Leading reverse mortgage lender Longbridge Financial is taking a different approach to reverse mortgage product education, crafting a campaign involving its broker partners where they can gain the lender’s support in creating a personalized, partner-specific video the winning organization can use in its advertising efforts. The selected partner is not required to give Longbridge any business in exchange for the customized video.
To get more perspective on how the idea was developed and executed, RMD sat down with Longbridge VP of Marketing Eve Kroepke to get a fuller picture of what the lender aims to accomplish by engaging its broker partners in this kind of effort.
Creating the campaign, what the lender can learn
When asked about where the concept for such a campaign came from, Kroepke described a naturally-developed idea that had the benefit of spreading the word about reverse mortgages to multiple spheres of influence across the country while also providing a vehicle for potentially valuable feedback from engaged partners, she said.
“The idea for this campaign came about organically during a marketing and wholesale team call,” Kroepke explains. “We have a very collaborative relationship amongst our departments and oftentimes there is an initial idea that morphs into something bigger as we brainstorm. When it comes to supporting our broker partners, one of the key areas we focus on is helping them spread awareness to educate their clients about the benefits of the reverse mortgage program.”
Creating a campaign around that mission aligns with the awareness goal, Kroepke says. So, in a posting made on LinkedIn, Longbridge asks broker partners to share a post containing a link to an infographic, which offers a series of facts and figures designed to address common reverse mortgage questions, as well as concerns about specific issues that some borrowers, observers and commentators have expressed about the product category in the past.
All that a partner is required to do – besides being an active broker partner – is share the post on their social networks, then leave a comment on the original post saying they’ve completed the task. That counts as participation in the campaign.
“The infographic we are asking partners to share is an educational tool that could help spread awareness to their networks,” Kroepke says. “[What is] at stake is a customized video, a marketing tool that can go a far way in helping a partner expand their promotional efforts and generate engagement and interest in their company. We already provide partners with a wide array of marketing tools and resources, but this is different in that they will be able to participate in the creative and development process.”
In addition to providing brokers with a customized advertising tool, Longbridge itself also sees the effort as a worthwhile exercise in cultivating broker partner feedback.
“We value all of our brokers’ feedback and perspectives on what they look for in a partnership,” she says. “It’s this feedback that we use as a guiding principle for developing new resources and processes. In terms of the campaign itself, the winner will be chosen at random.”
Details of the video, a ‘win-win’ for all involved
The campaign is running on social media until the end of the month, October 31. Longbridge will then hold a live stream announcing which partner will gain access to new resources. The selected partner will be engaged by choosing the topic for their customized video and remaining involved in its development. That video will use the full resources of Longbridge’s marketing department. Regarding why a customized video was selected as the tool the selected partner can use, much of the reason comes from partner feedback which expressed that marketing resources are not abundant among broker partners.
“In addition to the video itself, the winner will first meet with our in-house creative team to create a strategy and plan of action for the piece,” Kroepke says. “We chose to offer a video because in a recent partner survey, we discovered that many of our clients reported lacking marketing resources. Addressing this specific ‘pain point’ was at the forefront of our strategy for the campaign. Our partners are helping us spread the facts on reverse mortgages via our infographic, and we, in turn, are providing a customized marketing resource specifically for their business. We like to think of the concept as a win-win for all parties involved.”
The winner will also have a chance to spend an hour with Longbridge’s marketing and creative team, before the company produces the final product.
“We will write the script for the video, produce voiceover, and supply all footage for the video, and incorporate feedback as needed,” Kroepke explains. “The total production time for the piece is yet to be determined but will be outlined during the consulting session.”
Engagement rate, the future of this approach
When asked about the levels of engagement seen at partners on this campaign, Kroepke was encouraged by what the marketing department has seen so far, she says.
“The engagement we’ve seen so far has been promising,” she explains. “With an engagement rate north of 10%, the post is gaining quite a bit of traction. Since this is the first social media promotion of this nature we’ve ever done, we knew that this would be more of an experimental effort. But the engagement and participation we’ve seen so far has definitely been positive.”
This kind of effort may also repeat itself in the future with, hopefully, the ultimate benefit of providing consumers education about the advantages of reverse mortgages, she says.
“At Longbridge, we’re always looking to try new ideas to both engage our brokers and provide them with relevant content and resources they need to support their business,” Kroepke says. This is not our first social media campaign, but just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to an opportunity for our brokers to participate. It’s part of a broader plan to further assist our partners.”
Find the “parent” post on LinkedIn for more information.