[Column] Tullah Stephen: Influencer marketing can unlock opportunities for fintechs
The global fintech market is valued at close to USD 7300 billion and is projected to grow at an annual rate of 26.87%, a 2021 report by web service provider Yahoo shows. The rising popularity of digital payments, increased investments in technology-based solutions, supportive government regulation and increased adoption of intelligent devices are some of the reasons cited for the rapid growth of fintechs.
As Kenya transitions into a cashless society, fintechs play a defining role in the digital transaction space. Due to competitive markets, fintech brands face a battle to stand out, educate audiences on the benefits of their solutions, endear them to their brand, recruit them as customers and ultimately convert them into brand ambassadors.
Fintech solutions vary in different sectors and domains i.e., insurance, property tech, lending, payments, wealth tech, challenger banks, trading tech, digital currency/exchanges, and reg-tech. The need to simplify fintech solutions and influence audiences to take them up and navigate them effectively present a challenge to most brands.
With a vast array of digital-savvy audiences who consume copious levels of information online that fragments their attention, a critical component of fintech brands in their marketing arsenal is influencer marketing. Influencer marketing is not a new concept. However, it is an effective strategy that meets different brand and business objectives.
Most fintechs in Kenya are growing brands. Building awareness is a core business or communication objective. Influencers give a brand seal of approval, deeming it worthy for their followers to engage with and build trust with a brand. Influencers promoting your brand don’t just provide empty talk. Their mentions and endorsements can produce business leads and impact sales.
According to a global poll by influencer marketing company Droom Media, 85% of Gen Z use social media to learn about new products. A revealing statistic is that 56% of all internet users, from Millennials to GenZ, watch videos from social media sites (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Reddit). One way or another, people indulge in influencer related content.
Traditional advertising requires a sizable amount of investment and such expenditures would not be attractive to fintechs who, despite the need to grow their brands, will often opt to bootstrap to finance or sustain their operations. Consequently, their advertising budgets are constrained or slashed to support business segments. Influencer-driven content, however, produces stunning results for fintechs from a cost perspective.
Research from influencer marketing company, TapInfluence, shows that a single piece of influencer content can trigger four times return of investment, four months after a campaign and an eye-popping eleven times sales lift across the year. This efficiency forces more and more companies to adapt to this alternate but highly effective form of marketing, eating up budgets that would have been, in most cases, funneled to traditional/mainstream advertising.
Brand appeal is something fintechs should consider beyond crunching up sales numbers. Influencers command huge numbers, upwards of one million followers or subscribers in a single social media platform. A global poll of consumers reveals that 49% depended on influencer recommendations, while 40% purchased because they saw an influencer promoting the brand in question.
Through influencer partnerships, fintechs can reach a wider audience and create a psychological and emotional connection that motivates the desired attitudes and perceptions. This is done through measuring engagement rates, the number of views, shares or likes – metrics than broadcast or print platforms struggle to deliver.
Moreover, while advertisements are hooked off TV screens or radio after some period, fintechs can tap into the longevity of the content once posted on social media platforms. Fintechs can reap the benefits of sustained viewership from content that is accessible or repurposed for months or years, adding to a brand’s visibility and reach.
As the fintech space continues to heat up, the writing is on the wall for brands who battle to expose their solutions to a pool of up to 11 million active social media users in Kenya. Partnerships with the right influencer, when used correctly, can provide a fintech company with both growing or established stronghold audiences and opportunities to influence their solutions more effectively.
Tullah Stephen is the Senior Social Media Manager at Chipper Cash Kenya.