Imagine a bank or insurance company like Instagram where influencers take on the role of advisors.
Decentralized content creation for millions
Every day, millions of people create content for their followers on Instagram. The content ranges from holiday photos and cat videos to cooking recipes and financial topics. So-called influencers or creators professionally produce content for social media. In some cases, several hundred thousand or even millions of people follow them. Influencers who post about financial topis are referred to as FinFluencers.
Imagine a bank or insurance company like Instagram
Imagine a bank or insurance company that works like Instagram. Influencers take on the role of advisors.
Customers choose FinFluencers who fit their lifestyle and speak their language by simply following them. Several times a week, customers receive interesting content on various financial topics from their FinFluencers via social media. In addition, most can also interact with them on a regular basis or even meet them in person — similar to how it already works on Instagram. Of course, customers can also follow several FinFluencers to easily try them out and “follow” or “unfollow” them depending on their preferences.
FinFluencers instead of advisors
What does this look like in practice? Because I want to buy an apartment soon, I follow some of my bank’s real estate influencers who post short videos several times a week with valuable tips about buying property. The influencers have different focuses. They cover everything from families with children, living in Berlin, living in the countryside, country houses, modern architecture, vintage interiors, loft flats, and much more. There is even an influencer who specializes in expats in Berlin and posts in English. I immediately told this to an Italian friend who wants to stay in Berlin long term.
Since I’m looking for a modern flat in Berlin, I choose three influencers who deal with living in Berlin, modern architecture, and lofts. After a short time, I noticed that one influencer only posts about mega lofts outside my price range, and therefore, I unfollowed him. Instead, I found a new influencer who posts specifically about interior design, which made me realize I almost forgot to plan enough budget for furnishings.
Along the way, I learn what’s important when buying a home, what the difference is between a Euribor-mortgage and a fixed-rate mortgage, and how things work at the notary’s office. I can also ask questions directly and follow the questions and answers of other followers. Conveniently, a Berlin real estate influencer offers a guided tour of my preferred district. Around a dozen participants take part in the tour. We even get to visit a few properties.
After I’ve followed the influencer for a while and the idea of buying a flat becomes more concrete, I contact the influencer and make an appointment. We already know each other from the district tour. Besides, she meets my style with her content, so I don’t have to explain to her what I’m looking for. The relationship is more like with a friend than with a bank advisor. After I have found a suitable apartment, she helps me with all the paperwork. Luckily, I already knew what to expect, as most influencers have reported in detail about the bureaucratic hurdles involved in buying a flat.
Traditional financial advice is outdated
For most young people, bank advisors and insurance agents are rather daunting. You don’t have a choice. The advisors are assigned to you regardless of who you are — whether you’re a family, a gay single person, or an 80-year-old grandmother. As a result, advisors rarely understand their clients’ lifestyles or speak their language.
The vast majority of young people only contact their advisor once in a blue moon if they haven’t already changed their area of responsibility. As a result, bank and insurance customers are increasingly turning their backs on branch banks and choosing direct banks. In addition, a large part of the business nowadays is generated via comparison platforms like Check24. Nevertheless, many financial service providers continue to stick to the traditional advisory model.
Advice by FinFluencers is already a reality
We are not far away from the Insta-Bank. There are already numerous creators who produce high-quality content on financial topics for their respective target groups daily. Some of the FinFluencers already have hundreds of thousands of followers and are constantly growing. For example, Finanzfluss (1M YouTube followers), SteuerFabi (740K TikTok followers, 330K Insta followers), Professor Finanzen (1,4M TikTok followers, 410K Insta followers), or Teaching Finance (950K TikTok followers) are some of the top creators.
Behind them are often sizable teams that professionally research and creatively prepare the content. Many FinTechs such as Trade Republik, Scalable Capital, or Clark already make intensive use of the services of such FinFluencers as an acquisition channel. In effect, the FinFluencers take over the advisory for the FinTechs. This shows that there is also a need for advice among young people when it comes to financial products. But today, modern advice looks very different from what traditional financial service providers have been offering for decades.
The future of advisory lies in social media
The Insta-Bank with influencers as “advisors” is a huge opportunity, especially for traditional financial service providers. It is a chance to reinvent advice and make their business models fit for the future. Unfortunately, there is a lack of understanding in the top management of banks and insurance companies about how social media operates today. For most banks and insurance companies, social media is only an advertising channel. The future of financial advice lies in social media.