How Video Testimonials Helped Nearly Triple a Credit Union’s Membership Growth
August 29, 2022
What would you trust more — an ad, a salesperson, or a friend?
Ironworkers USA Federal Credit Union in Portland, Oregon, has gone to great lengths to prove the efficacy of word-of-mouth marketing — aka letting your members do the talking. Since 2018, the credit union has nearly tripled its membership — adding over 7,500 new members — thanks in part, to leveraging video member testimonials as a key marketing tactic.
“We love to use member testimonials because our members tell their experience with the credit union the best,” said Teri Robinson, Ironworker USA’s CEO. “As a staff, we can talk about how great the credit union is all day long, but the members really get the message when they hear it from their union brothers and sisters.”
“Being Union Ironworkers, our members have a strong sense of trust, bond, and unity with their coworkers,” said Robinson. “When one of their brothers or sisters says ‘go see the ladies at the credit union’, they listen. Giving our members the opportunity to hear it directly from another Ironworker how the credit union can help them is one of our keys to success.”
And the credit union’s success is significant. Over the past five years, its annual income has more than quadrupled and reported an average 2.2% return on assets.
Behind the Strategy
Robinson explained the approach to creating effective video testimonials is built into the credit union’s daily member engagements.
“When we are talking to members about their experience and they say things like ‘I just feel like you guys are family’ or ‘no one else would have given me a chance like this’ or ‘this sounds too good to be true’, we ask them if they would be willing to give a testimonial to get the word out to their brothers and sisters and they jump at the chance.”
Many organizations may balk at the idea of developing a video testimonial strategy, especially if they feel they lack the budget, resources, and talent to create a high-end, polished look and feel. But lower-production clips can be just as effective. The secret ingredient? Authenticity.
“When we do the testimonials, we like to do it at a place the member feels comfortable so they can give us a true and honest statement without pressure. We want the member to tell their experience in their own words.”
There’s Strength in Numbers
Testimonials aren’t a novel idea, but Ironworkers USA has seen their value firsthand. Many organizations might share a few video testimonials here and there, but the credit union discovered that more is better.
“It shows our current and potential members that the testimonials are done by real Ironworkers in different locations, at different phases of their lives, with different credit scores, etc.,” said Robinson. “They are not paid testimonials; members give them because they want to help spread the word about the credit union and our mission to help Ironworkers.”
Robinson explained that she has found over the years that “word of mouth” is the strongest marketing tool. As long as Ironworkers USA remains true to its roots and mission, the members will tell the story.
Does your credit union have an innovative marketing strategy or campaign that you’d like to share in an upcoming edition of On The Go? Submit your article here or reach out to Communication Manager Andrew Kobialka to tell your story.