3 Reasons Finserv Brands Need Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing now permeates digital marketing campaigns for brands in many industries, from retail to consumer packaged goods (CPG) to travel and hospitality. But while industries like these might seem like natural fits for marketing efforts based on the recommendation of popular celebrities and personalities, most financial service brands have, in the past, self-selected out of influencer marketing—after all, there isn’t exactly a Kardashian equivalent for the finserv industry.

But smart finserv brands are starting to rethink their digital marketing strategies, particularly when it comes to social media, and influencers are finding their way into campaigns: “Influencer marketing is simply the modernized version of word of mouth, selectively enhanced by product placement originating from a trusted source (an influencer),” writes Jay Baer of Convince and Convert. And it works: “Brands are seeing average returns of $6.50 in revenue per $1 spent on influencer marketing,” says Baer.

We’ve taken note as finserv companies adapt to the needs of a new generation of consumers and effectively meet them where they are: millennials now spend almost 3 hours each day on social media. The full embrace of influencers appears to be the next step in the marketing evolution of smart finserv brands. Below, three big reasons finserv brands should consider embracing influencer marketing:

The Biggest Spenders Trust People, Not Logos

Embracing influencer marketing is important—and, we could argue, crucial—to the future health of finserv brands: 92% of people trust user-generated content and word-of-mouth more than they trust traditional advertising. And furthermore, the biggest spenders—millennials—have demonstrated their distrust of traditional advertising over and over again. Influencers offer brands (yes, even finserv brands) an important avenue for reaching this notoriously finicky generation.

What’s more, millennials now have the spending power to make demands. Millennials are not only the largest generation in U.S. history, they spend $600 billion each year and influence more than $1 trillion in total consumer spending. And millennials are now coming of age: many of these 18-34 year olds are ready to buy a house and save for their own retirement and their children’s’ college education.

The choice of influencer matters, though: brands must partner with trustworthy people who can accurately represent the brand’s values: “Influencers are not just people with huge followings – they need to align to the values, target audience and content quality of your company. The level of trust they’ve built with their audiences counts more than reach alone,” writes Carden Calder of Iris.

Brands must partner with trustworthy people who can accurately represent the brand’s values.


Influencers Offer a Way to Focus Your Audience's Attention...

Social media users are bombarded with content from every angle and easily skip over traditional advertisements. One of the biggest appeals of influencers is their ability to curate for an audience: a trusted personality endorsing a product or service helps that product or service rise to the top of the heap. “In a saturated digital world, with so many voices competing for attention – those with social influence are becoming increasingly needed for financial services to target, giving them an edge to cut through the noise,” writes Calder.

...And to Redefine Your Brand for New Generations

Social media influencers can redefine brands for younger generations: banks and investment firms that relied on tradition and formality to woo older generations now must prove they have a friendly, relatable personality in order to capture the attention (and business) of millennials. “Banks striving to develop a friendlier, ‘people first’ identity are making the most of Instagram's visual medium to develop creative campaigns that tug at users' heartstrings,” writes Mediakix. Not only that, but focusing a marketing campaign on things like family and travel is an excellent way to make money (and its management) human.

An excellent example comes from US Bank’s #ISaveSoICan social media campaign. The campaign used top Instagram personalities to demonstrate what customers can accomplish by focusing on saving:

Effective finserv industry influencers possess three traits, writes Calder: a following, trust, and the ability to guide their audience. Calder adds, “Financial services influencers include journalists, finance writers, bloggers, company stakeholders and executives, industry bodies and even satisfied clients of companies themselves who happily promote a product or service within their networks.”

Finserv brands face social media challenges that unregulated industries do not, but we can help your social team navigate some of the most common challenges, like safety and security, social care, and delivering accessible content your customer wants.

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Jaime Netzer is Spredfast's Senior Content Marketing Manager, leading content operations. A Lawrence, Kansas native, she traded seasons for breakfast tacos seven years ago and hasn't looked back since. Also a fiction writer and journalist, Jaime tweets semi-regularly and reads constantly.