By Dylan Conroy, CRO, The Social Standard
A 2022 Super Bowl commercial starring Matt Damon brought the emerging world of cryptocurrency into the living rooms of 112.3 million viewers. Downloads of cryptocurrency apps surged after the broadcast by over 300%.
While not the first celebrity to talk about financial solutions on TV, Damon is one of a growing number of finance-focused influencers (finfluencers), Hollywood elite, and social media stars that financial brands, institutions, and technology platforms are embracing to drive marketing efforts. The future of influencers marketing financial services and solutions is wide open for brand discovery, and there are several innovative companies leading the pack.
Rules of the Finance Game
Consumers turn to social media finfluencers for advice on financial services and solutions, though these products involve risk. Regulators are concerned about channels fueling demand for everything from day trading to cryptocurrencies. This led TikTok to ban financial services ads in 2021. Despite that, influencer videos with #bitcoin have over 11.7 billion views and #investment has 1.8 billion.
Cryptocurrency has entered the mainstream but still needs help increasing awareness, building trust, and improving the reputation of these services. A “finfluencer” like Damon moved these conversations forward in Crypto.com’s flagship marketing campaign.
Brands can benefit from engaging with influencers from different categories and demographics. Among a list of top 10 crypto influencers identified by Investopedia are Vitalik Buterin, the co-founder of Ethereum; Ben Armstrong, best known for his BitBoy Crypto YouTube channel with 1.45 million followers; and Layah Heilpern, an emerging voice of crypto and one of a few women represented in the world of cryptocurrency. Time magazine published an article that listed several other women who are “changing the face, and future, of Crypto” and are influencers who are worth watching.
Celebrity Partnerships and Investments
Influencers are partnering with credit card companies and using their fame to promote financial product services and investments. Danielle Bernstein, the owner of the fashion blog and brand WeWoreWhat, launched a rewards Visa card, engaging her community in a way that transcends social media and the online world, improving the shopper experience and brand loyalty.
Charli D’Amelio encouraged her 140 million TikTok followers to help the app grow teen banking app Step which she is an investor. The app’s hashtag #getstep has generated more than 47.3 millionTiktok views.
Traditionally conservative industries like insurance have turned their spokespeople into influencers. Think of Flo from Progressive or the Gecko from Geico, members of long-term influencer campaigns to create awareness and consumer loyalty.
Reaching a Younger Audience
Most people don’t like talking about money problems, making them difficult to reach. Financial protection brands have activated influencers whose interests align with younger audiences, their target.
Chime, a financial technology company, partnered with the Shoe Surgeon on a giveaway campaign, creating a set of custom mint green and white Jordan 1s featured pockets for a Chime credit or debit card, awarded to sweepstakes winners.
Dave, a mobile banking app that focuses on overdraft protection, partnered with singer Jason Derulo for the TikTok campaign #DaveAdvanceDance promoting cash advances, resulting in 57.5 million views. Credit Karma, which now offers several financial services, turned to Billie Eilish and Ariana Grande on an award-winning campaign to reach Gen Z through live performances.
Buy now, pay later loan solutions have skyrocketed in popularity due to influencer marketing. Klarna partnered with A$AP Rockyand social media star Bretman Rock; Afterpay engaged fashion editor Lauren Caruso and content creator Connie Korenovsky, and Affirm hired actress Nina Dobrev to narrate an ad for its Holiday Smart campaign.
Future of Finance Marketing
Financial brands are developing new ways to engage audiences with creative and fun content. The success of these campaigns suggests that other financial companies should consider influencers who can connect with their target consumers. Watching how brands use influencers can provide a blueprint that drives their influencer marketing efforts. Brands must reach Gen Z consumers and investors where they are, through influencers they trust, while staying compliant.