As financial service providers continue to leverage social media in their marketing and branding efforts, they continue to face the same timeless issue: how to make their brand stand out. How do you differentiate yourself from the numerous other similarly named brands? How can you capture the attention of consumers? After realizing the power of social media, bank marketers need to take the next step. Recognize the need for greater effort in developing content strategies in order to lift your social media game.

Here’s how: incorporate social influencers and user-generated content into your marketing arsenal.

This is a growing trend among financial brands – one that stood out in our Annual Marketing and Compliance Survey. It’s effective and personal. It reaches your customers and establishes your brand identity.

What we know about influencer marketing and user-generated content (UGC) is that it can help with the following things:

  • Building brand loyalty
  • Expanding your reach to your target audience
  • Putting you in direct contact with your target audience
  • Boosting your organic site rankings through improved SEO (search engine optimization)
  • Capturing the attention of consumers through a new and engaging format

 

How to Start Influencer Marketing

Many agencies work on pairing social influencers with brands; however, these engagements tend to have a hefty price tag, complex contracts and strict requirements. The challenge financial brands face with this scenario tends to be around budgetary constraints and identifying and collaborating with influencers that align with your brand and target audience.

But that doesn’t mean this is possible for financial brands.

For this marketing tactic to work, it has to be authentic to your bank and brand. A great example is how Minnwest Bank engaged with Zach Johnson, known as the MN Millennial Farmer. Minnwest Bank is the second-largest agricultural lender in Minnesota, with a core focus on agricultural communities and farmers as their target audience. They are known and respected in their footprint as “the ag bank, ” so it made sense to incorporate an influencer like the MN Millennial into their marketing strategy. It was authentic to their brand and on point with their target audience.

 

How to Identify Potential Influencers

Here are some ways to identify suitable partners in your marketing strategy:

  • Identify someone in your own community who is considered influential
  • Look for an individual who has “status,” such as a media personality
  • Other good sources include an industry-specific influencer, who is known as a subject-matter expert or trusted source
  • A local influencer who has a passionate following or are considered influential in your market and with your target audience

By upping your social strategy to utilize influencers, you open up the possibilities for them to share your content, promote exclusive material they create for you, host channel takeovers or live-streaming events on relevant topics. This will expand your reach and allow your brand to tap into a vast and engaged audience, and ultimately build your financial brand.

 

Remember the key: be authentic.

We recently addressed the changing nature of marketing and what it means for financial brands. How do you effectively update your marketing strategy? Going from posts about lobby cookies to being more strategic in your content strategy for social isn’t easy – but it’s possible.

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Author: Jody Guetter

Jody Guetter is the Chief Marketing Officer at Social Assurance, a SaaS company that provides financial service providers sales, marketing, and compliance software solutions and digital marketing services. Jody previously was the VP/ Director of Marketing and Sales at a $2B community bank for seven years and attended the ABA Bank Marketing School in 2017.

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