Today there are many confused and skeptical consumers in the marketplace. In a time when a pandemic is impacting global economies and the unemployment rate, financial services brands need to make strategic decisions on how they can present themselves as thought leaders. By leveraging influencer marketing, financial services brands can rely on trusted, word-of-mouth marketing to impact brand perception, cultivate brand awareness, drive engaged audiences to a website and help consumers advance from consideration to conversion.
In the absence of an effective influencer program financial services brands often lean into standard marketing tactics that can fall-flat with inauthentic sentiment falling shy of meeting the consumer where they are. For financial brands to develop a compelling and heartfelt influencer narrative, there are a series of approaches to consider.
Influencer Marketing Approach #1: Drive Awareness
A brand’s marketing strategy is their calling card to the outside world. By including social media influencers in that strategy will not only amplify what the brand has worked so hard for, it will employ partners who can authentically speak about the brand from their personal experience.
Influencers develop persuasive content that spreads social awareness based on their unique experiences. An influencer can integrate their story with a brand organically into other content they are sharing, they can create an Instagram/Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest post to highlight the brand or they can create long-form blog or video content. The social platform content will help provide organic engagement and can drive viewers to the video or blog.
There is significant value in long-form blog content. This type of content often proves to be evergreen and can maximize search-engine optimization (SEO) for a brand. Blog posts provide searchable content that will last far beyond the individual campaign
Tomi Obebe is the voice behind the blog, GoodTomiCha. While a lifestyle and fashion blogger, she often includes messaging about budgeting and saving money into her existing content. Financial brands looking to engage influencers don’t need to limit their search criteria to industry experts or veteran financiers, but to everyday people who are speaking to these topics without a brand partner.
In 2017, seven years into her food blog A Taste of Koko, Jane Ko partnered with a bank to tell the story of how much it costs to be a food blogger. Within the post, she highlights the various costs buried inside a food blog and shows how the bank partner made it possible for her to save, and invest, accordingly.
Influencers who work with financial services brands regularly create custom, SEO-rich content that organically integrates a brand’s messaging. The long-form content provides value for immediate engagement with the target audience and provides the searchable, organic content that search engines crave.
Influencer Marketing Approach #2: Drive Web Traffic
A primary goal after the target audience engages with influencer content is to drive them to another location to continue the education process. With financial services brands, viewers can be directed to a website, a dedicated landing page or even a white paper to learn more about a new concept or idea.
Creator Alicia Tenise partnered with a financial services brand to promote a local event they sponsored. Within her Instagram posts she directed her audience to a link in her bio for more information. That link directed viewers to a dedicated landing page with details on how to purchase event tickets. The brand was able to track all of the traffic sent by Alicia’s link to determine the ROI she drove as one of several influencers participating in that campaign.
“Several years ago Find Your Influence partnered with a national tax-preparation solution so influencers could help spread educational messaging,” recalled Jamie Reardon, CEO and Co-Founder of Find Your Influence. “This three-part campaign also included an hour-long Twitter conversation where followers could have their questions answered in real time by tax preparation specialists.” The result was that participants left with a greater understanding of how the brand is a year-round resource, not simply during tax-season.
Influencer Marketing Approach #3: Drive Conversions
Influencer marketing is an incredible tool in a marketer’s tool box. Influencers work hard to gain followers and to keep them engaged; so naturally they have earned the right to be selective with brand partnerships. When an influencer spends time to learn about a brand, create content and speak to it in front of an audience who is listening and engaging; it’s a no brainer that this word of mouth marketing is effective in driving conversions.
Across all industries, brands can be successful in driving conversions via social media influencers by providing each influencer with their own promotional code that offers additional savings for their followers. Influencers can create organic content that aligns to each brand’s custom goals, whether that’s lead generation, email registration or end-of-funnel sales.
Brands can further amplify influencer content and develop a paid social strategy on Facebook and Instagram designed to increase reach or a combination of reach and engagements. With content created, and access to influencer’s pages, a variety of ad sets for each brand’s optimization purposes will be built. This allows the influencer-created content to reach an even larger audience to fuel additional conversions.
It not only pairs the brand with influencers whose audiences match the brand’s target demographics, but it also has detailed audience insights that pair the brand with an even greater target consumer exposure. When contracting with influencers, some of the top performing campaigns have resulted from acquiring usage terms of the influencer’s created assets to actionize in a holistic digital media strategy.
Regardless of the approach a financial services brand elects to include influencer marketing in their holistic digital marketing strategy, influencers can play a key role in establishing trust and confidence in financial services.