Md. CU Finds Video Clips Often Better Than Print For Marketing

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Words are cheap when it comes to selling credit union service. But one small credit union here believes that video is worth a lot more.

"Although video won't do any better than print media to market a loan product," said Jon Rhodes, CEO at Public Health Service CU, "short video clips will do better than print to promote the service associated with the loan."

The $55-million CU is gearing up to e-mail members with links to minute-long videos that demonstrate what can't be put across in e-mail text.

For example, the credit union might give members a virtual tour and invite them to visit the new service center. "Or we might introduce our new lending manager in a video with a voice-over that says 'he hates to say no,'" Rhodes said.

"Short video clips will allow members to quickly assess the quality of our service," he added.

Public Health Service CU (PHSCU) uses VIDITalk, video messaging software from New York-based VIDISolutions, and distributed through Visions, Ink., a credit union marketing communications company in Clinton, Md.

PHSCU paid $500 for the plug-and-play equipment and software. Videos are stored on VIDISolutions' server space for $20 per month.

The 6,500-member CU isn't plunging willy-nilly into video marketing and communication. Rhodes, also board chair of the Metropolitan Credit Union Management Association (MACUMA), has first-hand experience using video to promote MACUMA conference speakers.

For example, MACUMA members got a 47-second tease of NAFCU President Fred Becker prior to his speech at MACUMA's annual conference in September.

"People got to quickly assess whether Becker was someone worth listening to," Rhodes explained.

"People don't want to spend their time just listening to anyone," he continued. "Through Becker's video, they picked up on the fact that they would get good quality."

MACUMA attendance was the highest it had been in several years, according to Rhodes. "Becker's video might have played some small part in the attendance rate," he said.

Video helps close the distance between remote offices of a credit union, according to Frank Hackney, president of Innershift Practices, LLC, offering support to CU strategic- and leadership-related issues.

"Organizations with widely spread branches can use video to disperse messages from the President and important security updates, and to welcome new employees-anything that makes distant offices feel included in the mainstream of information flow," Hackney said.

"My experience is that remote offices feel left out of the loop," the former credit union executive continued. "VIDI brings them closer. So, VIDI is not only a functional tool for communication, but also for developing and maintaining relationships where distance is a barrier."

PHSCU will use VIDI internally as much as it will externally, Rhodes said. "Video will be effective for employee training."

Though video won't fulfill in-depth training requirements, the credit union can demonstrate a quick how-to about a new network application, for example.

And an MFA isn't required to use the VIDI software. "It's so easy to operate," said Rhodes. "You can attach a camera to your laptop and make a video right there. In just a couple minutes, I sent a trial video to the MACUMA board making fun of a couple board members."

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