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Financial services institutions are known to shy away from social media due to strict industry regulations. But a growing number of consumer-facing banks, insurance companies and personal finance apps are looking to create promotional content with individuals with large followings on social media, in order to add personality to their brands and cater to the 18- to 34-year-old cohort, according to agency executives.

“Financial services is a tough category, but one I think would be of interest to millennials and women,” said Holly Pavlika, svp of marketing and content for influencer agency Collective Bias, which is pitching several banks. “Education is a huge need in the category around investing and getting a mortgage, et cetera, and having real people tell real stories helps make the category less intimidating.”

Kerry Perse, director of social media for agency OMD, said that when her team ran its first influencer campaign in the financial services vertical around two years ago, the client needed to be educated on what influencer marketing was and convinced that the content would be compliant with the Federal Trade Commission and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority regulations. Now, companies in financial services have a much better understanding of influencer marketing and feel more comfortable with this marketing approach, she said.

“We’ve already done influencer marketing for a couple of financial clients this year, and we are also planning for next year,” said Perse.

influencer marketingMeanwhile, Kamiu Lee, vp of strategy and business development for influencer platform Bloglovin’, has seen a growing interest from financial clients in working with influencers since last year, especially later in 2017, as those companies want to humanize the brand and reach young people, she said. “This is also because as influencer marketing matures, industries outside food, fashion and beauty are also catching up,” said Lee. “Marketers now understand what influencer marketing means — it’s not just about product placement.”

Rob Gregory, president of influencer agency Whosay, also said there’s a growing demand for influencer marketing from clients like Bank of America, Cigna and Principal Financial.

But it’s not easy to run influencer marketing in financial services because of FTC and FINRA regulations. In some cases, financial products may require more disclosures than what the FTC requires. For instance, influencers may need to include a line like “past performance doesn’t guarantee future performance” in their financial product endorsements, in addition to the #ad hashtag, according Pavlika. Meanwhile, individuals are not allowed to endorse a specific stock or investment idea under FINRA, so influencers can’t post or share that type of messaging, said Lee.

“All the legal [regulations] have the potential to take away from authenticity and interrupt the influencer’s ability to tell a story in a human way,” said Pavlika.

Given the strict industry regulations, Perse and Lee both think a good way for financial companies to approach influencer marketing is developing content that relates to an individual’s personal experience, especially life milestones like buying a house or starting a business, where the influencer promotes a financial product in general terms. For instance, a financial-planning app can work with a recently engaged influencer who may talk about how the app helps her save money while planning her wedding, according to Lee.

Another example: If a campaign is about an individual retirement account rollover, the brand can use lifestyle social influencers to talk about how they used one to easily consolidate their multiple retirement accounts from previous employers, said Perse. “They talk about specific products in the context of life stage or a current challenge,” she added.

Lee believes that since financial companies typically have ongoing philanthropic initiatives, they can also work with influencers on that front. “Influencers can help humanize the story instead of just saying bank XYZ donates this much money,” she said.

While financial institutions could benefit from influencer marketing, the decision to work with social stars comes down to the product. For instance, investment products are not a right fit for influencer marketing, while digital wallet products, apps and functional bank offerings are ideal, said Pavlika.

The post Financial institutions have a growing interest in influencer marketing appeared first on Digiday.

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With the rise in the adoption, brands are increasingly turning to influencers to help get their message across with more passion, creativity, and authenticity. Consumers trust word of mouth over all forms of marketing, and Influencer Marketing in 2018 gauges shall rise higher.

Influencers may range from superstars and internet celebrities who appeal to a broad and widely ranging audience such as Shah Rukh Khan, Amitabh Bachchan and Katrina Kaif to the micro influencers and bloggers on social media, who interact with a smaller but highly engaged section of their audience, such as Technical Guruji and Geeky Ranjit for Tech, or @masterchefmom or @thefinelychopped for Food. Influencer Marketing in 2018 will evolve, and reach greater heights to accomplish even more wonderful things.

Speaking to a number of brand custodians, CMOs, Agency Heads, Bloggers and Influencers, the Influencer Marketing Outlook 2018 from Buzzoka analyzes and tries to ascertain the changing face Influencer Marketing in 2018 and where it headed.

Some of the key findings from the report include:

“In today’s evolved and crowded world, the traditional sentiment of hearing the voice of people who matter hasn’t still changed. Even with the rapid changing technology across spectrum of life, the importance of resting the belief on influencer’s words on a topic especially new technology things is ever growing and is certainly a new form of “word-of-mouth” (now digitally).” says Amit Gujral, CMO, LG India.

“Influencer Marketing has huge potential and we are seeing an upward trend in the influencer space as there is a tremendous scope for brands to initiate conversations in a thought through environment, with rising Platforms like Snapchat, Quora etc. I am sure we are seeing an amazing year ahead.” Gursharan Mishra Media Buying Head at Isobar Delhi.

“Influencer Marketing is a rising game and it has huge potenal to lead the marketing mix. Metrics and creativity will be a differentiator in 2018.” Yogin Vora, Partner, Digital, DDB Mudra.

Influencer Marketing is the future of marketing across the globe. With platforms
like YouTube evolving, we are sure the world will be revolving around the tonnes of content created. YouTube from a YouTubers perspective is the game changer and will rule the coming
days too.” Rahul Vora from iRahul Vora

“Influencer Marketing has been on a soaring high and I see the numbers increasing this year as well. But final surviving agencies will always be those that consider the ratio of authentic content with organic reach as opposed to personal relations and low remunerations.” Shifa Merchant from Sassy Shifa Says.

Influencer Marketing in 2018These are some of the findings from this survey, the complete report – Influencer Marketing Outlook 2018 from Buzzoka can be downloaded here.

This survey was conducted with over 500 Marketers and Influencers.

Note: Buzzoka launched its DIY Influencer Marketing Platform with this report. The report intends to cover the length and breadth of Influencer Marketing Ecosystem in India from Brands and Influencers perspective

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