First Federal Bank Homeownership Campaign

Raising awareness and increasing engagement around a bank’s commitment to the community
 

Recently, First Federal Bank of the Midwest was looking to create community impact in celebration of National Homeownership Month, and partnered with ZAG Interactive to develop and execute a marketing campaign that inspired employee volunteerism and showcased the bank’s commitment to its local community. The end result was a social media campaign that was so successful the bank decided to submit it for a nationwide community award.

Marketing Campaign Strategy & Consulting

First Federal Bank, along with their subsidiary First Insurance Group, set out to volunteer 500 hours of community service in a month. Following the theme of National Homeownership Month, the bank focused on helping non-profit organizations dedicated to improving home ownership within the community. They also wanted to share their financial expertise and feature their mortgage and insurance experts in interesting ways. The capstone was a $50,000 donation to one non-profit at the end of the month. Knowing these goals, ZAG developed a strategy that highlighted their community service and financial donation. Then, we tied it back to their offerings by showcasing a series of financial tips on buying a home through a mix of online and offline tactics.

Custom Campaign Logo and T-Shirt Design

In the campaign lead up, ZAG designed a custom campaign logo that evoked a warm and friendly tone and brought together the two campaign concepts of homeownership and community. This logo was first used to create a t-shirt design that employees would wear while out of the office, on-site in their communities. In addition, the logo was also printed on buckets and supplies used during the volunteering work. These elements provided a sense of pride among the employees and added a cohesive element in the pictures taken and used for social media.

Creative and Interactive Website Development

Throughout the planning process, ZAG always had a priority to showcase how First Federal not only embodies their community spirit but infuses that into their product offering as well. In order to accomplish this, a branded landing page was created, featuring a custom developed Kentico widget to document the progress towards the 500-hour goal. The landing page also provided links to the over 25 partner non-profits and had a live social media feed tracking the hashtag ‪#‎BuildingBetterCommunities. In addition, the landing page also included and linked out to educational information relating to homeownership and mortgages. The page was also the hub for the social media posts, allowing for a single destination to collect analytics on the website visits and campaign success.

Featuring Financial Literacy Content

Along with the digital portion, a printed handout was designed by ZAG. This tangible asset included helpful tips that were also featured in their website’s financial literacy content and positioned First Federal’s mortgage offerings. The handouts were made available at all the branches and served as wonderful conversation starters to supplement the online conversations.

A Highly Engaging Bank Social Media Campaign

One of the challenges within the financial services industry is to create an engaging social media campaign. ZAG’s social media plan featured an integrated mix of content that demonstrated the bank’s commitment to the community and a series of helpful tips on buying a home. Two audiences were targeted, including people most likely to be in the market to buy a home, and fans and friends of the bank. The social media posts, a mixture of image and video based, were shared on a multitude of platforms, but notability marked by Facebook as having a high relevance score. This meant that it was highly engaging and ended up costing less to reach more people compared ads running on Facebook.

One of the Bank’s Best Marketing Campaigns

The results surpassed First Federal’s expectations of driving brand engagement and potential homebuyers to the website primarily through social media. The campaign reached nearly 89,000 people through organic and promoted social posts, and received several mentions from community partners, extending organic reach and engagement. 

Posts that were promoted had an average engagement rate of 15%. The final wrap up post saw a 27% engagement rate, making it First Federal Bank’s top performing post over the past two years. The overall campaign engagement rate with organic and promoted content was 4.6%, much higher than the overall benchmark of 0.21% across all industries.
Perhaps most importantly, real stories were created and shared through this campaign.

After the projects were complete, the bank reported that the teams left with full hearts and often shared tears of joy with the homeowners. A seemingly simple landscaping project for a retired veteran and his wife became so much more. Within a few hours, First Federal employees had transformed the home’s exterior by moving heavy rocks, creating flower beds and planting new bushes, flowers, and trees. With tears in their eyes, the homeowners exclaimed, “You are more than bankers. You are dream makers.” Another woman, who was transitioning from a battered women’s shelter to a new home shared, “I feel like I am part of a TV show. I didn’t know that this type of compassion still existed.”

ZAG Interactive remains inspired by the results of this campaign, and thoroughly enjoyed being able to help the First Federal Bank of the Midwest take this idea and bring it to completion. The work done before, during, and after the campaign helped to sustain and nurture the results for a better outcome than anticipated. 

How We Helped
ZAG provided strategy, design, development and marketing support to create an integrated homeownership campaign that showcases a bank's commitment to its local community.