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Financial Services Influencer Marketing: How to Get Started

  • Last Updated: March 22, 2024

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If you’re looking to explore the influencer marketing channel as a way to promote your financial services brand, you may be in one of these situations:

  • You may want to work with influencers to raise awareness or build trust for a new financial product, but are not sure where to get started.
  • You may have struggled in the past with getting your compliance team on board with influencer marketing and are looking for support with educating your internal team. 
  • You may have worked with influencer marketing agencies that didn’t specialize in financial services and couldn’t find the right influencers for your product.

At Fintel Connect, we help financial services brands like Scotiabank, Tangerine Bank, and Ramp increase brand awareness and acquire customers with influencer and affiliate marketing. In this article, we share our tips on how to best work with financial influencers.

We cover:

  1. What to know before you start working with financial influencers
  2. How to start working with influencers as a financial services company
  3. How Fintel Connect can help develop your influencer marketing results
  4. How we helped a financial brand target a very niche audience with influencer marketing

Looking to work with an agency that understands financial services inside out and can help you with influencer marketing? Reach out to us now to get started!

 

What to know before you start working with financial influencers

As a financial brand, gaining the trust of potential customers isn’t automatic when promoting your product(s). Customers are likely to research your services online and study third party perspectives, particularly from individuals who they can relate to, such as financial influencers, before they even consider your product.

Important financial decisions, like signing up to a bank account or joining an investment platform, also carry much more weight than other purchases, such as buying clothes or a smartphone. Consumers will need to have a greater level of trust to feel comfortable signing up to your product. A third-party endorsement via financial influencers (also known as finfluencers) can help build credibility by educating an already loyal target audience on your product and brand. 

However, you’ll want to prioritize managing compliance risk with your influencer campaigns–it ensures the content the influencer creates is correct and that you maintain the customer’s trust once they sign up. 

As experts in affiliate and influencer marketing for financial services, we’re sharing some helpful tips to prepare yourself before you start working with content creators: 

1. Set clear objectives so you’re all on the same page

Make sure your key objectives are clear to all parties involved in your influencer marketing channel from the start, so you’re all aligned on expectations, metrics, tracking, output, and payment models. 

As opposed to affiliate marketing, which focuses on acquiring new customers and pays based on Cost Per Acquisition (CPA), influencer marketing usually involves more awareness-based goals. In this case, the financial model is most likely an upper-funnel sponsorship fee, such as paying per output (e.g., YouTube video, TikTok video). 

However, influencer marketing can also play a powerful role in supporting acquisition. Through influencers, you can reach new audiences you probably don’t have access to and increase not just awareness, but also credibility and trust, which lead to conversions. The influencer marketing model can help your potential customers recognize a need and guide them through the mid-funnel decision-making stage.

Influencer marketing can work especially well when you launch a new product and want to reach a specific sub segment. Influencers tend to have more niche audiences that follow their content because it’s relatable and accessible. For example, you can find influencers with a particular life-stage audience, like students or retirees, or a specific demographic, like millennials or Gen Z.

Whether your key outcome is awareness, acquisition, or a combination of both, ensure your influencers are onboard with this so you can align campaigns and content accordingly. 

2. Use a payment model based on your common goals

A clear marketing objective allows you to decide on which payment model can suit both you and your influencers best.

Be open to negotiation with your influencer partners as they will be with you–the more transparent you can be with your goals, the easier it will be to align on a commercial model that makes sense for both of you. 

In cases where you choose to work on an upfront fee model, it might mean losing out on long-term revenue opportunities for the influencer, and also less likelihood that they’ll be invested in seeing down-funnel results.  Alternatively, a CPA model may not be enticing enough to the influencer if you plan to use influencer marketing for both awareness building and acquisition. 

A CPA model also means you’ll need the right tracking and reporting in place, which can take additional time and resources to set up.

Know that navigating influencer payment isn’t always straightforward and will require an open discussion of both your goals to help ensure a successful campaign and a good relationship with the influencer. 

You can learn more about CPA models and affiliate marketing here: How to Choose the Right Affiliates for Your Fintech, Bank, or Credit Union

3. Prepare and share your brand’s compliance guidelines

As a financial services brand, a major concern we often see with influencer partnerships is the ability to manage marketing compliance risk. While influencers won’t give financial advice, they may provide information about your product(s) and provide a product review. Making incorrect claims about your product can impact customer trust and brand credibility, as well as cause issues with compliance teams. 

However, it’s important to remember that the power of influencer marketing is leveraging influencers’ authentic voices and unique storytelling abilities–all the singular aspects that allowed them to build an audience in the first place–to get their audiences aware and excited about your product.

While we don’t recommend trying to control every word your influencer partners say, there are guardrails you can put in place to ensure the content they create is factually correct and compliant. The best way to do this is to be very clear about your brand’s content rules. For example, some rules to adhere to might be: don’t use the word “bank”, or make it clear we are “FDIC insured”.

If you’re very clear about your rules and have a process in place to work with the influencer proactively, you’re a lot more likely to navigate your influencer partnerships, campaigns, and compliance successfully.

4. Get your compliance team on board right from the beginning

You want to avoid an influencer campaign that causes problems with the compliance team. If things go wrong, the compliance team will ask you to take on the extra workload of correcting the copy, asking the influencer to remove a video, and rephrasing future campaigns. 

One way to reduce content compliance risks is to find influencers who are already familiar with working with financial institutions and are used to navigating compliance rules. 

However, non-alignment with your compliance team will make it harder to work with future influencers, whether they’re familiar with compliance or not, and grow your channel. To avoid this kind of friction, you need to have your compliance team on board with your influencer marketing strategy from the beginning.

To avoid any unwanted surprises, understand your compliance team’s concerns before any influencer content goes live. Sit down with your team and have open conversations about how you’ll manage their concerns (and be prepared to educate on why some of those concerns aren’t something to be worried about).

By involving your compliance team in your influencer strategy up front, you’ll be able to get their buy-in early on and be less likely to see any pushback or challenges moving forward. 

How to start working with influencers as a financial services company

1. Find and manage influencers yourself

Most brands start their influencer marketing journey by finding and managing influencers themselves. With this approach, you’re reaching out to influencers directly, putting together the contracts, setting the terms and managing the strategy.

If you’re currently in this stage, you’ll want to understand how influencers work with brands before bringing them on. For example, ask questions like: 

  • What tactics do you use to promote?
  • Who owns the content once it’s created? Can it be used for other purposes?
  • What is your primary platform for content creation? 
  • What type of content will you use (i.e., short or long form video)?
  • Do you work with short or long-term engagements?  

Learn more about how to work with influencers: Choosing the Right Influencer Partners: How influencers are changing the game

Manually reaching out and working with influencers is a great way to test influencer marketing as a channel. However, it’s hard to scale. Using a spreadsheet to manage and track results of more than a handful of influencers can get complex quickly. You might struggle with getting the attention of more well-known influencers, checking the content your partners create, or handling compliance effectively.

2. Work with an influencer marketing agency

Once you’ve experimented and proven the potential of your influencer marketing efforts, a natural next step might be to work with an external provider to help you manage and grow the channel.

You can choose to work with agency platforms that connect you directly with influencers. An agency platform can help with discovery, but not so much with handling and growing the influencer marketing channel. For example, these platforms usually won’t help you with setting up the strategy and managing the day to day with influencers, which means you’ll still have to do most of the work.

Another option is to work with an influencer marketing agency. These are agencies that specialize in influencer marketing and take care of the full process of managing that channel, including finding the influencers, setting the strategy, ensuring content meets brand guidelines and doing the reporting. 

Working with an influencer marketing agency can be a good option to scale your marketing efforts. However, you want to make sure the agency has experience with the financial services sector so they’ll understand how to manage compliance risks. Make sure to pick an agency that knows financial services regulations and will communicate the brand’s hard and soft content rules with the influencer. 

Also, an agency may not offer tracking and reporting, which means measuring the success of your influencer marketing will be difficult.

You may be better off finding and working with agents who represent influencers, like our partner Apple Crider at Creators Agency LLC. This could be an easier way to establish a relationship and work with a variety of publishers without needing to engage with a proper agency.

3. Work with a specialized agency and network like Fintel Connect

The last option is to work with an agency specialized in financial services, like Fintel Connect

We’re an agency, platform, network and compliance engine all in one, so you just have one relationship to manage. We have thousands of publishers and influencers within our network and extensive experience growing the affiliate and influencer marketing channel for well known financial services brands like Live Oak Bank, Royal Bank of Canada and PSECU.

Not only do we know financial services in-depth and currently work with over 80 financial institutions and fintechs across Canada and the US, we have the processes in place to help you create content, manage strategies and partnerships, and monitor compliance risks. We also have experience educating and bringing compliance teams on board when setting the influencer marketing campaign strategy.

Here’s why it makes sense to work with Fintel Connect.

How Fintel Connect can help develop your influencer marketing results

You get access to 5,000+ vetted finance influencers and content creators

At Fintel Connect, we’re an all-in-one influencer and affiliate marketing agency, specific to the financial services industry. We launched Fintel Connect because we believe that financial services is a unique industry with unique challenges that merits its own platform and agency for influencers, content creators and affiliates.

By working with us, you get access to our network of 5,000+ curated bloggers, YouTubers, TikTokers and more within our platform. We do the heavy lifting for you by vetting each influencer and ensuring they pass compliance checks before joining our network, so we know they’ll be a good fit for our financial services partners.

With Fintel, you’ll also have a win-win approach to influencer marketing. We’re invested in growing the influencer network and helping them diversify their revenue streams away from flat fees. We can help you propose hybrid payment models (flat fee plus CPA) to the influencers best suited to your financial products for ongoing performance. A hybrid model would incentivize the influencer to continue leveraging well-performing content on a long-term basis so they can continue to generate revenue through CPAs and drive more customers and income to your brand. 

You’ll get the support of experts to help set up your influencer marketing for success

If you’re beginning your influencer marketing journey, we’ll help you get everything in place to start off on the right foot. You’ll have our guidance in setting the strategy, finding and managing the influencers who can meet your objectives, choosing the right payment model, and optimizing campaigns. This means you can spend less time searching for influencers and managing campaigns that may not bring you the desired results. You can count on our support to navigate your influencer campaigns, so they stay on track. 

We’ve worked with many banks and financial institutions, so we know what compliance is concerned about and how to answer their questions. So you can also receive assistance with talking to your compliance team and getting your compliance, marketing, and product departments on board to agree on how to work with influencers

Since we operate as an agency, we’ll help you set clear objectives, as well as the right type of metrics. We are solutions focused, which means we can help you overcome roadblocks and are happy to work with interesting or unique briefs. 

If at any point you’re interested in going down the affiliate marketing route, we can also help you get started with working with publishers like NerdWallet and Bankrate who know how to work with financial services. We’ll set up the tracking, connect you to our platform and help guide your strategy so you reach efficient customer acquisition based on your budget. 

Partnering with Fintel means your influencer marketing program is bespoke to you as a financial services company, with a dedicated team to help you partner with high-quality, successful influencers and publishers who know the importance of content compliance. 

Want to get started with influencer marketing? Reach out to us now to get started.

How we helped a financial brand target a niche audience with influencer marketing

We worked with a financial services brand that was launching a newcomer banking product in Canada, relevant and specific to new East Asian expatriates that were looking for their first Canadian savings and checking account. 

We connected them with expat influencers who created content about their experience moving to Canada. The objective was to attract like-minded expats who were about to move to Canada and could use the new banking product when they arrived in the country.

The influencers had smaller audiences compared to some of the larger, heavy-hitting publishers in market, but since they were highly relevant to our client, they could increase brand awareness amongst a very niche pool of target customers. This complemented the broader acquisition strategy and allowed us to experiment with a new type of partner that would ultimately turn out to deliver the right types of audiences for the products offered.

Financial services influencer marketing: work with influencers that understand financial services

Influencer marketing can be one of the best channels for increasing brand awareness for financial services companies, mainly because when it comes to personal finances, consumers base their decisions on people they follow and trust.

But to make the influencer marketing channel work, ensure you have the processes in place so content is compliant, your compliance team is comfortable with working with influencers, and you get the messaging right.

Looking to get started with influencer marketing? Reach out to us now to get started!

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