Whether it’s honing a brand voice on TikTok or advocating for customers in media – Boro’s head of marketing and growth José Duarte will hopefully give you plenty to ponder in this fintech content marketing Q&A. — Thanks, Luke

How has content helped build Boro’s brand and attract customers recently?

We’ve had success in reaching college students by using TikTok. Since launching our first TikTok campaign as a small test in October, the platform has become our main marketing channel — taking up about 60 percent of our budget.  Here are some tips for using TikTok:

  • Consume first: More than any other social network, TikTok thrives when users jump on a trend, remix an existing trend or even hate on an existing trend. You can’t bring your Instagram Stories playbook to TikTok and expect success. So spend time using the platform to be up to speed on what’s trending.
  • Don’t try to be perfect: Some social channels are polished, everything is staged and colour-coordinated. TikTok isn’t. Your videos can be lower quality and rough around the edges. TikTok videos aren’t judged by their production values, but by how creative they are, and sometimes low production values can add to that creativity. 
  • Be scrappy: We tested tons of different ads in the beginning, including bringing over some creative from other networks. However, our top-performing ad is one of a series of short TikTok videos that one of our interns made in about half an hour. 
  • Be irreverent: Younger people don’t want to feel like they’re being sold to. Resist the urge to put your logo on the video. TikTok is perfect for the funny, irreverent, sarcastic side of your brand personality.

The Washington Post’s TikTok content is a great example of that last point: They seem to let their TikTok guy do pretty much whatever he wants. He does some bizarre stuff you’d never see anywhere else on their site and definitely not in their paper. But it still feels on-brand, because relative to the rest of TikTok, it feels kind of conservative and buttoned-up.  

TikTok videos aren’t judged by production value, but by creativity, and sometimes low production value can add to that creativity.

How do you ensure other marketing content works better than competitors’?

We’re constantly testing it. We try to roll out new content to small audiences and test whether it resonates, before promoting it to a larger group of people. Also, ensuring workflows and automation are right, so you don’t squander any traffic that you get. For example, you could have the best landing page with the best SEO ranking, but if you have no way to reach out to people who’ve landed on your site, you lost the customer. If you let the customer slip through, it’s a lot harder to get that conversion.

How has the pandemic affected content marketing at Boro?

We’ve done more content on how to transition to online education, for example, a rundown of what expenses students can expect when moving to online education. We’ve also done some advocacy content. College students are in a historically difficult time right now — having been asked to leave campus, having lost on-campus jobs, or incurred additional travel and living expenses from campuses having gone into lockdown. 

Since we want to be a partner for college students as they learn to become financially responsible, we have been an advocate for them during these difficult times. We’ve written op-eds in student newspapers across America and in national publications like Fortune, where we came out strongly to say college students deserve to be a part of the government’s stimulus packages. And we argue the country cannot and should not neglect students, because students are struggling financially right now, but most people don’t know it.