Reaching new audiences using social channels

Consumers, especially younger ones, are increasingly turning to alternative sources for financial information and advice.

Consumers – especially younger generations – are increasingly turning to alternate sources for financial information and advice.

According to a recent Vericast survey, 34% of Gen Z consumers obtain financial advice from TikTok, 33% from YouTube and only 24% from traditional banks or financial advisors. It’s clear that in order to gain and retain customers, financial institutions have a critical need to innovate and reimagine their approach to consumer engagement.

Social media marketing – 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 instance, is an entertainment platform that allows organizations to present complex financial topics in a more digestible and accessible way, and appeal to consumers who are interested in learning more about financial services but feel anxious or confused about the process.

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

Before launching a social media campaign or promotion, it’s critical to know the message you want to get across and the content strategy you’ll 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 with humans, not institutions, so banks should use real people in campaigns rather than more static imagery to humanize their message and brand. Authentic content will help banks feel more relatable and help build a stronger connection with the viewer. Additionally, financial institutions should balance informative and educational content with humor and creativity to engage the audience on more than one level.

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

Inclusivity is key: The more brands inform and represent diverse communities on social channels, the more likely it is that consumers will trust them. Brands that are inclusive in their content increase their level of authenticity. For social media ads, inclusivity encompasses not only imagery, but also language, tone and context. Maintaining an inclusive mindset throughout the process will ensure 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-through rate leverage popular trends, effects or music. Banks should capitalize on trends such as ‘a day in the life’ and vlog-style TikToks to gain additional exposure.

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

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

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

Influencers can be especially impactful if engaged with over a period of time. Documenting a variety of experiences allows an influencer to engage with audiences from different generations at varying times and build deeper connections. Of course, influencers do not 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.

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

Tina Seitzinger is senior director of influencer marketing and paid social at Vericast.