Fintech Is Banking On Influencers For Model Constructing

It is smart that manufacturers in attractive verticals like fashion and hair care flip to social media influencers. However banking manufacturers rent influencers, too.

One latest instance is Kasasa, a fintech firm that launched in 2003 and companions with native credit score unions and neighborhood banks to supply accounts with rewards for individuals seeking to open or change accounts.


Final month, Kasasa ran a latest video marketing campaign with a twist on the “shop local” pattern.

YouTube and TikTok character Trey Kennedy performs a small-town “hipster” who brags about solely shopping for from native store homeowners – at one level he boasts that he’s so native he has a “radish guy” – till one other model of himself carrying a swimsuit factors out that purchasing greens and beanies from native companies is nice, however what about banking?

“Everyone’s obsessed with local coffee shops and locally sourced food, but they’re not thinking about local financial institutions,” Kennedy instructed AdExchanger.


One purpose banking isn’t a part of the millennial “shop local” agenda is as a result of it’s not stylish, neither is it simple. “Waltzing into an alternative to Starbucks is a whole lot easier than opening up a new checking account,” Kennedy stated.

However banking with community-based monetary establishments is what helps fund the loans that maintain the small companies millennials love afloat, stated Kasasa CEO Gabe Krajicek.


Hip to be sq.

Nonetheless, convincing millennials that the small enterprise class consists of banks is a tall order.


Within the ’90s, most Individuals have been banking with native credit score unions and neighborhood banks, Krajicek stated. Now, native establishments maintain lower than 20% of market share. (Extra on the historical past of “megabanks” here.)

Kasasa goes after a contracting viewers, which is why its newest marketing campaign is about “pure brand building,” Krajicek stated.

The marketing campaign can be a step towards investing extra in authentic content material.

YouTube creator Trevor Kennedy proudly holding his locally-sourced eggs.
YouTube creator Trevor Kennedy proudly holding his regionally sourced eggs.

“Influencers are how we can reach and appeal to more target consumers besides other old white men,” Krajicek stated, referring to the stereotype of a banker.

However whereas partnering with a well-liked influencer like Trey Kennedy is a useful solution to acquire extra consciousness, it’s not sufficient to construct a model, he acknowledged, and a small fintech firm like Kasasa has to spend judiciously.

“We’re small – a lot of our growth is grassroots activation right now – but we plan to continue working with influencers to complement what we’re doing with a little boost of prestige,” Krajicek stated. “And because it’s cool.”

Kasasa presently represents 700 monetary establishments spanning 3,400 branches and three million accounts throughout the nation.

For now, Kasasa is concentrated on the higher funnel as a result of it must broadly develop its buyer base. It’s measuring its collaboration with Kennedy based mostly on engagement with particular person monetary establishments, which it’s doing by tying advert exposures to new accounts every monetary establishment stories opening.

As a result of the marketing campaign is predominantly operating on Instagram and YouTube, Kasasa can be searching for social media engagement with the video as a gauge of intent.

“Customers considering potentially banking at local institutions are more likely to open an account if they see other people supporting those banks online,” Krajicek stated. “It’s social validation.”

Cash troubles

However the marketing campaign has one other target market along with millennials: monetary establishments themselves.

Kasasa hopes that higher model constructing for its service will incentivize different monetary establishments to enroll with Kasasa.

Different campaigns Kasasa has run up to now for particular monetary establishments led to a roughly 50% improve in account openings, Krajicek stated.

However finance is a delicate vertical in relation to promoting and knowledge use, and Kasasa has needed to cope with fairly just a few challenges in the way it markets itself.

In 2014, the Federal Deposit Insurance coverage Company (FDIC) dominated that Kasasa is a deposit dealer, not a monetary establishment, so it will possibly’t market itself as one.

“Before, our ads we were directing customers straight to,” Krajicek stated. “Now, we have to say that a certain institution ‘carries’ Kasasa.”

That’s why the tone of this marketing campaign, which isn’t tied to any particular monetary establishment, is extra like a satirical PSA fairly than a pitch to drive guests to Kasasa’s web site.

Now that the waters have settled following the FDIC’s ruling, Krajicek stated, Kasasa is again to specializing in its branding.

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