. Larger credit unions might want to consider more robust video support options, like Glia.
- Appointment scheduler: Assuming you have or can put the appropriate infrastructure in place, online scheduling options like YouCanBookMe or Calendly can help members make virtual appointments with tellers or counselors, or make in-branch appointments for locations open by appointment only.
- Server capacity: If you plan to make a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) application or other potentially popular application available on your website, we recommend being proactive about increasing server capacity, as your website may see a significant spike in traffic.
- Financial education blog: Reevaluate your editorial calendar for your financial education blog. Hold off on any blog posts that aren’t relevant to the current crisis, and focus instead on protecting your members’ financial health. If you post frequently, create a dedicated “COVID-19” category, and consider including a category feed from your central COVID-19 resource page.
- Repurpose older content: If you already offer budgeting guides or articles about evaluating credit sources, resurrect and re-share them with a revised intro and any other necessary edits to make them relevant to the current situation.
- Calculators: Calculators related to budgeting or loan refinancing might deserve to be more prominently featured on your site.
- Third-party financial education content: Revisit financial education content offered by your third-party partner and make sure that the most relevant resources and/or videos are featured on your site.
- Financial counseling: Update information related to financial counseling. Can your financial counselor(s) now meet via video or phone? Make sure members know how to get in touch with them, and consider offering appointment scheduling functionality on your website.
- Webinars or live virtual events: People feel understandably isolated right now. Anything you can do to help nurture a sense of community and connection is likely to make them feel a bit better. Consider webinars on timely financial topics; virtual “office hours” with financial counselors or member service representatives (perhaps ask members to submit questions in advance); or community conversations, leveraging tools like Zoom or Google Meet.
- Event calendar: If you have an event calendar on your site but no events to list, be sure to display a message about temporarily suspending in-person seminars or workshops. Alternatively, if you don’t have the bandwidth to offer your own virtual events, see if your third-party financial education provider is offering any webinars that you can add to your calendar.
News Blog or About Pages
- News blog: Share your own story and be transparent. Turn your news blog and/or press center into a running log of the ways in which your credit union has been affected by the crisis and the steps your credit union is taking to address it. No one has all the answers right now and everyone’s plans are subject to change — that’s ok. Your members just want to know what’s going on. It might be worth creating a dedicated “COVID-19” news category and including a category feed from your central COVID-19 resource page.
- Talk about your employees: What steps are you taking to protect them and ensure their own financial health? Your members want to know they are doing business with a company that is taking care of its own people.
- Pay attention to your tone: Your number one priority right now is protecting your members’ financial health, not selling products. Make sure that’s clear in everything you share. Humility and authenticity are key.
- Community partners: Shine a spotlight on partner organizations and/or members doing great work in the community. Not only does it reinforce your commitment to your local community, but we could all use some bright spots during these challenging times!
- Member stories: Consider featuring a selection of stories that demonstrate how you’re helping your members through the crisis. Not only are stories a powerful way to highlight the range of experiences your members are having, but they also show your community that you have their back. If you offer business services, share stories about your small business clients. Ask what the community can do to support them and rally your members to offer support in whatever ways they can.
- Automated emails: Audit all automated emails. Transactional emails are still helpful, but any welcome series or automated promotional series should be revised or paused.
- Email cadence: Reevaluate your email cadence. Even though everyone’s inboxes are flooded with COVID-19 related communications, now is the time to err on the side of over-communication. A monthly newsletter might not be enough during these uncertain times.
- Email content: Send information of immediate value. While we recommend ramping up your email cadence, don’t communicate simply for the sake of communicating. Focus on these core messages.
Social & Paid Media
- Scheduled posts and campaigns: Audit any scheduled social media posts, as well as social media advertising and other paid advertising. Pause all insensitive or irrelevant campaigns or revise copy to make sure you don’t come across as tone deaf.
- Paid search: Conduct new keyword analyses for paid search. When it comes to financial products, what people are searching for now is likely quite different than it was before the pandemic. Revise your paid search campaigns accordingly.
- Social media cadence: Reevaluate your social media cadence. Now might be the time to ramp up your presence on social, including posting more frequently and responding more promptly.
- Social media content: For every blog you post and/or every email you send out, share corresponding social posts. Some members pay more attention to social channels than their email inboxes.
- Social media response: Members might be leveraging social media to ask your credit union questions and will be frustrated if those questions go unanswered. It is important to be able to respond quickly, keeping in mind the importance of making it clear that members should not conduct secure transactions via social media. Perhaps tellers or other branch staff, who may be currently underutilized, can assist.
- Location pages: Update your website location pages to reflect revised hours, limited services, closures, and/or re-openings.
- Revised hours: Update all third-party listings with revised hours. Review and update your Google My Business and all other local branch listings so that members know your revised hours. The best way to do this at present is to set “special hours” from your GMB account.
- Closures and re-openings: Update third-party listings to communicate temporary closures. Google and Yelp have both introduced ways to mark your branches as “temporarily closed.” If you’ve already done this and are now re-opening branches, don’t forget to mark them on Google and Yelp as open.
- Location names: Edit location names on your Google listings to indicate drive-through or appointment-only services. You can now edit your business name on Google to clearly reflect what’s available — for instance, “Credit Union Location Name — Drive-Through Only.” If you’ve already done this, don’t forget to revisit your location names if you’re starting to re-open branches.
- Google My Business Posts: Use Google My Business posts to communicate COVID-19 related updates. Google has newly created a Google posts type for these updates that you’ll see as an option in your GMB dashboard.
At PixelSpoke, a B Corp and worker-owned cooperative, we want the best of the best — for our clients, our team, our community, and our world. We’re an award-winning marketing agency that works with credit unions and other mission-driven organizations to create websites that deliver and delight.