Reach new audiences through social media

Consumers, especially younger generations, are increasingly turning to other sources of financial information and advice.

According to a recent Diffusion survey, 34% of Gen Z consumers get financial advice from TikTok, 33% from YouTube, and only 24% from traditional banks or financial advisors. It is clear that to win and retain customers, financial institutions have a critical need to innovate and rethink their approach to consumer engagement.

Social media marketing – both paid and organic – is an opportunity for banks to meet consumers where they are and adapt to how they want to receive information. TikTok, for example, is an entertainment platform that allows organizations to present complex financial topics in a more digestible and accessible way, and appeal to consumers who want to learn more about financial services but feel anxious or confused about the process.

In fact, according to TikTok data, more than half of their users fall into this category. With this in mind, financial institutions should consider leveraging social platforms to simplify messaging and provide information to a wider audience.

Before launching a social media campaign or promotion, it is essential to know the message you want to convey and the content strategy you will use to do so. To build awareness and generate engagement, content is king. Here are five key social media marketing best practices for financial institutions to keep in mind:

Humanize your brand: Humans connect to humans, not institutions. Banks should therefore use real people in campaigns rather than more static images to humanize their message and brand. Authentic content will help banks feel closer and build a stronger connection with the viewer. Additionally, financial institutions need to balance informative and educational content with humor and creativity to engage audiences on more than one level.

Emphasize the key message from the start: Data provided by TikTok shows that 63% of TikToks with the highest click-through rate highlight the key post or product within the first three seconds of a video. Those first few seconds can make or break a campaign, so banks and credit unions should get their key messages across early.

Inclusiveness is key: The more brands inform and represent diverse communities on social media, the more likely consumers will trust them. Brands that are inclusive in their content increase their level of authenticity. For social media ads, inclusivity not only encompasses imagery, but also language, tone, and context. Maintaining an inclusive mindset throughout the process will ensure that the campaign resonates with as wide an audience as possible.

Tap into popular trends: According to data from TikTok, 21% of videos with the highest view rate take advantage of popular trends, effects or music. Banks should capitalize on trends like “a day in the life” and vlog-style TikToks to gain additional exposure.

Don’t forget the basics: Videos on social media should always be full screen (vertical) and high resolution; use music, voice-over or a combination of both; and be short, sweet and direct.

While organic social content can help financial institutions build relationships with an audience, paid social campaigns allow for more creative and messaging control. Paid social content can also drive actions and clicks to a landing page where consumers can read more information.

Beyond standalone social media campaigns, financial institutions are beginning to test the waters of influencer marketing. Influencers can share their personal finance experiences in near real time and encourage the public to do the same. This generates discussions and awareness that make financial conversations and institutions more relevant.

Influencers can be particularly impactful if engaged over a period of time. Documenting a variety of experiences allows an influencer to engage with audiences of different generations at different times and build deeper connections. Of course, influencers don’t have the same training as a certified financial advisor, so it’s important to encourage viewers to do their own research before making any financial decisions.

Going forward, financial institutions should meet customers where they are and position themselves as a trusted resource. While institutions can and should continue to deliver education through traditional strategies, they must also leverage social channels to engage with younger generations and create new communities.

Tina Seitzinger is Senior Director of Influencer Marketing and Paid Social Media at Vericast.

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