I recently had a conversation with Sebastian Fung, the VP Marketing at WeFinance.co, a crowdlending platform that matches borrowers and lenders at interest rates that benefit both parties. Their focus is helping people lend based on personal relationships and social validation, rather than credit scores (eg. Kickstarter for loans).
Here the 3 ideas he shared with us:
1) Tell stories about your users. A lot of fintech companies focus on the financial side ("we have better data science, we're better at assessing risk") and ignore the human side. What we try to do, instead, is to highlight different borrowers and lenders.
The benefit of highlighting your users are: a) Social validation — people actually use your product and like it. b) Let's people know about use cases — our platform works for anything, be it credit card debt, coding bootcamp tuition, moving, student loan refinancing. We don't specifically mention "Uber / Lyft car financing" on our page because that's a specific use case, but after doing a blog post on one of our borrowers who had this problem, we've had a surge of borrowers looking for car related financing.
2) Have conversations. Again, this goes back to humanizing fintech. I think the biggest complaint a lot of people have with fintech is that they perceive it as a bunch of developers behind the scenes trying to determine what interest rate they should get based off their income, how often they are on Facebook, or some other analysis. I spend at least a few hours a week trying to have real conversations with people and adding value.
3) Bake in social. Having a "tweet out how much money you saved" is nice but it's not enough. We've built in social by encouraging borrowers to raise some of their loan from friends/family/their network before making them public on our platform. By baking in social, you lower the long-term marketing spend since you're leveraging the power of network effects.
These are three very important points and we will return on this in future blog posts since there are different areas to cover and to consider when you are planning how to market your online investing or lending application. Each of them has specific considerations and aspects, that may make them more relevant in specific niches or market verticals and any strategy needs to be considered in full thoroughly.
While you wait for more content from us, if you are interested to learn more about this, you can check out this excellent article by Rob Moffat of Balderton Capital, where he lists what works and what does not work, eg. for some reason people seem reluctant to recommended financial sites to friends, when it comes to marketing fintech.
I’d love to learn what you currently do to promote your product and what are the best marketing tactics (eg. proven strategies) you can give to someone starting a new platform or launching a new fintech product. Happy to connect by email (alessandro[at]crowdvalley.com) or on Twitter.
Alessandro is Co-founder & CMO of Crowd Valley. He has worked in the fintech industry, with marketplace investing and lending, since 2011. Has built and managed digital companies with distributed teams and international partners, and gained experience with both startups and large corporations, having worked with British Telecom, Bloomberg and the Grow VC Group.
Alessandro grew up in Italy, where he graduated with a B.A. in Economics at University of Parma, before to obtain a M.S. in Finance at Regent’s University London. He studied and worked in many different cities, including Munich, Geneva, London, Barcelona and Valencia. Genuinely passionate about financial technology and innovation, he loves to spend his spare time traveling and discovering new cultures. You can find him on Twitter at @aleravanetti.