Credit Union Geek

Marketing, Strategy, and The Force by Joe Winn

Tag: attention span

If Not Here, Then Where?

Every week, a new post appears like magic (I might have a fundamental misunderstanding of how this site works). It probably won’t surprise you to hear that each article is written to meet a specific length criteria. How do I come to this magic number?

Average reading speed for comprehension is between 200-400 words per minute. Posts are typically between 400-600 words in length. It is scientifically fair to say I ask for no more than 3 minutes a week of your attention. You’re busy, and a long essay is not on your radar. My goal is for the average post to be “just right” for your reading enjoyment. If not, please let me know!

What about in-between posts? Am I just holed up in some basement, tooling around on the latest technology? No, that’s ridiculous. I live in Florida and we don’t have basements. So are you saying there is something even shorter than posts? There’s actually two things! One is my newest category, CUbit, where I present topics that just must be discussed in the moment.  But the other? If it’s not on the site, then where? Never fear, Twitter is here! (Lost In Space reference, anyone?)

Twitter is where I reside. Which is great for your length challenges. Nothing written will be more than 140 characters, and if that’s too long, then here’s a clip you may enjoy.

An article is one-way; I say something, you read it, and maybe someone makes a comment. However, on Twitter, a post can directly mention a credit union or other user, or be a part of a larger saved search with various hashtags. It’s a participatory experience by nature. And the topics vary widely, from IT to space to credit union stories. The best way to understand is to join. By following @JoeCUGeek, you see my own tweets, as well as those I retweet from others. Some of my best work comes in 140 characters or less, if I do say so myself. Then be sure to follow other influencers within the industry and even branch out to your own interests. Keep in mind, the more you follow, the less you’ll see from each (it’s a single timeline, so the more users, the more posts).

While I share content on this site about once a week, my Twitter account remains active each day. So, if the biggest problem in your life was too little CU Geek, here’s your solution!

Image credit: http://www.politicspa.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/STREET_SIGNS.jpg

Rotating Banners and Lost Opportunities

Read how you can improve your credit union marketing.

Find archived articles that might pertain to your goals.

Learn about a credit union’s latest branch opening.

What’s the point of this post? You should be confused, and for good reason. There’s no consistency, the content has to be read separately, and who knows if you even stuck around long enough for the last choice (I hope you’re still reading!).

Many credit unions do something just like this every day. It’s called the rotating banner, and it needs to go.

One can compare a rotating banner on a homepage with changing billboards along the highway. It seems fair, right? Only the billboard is showing content to thousands of people a day, and each panel gets equal time. Imagine if that same billboard showed the same image to every driver for the first 5 seconds, yet they passed it in 15. What if your institution paid to be 4th in rotation? You wouldn’t be too happy, would you?

It’s the same on your website. If you’re lucky, a web visitor will give 10 seconds to decide if a page is worth their time (besides their original goal). Assuming your site has a rotating banner set to 5 seconds, visitors will see (at most) two graphics. I’ve seen sites with 7, 8, even 10 rotating graphics! It would take a full minute to flow through each of these in succession. I’m sorry to say, but none of your members are spending that much time on your homepage.

On the web, goals must be defined quickly and clearly to have any success. The primary banner on your site must direct to the primary marketing goal at that moment. For the rest, you can have secondary areas and a clear menu structure. You may notice retail companies “breaking” this rule, however, their visitors are potential customers browsing a product lineup. A commitment to remaining for a longer time is already set (i.e. They did not come for an unrelated purpose, then become distracted to stay much longer).  Companies like Apple, Misfit, and Microsoft (I use products/services from all of them) highlight this strategy.

We love seeing credit unions build success on new initiatives. It’s just disappointing when their results are compromised by burying a call to action behind today’s latest graphic. In fact, for our own partners, we can trace web hit falloff to moving a banner back from the first in a rotation.

Members hitting your website are opportunities. Engage them quickly and efficiently and they will reward you with additional services.

Disclosure: Credit unions partnered with my firm may use rotating banners. If practices improved, our own services may be better promoted, resulting in a financial gain for both parties.

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