The trend continues to rise for brands in B2B to embrace influencer marketing as a core part of their communication strategy with an estimated 65% increase in B2B influencer marketing budget in 2020, according to Socialb.
Cognito understand that influencer marketing as a concept is still relatively new in the grand scale of communications, and even more so for Financial Services Brands, which arguably default to more ‘traditional’ communication channels. Increasingly apparent also is the widening ‘gap’ between knowing (and perhaps wanting) to take advantage of the opportunities presented by influencer marketing, and the ability to activate and measure success.
A key blocker has been identify and engage with influencers that match your brand and campaign goals, as well as the minefield of everything from fee structures and negotiations to litigation around declaring paid partnerships dictated by the Advertising Standard Authority. All the while ensuring to deliver authenticity in your communications with customers and prospects.
While there may be a plethora of broad ‘influencer tools’ in the market, only a handful of brands are leveraging technology to capitalise on the influencer channel. In a recent interview from Forbes with Report Author, Lee Odden, CEO and Co-Founder of TopRank Marketing, Odden discusses the ‘2020 state of B2B influencer marketing report’ (which polled hundreds of senior decision making B2B practitioners), highlighting that while 74% of B2B marketers agree influencer marketing improves customer experience with brand, 39% of those polled admitted to shying away from it due to the manual effort required in discovery and management, while only 35% of marketers are using technology to support their programmes.
In response to this market need, to make influencer marketing more accessible and measurable for brands operating in Financial Services, Cognito is proud to announce the launch of Finfluence.io.
Finfluence is a platform which serves up influencers who best match a brand’s campaign goals based on defined search criteria. With coverage across EMEA, The Americas and APAC, Finfluence allows global and regional marketers to harness Influencers as a channel to deliver their messages at scale and pace, with authenticity and credibility.
The launch of Finfluence is the first of many initiatives in the pipeline for ‘Cognito Labs’, headed up by Director of Innovation, David Simpson. Cognito Labs was established as part of Cognito’s drive to continuously innovate the communications approach of brands in the FS sector and to further connect its service offering to deliver full funnel solutions.
Cognito define influencers as ‘Individuals of universally recognised industry credibility who can authentically drive awareness, sway opinion and affect decision-making behaviour amongst relevant and engaged audiences.’
Finfluence contains hand selected influencers from across the financial services industry; it does not include journalists. Cognito’s criteria for adding an influencer to the platform is both quant and qual based, encompassing 3 main criteria:
- How engaged an influencer’s followers are on their owned social media and web channels – Likes/Comments/Shares
- How active an influencer is in 3rd party media including media and events: Speaker/Publications/Panels
- The Cognito lens: We add the value of our own industry knowledge and expertise to further refine the influencers added to the platform based on our understanding of the content they are publishing and their reach, resonance and relevance on select topics within the industry
Finfluence sits apart from other published lists and platforms in 4 main ways:
- Cognito’s proprietary algorithms ensure that when searching for an influencer to match with a brand’s business and campaign goals, results are based on quantitative scores, topic expertise and qualitative analysis and narrative covering both digital and trad media presence of each influencer
- Finfluence is a dynamic platform, pulling in constant refreshes of content and data live from influencer’s channels, facilitating an aggregated view when researching market topics and trends.
- Finfluence is focussed on influencers the Financial Services sector, meaning a more acute approach on influencers included in the platform, rather than a cross section of influencers, quality over quantity
- Finfluence is underpinned by Cognito’s Global FS market knowledge coupled with the ability to activate influencer engagements as part of a broader go-to-market communications strategy, meaning more impactful campaigns with integration at the core.
David Simpson is Cognito's director of innovation and strategy. Learn more about Finfluence at Finfluence.io.