Inside Marketing: Emotional Connections in Digital Marketing

March 2018: Vol 41 No 3
Kearley & Company
A successful credit union must have a place in its members’ hearts.
Illustration of young people using mobile gadgets gathered around a giant social media bubble containing a read heart icon and “2k”

This article was first published on and is reprinted with permission. Read the original here. 

It’s an age-old question. “How does a brand connect with its audience?”

Sometimes it’s through ads. Sometimes it’s through events. Sometimes it’s through social media posts. But above all, a company must have a place in the consumers’ hearts.

Coca-Cola has done this with ads so heartfelt and meaningful, you can’t help but relate to the brand. Chick-fil-A has done this with the in-store experience and community relations that help create fans for life.

How can this be done with digital marketing? Digital media can be very impersonal, and at times it can seem cold. How can a brand position itself in a way that will not only get return visitors but brand advocates?

Stay in the know. It wouldn’t do you much good to be starting a #HurricaneHarveyRelief campaign now—six months after the natural disaster. Stay current with the trends, know what is pulling your members’ heartstrings and involve yourself in the dialogue.
Give your audience a chance to join the dialogue. Our least favorite friends are the ones who monologue for an entire meal and never let anyone get a word in edgewise. If you are talking at your audience instead of with your audience, they might stop listening. Also come up with campaigns that current and prospective members can not only have a say in, but take an active part in. People connect to others better when they achieve together.

Chat bubbles on a mobile phoneLeverage the speed of digital. If your audience is talking, you need to engage them when and where they are having a discussion. Once a campaign and dialogue starts, involvement can snowball. Promote your campaign, and when the community gets involved, make sure your name is repeated and reinforced in conjunction with this campaign.
While digital media can seem cold and disconnected at times, modern technology has given us an opportunity brands of past generations never had: a dialogue. If we take care in this communication, we can foster relationships with grassroots influencers in any market. The rushing stream of digital marketing can be quite intimidating to tackle, but if you stay on top of it, the possibilities are endless.

Kearley & Company is a full-service marketing and branding firm specializing in credit unions and serving clients of all asset sizes across the country. Their one-stop shop offers support in branding, social media, digital marketing, traditional advertising, retail merchandising and more. If you need marketing guidance, please reach out at or on Facebook and Twitter @KearleyAndCo.

Subscribe to Get CU Management Columns!

Credit Union Management offers a variety of online columns monthly. Download the myCUES app for your iPhone or iPad and choose all the content types. Or, subscribe to the weekly CUES Advantage e-newsletter to get links to each of them delivered right to your inbox.  See the most recent issues of CUES Advantage.


CFO Focus
Facility Solutions
From John
Good Governance
HR Answers
Inside Marketing

Leadership Matters
Lending Perspectives
Loan Zone
On Compliance
NextGen Know-How
PR Insight
Tech Time