TikTok restricts Financial Services ads

October 1st, 2021 | Mili Patel

Since its launch in September of 2016, Tiktok has immensely grown in popularity. Starting off as an app primarily focusing on dance and music, the platform has repositioned itself as a medium for people of all ages to find community and enjoy trending content. Now, Tiktok has reached unimaginable heights of success with over a billion people using the app each month.

With this growth comes a need for added security and protection for users. As a result of false information circulating on the platform, TikTok has introduced a ban on branded content, restricting financial services to rely primarily on influencer partnerships and hashtag challenges to reach target audiences. Although a slightly unfortunate change, there are still huge opportunities for financial services brands to make an impact on the platform.

TikTok gets serious about protecting users

The latest ban on Tiktok sees the addition of financial services ads. These measures were taken after repeated incidents of young, impressionable users acting upon the propaganda and false financial advice being spread on the platform. From Tiktok’s “branded content policy” page, it can be noted that amongst “cryptocurrency and pyramid schemes, foreign exchange, lending and management of money assets, buy now pay later services, loans and credit cards, trading platforms and debits and pre-payment cards” are also no longer welcome to directly advertise on the platform.

Financial services are still a huge topic of interest on the platform

The financial services sector sees high engagement on TikTok, with #personalfinance reaching a groundbreaking 4.7B views. Closely followed by #finance and #investing with 3.7B and 3.6B views, respectively.

It is notable for a platform like TikTok to take drastic measures to protect young users, but with that said, brands are still able to utilize other means to advertise their products and services to desired audiences. Due to financial services being a vertical that’s restricted to users aged 18+, brands are still encouraged to partner with influencers to promote the content they create, and can then repost this promotional material on their respective brand handles.

So what can financial service institutions do now?

Given that financial services have somewhat limited flexibility on what they can do on the platform, as mentioned, there are still a variety of engaging tools and methods that brands can use to reach their target demographics.

A Hashtag Challenge

A hashtag challenge enables the brand to secure a spot on the platform’s discovery page and encourages users to partake in content creation challenges for a chance to win a prize. Chime is a great example of a brand that has taken advantage of this by launching the recent #ChimeHasYourBack challenge, which pushes users to “throw down [their] most creative interpretation of what a life without fees would look like,” including an opportunity for lucky creators to walk away with $1000. Interactive challenges with giveaways are a great way for brands to encourage engagement. Since the launch of the challenge, #ChimeHasYourBack has remained a trending hashtag with 2B views.

Influencer Packages

Another great example of a financial services brand that continues to stay active on TikTok is Klarna, the popular buy-now-pay-later service provider. Klarna mainly utilizes custom influencer packages to display informational videos about how users can take advantage of their “Pay in 4” service to do everything from paying for classes, to remodeling bathrooms, to upgrading wardrobes. By showcasing variety and utilizing influencers that have an impact on Klarna’s target market, it is able to reach audiences in an authentic way.

Financial services can still make an impact

TikTok is still a great platform for building both brand awareness and brand recognition that financial service institutions should not overlook. Chime and Klarna are great examples of how the platform can still be utilized for both growth and engagement purposes. It is imperative for brands to realize that the content they post should feel native to the TikTok experience, while aligning with the flow of a user’s For You Page. Using trending sounds and relevant hashtags, while encouraging partnered influencers and users to partake in popular trends is a great way for financial service institutions to build a community on the platform. Ultimately, content quality and visibility will be the top determining factors as to how brands can navigate expansion on TikTok despite the added restrictions.

Mili Patel

Mili Patel

Mili is an Associate Research Analyst with Comperemedia, specializing in omni-channel marketing trends.