Most banks and credit unions have a blog—it's probably used for announcing community events, new products or maybe even new hires. (The same can probably be said for your social feeds.) And this is all wonderful. But how can you take this unique content marketing opportunity for your financial institution to the next level?

Try these four basic starting points for developing bank or credit union content that truly works.

Make a Connection

How many times have you visited a bank or credit union's website and seen a hotbed of big promises and sales pitches? Consumers have grown savvier through the years at spotting a hard sell—you need to write content that addresses their lifestyles, their needs and their true financial situations. "Lowest rates in town!" and "Deals! Deals! Deals!" are recipes for content disaster. According to Customer Thermometer, consumers are most likely to connect with (and buy from) brands that show interest in their customers, inspire trust and project optimism.

Engage with content that is accompanied by lifestyle photography—avoid gimmicks and talk conversationally. Buck the incorrect image that you're stoic or out of touch.

Engage with Video

Your marketing team may feel a little out of its depth when it comes to video. Gut it's a wise investment for any brand—particularly one beholden to retail customers, such as a bank or credit union. If you have the budget to invest in high-quality video content, by all means, do it. And if you need proof of ROI to get executive buy-in first, start small. Post live video content of your community events on social media, and record talking-head product demos (with captions) for key pages on your website. According to consumer research group Wyzowl, 74 percent of consumers who view an explainer video to learn more about a product end up buying said product.

Don't forget that your FI is a brand and has to abide by consumer standards of what's engagement-worthy. A little goes a long way when it comes to developing and writing engaging video content.

Invest in Quality

Consumers are ravenous for content—and that's not just restricted to their television-viewing choices. They want content that is well-written, interesting and even humorous. And since, according to Demand Metric, marketing with quality content delivers three times as many sales leads per every budget dollar spent than standard, traditional marketing, it's time to invest. When budgeting season rolls around again, include paying for high-quality, original content as a line item.

The more uniquely valuable and singular to everything else floating around the internet, the more your SEO and search rankings will benefit.

Get Personal

How often do you send a mass email to entire your contact list? You may send a bulk email about your latest mortgage campaign or perhaps a newsletter with the latest information about your checking products. But segmenting your customers means delivering the best content to the consumers most likely to engage with it. Segmented emails boast a more than 14 percent higher open rate than those that are sent in bulk, according to MailChimp. Consider your customers' and sales leads' statuses, and serve them content that truly matters to their lives—be it by age, location, income bracket, etc.

The more you know about your customers, the better you'll be able to offer them something truly useful and worth clicking on.

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