Archives by: Kevin Hageman

Home » Kevin Hageman

Why Credit Unions Should Be On Instagram

Why Credit Unions Should Be On InstagramWith over 700 million monthly active users, Instagram’s primary age group is 18-29, which is the prime demographic for credit unions to target to grow their membership. What’s more? The photo-centric app shows a human side of your credit union, giving your credit union an edge over megabanks. It’s a great resource for business development and community engagement.

Getting Started

When you visit an Instagram page the first thing you see is a username, a photo, a short description, and the only clickable link on Instagram (barring ads). When choosing an image for your Instagram photo, note that it will be a circular image; we recommend using your logo for branding purposes. Your bio is your introduction to your audience: and you only have 150 characters including the ever-important link to your website! Make sure your mission and brand are clear. There’s also a place to update your contact info: add a phone number, email, and address so that Instagram viewers can easily get in touch with you. Now you’re ready to get going!

What should your credit union post on Instagram?

Imagery is key when it comes to Instagram. Use branded imagery consistently throughout all your posts, whether elements of your brand are included or you always have a your logo present whether on someone’s t-shirt, merchandise or buildings. Instagram is a great way to showcase pictures of your staff and overall community involvement. Money tips and quotes could also be shared in a picture format.

To be successful on instagram and social media platforms, you need to actively engage with your audience creating a conversation. Follow local businesses, organizations, and influencers within your community. Engagement is key, like and interact with their posts. You don’t want your Instagram channel to be one-way.

If you can, get employees involved. Employees, like your business development team, can capture the most humanizing moments of your financial institution.

Don’t be afraid to use hashtags! In fact, Instagram allows you to use up to 30 hashtags per post. Try including:

  •      3-5 popular hashtags (In the millions of followers) ex: #instagood
  •      5-8 moderately popular hashtags (In the hundreds of thousands of followers) ex: #personalfinance
  •      3-5 keyword targeted hashtags (In the thousands of followers) ex: #netDE
  •      1-2 branded hashtags i.e. the name of your credit union

Creating branded hashtags allows people to follow your brand specifically and creates a visual index of your financial institution.

To recap, creating a presence on Instagram allows your credit union prime access to Millennials & Xennials, extends your brand’s digital presence, gives your audience a behind-the-scenes look, creates meaningful relationships, and gives a face to your financial institution.

Need help getting started? We can help! Contact us today for a social media consultation.

Read more

What You Need to Know About Google Chrome’s Ad Blocking Update

Google Chrome is used by nearly half of all Internet users, and big changes in regards to how we use the browser are on the horizon. Come tomorrow, February 15th, Google will enforce ad blocking on all websites – desktop & mobile. The goal of this is to make the Internet viewing experience more navigable for all users by preventing ads from loading that are particularly intrusive.

On desktop, Google is planning to block pop-up ads, large sticky ads, auto-play video ads with sounds, and ads that appear on a site with a countdown blocking you before the content loads. On mobile, Google is planning to filter pop-up ads, ads that are displayed before content loads (with or without a countdown), auto-play video ads with sound, large sticky ads, flashing animated ads, fullscreen scroll over ads, and ads that are particularly dense. Here’s what that looks like:

Google is not planning to wipe out all ads from Chrome, just ones that are considered bad using the standards created by the Coalition for Better Ads. The more annoying the ad, the more likely it is to be blocked by this update.

Passing, Warning, or Failing

Google is evaluating sample pages on sites based on the Better Ads standards and then giving websites 3 different ratings: passing, warning, or failing. The evaluation status of sites can be accessed via the Ad Experience Report API. Website owners can see more detailed results, such as specific violations, via the Ad Experience Report in Google’s Search Console. From the Report site owners can request their site be re-reviewed after they have addressed the non-compliant ad experiences.

So, what happens if your ad continues to fail and not meet Google & Better Ads’ standards? Site owners will be given 30 days to rectify any bad ads; if the ads are not to standard within the 30-day time period, Chrome will automatically begin blocking those ads. Chrome will show the user a message indicating that ad blocking has occurred as well as an option to disable this setting by selecting “allow ads on this site.” Here’s what that looks like on mobile:

What Early Results Show

 Google and by proxy Chrome’s goal is not to filter any ads at all but to improve the experience of all Internet users. As of February 12th, 42% of sites which were failing the Better Ads Standards had resolved their issues and are now passing. This is exactly the goal Google had hoped for: removing intrusive ad experiences from a user’s desktop or mobile experience.

The Takeaway

While Chrome will likely face criticism from the advertising world, if it achieves its goal of improving web ad standards, that’s a good thing for everybody: Internet users and advertisers alike. Google’s engineering manager Chris Bentzel is quoted, “We’re encouraged by early results showing industry shifts away from intrusive ad experiences, and look forward to continued collaboration with the industry toward a future where Chrome’s ad filtering technology will not be needed.”  

Read more

Facebook Algorithm Update: What Your Business Needs to Know

Facebook Algorithm Update - What Your Business Needs To Know

Well, Facebook has done it again on us: time for another Facebook algorithm update. Whenever Facebook posts an algorithm update, the social networking giant changes the types of content people see in their News Feed: some types of content get higher priority, while others are pushed deeper into our News Feeds.

So, what is Facebook’s newest mission to tweak its News Feed?

Facebook is going to prioritize the following 3 types of content:

  1. Posts that spark conversations and meaningful interactions between people
  2. Posts that you might want to share and react to
  3. Posts from friends and family


Perhaps the most alarming News Feed change for brands and businesses is part 3 of the update: making posts from friends and family a higher priority than posts from brands and businesses. But hasn’t this always been Facebook’s mission? To serve only the most relevant, shareworthy, and meaningful content to its users? Simply put, yes. Facebook has spent years making sure you see only the posts you want to see in your News Feed.

It isn’t all bad news for brands and businesses. Parts 1 and 2 of the update largely speak to what businesses have already been doing on Facebook up to this point. Create content that people are compelled to like, comment, share, and react to or as Facebook says it themselves, “Page posts that generate conversation between people will show higher in News Feed.” You want to show up in the newsfeed alongside wedding and baby photos, create content that is buzzworthy and that gets people reacting. Facebook recommends the following types of content to keep your audience engaged:

  • Facebook Live (which may average 6x as many interactions as regular video)
  • Videos that explicitly prompt discussion
  • Posts in Facebook Groups
  • Posts especially relevant to local fans
  • News that starts conversations regarding important, timely issues


To recap: Facebook has changed its algorithm (again). What’s changing: more updates in your News Feed from friends and family. What’s not changing: share engaging content to reach the most of your audience. See, not so scary after all!

Need help getting your Facebook Business Page to reach the right audience? Send us an email at and we can help you right away!


Read more

Is a Blog Right for Your Credit Union Website?

Is a blog right for your credit union website?Is a blog right for your credit union website? The simple answer is yes. A blog is one of the most powerful marketing and branding tools you have at your disposal. A blog for your credit union website accomplishes several major things:


  • A blog adds fresh content to your website for search engines to “crawl” i.e. gives you the opportunity to rank for keywords your customers may be searching for
  • A blog can rank high enough in search engine results to lead people to the rest of your website
  • Evergreen content (that which stays relevant over time) can direct visitors to your site month after month
  • Blog content is super-shareable on social media
  • Blog content answers your visitors most pertinent questions and positions you as a thoughtleader in the field


More website visitors, better site authority, content ready for social media, and helping your members find useful information: what’s not to love about a blog? But you may be asking yourself, “what types of things could I write about on my blog to help drive visitors to my credit union website?” We’ve done the legwork for you and identified a couple topics to help get you started:

  • Is it Time to Refinance Your Mortgage?
  • 10 Tried & True Tips for an Easier Retirement
  • Online Banking: What Is It?
  • The Best Thing You Can Do for Your Finances This Year
  • How to Get Started Consolidating Debt


….And the list goes on and on. The best blogs will be focused around the keywords your existing and potential members are searching for online now. Start with your customers’ pain points and make lists that are easily digestible and actionable. Providing real value will keep your customers coming back for more and more.

Need help on getting started on a blog for your credit union website? Send us an email at today!

Read more

Voice Search: What It Means For Your Business

Voice Search - What It Means For Your Business“Hey Siri, Alexa, Google why is voice search important for my business?” It isn’t too hard to believe anymore that this is an actual question we could ask our phones or our Internet of Things home devices. That’s because voice search is taking over an increasingly large online search real estate. In 2016, 20 percent of online searches were conducted through voice search. By 2020, that number is expected to increase to 50 percent! So, what does it mean for your business?

First, since voice search is easier to perform than typing a search, searches tend to bring up more long-tailed content. For example, you might ask your phone assistant, “Siri, what’s the closest credit union near me?” Siri will then pull up a map link, with phone number, address, and direction. If you ask Siri “what’s the best credit union in town?” she’ll pull up a list of credit unions sorted based on distance, number of positive reviews, and optimized content.

Take note of the above. The list your phone or home assistant pulls up is determined by factors like if you’ve claimed your online business listing, if people have left reviews of your business on sites like Yelp, if you business listing has a description, photos, and videos. A search engine is a search engine whether powered by text or voice and wants to serve you the very best results for every instance you type/ask.

What else is changing with the advent of voice search? Keyword searching. Voice search shifts the context for typing in phrases to asking full sentences in natural language i.e. like you were asking another persona a question. The use of search queries starting with “who,” “what,” “where,” and “how” has increased by 61 percent. Adjust your keyword strategy accordingly so your business’ content appears as a good match: transitioning from keywords and meta descriptions to full sentences and conversational copy. The goal is to be as helpful as possible.

How else can you take advantage of voice search for your business?

  1. Add a Q&A section to your website to collect and answer common questions
  2. Use voice search to search the questions you come up with and determine how the current answers are written
  3. Create content that answers those questions in simple clear sentences
  4. Consider local voice search


Your customers are increasingly using mobile devices to access your business’ information and now more than ever voice and home assistants. Follow the above simple steps to ensure your brand is everywhere your customers want to find you.

Read more

2018 Credit Union Marketing Strategies: Introducing the Xennial

2018 Credit Union Marketing Strategies - Introducing the XennialAs 2017 comes to a close, it’s time to reevaluate what’s worked and what could use some fine-tuning in the New Year. Financial marketing in 2017 focused heavily on capturing the ever-demanding attention of the mobile-first user, especially Millennials. While Millennials will still need a technology-centric strategy moving forward, there’s another nearby generation who are prime for marketing towards in 2018.

The Xennial generation is the micro-generation between Gen X and the Millennials, members born between 1977 & 1983. The Xennial is perhaps the last generation to grow up without technology at the core of everyday life, but on the flipside the first generation to embrace it wholeheartedly in adulthood. The Xennial is ready to adopt mobile banking, but will pick up the phone to make a call, or gasp! even stop by a physical branch. They seek a type of personalized member services akin to Gen Xers but are also comfortable with the technology Millennials demand.

Xennials occupy that credit union member sweet spot where they are looking to increase their 401(k) contributions, are maintaining retirement accounts, refinancing mortgages, paying college tuition, planning for children’s weddings, and more. This is the prime time to market to this generation. We’ve identified several credit union marketing strategies to capture Xennials’ attention:

  • Offer savings programs that allow Xennials to build their rainy-day or vacation fund
  • Offer multiple investment plans for retirement goals like 401(k)s and IRAs
  • Offer lending solutions that allow them to purchase big-ticket items like a boat or second home that their increasing salaries allow
  • Create online videos for easily digestible content, but be sure to have someone at the branch they can call and consult
  • Ensure to have e-Signatures as an option for closing loans and accounts


As you put together your 2018 marketing budget, consider focusing on this age group with their key interests in mind: remembering they grew up with and without technology. Facebook ads, Google AdWords, email campaigns, Twitter, and Instagram are all platforms they are fluent in, whereas Snapchat may not be the ideal platform to target their attention. Therefore, print advertisements and traditional mail are more than just accepted, they’re encouraged. The Xennial is a bridge generation that spans both the analog and digital era and need to be marketed to accordingly.

Don’t make the mistake of lumping the Xennial in with Gen X or the Millennials. 2018 is the perfect time for your credit union to pay attention to this niche generation and make the most of your marketing efforts.

Read more

Local SEO – What You Need to Know

How Local SEO Helps Your BusinessSo at this point you know that SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. SEO represents the tactics you can apply to your website to make it rank higher on search engines like Google, Yahoo, & Bing. There are many factors that come into play for SEO:


  • Having website pages with content that is written with your keywords in mind
  • How long a visitor spends on your website
  • How many pages a visitor looks at while on your site
  • Whether or not your website is optimized for mobile
  • And many, many more factors


That said, one of the newest ranking features for your website/business to come into play is local SEO. Local SEO helps businesses promote their products and services to local customers at the exact time they’re looking for them. Sounds a little abstract, huh? Let’s put it into layman’s terms.

You are sitting on your laptop or smartphone and decide you want to meet your friend for coffee but you’re not sure where you want to go. You type into a search engine “coffee shop near me” or “best coffee near me.” Here’s our result:

What is Local SEO? Wawa is a kind of grab and go for coffee and you and your friend always go to Starbucks, so you decide to go to Manhattan Bagel. Sounds great!

So how did these listings appear in our search results? First, you have to have location services enabled. Secondly, these businesses have claimed their profile on websites like Google My Business, Yelp, and Facebook. Just claiming your local profiles isn’t enough, however; you want to make sure that you include photos, videos, a full description, etc. Think about each of these local profiles acting like a mini-website for you. Otherwise, it’s like buying a house, but not putting any furniture in it!

Think about how powerful this is for your mobile users who are making their decisions on the fly. If you don’t have a presence on these sites, your visitors can’t find you! You have to hope that they stumble onto your website, which is great if you already have SEO prowess, but not so great if you’re in a crowded industry.

Another point to keep in mind when it comes to local SEO is how voice search like Siri & Alexa are affecting your search results. For instance, we asked Siri, “Where can I get a cup of coffee near me?”

How Voice Search Affects Local SEO

Wawa came up first again, but this time Starbucks and Manhattan Bagel had been replaced by Dunkin’ Donuts and New Horizons Coffee and Tea. So, what gives? Granted we changed the search query slightly from “best coffee near me” to “where can I get a cup of coffee near me?” but these businesses are ranking for these down-to-the-second local searches. It’s powerful marketing!

To recap: make sure you’ve claimed and optimized your business listing on local search sites like Google My Business, Yelp, and Facebook. Have your content be voice search friendly with the ability to answer full sentences. Your customers are waiting to find you on local, what are you waiting for?

Read more