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Marketing Briefing: On the rise of fintok

  • Gen Zers continue to turn to TikTok for financial advice and guidance.
  • For financial service providers, old and new, that may mean double-clicking that 'sign up' button.
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Marketing Briefing: On the rise of fintok

34% of Zoomer consumers get financial advice from TikTok, 33% get it from YouTube, and only 24% turn to financial advisors, according to research by marketing solutions provider Vericast.

In short, the role these platforms are playing in Gen Zers' quest to obtain financial advice is pretty undeniable.

That means financial service providers may need to put more emphasis on their social media efforts in order to keep themselves relevant in the eyes of the young adult generation.

Especially TikTok, it seems.

While fintechs like Chime, Current and Step are evidently putting a lot of focus on their TikTok initiatives, with followings ranging from about 200,000 to over 600,000 followers, incumbent institutions seem to be lagging behind. (Go ahead and look up some major financial institutions on TikTok – I wouldn’t be surprised if you heard crickets…)

Still, there are some traditional institutions that are taking steps to better establish their TikTok personas.

BlackRock has managed to amass a following of about 14,000 by posting thirty-second shots of people sharing financial advice or explaining financial terms.

@blackrock Learn why investing in stocks can be a great way to build wealth overtime. #stocks #finance #fyp #investing ♬ original sound - BlackRock

Fidelity also seems to be finding its footing in the TikTok universe – with a following of 17,000.

Much of the firm’s posts include quick financial management and investing tips in bite-sized videos, often with some witty, or punny twists – like this video showing 8 credit hacks with the first line being, ‘up in arms about your credit score?’ and showing a sort of arm dance (I’m sure there’s a name for that move, but I’m not sure what it is, so just going to dance around it.) 

@fidelity Good things come in 8s. Like credit score boosters. #creditscore #credit #creditrepair #fintok #fidtok ♬ original sound - Fidelity Investments

There are also themes in some of the videos. For example, there's a series called 'Money Kitchen', which teaches about investing through the use of food.

@fidelity How to toss a well-balanced portfolio. #moneykitchen #fintok #investing #diversification #salad #fidelity ♬ original sound - Fidelity Investments

While Fidelity and BlackRock’s numbers may not be as close to a lot of fintechs' following, the new focus does point to a change in mindset when it comes to meeting customers where they are.

'Meeting our customers where they are': Three questions with the svp of emerging customers at Fidelity Investments

What went into building Fidelity's TikTok following? Kelly Lannan, svp of emerging customers at Fidelity Investments, dives into the nitty-gritty in this Q&A.

What's the aim of being on TikTok?

Fidelity is developing next-generation digital platforms and operational capabilities for young investors that will deliver outstanding customer experiences and build lifelong relationships. We continue to deliver investment education, choice, and value to young investors and support their lifelong financial journeys and all the life events that happen along the way.

To attract customers and modernize our experience, we know it’s important to meet our customers where they are, and we know many of them are on TikTok, Instagram, Reddit, and other social platforms. This is a generation seeking out financial content. We are joining the money conversations where they are happening, and we want to make learning about money and investing relevant and fun. There’s a real opportunity to extend the financial education we already have available and create new content for the TikTok audience.

Fidelity is committed to innovating how we connect with customers and deliver financial education – especially through emerging platforms such as a Web 2.0 space like TikTok, or Web3 like the metaverse. Recently, Fidelity became the first brokerage firm to develop an immersive educational experience in the metaverse targeted to U.S. retail investors with the launch of The Fidelity Stack in Decentraland.

What goes into creating these videos? Do you work with any outside consultants?

We recently conducted a survey and found that 41% of Gen Z turn to social media influencers to educate themselves on investing – more than Millennials and Gen X. We know many influencers have strong and dedicated followings. Fidelity is joining the money conversations happening on social media, bringing with us our credibility and 75 years of experience in helping people reach their financial goals. In addition to being a creator on TikTok, we have worked with some influencers, including @chandlerisaac, @olivialmarcus, @nicktalksmoney, @faaresq, and @calltoleap, as we understand they have an engaged audience who are looking for the financial expertise that Fidelity can offer.

All of our TikTok videos are created internally by Fidelity, and it’s imperative that we understand the unique usage and audience trends across the social media landscape. For instance, our “Money Kitchen” series uses food metaphors as a fun and engaging way to make complex investing topics simple and relatable, which may catch viewers' attention while scrolling through their FYP (For You Page) — the default feed a user lands on when they go to TikTok.

However, on Instagram, we’re also focused on financial education – here, we are experimenting with quick definitional cards that explain basic financial concepts such as how to start trading or what a stock split is, as well as hot topics in the news to increase our audience’s knowledge base and inspire them to get engaged with their finances and investing.

In February 2021, Fidelity hosted its first Reddit ‘Ask Me Anything’ (AMA) – this was an opportunity for us to connect with our customers – we saw great engagement, and since then, we launched our subreddit at r/fidelityinvestments where we directly answer questions and post content relevant to the audience. We are also taking advantage of the feedback we get on Reddit and have been transparent with this community that we are taking their suggestions into account as we make changes to our products and services – in particular, the Fidelity Mobile® app. We also continue to expand customer support across our social platforms including Twitter and Facebook.

What were some obstacles in creating these videos and growing your follower base?

One of the keys to being a valuable and influential voice when conceptualizing content on social media, and specifically on TikTok, is ensuring we present our audience with ideas that make saving and investing topics accessible. We aim to arm young investors with helpful information as they begin their journeys building the financial lives that they aspire to have. To do this, we need to showcase financial services in a new, approachable way.

We see our TikTok channel as an educational resource that can be visited and revisited as young investors get their feet wet with financial terms and concepts. While we provide information on Fidelity tools and resources for new investors to use, our goal is to delight young investors with content that advances their saving and investing knowledge in a comfortable and organic format that will enhance their experience on the social media platform.

In the future, there will be a wide variety of content including app demos, and educational series with people and features endemic to the platform. For example, we debuted the 'So You Think You Can Finance' series, focused on providing education in a humorous yet actionable way. The series taps TikTok tools such as the ‘green screen’ effect to transport our hosts into the “woods” in one of the episodes, and topics covered range from NFTs to ESGs.

What we're reading

Omg, the CFPB is, like, such a buzz kill...

The CFPB is warning tech firms against using behavioral targeting to advertise financial products to individual consumers. (CFPB)

Better start hoarding domains...

As competition in the financial industry thickens, companies need to have their websites ready to draw in users. (Forbes)

One neobank's digital marketing strategy

Dave's CMO dives into the company's digital marketing initiatives – from your classic personalization to your not-so-classic 'irrational marketing' (The Financial Brand)

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