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Can ‘fin-fluencers’ play a role in your B2B tech PR strategy?

By Lee Simpson, Head Of Technology Practice, Skout

Whether you call them Key Opinion Leaders, influencers or simply celebrities, leveraging the reach of influential people in various industries has long been part of PR strategies. The definition of what an ‘influencer’ is varies and the concept is nothing new; in our business a journalist can be an influencer, able to shape public opinion and raise awareness of new products and services. And we don’t need to tell you that the proliferation of social media over the past 20 years has given rise to a new breed of influencers using these free platforms to promote themselves and endorse products, in return for an often handsome fee.

For B2B businesses, the role of the influencer and where this sits in the PR and marketing mix has had varying results. Big name celebrity endorsements for B2B brands is still in its relative infancy when compared to the consumer world, and the jury is out as to the ROI in engaging with them. Gordon Ramsay lent his star power to the contact centre software company NICE back in 2019. Deep pockets are a necessity for such an endorsement, something which will be beyond the reach of most tech companies.

For fintechs specifically, or businesses targeting financial services, working with a financial influencer, or ‘fin-fluencer’, could be beneficial. However, there are a number of things to consider before you take the plunge.

Introducing the fin-fluencers

There are a wealth of individuals who make a living offering consumer finance advice. From Martin Lewis, to Suze Orman, consumers now often take these fin-fluencers’ word as verbatim. During the energy bills crisis of 2022, for example, Martin Lewis’s status as the oracle on all things consumer finance had never been greater. But when it comes to the B2B world, fin-fluencers are less prolific, but the power they can unleash for your fintech brand can be enormous.

Take Jim Marous as an example. Marous has built an around being a financial influencer, speaking about digital banking, banking transformation and the finance industry at events around the world. His platform allows him to align himself with certain fintech brands, primarily through sponsored thought leadership content opportunities. For example, Qorus published this whitepaper through Marous’s publication Digital Banking Report. His name instantly adds a layer of credibility to the brand and serves as something of an endorsement, with the content being viewed by potential Qorus customers. But again, the investment in such a package will not be insignificant.

Finding the right fin-fluencers

Before you embark on your search for a fin-fluencer to endorse your fintech, clearly map out objectives and consider the why. What do you want to achieve and will a financial influencer be the appropriate route to go down?

It’s important to remember that trust is key when it comes to recommendations for new technology vendors. Your prospective customers will need proof points – the endorsement of a thought leader or respected industry voice will only get you so far. So lean on your customers first and foremost and leverage their testimonials and case studies. Then consider if a fin-fluencer can add weight, and ultimately value, to your story.

If you’re doing this independently, you can use X and LinkedIn to research relevant individuals. You could even post a #journorequest or #prrequest for a #finfluencer on these platforms and then explore how you could work together. It may be there are reciprocal benefits to the engagement, content that can be shared on your site and theirs, so don’t be afraid to ask the question.

How influential this will really be among your target audience – which can be niche, to say the least – is where robust analytics and attribution modelling are a must. Using UTM tracking links across any shared content by your fin-fluencer so you can track ROI will be key.

Disclosing influencer marketing ‘a double-edged sword’

Disclosing influencer marketing as advertising is a double-edged sword, according to a new study by researchers from several European universities.

The study, conducted by doctoral candidate Zeynep Karagür of the University of Cologne and her co-authors Jan-Michael Becker (BI Norwegian Business School), Kristina Klein (University of Bremen) and Alexander Edeling (KU Leuven), investigated the effects of disclosing influencer marketing as advertising on the social media platform Instagram.

They found that disclosing that a post is advertising has a negative effect on the influencer’s trustworthiness, because it increases the perception of advertising and monetary motivations.

However, influencers and brands also benefit from disclosing posts as advertising as consumers appreciate the transparency. Thus, the authors advise influencers to divulge some form of disclosure as the long-term reputation loss from being caught not disclosing might even be worse.

Among the disclosure types investigated, Instagram’s stardardized branded content tool is the most effective way to increase consumers’ recognition of advertising.

Using the stardardized branded content tool also makes it dispensable for consumers to rely on other cues such as the number of followers or the number of previously endorsed brands when deciding whether posts are advertising or not.

The study also found that influencers with a high number of followers (macro influencers) and a large brand portfolio are seen as less trustworthy because consumers might see them as “human ad spaces”.

The researchers say that their findings contradict the common thought that “the more sponsors you have, the more credibility you have”.

“Large brand portfolios undermine influencers’ trustworthiness through higher advertising expectation,” say Karagür. The underlying assumption is that influencers will post as many advertising as they can to increase their earnings, rather than endorse products they genuinely like.

According to the researchers the“highest level of trustworthiness is associated with micro influencers with limited brand relationships”. If managers are deciding between two influencers with a similar number of followers, looking at the number of previous product endorsements is another effective selection criterion.

The research paper was published in the International Journal of Research in Marketing.

Influencer marketing in the affiliate sector increases 9%

Influencer publishers drove 610,000 sales to advertisers in 2019 up to September; 5.5% more than 2018, while revenue made from influencer sales in that period totalled £29.7m – 9.2% up from 2018 and AOV of influencer marketing was £48.47, representing a 3.4% increase.

The data was compiled by the team at global affiliate network, who looked at Awin’s top 100 influencer publishers in the UK, combining subnetworks, talent agencies and individual influencers, for the first three quarters of 2019 and then compared results to the same period in 2018. 

2019 saw an increase across all metrics for influencer marketing, which confirmed industry-wide forecasts that predicted advertisers were going to be allocating more marketing budget to influencer marketing for the year. 

In terms of sales, influencer publishers drove a total of 610,000 sales to advertisers on the Awin network for the first nine months of 2019, representing a 5.5% increase on the previous year. This amounted to £29.7m in revenue to advertisers, which was a substantial increase of 9.2% on the year before.

The amount of commission paid out to influencer publishers saw a significant uplift of 18.9% from 2018, amounting to £3.78 million. The average order value in influencer marketing for 2019 was also up 3.4% on the previous year, totalling £48.47.

Retail & shopping continues to dominate the influencer sector, accounting for 99.2% of the top 100 advertisers, whilst there has been an increase for those in the telecoms sector, who made up 0.6%.

Fashion is the sector investing in influencer marketing the most, with eight of the top 10 advertisers operating in this industry, with the remaining two in the beauty sphere. The dominance of fashion & beauty retailers is maintained in the top 50, but there has been an increase of advertisers in the health supplements space entering into this list.

Commenting on the findings, Carina Toledo, Influencer Partnerships Manager at, said: “Influencer marketing has increased massively in popularity over the past few years, and has come to form a key part of marketing strategies, particularly in the fashion and beauty sectors. The practice is certainly set to continue increasing, and the rise in its use in the telecoms and health supp

Nielsen seeks to demystify influencer ROI

Nielsen has launched its Influencer Brand Effect, a measurement solution to help brands and advertisers evaluate the effectiveness of influencer marketing. 

The company says brands are set to spend up to $15 billion on influencer marketing by 2022, but says there remains a lack of transparent, independent and comparable metrics for brands and agencies to measure the true ROI of their influencer investment. 

It also says there’s a need for greater understanding of the true impact of influencer activity at a time when social media platforms are testing the removal of traditional engagement metrics such as likes, views and shares. 

The Nielsen Influencer Brand Effect solution is a measurement tool uses metrics such as brand awareness, ad recall, favourability and purchase intent. The solution also provides content metrics to assess the perceived ‘fit’ between a brand and the influencer, the right influencers to drive specific brand goals and whether content is effective at shifting audience perceptions.

Barney Farmer, UK Media Commercial Director, Nielsen, said: “Influencer campaigns can be a very effective way to engage audiences around products and brand messaging. However, measurement of the effectiveness of these campaigns is currently inadequate. The Nielsen Influencer Brand Effect solution looks to solve this challenge by giving brands and agencies a greater understanding of the impact of their influencer campaigns. By analysing KPIs such as familiarity, likeability and branding, research can provide actionable insights for brands to ensure that they are always improving their communications and relationships with their consumers.”

Image by cloudlynx from Pixabay

GUEST BLOG: Why high-end brands need digital

If you’re a luxury brand, it’s important to know that 80% of your sales are influenced by online activity. This figure shouldn’t come as a surprise in 2019, as this is the year where many businesses across industries have implemented a digital marketing strategy that ensures conversions.

Marketers of luxury brands have notably changed their ways. At one time, such companies would capitalise on exclusivity, mystery and the curiosity of the consumer. While this may still be true for some high-end names, understanding that your customers of tomorrow are hungry for digital is crucial in your next steps to future-proofing your business.

Mediaworks takes a look at the key areas that your brand should be focusing on this year…

Making your brand engaging through visual content

You need to ask yourself what makes your brand engaging online. If you don’t have a solid answer, that becomes a huge problem. Whether it’s through search or social media, your brand has the ability to reach customers more frequently. This means you must understand the user journey and intentions from their initial interaction.

Once you have identified customer touchpoints, you’ll be able to tailor visual content that they want to see from your company. This should range from strategic content marketing campaigns that drive your brand message while ensuring the promotion of specific product or services, to assets that can be produced with a quick turnaround and pushed out publicly to capitalise on emerging trends.

Using your insights to drive ideas

Taking advantage of the digital landscape allows luxury brands to gain a better idea of who their customers are. Using analytical tools, you can build an effective data strategy that will allow you to create a detailed picture of your customers’ personas — using their online behaviour, for example — which can feed into your business strategy.

The goal is to turn data into information, and information into insight. The output of this data can be used to create a trend analysis, which can then determine your marketing strategy and how you can tailor specific content and products to them.

Having sales or survey data can be a great way of creating an angle for a content piece, to be pushed out to local/national media outlets. Analysing the data into a news hook can be a effective way of gaining online exposure for your brand, especially if the news hook/article is tailed to a specific publication where your target market are hanging out and interacting with.

Influencer marketing

If you’re a luxury fashion brand, consider reaching out to influencers in your space to see if they’d be willing to work with you on on-going campaigns. The best thing about influencer marketing is that the audience is already there, all you need to do is build a strong relationship where both parties are getting something out of it, whether it be a product or coverage. In fact, influencer marketing should be an active tactic in your social media marketing to increase brand awareness, get your content in front of fresh eyeballs, and generate new leads for your sales funnel.

Love Island 2018 – Influencer Power List revealed

Dani & Jack were the winning couple on last night’s Love Island 2018 finale, but they weren’t the only winners to emerge from this summer’s reality show saga – plenty of their housemates now have careers as celebrity influencers waiting for them.

Reports are already suggesting that the Islanders are on course to cash in £millions thanks to public appearances and social media campaigns, and even the those who left the villa early will have the opportunity to make the most of their new celebrity status.

Indeed, according to new data from Filter Digital, ‘love rat’ Adam Collard ranks ahead of finalists Megan Barton Hanson and Wes Nelson, as well as ahead of Dr Alex George, when it comes to their fan following across social media channels.

Unsurprisingly, Love Island 2018 winners Dani Dyer and Jack Fincham top the list of Islander Influencers, but their combined followers still fall short of Love Island host Caroline Flack.

Georgia ‘Little G’ Steel comes up close behind Jack Fincham. Kendall Rae-Knight, who was the first to be dumped from the Island, surprisingly scores highly – ahead of finalists Laura Anderson, Josh Denzel and Kazimir Crossley, who all failed to make the Top 10.

Overall Love Island 2018 Influencer Power List (Top 10)

  1. Caroline Flack – 3.7m Fans
  2. Dani Dyer – 1.9m Fans
  3. Jack Fincham – 1.4m Fans
  4. Georgia Steel – 1.3m Fans
  5. Adam Collard – 0.97m Fans
  6. Alex George – 0.94m Fans
  7. Samira Mighty – 0.85m Fans
  8. Megan Barton Hanson – 0.85m Fans
  9. Wes Nelson – 0.84m Fans
  10. Kendall Rae-Knight – 0.81m Fans

To see the full Love Island 2018 Influencer Power List with all contestants, go to:

Filter Digital crunched the numbers through its Sportstar Influencer platform, which usually evaluates marketing value of sports players and teams through a combination of social following, engagement metrics and team performance.

The platform uses social, engagement, media, and sentiment datapoints to rate and rank sports players against each other, comparing them at a local, national and international level.

“The Love Island contestants have been making new media careers for themselves while sunbathing and dealing with the intricacies of love and the heart,” said Oliver Morrison, CEO at Filter Digital. “By better understanding how the contestants rank against one another across social media, brands can take better decisions over where they spend their budgets.”

Sportstar Influencer tracks sports player social stats

Filter Digital has launched an index for sports players that seeks to evaluate marketing value through a combination of social following, engagement metrics and team performance.

The platform – Sportstar Influencer – uses social, engagement, media, and sentiment datapoints to rate and rank sports players against each other, comparing them at a local, national and international level.

The launch of the platform includes the first public dataset – the Barclays Premier League. Providing an individual score for every single player in the league, and ranking both players and teams in order of their index score and their social following, the Influencer List shows where each player ranks against their peers and on each social network.

Filter says that by understanding how players rank against each other in their own sports, as well as across multiple sports, brands and sponsors can take better decisions over where they spend their budgets.

The SSI platform provides an opportunity for those with less internal resources to find sports players that match their requirements, or work with the team on more complex needs – such as understanding target demographics, real-time sentiment and media buzz.

Oliver Morrison, Filter Digital CEO, said: “Whilst working on a report for a client, it became clear that no single index existed for how influential sports players are, and how they compare to each other. Sportstar Influencer changes that, allowing brands to understand which players can provide the most effective return on investment for marketing spend.”

The Premier League is the first dataset available publicly, and for free. In June, the dataset for the World Cup 2018 in Russia will be launched, shortly followed by a move into tennis in July to coincide with Wimbledon.

9% of UK marketing professionals plan to spend £100,000 on influencers

Research by UK-based digital marketing firm Takumi has found that 9% of UK marketers are expecting to spend over £100,000 on influencers during the next 12 months.

Only 4% of marketers polled said that they had no plans to spend money on influencers.

39% planned to spend up to £10,000, with 20% estimating a potential spend between £10,000 and £100,000.

“A lot of people are saying that influencer marketing is an over-hyped fad – that there’s no ROI and it’ll soon disappear. But as these results show, it’s clear influencer marketing is here to stay. Brands recognise its value and are therefore dedicating big budgets towards it,” commented Mats Stigzelius, co-founder and CEO of Takumi.

“Of the professionals we surveyed for example, 61% stated they now feel they are able to accurately measure engagement levels and return on investment, and as platforms like Instagram continue to roll out new features to signpost promoted content, that’s only going to increase.”

The figures support the belief by many marketers that working with influencers is an effective strategy to pursue, with 26% rate influencer marketing as much more effective at targeting consumers than other forms of of advertising, such as adverts on social media channels.

“The size of the accounts used in marketing campaigns is particularly interesting,”added Stigzelius.

“Many people still wrongly prefer macro influencers with hundreds of thousands of followers, but the reality is that you now reach the same audience with micro influencers, while also benefitting from higher engagement.

“For example, working with a celebrity might give you one social media post. Working with micro influencers, you could generate the same reach and 100 pieces of social content with exactly the same budget. From our experience, we’re seeing more and more brands realise that celebrity isn’t everything and ditching big names in favour of micro-influencers. It’s a trend we only expect to continue.”