Business Development Director
Thank-you to everyone who attended our webinar The Power of Influencer and Content Marketing with the Ohio Bankers League (OBL). Investing in influencer marketing yields high results for financial institutions and we are always excited to share our expertise to guide you through the process.
Introduction to Influencer and Content Marketing
Influencer marketing centers around a paid partnership with an individual who has a designated online following. Influencers work with a brand to promote the brand’s products to their niche audience, producing content to capture their audience’s interest. Joseph highlights that in marketing strategies, influencers are often broken down by niche, size, and online medium (i.e. blogs. social media platforms, video). When considering influencer marketing for your financial institution, he explains that partnering with smaller financial influencers can often lead to higher engagement, as smaller influencers (or “microinfluencers”) often have closer relationships with their audience.
Russ agrees and adds that influencer marketing can also be viewed as a hybrid between branding and customer acquisition. Influencers elevate a brand’s image through their own authentic voice and drive their audience to complete a specific action that leads to becoming the brand’s customer. This is where brands must determine important metrics like the cost per action (CPA) or cost per click (CPC) to understand the full cost of acquiring customers and ensure that influencers are paid at an adequate rate. He also adds that unlike traditional marketing campaigns where multi-channel tracking can be challenging, influencer marketing is “a 24-hour sales funnel” that is easier to track. Nicky agrees that influencer marketing is most effective as an “always on” channel and therefore can boost brand engagement in the long-term.
Joseph also recommends integrating your influencer marketing campaigns with your typical digital marketing efforts. By marketing both in house and influencer content, your brand fosters a sense of community and reaches a larger demographic. Nicky notes that having a balance between both forms of content marketing creates a stronger authentic voice and connection with your audience.
Considerations Before Implementing Influencer Marketing
We asked our panelists what their top considerations were for implementing an influencer marketing strategy for financial institutions. Here are their key points:
- Communicate with both your internal teams and compliance teams to set clear goals. It is important to understand the benefits and risks of influencer marketing before taking the first step.
- Create an authentic experience for your customers. Authenticity will strengthen the relationship that a customer has with your brand.
- Optimize your online capabilities so that it supports the customer journey. As Mark explains, it is crucial to “have your house in order before you start inviting people in.”
- Develop landing pages that provide customers with easily accessible information. Russ suggests avoiding the integration of any offline downloads (such as personal information forms) to allow for a seamless online experience.
“Make sure that your online capabilities are suitable to fulfill the customer journey… It’s about having your own house in order before you start inviting people in.”
– Mark Founds, VP and Marketing Director
at LCNB National Bank
Influencer Partnerships: The Key to Success
Partnering with a financial influencer can sometimes be daunting, especially if your brand is new to influencer marketing. However, our panelists emphasize that preparation is key to establishing a successful partnership. As financial brands, they recommend that you:
- Organize your marketing budget. Mark suggests allocating some of your branding budget towards an acquisition budget to help determine your cost per acquisition (CPA).
- Track key metrics to understand where to make necessary changes. Russ emphasizes that data helps you monitor where your most valued customers are coming from.
- Establish multiple touchpoints that guide users through the customer journey. It is helpful to sponsor influencer content on various channels.
- Provide your influencers with a media kit so that they have a clear understanding of your products and messaging.
- Work with an affiliate marketing company to help mitigate risks and effectively manage your influencer partnerships.
Our panelists also discussed how community banks can leverage influencer marketing as a viable alternative to marketing on a national scale. Nicky explains that most influencers have the capability to geo-target their content to specific audiences, preventing users from outside of a particular region from viewing their content. Joseph agrees that geolocation is a powerful point of leverage, adding that influencers can advance this strategy further by including geo-specific keywords (i.e.- city, region, state) throughout their content as part of SEO..
- Influencer marketing is measurable and scalable and, with the right partners, can lead to a high return on investment (ROI).
- Microinfluencers have a distinct advantage in attracting high value customers due to their close relationship with their audience.
- Community banks reach their local audiences by partnering with local influencers
- Authenticity is key to forming lasting relationships with your customers.
If you want to learn more about influencer marketing strategies and how to enhance your bank marketing strategy through partnerships, please get in touch with us, or follow us on LinkedIn to keep up with the latest in affiliate marketing for financial services.