From TikTok stars to YouTube personalities to Instagram celebrities, consumers turn to online content creators — many of whom they see as peers — for advice on various products and services. This includes financial advice on investing, managing credit, and creating budgets.

Already, almost half of all consumers are more likely to make purchases based on social media referrals1 and more than 71% of consumers use social media for shopping inspiration2 — but the influencer market is even stronger. Research from Vericast found that more than 60% of people interact with an influencer at least once per day. Roughly 88% of shoppers were inspired to make a purchase because of influencer content, and 65% of people discover at least one new product or find out about a new brand from an influencer every week. Social media interactions influence consumer perceptions, whether those interactions come from an influencer or the brand itself.

Vericast’s Financial Health Survey found four key findings specific to influencer and social media marketing:

1. Consumers still want influencers to scope out products and do the research for them.

Word of mouth has always been critical to the buyer journey. In the past, that might’ve meant asking a friend for a recommendation, but social media and influencer-brand collaborations have given peer-to-peer influence a whole new meaning.

Our research found that more than 60% of respondents seek financial advice from social media. For Gen Z, that number is even higher. This affects how brands are rethinking how they connect and meet consumers outside of traditional marketing channels and are focusing more effort and marketing dollars on influencer marketing.

2. Influencers improve the credibility of advertisements.

Some consumers dislike advertising. According to Forrester Research, those individuals do what they can to avoid ads altogether, regardless of format. Interestingly, sentiments change when an ad features someone a consumer follows online. A quarter of consumers trust an advertisement more when it features an influencer they admire.

Additionally, when brands partner with influencers to leverage their credibility. People feel a personal connection when they discover a brand through their favorite influencers. They like to see real people in content which gives brands a deeper level of trust with the audience.

3. Consumers expect quick resolutions.

It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that a portion of brand interactions involve complaints. But these complaints come with elevated expectations. On average, 30% of consumers expect an immediate response after airing a grievance with a brand online.

Social media’s emergence as a go-to marketing strategy over the past decade happened for good reason. Not only is it a more creative and humanistic approach to marketing, but it also leverages real-time feedback to adjust messaging and strategy. It’s the ideal resource to keep pace with a consumer landscape that is as fluid as any in history.

4. Refining brand messaging for your financial institution

For those reasons, social media marketing will continue to make consumers more receptive to brand messaging, and those interactions will affect everything from online shopping to financial institutions.

In many ways, influencer marketing has redefined the customer purchase journey. However, it’s important to remember that influencer marketing is no longer in its infancy — three-quarters of marketers already collaborate with influencers. With consumers becoming savvier by the day, it begs the question: How will influencer marketing continue to affect consumer choices? And how will it impact banks and credit unions?

Financial services marketers must continue to use insight from their social media marketing campaigns to fine-tune their approach regularly and maintain relevance with customers. By always staying on your toes and up to date on current research, you can develop the sort of financial institution messaging that resonates at all points along the customer journey.

As always, when it comes to financial services marketing, be sure to evaluate your strategy in tandem with regulations from the Federal Trade Commission and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. The juice can be worth the squeeze when used correctly, and influencer marketing financial services could be an excellent way to grow your financial institution. Influencer marketing is more than a passing social media trend. It is a powerful tool for reaching the right people and converting them to customers.

Learn more about creating omnichannel marketing strategies by watching our webcast.

1 Marous, Jim, “Banking Must Upgrade Marketing Technology to Become Future-Ready,” The Financial Brand, July 26, 2022
2 Marous, Jim, “Economic Fears Give Banks a Big Chance to Offer Personalized Insights,” The Financial Brand, July 5, 2022