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For fintech players striving to stand out in an ever-more crowded space, the Gamestop stock battle offers a valuable lesson. As well as underscoring the huge power of social media, this tale of Reddit rebellion highlights the potential for fintechs to boost their online attention by gaining social clout and, in particular, by partnering with the rising crop of finance influencers.
While the global fintech market may be booming — set to hit $305 billion by 2025 — achieving cut through is increasingly difficult, particularly as companies face stiff competition from established financial services institutions, as well as big tech players, like Google, Microsoft and Amazon. However, some innovators, including Monzo, Revolut and Plum, are tapping into the considerable sway held by social ‘finfluencers’, which enables them to rise above the competitive noise.
Although not a new concept, the growing fusion of finance and social presents vast scope for amplified reach and impact, especially among younger audiences. But, to boost awareness for the right reasons, strategies and alliances must be formed with care. So, when it comes to the effective use of influencers, what can fintechs learn from Gamestop’s success?
Finding your social niche
There is plenty of evidence to indicate how much fintech firms stand to gain from leveraging social. TikTok is seeing soaring engagement across finance-focused content – with tags such as #Stocktok, #fintok, and #investing racking up views of 97.4 million, 42.6 million. Seasoned experts and new gurus alike are building loyal followings of users keen to make better-use of their money, and savvy organisations have lost no time in capitalising on the growing tide of online interest by teaming up with social megastars – see, for example, the recent collaboration between Charli D’Amelio and US teen banking app, Step.
But, as other players look to follow suit, it’s important to appreciate that size isn’t always everything. Above all, social users want content to be authentic, valuable, and relatable: as shown by the popularity of the Clever Girl Finance YouTube channel, which provides women with financial guidance and advice. As such, fintech companies must carefully assess partners to ensure the right fit for their company, service, and target audience.
While targeting big names may seem an effective way of securing large-scale influence, this strategy can’t necessarily guarantee the meaningful connection that content must create to fuel positive awareness and interaction. In fact, micro influencers often have extremely close and trusted relationships that provide a better means of reaching niche audiences, with the added bonus that they are more affordable.
But, from a brand safety perspective, cost is no substitute for the proper assessment of influencers to ensure they’re an authentic fit. Indeed, studies by Ogilvy show that one in four UK influencers have engaged in fraudulent activity, and there are numerous examples of influencer fraud in finance specifically. For example, the fintech startup, Lanistar, which was hyped by instagram influencers in 2020, was identified by the UK watchdog as a potential scam. It’s therefore essential for brands to properly vet potential partners to ensure brand safety is prioritised at all times.
Adapting to suit each environment
Failing to consider how messages will work on different platforms can put companies at risk of missing the mark, or even stimulating a negative response – as Burger King recently discovered when an ad made for print didn’t convey its full intended purpose on Twitter. The core lesson here for fintech firms moving into social is that the different attributes of each environment are just as crucial considerations as picking the right influencers.
For example, TikTok videos are highly impactful but don’t allow for granular exploration of finance concepts. To avoid causing confusion, the best option for influencer campaigns lie with using TikTok as a means of seizing attention and driving engagement elsewhere — such as teaser videos than encourage users to visit company sites and blogs — and harnessing longer-form platforms, such as YouTube or IGTV, to deliver more thorough, educational content.
Maximising investment results
In many ways, influencer partnerships function much like any other digital marketing or lead acquisition initiative. So, it’s only logical that robust measurement is also essential for organisations to determine how efforts are performing and where they can be improved.
In basic terms, this means taking a similar approach to online ad campaigns: tracking reach and impressions. For instance, monitoring micro-metrics such as site engagement rates alongside overall conversions can also help pave the way for advanced conversion rate optimisation (CRO). With a detailed understanding of how users behave after they click-through, companies can fine-tune their own content to maximise the chances of influencer-driven visitors turning into qualified leads and, eventually, customers.
Leveraging the might of ‘finfluencers’ is becoming an attractive prospect for forward-looking fintech businesses keen to sharpen their digital edge. By learning from the Reddit rebels and leveraging established voices to connect with extensive audiences, companies can quickly get ahead of competitors. However, as they begin to forge alliances, it will be important to stay focused on quality, not just quantity. Ultimately, succeeding in the intricate world of social calls for smart partnership selection, environmental adaptation, and measurement.