Connecting a brand and its products to a personal life journey - whether that be saving for a wedding or financing a renovation -- is all about bringing a friendly brand connotation, relatability and authenticity to these financial brands. Even if you're not working with huge financial brands but are an entrepreneur working with a smaller financial planning or savings app, hiring influencers is a smart strategy: It not only communicates your company's values but also shares what may be complicated information in a way that's understandable and approachable. Influencers can highlight philanthropic efforts. To remedy this Catch-22, financial brands can partner with influencers to both drive support for as well as publicize their philanthropic initiatives. When asked about their favorite fashion and beauty social media and influencer marketing campaigns, nearly 50 percent of micro-influencers we surveyed chose (unprompted) one with a social responsibility message. Financial brands need to avoid problems with the FTC ... and FINRA. Unlike consumer brands, financial brands must abide by regulations set forth by not only the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) but also the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA.) Specifically, financial companies need to be careful that their own content, as well as that posted by influencers, doesn't recommend any particular product or investment strategy. Savvy marketers know that influencer marketing is no longer just about product placement, but rather an opportunity to share their unique offerings and brand values with target audiences. Of the products and services those marketers promote, financial brands' values are rooted in personal life experiences, and influencers are uniquely positioned to drive personal stories around products (whether tangible or not).
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Influencer marketing has seen substantial growth in the past year, experiencing a 198 percent increase last year alone, according to a study by Klear. But this growing social media marketing tactic isn’t limited to just consumer brands anymore. As influencer marketing matures, brands outside of fashion, beauty and food are catching up on its use.
The healthcare industry, for example, has witnessed an onset of influencers among its brands. And now even financial companies– from banks to insurance companies to personal finance apps — are recogining the benefit influencer marketing can pose for their brand awareness.
Indeed, financial brands have a number of unique opportunities and considerations when it comes to partnering with influencers.
Influencers can humanize financial brands.
Let’s face it: Topics relating to finances — savings accounts, retirement, loans — can be confusing, intimidating and, yes, boring. More than that, financial institutions, particularly post-the 2008 financial crisis, have long had a reputation that doesn’t put them on the list of consumers’ favorite brands.
Here, Influencers are uniquely positioned to connect a brand to a personal story in a way that’s superior to what a traditional print or digital ad could do. Connecting a brand and its products to a personal life journey – whether that be saving for a wedding or financing a renovation — is all about bringing a friendly brand connotation, relatability and authenticity to these financial brands.
Prudential Insurance, for instance, connected with consumers’ feelings of love and loss through its #MasterpieceofLove short film series highlighting people who’d experienced extreme loss and how it affected them emotionally or financially, plus how these people overcame the trauma.
On the flip side, financial planning brands are emphasizing how to save for focal life moments by partnering with influencers during major life events like a wedding or around-the-world trip. Savings app Qapital partnered with @girlwithnojob throughout her wedding planning to showcase the different functions the platform offered her. American Express worked with influencers who were undergoing moves or home renovations to help showcase that use of its #PayItPlanIt feature.