Finance brands excelling on Instagram

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Picture-perfect
By Ruth Bailey, contributor. 28 December, 2017
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The visually-led flocked to Instagram as a social media platform of preference throughout 2017. The platform’s global user base crept to 800 million monthly active users (MAU), and per day this figure is considered to be 500 million.

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Statista estimates Instagram’s MAU will surpass 111 million by 2019 and marketers can easily see why an integrated approach needs to include Instagram. And now that Facebook’s cross-ownership allows you to generate insights about specific audience segments with greater ease and transparency across both platforms, this need is even more apparent. So, how do brands in the finance arena harness Instagram to deliver effective engagement and amplification strategy?

Key to success is a brand’s ability to balance their audience’s motivation for visiting the platform with the alignment to their brand promise, values, campaign messages and call to actions. The tools Instagram offers to help brands tell a compelling and eye-catching story include filtered images, photo galleries, a 15-second Insta Story with emoji and sticker embellishment and 60 sec video and gif style executions known as Boomerangs.

The Dubs examined how leading and emerging finance brands have adapted to the new content landscape Instagram allows.

Statista estimates Instagram’s MAU will surpass 111 million by 2019.

1. Attach food, fashion and travel to an otherwise subtle campaign message

In the US, JPMorgan’s Chase Bank has embraced Instagram, and with over 50 000 followers @Chase appear to be leading the financial institutions on this platform. Their presence on Instagram is built on the idea that the most visually enticing aspects of our lives can be expressed through the fashion we wear, the places we explore and the food we eat. A bespoke content series which services their Sapphire Reserve credit card product speaks to these three lifestyle pillars, and when adapted for Instagram drives high engagement. The hashtag: #sapphirereserve is added to posts allowing the brand to track campaign reach and optimise their content strategy ongoing based on the pieces of content that are best received by their target audience.

JPMorgan's Chase Bank

2. Understand your audience’s motivation to use Instagram or fail

Despite its launch in September 2016, the Instagram account for NatWest, a top-tier bank in the UK, has only 2500 followers. ‘Motivation’ messages (designed as static brand-colour tiles), coupled with earnest education attempts around phishing and online security scams have resulted in low engagement for the brand. Their inability to capture their audience’s mindset and deliver content that inspires or matters to their audience has rendered this platform ineffective for NatWest.

NatWest

3. Leverage social sentiment

Bank Australia‘s brand promise is: ‘responsible banking’ and their core brand pillars include people, planet and customer ownership. The recent federal ‘Marriage Equality’ vote saw the brand embrace the sentiment of the YES campaign. They changed their avatar to reflect gay pride and posted related content that achieved higher than average engagement on Instagram for the brand. This activity highlights that Instagram users will engage with brands that align with their values and reward them for taking a stand on political or social issues.

BankAust

As we move into 2018, Instagram will likely continue to dominate the attention of consumers, which means financial services marketers need to sit up and take notice. And while the best strategy is one where alignment of brand values, mission and campaign messages is maintained, the other vital ingredients are a willingness to experiment on the platform, while remaining relevant to their target audience.

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Ruth studied journalism via QUT, and from there, the art of storytelling quickly morphed into an ability to develop integrated marketing strategies, with a predominant leaning towards content marketing. Ruth has practised marketing and communications in some form or another for over 13 years, working with software, arts, government, and digital organisations to tell their brand stories and share their work in creative executions.