How Should Credit Unions Budget for Marketing? A Lincoln PPC Agency Explains!


Wondering what it takes to properly market a credit union without breaking your own bank? At PLAY, we’ve been working with credit unions for years and know what it takes to create successful, budget-friendly campaigns that make our clients happy (not to mention money!)

So, let’s get down to brass tax. How much money should your credit union set aside in the budget for online marketing? While there are various platforms that we could explore, we will focus on our most popular… Facebook. There are two plans that we usually offer to clients. We’ve broken them down here (the platinum plan is a more in-depth plan that generally brings in better results, and the gold plan is still great for getting your credit union noticed online but doesn’t usually bring in as many new members and loans). Of course, we can and do customize our plans to fit the needs of each credit union, but here are some rough numbers to help get you started:

Gold Marketing Plan

$$875/Month + Ad Spend
  • (Above is based on a 12-month plan. Plans can be contracted at 3, 6, and 12 months – Paid month by month)
  • Media Plan Development
  • Ad Art/Graphic Development: 2qty Facebook ads (prospecting), 1qty landing page (Utilize current website pages), A/B testing, Ad edits monthly ( Ads updated with ad fatigue), New ads billed additionally if needed
  • Ad management Fee Includes: Daily ad monitoring, 1 audience marketed, Monthly reporting/review
  • Monthly Media Spend Fee:
  • Daily Spend (prospecting ads): $20/day
  • Media Spend Fee: $608.00/month
  • Online Ad Campaign Totals:
  • Total Ad Account Set-up Fee: $550.00 (1 time)
  • Ad account set-up
  • Total Monthly Budget: $1,483.00/month

Platinum Marketing Plan

$$1,725/Month + Ad Spend
  • (Above is based on a 12-month plan. Plans can be contracted at 3, 6, and 12 months – Paid month by month)
  • Media Plan Development
  • Ad Art/Graphic Development: 3qty Facebook ads (prospecting), 1qty Retargeting ad, 2qty landing pages, Custom development of landing pages, A/B testing of landing pages, Ad edits monthly, 1 new ad per month ( or ads switched with ad fatigue)
  • Ad management Fee Includes: Daily ad monitoring, 2 audiences marketed, Monthly reporting/review
  • Monthly Media Spend Fee:
  • Daily spend (prospecting ads): $40/day
  • Daily spend (retargeting ads): $10/day
  • Media Spend Fee: $1,520.00/month
  • Total Ad Account Set-up Fee: $550.00 (1 time)
  • Ad account set-up
  • Total Monthly Budget: $3,245.00/month

Our marketing agency in Lincoln, NE  talks about the benefits of shifting to online advertising. 

Establish Key Areas of Focus

Narrowing in on what‘s most important to your credit union and how much money you and your team would like to make through marketing efforts are two places to get started before budgeting. WebStrategies writes that “The best approach to budgeting would be to first consider all of the business objectives, and to have the right system of measurement in place to accurately determine your acquisition costs.” By establishing how much revenue you’d like to make on a certain type of loan during the fiscal year, you can then predict how much each loan might cost to obtain through online advertising. Forecasting business objectives can help launch successful campaigns. 

As a PPC agency, we work with credit unions throughout the course of a year, shifting focus from one campaign to another, intelligently running ads that audiences want to see during peak times. For example, our Halloween Flash Sale Campaign for Credit Union of America boasted $5.3 million in booked loans in just 2 days. The seasonal nature of the campaign generated interest and encouraged members to act quickly, as the offer lasted for a limited time only! Once one area of focus has created enough buzz or has run into some fatigue, our Lincoln marketing agency then consults with the credit union directors and finds a new area in which to focus and gain revenue from.

Explore Flash Sales and Promotions 

Speaking of flash sales, the more, the merrier! We’ve seen firsthand the excitement produced by flash sales and how a quick campaign can trigger a massive pay off. Our blog post on flash sales breaks down how best to approach these kinds of offers. In short, apart from generating interest and creating revenue during the sale, the ultimate goal of a flash sale is to turn initial leads into new members. Brand loyalty is paramount and helps to expand overall brand awareness. 

Data analytics professionals at Trellance write that “Having a digital strategy doesn’t just mean identifying digital marketing channels but also understanding how marketing technology can help your digital strategy.” They listed “having a digital strategy” as one of the top elements for success this year. Employing the use of sales and promotions with your credit union’s digital marketing approach will be the icing on the advertising cake. 

Choose Your Platforms

Another way to figure out how to allocate your marketing funds is to decide which online platforms will best suit your needs. Our creative design agency primarily works with Facebook and Google and often suggests these social media sites as the first point of contact for businesses just tapping into this world. However, each credit union is different, and depending on your location, target members, and areas of focus, our strategy will differ. Instagram and LinkedIn have significantly grown their advertising capabilities, and we can’t discount the benefits of email marketing either. The Financial Brand notes that “With so many consumers transitioning their shopping online there’s no justification for banks and credit unions to continue to delay spending on digital innovation. Digital ads like Google pay-per-click (PPC) are a must for even small institutions in this day and age.”

Best of all, we can easily create campaigns that incorporate multiple platforms at once and switch from one platform to another depending on what you’re selling/advertising. 

Bottom line, online advertising is crucial for credit unions in 2021, and marketing doesn’t have to be a financial burden. Consider the above ideas and reach out to us when you’re ready to get started!