Innovation | 10.17.22
Finfluencers: What You Need to Know
The following is an extension of the “One Size Fits Nobody” article featured in the 2022 issue of “Portfolio” magazine – an exclusive benefit for BISA members.
Faares Quadri recently logged into his TikTok account (@faaresq), pressed the record button and created a short video titled “Why the Rich Borrow Money.” Like most of his posts on the social networking app, Faares structured the video as a mock conversation between a more educated financial advisor and a beginning investor.
But unlike most content created by wealth management professionals, Faares’ video has been viewed a staggering 145,000 times and has received nearly 500 comments. Those are likely humbling numbers to established firms spending significant time and money trying to connect with potential new clients.
The 22-year-old from Elmhurst, IL, USA, has more than 2.2 million TikTok followers, making him a prime example of a “finfluencer.” That’s the moniker of a growing number of popular content creators on TikTok, LinkedIn and YouTube who provide a mix of financial advice and entertainment.
Faares is known for posting wealth-building advice along with life hacks and comedy videos. Other finfluencers span a wide range of topics, including cryptocurrency, investing, budgeting, saving, mortgage tips, college finance advice, basic financial literacy and more. They’re leveraging the popularity of social platforms — TikTok alone reached 3 billion worldwide downloads in 2021 — to demystify investing while also building their personal brands.
According to Putnam Research, about one in five financial advisors now use TikTok for business, creating bite-sized clips that often help to boost the financial literacy levels of novice investors. The trend signals that financial education is becoming more accessible — juxtapose a fun, lighthearted, free-to-consume video with a conventional, stodgy prospecting campaign or dinner seminar.
It’s important to note that some finfluencer content is ad-influenced or highly questionable. (Relatively few of them are licensed financial advisors.)
How Does This Apply to Your Business?
You probably don’t have millions of social media followers, but you still have an opportunity to learn from finfluencers and apply aspects of their success to the marketing strategy of your bank or credit union.
Here are four questions to ask yourself:
- How can you inject your personality into educational advice, in a way that might resonate with clients and prospects?
- What financial topics or opinions can you turn into short video content, which is more likely to be watched and shared than many other types of marketing?
- How can you better connect with millennials and invite more questions and dialogue from them?
- Zooming out a bit, how can you create a social media content calendar that supports and spotlights your business goals throughout the year?
Finfluencers are a trend organizations should be aware of as an information source that a growing number of current and potential clients are referencing for financial advice. Read more about the importance of generational marketing strategies and nine tips for smarter targeting and messaging in the 2022 issue of “Portfolio” magazine – a BISA member-only publication.
Not a member? Join today. BISA is the leading financial services industry association dedicated to serving those responsible for the marketing, sales and distribution of securities, insurance, and other financial products and advisory services through the bank channel.