SoFi Wants To Break Taboos About Money With MoneyMic

MoneyMic-SoFi-launchTo get millennials talking about their money issues, the well-financed fintech company SoFi sponsored this week’s launch of Mic’s MoneyMic section.

“It’s the last big taboo,” said Meg Ciarallo, SoFi’s VP of brand marketing. “Trojan made it OK to talk about sex, Tampax made it OK to talk about periods. But people are uncomfortable talking about how much money they make or want to have in person and online.”

The content – “accessible, relatable and empowering,” Ciarallo said – draws on insights gleaned from SoFi customers and Mic’s readers about what they’re most likely to read.

But the section sponsorship “is allowing Mic to explore this vertical in their own voice as well,” added Ryan Beickert, director of branded video content at Mic.

That means pieces such as “How to Get A Raise From Your Boss Without Making Things Awkward” or “The 3 Unconscious Money Mistakes All Couples Make.”

Content that talks openly about how money affects your life resonates with SoFi’s target audience, 25-to-45-year olds whom Ciarallo dubs HENRYs – “high earners, not rich yet.”

“What American Express is to luxury, we want to be to your career,” Ciarallo added.

That means content aimed at an ambitious, motivated group that likely took out loans to finance a professional degree.

As part of the sponsorship, Mic is creating three Instagram-first video episodes discussing money and how it relates to careers, financial planning and relationships.

Instagram isn’t often associated with student loans, the primary financial product at SoFi, which raised $1 billion in Series E financing this year. But Mic chose Instagram as the primary distribution channel because it skews to a somewhat older demographic and it’s aspirational.

“It’s a place that brings up subconscious thoughts about living your best life or ‘keeping up with the Joneses,’” Beickert said.

Mic uses a range of metrics to measure success of its content programs. Ciarallo heads the brand marketing team but works closely with the acquisition team. When it runs a content campaign – it worked with Medium and The Billfold earlier this year, for example, as well as Imgur – it starts with measuring engagement and time spent on the site.

But it also dives into what happens when those readers visit its site. A good potential customer will move through SoFi.com and may even apply for a loan. But if he or she doesn’t qualify for the loan, SoFi takes note.

“We are growing responsibly while getting smarter about costs,” Ciarallo said. “We are lowering the cost per acquisition and cost per lead.”

Working with content creators also allows SoFi to be associated with content that wouldn’t be a fit for its blog and gain exposure to a new audience.

“Third-party validation means a lot for our brand,” Ciarallo said.

 

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