Dmitrii Khasanov: How Banks Can Build Authentic Brand Partnerships with Influencers?

Influencer marketing is currently experiencing a surge in popularity, with micro and macro bloggers taking the lead. The recent proliferation of social media influencers has bolstered this marketing sector to new heights. According to HubSpot, a significant 50% of Millennials place their trust in product recommendations made by influencers. In contrast, only 38% express the same level of trust in product recommendations from celebrities. This highlights the growing impact of influencer marketing, with 8.92% of marketers acknowledging its effectiveness as a powerful marketing strategy.

Today, influencers have become the go-to choice for spreading content across a wide range of platforms. From fashion brands and food stores to universities, schools, hospitals, and insurance companies, it seems that everyone is collaborating with bloggers and social media influencers to engage with their audience. But what about the banking sector? Does this traditionally conservative industry harness the power of influencer marketing? Dmitrii Khasanov, a digital marketing expert and the founder of Melandia Agency, delves into the world of influencer partnerships for banks and how they can authentically connect with this modern marketing strategy.

According to Mr. Khasanov, selecting an influencer as a bank partner is quite similar to the process of choosing a TV program for running an advertisement. The idea is that the people who would be interested in a product or service should resemble those who watch a specific TV show or, in this case, follow a particular influencer. In essence, the key is to find an influencer whose audience closely matches the potential consumers of the product, ensuring that the marketing message reaches the right people.

Dmitrii Khasanov states “Banks want to connect with young people, involve them in new offerings, and tailor services to individual needs. But reaching both millennials and Generation Z can be a challenge. To do it effectively, they need to create engaging content on platforms like TikTok and Instagram that appeals to these younger audiences. They can also host live discussions on Twitter and Reddit to interact directly with them. However, banks often struggle with low engagement on their social media, which is where bloggers can help. Bloggers are influential in this space, and their involvement can boost audience interest and interaction, making it easier for banks to connect with these younger generations.”

To help banks build strong and authentic partnerships with social media influencers, Dmitrii advises to keep in mind the 7C:

  • Clear objectives; 
  • Choose the right influencers; 
  • Cultivate relationships;
  • Create content;
  • Comply;
  • Calculate impact; 
  • Continue learning your audience.

The process begins with setting clear goals that match the bank’s objectives. Then, it’s about carefully picking influencers whose values and audience align with the bank’s message. Building genuine relationships with influencers and open communication is essential. Collaboration revolves around creating engaging content that speaks to the influencer’s audience and meets the brand’s goals. Following industry regulations and being transparent is key in the regulated banking sector. Monitoring and measuring the partnership’s impact through performance indicators is crucial. Lastly, adaptability and staying in tune with audience preferences and evolving influencer trends are essential.

However, for banks, finding the right influencer can be a new challenge. According to BuzzGuru, most brands (64%) collaborate with macro-influencers and even more (74%) with micro-influencers on social media. But why not just pay a celebrity with millions of followers for an ad post? The answer is credibility. 

People admire movie stars and famous singers, but do they truly trust their endorsements and choices? People are more likely to make a purchase based on a recommendation from a micro-influencer with, say, 56,000 followers because these micro-influencers are seen as relatable and trustworthy. Celebrities, with their huge followings, often come across as promotional and less genuine. In contrast, micro-influencers, while having smaller audiences, are considered passionate and knowledgeable about their niches.

Their recommendations are personal and often based on real experiences, which makes them more convincing to their audience. Therefore, when banks seek influencer partnerships, prioritizing the authenticity and credibility of micro and macro-influencers over celebrity endorsements can be a more effective strategy for building trust and forming real connections with the target audience.

When working with social media influencers, no matter their size, Dmitrii Khasanov advices to remember these three key points:

  1. Check Interaction Stats: Review the engagement statistics of their content. But, be cautious as these numbers can be misleading; verify them on trusted third-party sites.
  2. Assess Reputation: Before partnering, investigate the influencer’s reputation. Ensure they aren’t associated with any controversies that could harm your brand’s image.
  3. Understand Their Style: Influencers have their unique style and tone. Study this in advance to prevent any potential reputation issues. Collaborate with those whose content matches your brand values for a smoother partnership.