Influencer Marketing: Your Financial Brand’s Gateway to Millennials
“Using influencers via social media helped extend our reach and provided good learnings for us as marketers. We were pleased with the results, especially on a small budget.”
–Brian Noonan, Director, Interactive Experience, Ameritas Life Insurance
Influencer marketing is not hype neither is it a fad, but is certainly a lot more powerful than what businesses presume of it. It is about engaging the right people and have them talking about your products and your brand. This newest marketing technique is delivering an exceptional ROI that is far more than what the organic or paid search has ever brought for some of the most successful businesses. Consider influencer marketing to be something in-between a paid endorsement and a subtle product mention, which is done in passing and not by creating hype. People are getting knowledgeable about business giants’ marketing gimmicks and how they try to win them over with their fancy and high-budget marketing campaigns. Influencer marketing, however, can bring back that lost trust.
The report of Nielsen’s Global Trust in Advertising shows that 92 percent of consumers trust recommendations from others, even people they do not know, over branded content. Therefore it is no surprise that Influencer Marketing on Social Media is growing quickly. Influencers support with user generated content, expands consumer portfolio, teach consumers about products, drive purchasing decisions and lend search-engine optimization authority. While influencer marketing is more widely seen in the consumer durables, it is something that almost every industry is taking advantage of, including the finance sector.
Financial Services Marketing
The businesses within the financial sector are expending vast budgets to ensure they get their hands onto a bigger market share. For that, a few different marketing initiatives are taken. Banks are transcending their customers’ expectations by transitioning into friendlier places rather than retail shops that look rather intimidating. They are also investing heftily into shifting consumers’ focus from financial products towards a perspective that they can relate to in their life journey. Financial companies are no more selling mortgages or insurance policies; they are providing consumers ways that could make their lives better.
Digitalization is another important marketing element. The growing demands of the customers and their anticipation for better and quicker services is satisfied through the aggrandizement of technology which goes beyond the availability of smartphone apps to Android-based smartwatches, and fingerprint recognition technology. The Millennials are centric to all the financial brands, and therefore, a major chunk of their marketing budget is expended on developing services that are relevant to 21- to 31-years-olds. Successful financial brands know that the millennial generation has their own priorities in life, and so their communication strategies and tactics have to be devised taking their peculiarities into consideration. An archetype of such marketing brilliance is reflected through a British financial institution that is targeting even a younger group of 14- to 16-year-olds. They are working with The Money Stuff YouTube Channel, run by some of the famous vloggers, advising them how they should be handling their personal finances.
Influencer Marketing in Financial Services
For companies selling financial services, their approach to influencer marketing is going to be slightly different to those selling consumer durables. However, there are a plethora of opportunities that can be availed by using the following influencers:
- Professional Advisors
- Industry Journalists
- Third-party introducers like financiers, law firms or individuals who might be able to make recommendations to your clients
- Third-party evaluators who can help individuals and businesses to choose their advisers and suppliers.
- Financial bloggers who can post on their social media channels
- Micro-influencers – friends and family members who socialize with each other on online platforms turn out to be as significant influencers as media celebrities.
Influencer marketing primarily focuses on advertising through social media, whose success is majorly dependent on the outreach to influencers. If your influencers are personal, authentic and generous, then there isn’t a lot that needs to be taken care of to be successful. Influencer marketing to millennials is different. It surrounds the social media for the most part and involves sharing personalized connections or educational advice to them. If you want your influencer marketing to be a success amongst millennials, you have to get hold of the internet and social media.
According to a report issued by TD Bank, 59 percent of millennials believe that they are highly knowledgeable of the banking products available, but a majority said that they could still benefit from some advice on finance topics like savings (32%), credit cards (26%) and creating a budget (30%). So using all or some of the aforementioned influencers, it’s possible to create a strong strategy.
Another study by FINRA revealed that educational content really appeals to the millennials due to their lack of financial security. The survey revealed that around half of millennials are concerned about their high debt, while 43 percent of them have engaged in costly non-bank borrowings too. In short: Financial brands can use some or all of the aforementioned influencers to engage or build relationships and brand advocacy and loyalty with the millennials. Also, financial institutions can themselves become trusted advisors to tap into the millennial market.
Influencer Marketing in Regulated Industries
The dynamics of influencer marketing do change considerably in a regulated sector like finance, but influencer marketing still has an imperative role to play by providing valuable and unbiased advisory services to people who are looking for financial services. Remember that all of your marketing activities need to comply with the Financial Conduct Authority’s regulations.
Getting Started with Influencer Marketing
The success of your influencer marketing gets down to how you are going to pull it off. Because there is a considerable budget associated with this form of marketing, your instinctual preference should be a reliable influencer marketing company. Fourstarzz is one such company that you can put your trust into as it has worked with major players in the industry and successfully launched influencer marketing campaigns about Finance/Insurance topics with them. Their three-step approach has proven to be very effective:
- Your financial product is subtly endorsed though highly-reputed financial/insurance bloggers.
- Bloggers share their blog content on their social media accounts like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
- Content is amplified through Micro-influencers, as well as Twitter and Facebook ads.
Fourstarzz works closely with influencers to design content that complies with the regulations while still preserves the natural tone of the Influencer; something that’s pertinent for all successful influencer campaigns. Keeping the tone of the influencer natural and unbiased and to make an endorsement in a way that reaffirms their followers’ trust is key to success!