With the changes to Google’s indexing over the past few years, pre-written content has gotten a bad rap.
But, unless you’ve got a team of writers on staff, you’ll probably need to use these types of articles, marketing promotions, and artwork to serve your members and meet your marketing goals — especially when you’re short-staffed.
So don’t listen to the naysayers. Used wisely, canned content can be a great tool for your marketing team.
Here are my do’s and don’ts of pre-written content for credit unions.
DON’T rely on it for your website
The main problem with pre-written articles is that other credit unions are using them, and if you don’t post them first, Google won’t send search traffic to those pages on your site. And, if you rely too heavily on content used on other sites, Google can downgrade your entire website in search results.
DO use it in your newsletter
Pre-written articles are a great fit for your print and email newsletters. They show your expertise on financial matters, and you can choose from a variety of topics to match with your marketing promotions and member needs.
Additionally, some of these articles include interviews with authority figures on financial topics. And your staff didn’t have to play phone tag to set those interviews up, research questions, and wade through the responses to get the most pertinent information — a huge win for their productivity.
DO make it your own
Even though most of the work has been done, you should still localize pre-written stories. If there are specific mortgage regulations in your state, make sure to mention those in mortgage and home equity articles. Also consider adding a quotation from one of your executives to ensure that your credit union’s perspective is a strong component of the article.
For marketing promotions, make sure you’re getting native files that allow you to insert your own branding elements and change colors, as necessary.
DON’T make it the bulk of your marketing
Canned content is useful, but you need to make sure most of your marketing content is personalized and custom. Use staff and freelancers to create this content as time and budget allows.
DO get as much exclusivity as possible
Many of your members are part of other credit unions or have family members who are members at another CU. You don’t want them to see the same content you’ve used in another financial institution’s materials.
Avoid this by choosing content providers who provide some level of local exclusivity, when possible. When this isn’t an option, the work you’ve done to customize and personalize the content will help — when using articles, try rewriting the headline and first sentence to set your piece apart right away.
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