Millennials are now the largest generation in the United States labor force, and Adage estimates that 18- to 34-year-olds will account for over $200 billion in consumer spending by 2017. As this young, tech-savvy generation begins applying for mortgages and opening retirement accounts, the financial services industry (banks, investment firms, loan associations, etc.) is relying on digital influencers and social media platforms like Instagram to redefine their brand identities and expand their reach to a U.S. consumer base that now spends an average of 2.7 hours on social media apps each day.
Infographic courtesy of We Are Social
With their cold, marble-floored lobbies and well-groomed tellers behind panes of bulletproof glass, banks could hardly be called “warm and fuzzy.” This traditional facade might have been welcomed by older generations, but today’s young consumers demand that their financial services and institutions care about them as people as much as they do about their money.
Banks striving to develop a friendlier, “people first” identity are making the most of Instagram’s visual medium to develop creative campaigns that tug at users’ heartstrings. By focusing on the things that are most important to customers – their families, for instance, or the experiences that financial security can buy – banks are leveraging the emotional and story-telling power of photos to connect with consumers on a personal level.
Partnering with top Instagrammers to develop family-related or travel-oriented posts is an effective way for banks to grab the attention of their audience, increase brand awareness, and interject a human element into a traditionally impersonal industry.
For TD Bank’s #ShouldaBeenAVideo Instagram marketing campaign, the lender asked Instagrammers to capture intimate moments that, as the campaign suggests, should have been videos. To increase campaign reach, TD Bank partnered with Polaroid camera to set up a photo contest, with the winner receiving a new Polaroid Cube camera and $5000 from the bank. To date, the hashtag #shouldabeenavideo has garnered over 3,000 posts, and the campaign’s top sponsored Instagram post has received over 13,000 views.
The gymnast in me coming out? If you have any cool action shots that would’ve been a better video, send them in to the @tdbank_us #shouldabeenavideo sweepstakes! Use the hashtags #shouldabeenavideo and #entry for a chance to win a new @polaroidcubeofficial video camera and up to $5,000 from TD Bank! #sp A photo posted by Tia Valentine (@tortillaa) on
Instagrammer Tia Valentine takes advantage of an authentic moment to spread the word about TD Bank’s #ShouldaBeenAVideo campaigns to her 217k Instagram followers.
Similar to TD Bank’s efforts to humanize the brand, US Bank’s #ISaveSoICan campaign featured aspirational content created by some of the platform’s top Instagrammers. By showing (through breathtaking images, no less) what is possible when one achieves financial security, US Bank’s social media strategy captilizes on Millennials’ new desire to save for the future.
A great tip for saving up for travel; put all your loose change in your travel jar, fills up quicker than you expect @usbank #ISaveSoICan #sp A photo posted by Eva Tsang (@thetrottergirl) on
US Bank’s campaign relied primarily on top travel and adventure influencers to demonstrate what customers can accomplish if they focus on saving. Eva Tsang’s collection of travel photos is a perfect example of the #ISaveSoICan campaign in action.
Travel photography is definitely an expensive hobby, and @USBank helps me cut back spending in areas that don’t help me reach my goals. Every time I buy something, I ask myself if this is something I need or if it’s something that will takeaway from my ability to go on my next trip. Every penny counts! #spon #ISaveSoICan A photo posted by snapchat // jordanherschel (@jordanherschel) on
Travel photographer and Instagrammer Jordan Herschel equates saving through US Bank with beautiful new worlds. Jordan’s posts has garnered over 30k likes so far.
Connecting with members of the community is one way for financial institutions to show they care about people, and few Instagram marketing campaigns accomplish this goal better than Capital One’s recent #EveryDayMoneyBoston campaign. To engage users, Capital One asked Bostonians to capture photos of residents supporting local causes, and even shared the best examples of community-building on the Tumblr site EverydayMoneyBoston.com.
Though not a digital influencer per se, New England Patriots star Julian Edelman got in on the #everydaymoneyboston campaign by posting a photo of volunteers building beds for Boston Cares, a community outreach organization that works to improve the lives of Bostonians. To date, Edelman’s photo has received 23.8k likes from Instagram audiences.
For more examples on how Capital One partners with Instagrammers to increase brand reach and engagement, see our article here.