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2023 has been quite the year for the financial industry!
With a rising interest rate market and increasing compliance pressures from regulators, there have been great shifts in how banks and fintechs have approached their growth strategies to adapt to these changing times.
These macroeconomic trends have created a massive shift in focus on deposit generation for many FIs. In addition, for consumers, riskier investments have become less attractive than predictable, high-yield savings accounts and certificate of deposit products.
The rising rates have also led to a downturn in mortgage lending as consumers hold back on home purchasing.
For our business, it has meant increased opportunity to partner with a variety of banks and financial institutions that are embracing these market shifts and finding new ways to engage with their target audiences.
It has made for a positive year filled with great learnings and developments that we’re happy to share with you.
If you are a financial brand ready to add affiliate marketing to your broader strategy, reach out to our team of experts and they’ll walk you through how Fintel Connect can help.
What We’ve Learned from Our Customers
We’re proud to say that 2023 has been one of the best years ever for our business. We’ve not only expanded our network and client base, we’ve launched new features and products that are directly addressing the needs of our fintech and FI clients.
The growth we’ve seen also tells us that there has been a major shift in bank and credit union’s appetites to incorporate affiliate marketing into their broader strategies.
We’ve had a number of fintechs and FIs launch affiliate campaigns for the first time with the most common goals of expanding geographic reach, growing net new customers or members, and scaling deposits.
We also had other partners double down and lean into the channel as a key driver for deposit growth.
One such example is Live Oak Bank, who expanded affiliate marketing efforts this year to more than 4x their net new business customers year over year through the channel.
Marketing teams at financial institutions are starting to truly understand the value of a robust affiliate marketing program, one that provides seamless access to the right partners and affiliates.
As such, looking ahead to 2024, we expect these teams to set aside larger budgets for affiliate marketing in the next year.
What We’ve Seen in the Industry
Looking beyond our existing customer base, we have identified some shifts in terms of which types of brands are participating in affiliate marketing.
While many digital banks, fintech companies, and innovative retail banks have been active participants in affiliate marketing for the last few years, there is growing interest from other sections of the industry.
Credit unions are starting to dip their toes into affiliate marketing, partnering with influencers that can help share their community-oriented messaging and generate trust with their target audience.
The right partnerships will be crucial here, as will true value alignment with those partners, as credit unions often build their brand around their values and community engagement.
Banks that primarily serve small – to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are also diving head-first into affiliate marketing.
Understanding that SMB owners are people too and that they do their own research before deciding on a financial product, there is a lot of opportunity to leverage affiliate marketing to facilitate those decisions.
Lastly, when it comes to the financial products that are being featured in these affiliate relationships, the current economic climate has financial institutions prioritizing deposit products and credit cards.
How Brands Are Using Affiliate Marketing
This year, we saw financial brands work with influencers so that they could get higher engagement on their marketing campaigns. This makes sense — having an influencer speak about your brand to their audience is a lot like someone recommending a product to a friend.
This includes “finfluencers” on Instagram and TikTok, who can help extend a brand’s reach to a younger, increasingly savvy audience that they might not find on other channels.
Micro-influencers are also starting to play a role in this space. Despite having a smaller audience, these smaller influencers are more likely to resonate with their audiences and allow financial institutions to be hyper-local in their reach.
Beyond influencers, we also saw an uptick in brand-to-brand partnerships, with non-competing brands with similar audiences collaborating to extend their reach.
employing strategies such as placing links on house-building websites for mortgage products. In addition, these joint campaigns have been facilitated through various channels, including newsletters, social media accounts, and co-branded products.
Affiliate marketing platforms like Fintel Performance are still useful here as they can help efficiently track performance and optimize campaigns.
An Exciting 2023 Set the Stage for the Next Year
The last year has been filled with change and new challenges for the financial services sector. Looking ahead to 2024, we’re excited to see what the new year will bring and how the role of affiliate marketing will continue to evolve.
At Fintel Connect, we’ve built affiliate partnerships with over 5,000 financial publishers, including GoBankingRates, Bankrate, Nerdwallet, and PYMNTS. Speak to one of our specialists and learn more about how Fintel Connect can help you build relationships with these brands.