An unlikely role is gaining popularity at some credit unions: videographer.
The rise of on-staff video specialists speaks to consumers’ evolving preferences for how they receive content. A recent study from Wyzowl indicated consumers far prefer video to text-based articles, infographics, and other channels. So, it’s not surprising credit unions are looking to create compelling video content for members, employees, and the community at large.
“COVID was a big push for us to bring on a videographer,” says Kelly Krygiel, vice president of marketing and community partnerships at American 1 Credit Union ($588.8M, Jackson, MI). “Video became a critical mode of communication, especially internally when we were all separated.”
The credit union hired a full-time multimedia specialist in 2021 with the intention of focusing on videography, but their skills in audio recording, graphic design, and photography were an added bonus, and the employee is now an integral part of the marketing team.
“Before we start new projects in marketing or community relations, we determine all the resources we need,” the VP says. “Our videographer is a key contributor in these concepting and message-development planning sessions.”
The credit union compensates the videographer position on par with their marketing teammates, recognizing these roles require specialized skills as well as education, empathy, and an innate curiosity to learn and grow.
Although videography is relatively new to American 1, Local Government Federal Credit Union ($3.7B, Raleigh, NC), began testing the waters as early as 2012.
“We wanted to create simple, how-to videos about new services we were rolling out at the time, such as bill pay,” says Tim Newbrough, senior vice president of marketing solutions.
Rather than seeking outside expertise, LGFCU pursued a homegrown approach, which revealed many team members had already experimented with video.
“Rather than hire a new videographer, we felt it was better to ask these folks to wear a new hat,” Newbrough says. “We changed the role of one of our graphic designers to that of a videographer.”
Over time, LGFCU realized the need for additional videography resources and added a second one to the team.
When hiring a videographer, Newbrough says LGFCU looks for candidates who use video as a way to tell a story. A marketing background is a nice-to-have, but it is not as essential as the videography and story-telling skill set.
“We’re more interested in candidates who have the keen eye of a director and can spot the clutter or other objects that don’t belong in a shot,” the SVP says. “The ideal person would be someone who is passionate about their craft with a perfectionist’s attention to detail.”
There is no shortage of ways credit unions can leverage videography. Video can be used for “how to” videos for products, ads for local TV and radio, internal messaging, and member testimonials, just to name a few use cases. Videographers also can cover and create highlight reels for annual meetings, town halls, and other events.
Krygiel of American 1 delivers a monthly audio update to the credit union’s radio partners, which it airs as public service announcements during its financial wellness segments. The spots are called “Monday Morning Money Minutes” and run three to five minutes. The credit union happily buys the airtime.
“It’s an expense but well-worth the investment in keeping the community engaged with our brand,” Krygiel says.
CU QUICK FACTS
Local Government FCU
DATA AS OF 06.30.22
HQ: Raleigh, NC
NET WORTH: 10.9%
LGFCU uses videographers to cover its periodic document-shredding events in which community members go to a designated location and securely shred their sensitive documents. The credit union also produces animated holiday cards and member testimonials, and it records its annual meetings. Additionally, the information security and marketing departments collaborate on videos about detecting, avoiding, and protecting against scams. According to Newbrough, approximately 70% of the credit union’s video content is for members and 30% is for LGFCU staff.
Further north, American 1 devotes video resources to a car sales event it hosts three times a year. Several local dealerships bring in a fleet of cars to a designated lot at the credit union. There, greeters and lending officers work with members shopping for — and possibly driving away in — a new or used car. The videographer prepares pre-promotion videos that advertise the event, records the event from start to finish, and creates a three-minute piece that includes video as well as still photographs that the credit union shares with members and staff.
“We want the community to know what we stand for and to understand our culture,” Krygiel says.
She sees American 1’s video capability as integral to the credit union’s use of analytics to inform business decisions and make adjustments to reach its target audience more effectively.
“You can’t tell how many people look at our billboards,” Krygiel says. “But in the digital world, we know with certainty whether our efforts are building traction because of the clicks and page views we track.”
CU QUICK FACTS
American 1 Credit Union
DATA AS OF 12.31.22
HQ: Jackson, MI
NET WORTH: 15.0%
Krygiel says American 1’s next hire for a videographer will be a multimedia specialist with some experience working within a marketing team and the dynamics of that collaborative environment.
American 1 will expand its partnership with an organization that helps bring entrepreneurial business ideas to life. The credit union is following a person’s journey along their path to success, from the boot camp level to the how-to workshops.
To step up its video game, Krygiel says American 1 needs a dedicated on-premise recording studio to transition from the makeshift conference room it currently has to set up and take down after every video shoot.
Newbrough also recognizes the importance of dedicated video space. He made sure LGFCU’s new building included in-house studio space where the team could record videos in an acoustically friendly environment. The space also is equipped with green screens and other equipment, including lighting gear for on-camera interviews with members and staff.
These are important investments for a medium growing in popularity — one that offers an avenue to promote products and services in a whole new light.
“Sometimes, brochures just don’t cut it,” Krygiel says.