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Low-Cost Influencer Marketing Strategies for Financial Services

Low-Cost Influencer Marketing Strategies for Financial Services Image

Are you wondering how to build an influencer strategy for your mortgage or real estate business without breaking the bank? We’ll show you how to develop low- or no-cost influencer marketing strategies for financial services and small businesses in the real estate, mortgage, and financial institution sectors.

Does Influencer Marketing Play a Role in Financial Services?

In today’s landscape, influencer marketing can be a highly effective marketing strategy for realtors and mortgage loan officers who want to broaden their outreach, build trust and brand awareness, and engage their target audience through user-generated content. And contrary to popular belief, launching influencer campaigns doesn’t always demand a hefty investment—you just have to look for the right influencers.

An influencer doesn’t necessarily have to have a massive following. With influencer marketing, it all comes down to engagement. For instance, someone with a few hundred followers who posts quality content often will have much higher engagement than someone who only reposts other people’s content, even if they have thousands of followers.

By connecting your real estate or mortgage business with established influencers who already have their own trusted network and engaged followers, you can tap into their credibility to expand your reach to new leads that you did not have previous direct access to.

Value of Influencer Marketing

In real estate and mortgage scenarios, where purchasing decisions often involve multiple stakeholders and extended sales cycles, leveraging influencers’ existing trust and rapport with their communities and social media followers can be a game-changer. Regardless of how many followers they have, these influencers can wield significant influence, especially when their engagement levels are high.

Influencer marketing offers incredible value to B2B small businesses, as people trust the opinions of other humans over brand marketing, where companies tell you what they want you to believe. For instance, if a friend or colleague shares a positive experience they’ve had with a product or service, you are far more inclined to trust their referral over the company’s own marketing efforts. This is the power of social proof.

When it comes to real estate agents and mortgage loan officers, the human-to-human trust factor is essential for attracting potential customers. That’s because they will need to trust you to handle what may be the biggest financial transaction of their lives.

Identifying Your Influencers

In the realm of real estate and mortgage, influencers are more than just your clients. They can be social media personalities, referral partners, realtors, industry bloggers, podcasters, content creators, or individuals with subscriber email lists.

When identifying clients who would be good influencers for your business, you’ll probably want to ensure that they’re active on popular social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram and have good engagement. That way, if you tag them or they share your posts spotlighting them, it will increase your reach to their peers as well. 

When identifying other influencers for your real estate or mortgage business, you should also look beyond popular social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Platforms like YouTube, TikTok, LinkedIn, and X (previously Twitter) can harbor valuable influencers, too. They also offer B2C and B2B opportunities for real estate and mortgage professionals.

Influence isn’t solely dictated by visible metrics and posting on platforms with a billion monthly active users. Some influencers have substantial email lists and robust engagement rates, even if they don’t have a massive following of social media users.

How to Create an Influencer Marketing Campaign

As we mentioned above, there are several different types of influencers that you can use as part of your marketing strategy and to further your reach and credibility. In this article, we’ve outlined strategies for targeting clients, industry professionals, and other influencers who support your industry to engage with your brand at low to no cost. 

Research

Clients and referral partners: Start by manually identifying potential influencers within your community and realm. These are people you’ve done business with in the past or are currently doing business with. They are your clients, realtor partners, and local community partners. Identify which of them have built networks you’d like to get more exposure with. 

This is the easiest type of influencer to get in front of because they already know you and have worked with you. It should be an easy ask to get them onboard as an influencer. 

Influencers outside your network: If you’re looking to expand outside your network, you may want to consider joining relevant online groups or communities where your industry colleagues congregate. Don’t overlook the power of organic searches on platforms like Google and LinkedIn to pinpoint suitable influencers who may be an excellent fit for your business.

When researching potential new influencers, look at how often they post. If their last post was two months ago, they are probably not a good match, regardless of how many followers they have.

Try to identify 10 to 15 potential influencers between people you know and people you want to know. Make sure to look beyond a large follower count and seek those with smaller but engaged audiences who appear to be on the rise in your industry.

Review their content to confirm that it’s relevant to your business and that collaboration would be the right fit. If they feel your messaging aligns with their personal brand and resonates with their audience, they will be more likely to share your content.

Content development

Clients and referral partners: If you’re trying to gain influencers without the out-of-pocket cost, content development will be your responsibility. For your current network, this could be facilitating a video testimonial for a client after closing in your office or showing up at their closing to take a photo. 

Creating content that highlights your relationship with them and your business without burdening them to create it is the most effective way to engage your clients as influencers of your brand. You can use these pieces of content in cross-channel marketing efforts on your platforms and theirs and allow your business to gain visibility among their friends and followers, which will help establish the all-important “know, like, and trust” factor even quicker. 

For a realtor partner, this could be doing a Live on your Instagram feed or YouTube channel that they then share and backlink to as part of the promotional efforts. It could also look like guesting on their podcast, videos, or other marketing activities that highlight you as an expert and get you in front of their audience and following to establish rapport and build trust. 

Influencers outside your network: If you’re targeting influencers outside your network, one strategy that works well is creating long-form content, like a blog article, that features the influencer’s thoughts, work, and additional content from social media. You can also link to their articles, podcasts, or videos. 

Make sure to include their bio, notable achievements, and snippets of their work, and properly reference any quotes or direct content from them. Custom visuals like social media graphics can amplify the reach of your content. Be sure to post the blog on your business website—and keep reading to learn what to do with this content. 

Prep and outreach

Clients and referral partners: Once you have curated the content, let them know your plan to share it, and encourage cross-promotion and sharing. Also, make sure to tag them in the content on applicable social media platforms. 

It’s always helpful to include links to your website and how people can connect with you to make it easy for your influencers to share correct information about your business.  

Influencers outside your network: If you’ve prepared content for an influencer who isn’t affiliated with your brand, once the content is ready, reach out to them via email or a social media instant messaging platform, such as Facebook Messenger or LinkedIn’s instant messaging app.

Highlight their inclusion in your content and express appreciation for their contributions. Share the reasons why you chose to include them, and mention a few of the other influencers who made your list. Conclude your note with a pre-written social media post linking back to your blog article, making it easy for them to share with their network. 

Most importantly, personalize your outreach to make each influencer feel valued. You can expect to receive many positive responses, as they will appreciate the recognition and will be excited to share it with their community.

As we mentioned, this is a no-cost way to grow your relationship and get visibility with influencers who don’t already know your brand. Yes, you have to do the heavy lifting, but it may be worth it to get mentioned and promoted on their marketing channels if the visibility opportunities are significant. 

Measuring engagement and nurturing relationships

Clients and referral partners: Often, the ROI on these efforts will be determined by asking new clients how they heard about you. If you’re not currently asking this, make it a priority with every new client. You can also look at the metrics on your social media and other marketing channels to see the results of the content. 

Influencers outside your network: As influencers begin to share your content, be sure to track the key metrics that matter, such as reach, engagement, and traffic generated by your content. Then seek out additional ways you can collaborate with your influencer partners. Think about how you can help build their personal brand, and how they can help promote your services, products, and events.

Foster long-term relationships by consistently engaging with influencers and offering opportunities that provide value to both parties. You can encourage collaboration through a number of activities. These might include content contributions, podcast appearances, or event partnerships.

Here are some ways you can stay engaged with your top influencers:

  • Comment on their posts and share their content. 
  • Invite them to contribute a blog for your website.
  • Profile them in your email newsletter.
  • Survey them on industry topics, trends, and their predictions. Then create blogs and video content where you quote them and share their valuable insights.

These activities can deepen your relationship with influencers and motivate them to promote your business, share your content, and endorse your brand. By nurturing your influencer relationships, they can become valuable referral sources for your mortgage or real estate business. And you can both benefit from ongoing mutual brand awareness.

Creating Long-Term Influencer Relationships

Cultivating genuine connections with your clients, referral partners, and industry influencers is paramount in today’s marketing of financial services, mortgage, and real estate. 

By embracing these low- and no-cost influencer marketing strategies, you can harness the power of authentic partnerships to enhance your professional credibility and expand your reach to potential customers without burning through your budget. 

If you need help formulating your influencer marketing strategy, click here to book a complimentary call with our team of marketing professionals. And for more influencer marketing strategies, click here.

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