Influencer marketing: Not just for consumer brands
In an increasingly digital world, it has become crucial to reach non-media advocates and their audiences through influencer partnerships, as they provide awareness, trust and credibility for your brand.
The term “influencer” is not always defined as a celebrity or a lifestyle expert, as influencers cover a wide variety of audiences, and can be experts in any given area. Regardless of the size of their following, they always have two things in common: 1) they are content creators in their own right, and 2) they have dedicated audiences that trust them and their opinions.
Prosek Partners’ Digital & Integrated Marketing team runs influencer campaigns for top brands. We connect clients in various industries - from financial services (e.g., credit cards) to healthcare (e.g., medical testing) - with influencers to create engaging social media content and can position them as spokespeople to drive earned media attention.
Yes, financial and professional services brands can do influencer marketing.
You might be thinking, “I work in financial or professional services; this doesn’t apply to me.” But many brands in your space are dabbling in this world. (Take wealth management and tech, for example.)
Think about your influencer campaign through the lens of what you’re looking to promote. Financial and professional services brands can consider authentic and effective influencer partnerships in the following ways:
- Products: Your influencer can speak directly to the specific benefits associated with a credit card, savings account, insurance plan or fintech tool. By sharing his/her/their personal story and how your product has made life easier, your influencer can showcase impact.
- Services: There are many influencers who are well known in the personal finance space. Financial planning, tax planning and legal services are often discussed topics on social media, and can sometimes be associated with misinformation or incorrect advice. A brand name and a trustworthy influencer can legitimize the information you’re messaging to users, build brand loyalty and empower the audience to turn to your brand for additional services and facts.
- Brands: Brand awareness is about familiarizing your audience with your company, product or service more broadly. Conversion, clicks or sales may not be the goal in an awareness campaign, it’s more about building a relationship, loyalty and recognition with the audience. Banks, insurance companies and associations are just some of the industries that may benefit from brand awareness influencer campaigns.
- Initiatives: Influencers can act as spokespeople to build awareness about internal priorities, such as DEI and / or ESG initiatives and educational programs. Brands may also consider partnering an influencer with an employee or internal spokesperson for these types of campaigns.
Your influencer strategy will also be determined by your influencer partner’s preferred social platform. Much of today’s influencer marketing happens on three social platforms: Instagram, TikTok and YouTube. Each has benefits and drawbacks.
- Instagram: Currently boasts 2 billion monthly active users, is the fourth most used social media platform and the fifth most visited website worldwide. While it still ranks behind Facebook and Twitter, it over-indexes with the coveted 18-34 year-old demographic, which make up 60% of the app’s user base. Additionally, advertising is particularly powerful on this platform, with internal Instagram data showing that 50% of users become more interested in a brand after they see an ad for it on the platform. (Source: Sprout Social)
- TikTok: These days, TikTok is so much more than dance videos and viral trends. The U.S. audience for the platform has grown exponentially, ballooning during the pandemic, now to 1 billion monthly active users globally, and 113 million in the U.S. More Gen Zers use TikTok than Instagram, and predictions show that TikTok will overtake Snapchat in popularity in the coming years. Not only was TikTok the most downloaded app in 2022, users are spending an inordinate amount of time on the app: averaging 95 minutes per day. From a marketing point of view, it represents an untapped platform, as only 18% of marketers are currently using TikTok. (Source: Sprout Social)
- YouTube: When considering a broader video marketing strategy, there’s no better platform than YouTube. YouTube boasts over 2 billion monthly active users (nearly a quarter of the world’s population). While the largest user group is between 15-35, YouTube reaches viewers of all ages and most see it as an educational platform, turning to YouTube for how-to videos, tips and tricks and crucial information. YouTube generated $6.69 billion in ad revenue in Q1 of 2023 (Source: Alphabet), and consumers tend to find YouTube ads more relevant than both linear TV advertising or streaming apps. (Source: Sprout Social)
You don’t need a million-dollar marketing budget to leverage influencers.
Working with an influencer doesn’t necessarily mean working with a celebrity or household name (see graphic). Companies of various sizes can consider influencer partnerships, because influencers also come in all shapes and sizes. In fact, sometimes even bigger brands with larger budgets choose to work with micro-influencers, who may be less expensive, but that have strong trust within their audiences.
At Prosek, we rank influencers based on follower count and anticipated reach / engagement:
Working with a highly engaging mid-tier or top-tier influencer who is already speaking directly to your target audience, who has built credibility and trustworthiness on his/her/their preferred platform(s), and has genuine enthusiasm for your brand, product or service can be as (or even more) effective as working with a celebrity.
So, how can Prosek help?
Our approach is to find authentic influencer partnerships with appropriate audience sizes to further a company’s marketing goals.
Our “Four Rs” of influencer marketing are:
- Research & Strategy: Based on objectives and budgets, our team develops a recommendation of relevant influencers, following our detailed vetting and identification process. This includes conducting research into the influencer’s existing content and audience bases, and determining alignment with your brand and goals.
- Relationship Building: Together, we align upon a recommended influencer list and negotiate terms such as content volume and pricing.
- Running the Show: Prosek handles all elements of execution with as much or little involvement from the brand as needed. This includes briefing influencers, content reviews, in some cases editing, trafficking for approvals and overall project and relationship management.
- Reporting: At the onset of the program, we outline KPIs to track success of the influencer campaign, which will be determined based on the objectives of the campaign, content types used and posting cadence.