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Top 5 Takeaways From FinCon 2021 (No surprise – TikTok made the list!)

Cayla Wedemeyer

Cayla Wedemeyer

Senior Marketing Coordinator
  • Last Updated: December 12, 2023

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In case you missed this year’s FinCon, you’re in luck! Read on to get the key trends you won’t want to miss as you build out your marketing plans for 2022.

After a long period of travel restrictions and not being able to connect in person with our favorite publisher partners, the Fintel Connect team was excited to attend this year’s FinCon in Austin, Texas. From start to finish, the energy at the event was high and it was great to catch up with new and long-time industry contacts.

With such an ever-changing landscape, there were a number of insightful panel discussions and roundtables, including one hosted by our very own Client Services Director, Yvette Edsall. In the discussion on “Secrets to a Winning Campaign” leading influencers Jason Schulweis (Morning Brew), Amy Tabash (Webpals), Joshua Kopac (Prodege), and Lauren Greutman ( shared stories about some of their best and worst campaigns along with helpful tips for those new to the influencer scene.

We know not everyone was able to make the event in-person or virtually, so we thought we’d share some of highlights from the event and our key takeaways you can use to support your partnership and brand initiatives in 2022.

Takeaway One: Authenticity is key

Keynote speaker at Fincon

As an influencer, you know your audience better than anyone else. Your voice is the one that they trust when making decisions on which financial products/services are right for them. To build that trust, authenticity needs to be at the forefront of everything that you do and every partnership that you enter.

During the keynote speech, Jaspreet Singh, host at The Minority Mindset, spoke about the importance of being authentic. He broke it down into 2 simple steps: Step 1 – Be you. Step 2 – Be OK being you. He explained that this is the perfect way to maintain authenticity because only you have the power to be unique – don’t be a copy of someone else.

Another thing to keep in mind, specifically when entering a partnership, is that many brands will have set guidelines for how they want their brand to be portrayed. During our panel discussion, Jason spoke about the difficulties around this but gave some important advice:

“Sometimes you need to say no if you are being asked to produce content that doesn’t fit into your content pillars. Saying no at the right time will help you to be authentic.” – Jason Schulweis

Tweet from Sean Mullaney
Helpful Tip: When entering a partnership, present your own brand guidelines that highlight your authentic tone of voice and provide examples so that brands can easily understand who you are and the type of content you produce.

Takeaway Two: Set expectations for yourself and your personal brand

influencer on computer
“Do not undersell yourself. Know your worth and what you can do.” – Lauren Greutman

Entering new partnerships can be challenging if you are not sure where to start. During our panel discussion, Lauren spoke about her early days as an influencer and how she often undersold herself and her skills as a content creator. Over time, she came to realize that she needed to set expectations for herself to make the most out of every partnership.
Tweet from Dr. Barbara O'Neill

Have open conversations with brands about your expectations. Often, brands are willing to negotiate certain terms of agreement, such as the CPC (cost per click) or CPA (cost per acquisition) rates for a campaign.

Helpful Tip: When approaching a brand about a partnership, be ready with a curated media kit that outlines important success metrics from your platform as well as previous campaigns. This will help highlight your skills and will give you leverage when negotiating brand opportunities.

Takeaway Three: Transparency is crucial to establishing strong partnerships

Fintel Connect Panel at Fincon

One of the key themes from the entire event was the importance of transparency and communication when entering a partnership with a brand. Our panel of experts agreed that partnerships are a two-way relationship and will only work when both parties start on the same page.

Quote from Julien Saunders in tweet from Mrs. 1500

Here are some areas where transparency is key to developing a successful partnership:

  • Goals and objectives – Set clear goals that are realistic and obtainable at both ends of the partnership.
  • Brand guidelines – Ensure that both parties understand what the brand guidelines are and discuss any potential issues prior to creating content.
  • Costs – Determine what the cost of the campaign will be. What will the CPC (cost per click) or CPA (cost per acquisition) be? Does it fit industry standards? Is it realistic for both parties?
  • Data and analytics – Share important metrics such as unique views, click-through rates, organic traffic, and conversion rates.
Helpful Tip: Be open and willing to have conversations about every aspect of a campaign. If something is not performing the way that it should, have a conversation about how to improve it.

Takeaway Four: Be ready to pivot

Ross from friends - pivot

Something we noticed at this year’s event was the significant shift in types of platforms that content creators are most excited about. Even just a handful of years ago, Fincon was mostly attended by bloggers and a few YouTubers. Now, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok have taken charge.

So, what does this shift mean for content creators in 2022? Well, the good news is it doesn’t mean that you have to completely change what content you create. Instead, you can pivot to focus on where and how you push out that content to match your audience’s needs. If you currently run a blog, think about how you can repurpose some of that content onto social channels such as Instagram or TikTok.

“When I first started coming to Fincon back in 2013, it was mostly about blogging and there were some Youtubers. Now you have to be everywhere online.” – Lauren Greutman

Check out this Instagram reel that Lauren created based on her blog post about saving money with her envelope system. This is a notable example of how you can repurpose content or ideas and spread them across new platforms. Do you have a podcast? Use the content from that to create a blog post or a fun short-form video. Are you a Youtuber? Think about repurposing some of your video content on platforms like Instagram and Tik Tok.

Quote from Jamilla Souffrant in tweet from Michelle Lambright Black
Helpful Tip: Think and plan with the end in mind. As we mentioned earlier, you know your audience better than anyone. As you pivot, think about which channels will work best for you and your audience.

Takeaway Five: TikTok has officially arrived

person on Tik Tok

During Fincon 2021, we noted a strong contingent of TikTok influencers and engaged in conversation with some who were wanting to scale their following and partner with financial brands. Over the past year and a half, TikTok has become one of the most prominent social media platforms for Gen Z and Millennials. In September of this year, TikTok had 104 million downloads which is a 46% increase compared to the same period in 2020.

That said, it’s important to note the policies that TikTok has recently implemented that restrict how influencers can market financial products.

If this is a channel you are considering, be sure to evaluate the pros and cons and the policies that are currently in place. Before getting started, ask yourself these questions:

  • Does the platform suit my audience?
  • Is it manageable?
  • What kind of impact will it have?
  • How do the policies impact the type of content you intend to produce?
Helpful Tip: TikTok is a platform that takes time to understand and manage. Spend some time on the platform to better understand what others are doing and what is trending.

Final Thoughts

Fintel Connect is proud of the role we’re playing in helping to facilitate partnerships between influencers and brands. It is what creates greater transparency for the end consumer and a healthier financial ecosystem overall.

Which means the best part of attending FinCon this year was the new relationships we created and strengthening the existing relationships we’re strengthening. If we missed you at the event, or we didn’t get a chance to meet virtually, we would still love to connect with you and learn more about what you’re building!

If you want to learn more about how to partner with exciting financial brands, contact us and we would be happy to answer any questions and help you get started.

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