Finfluence: The Rise of FinTok

Since the start of the pandemic, TikTok’s popularity has surged, especially among Gen Z users who participate in the app’s viral trends and challenges.

In the first quarter of 2020, TikTok was downloaded 315 million times across iOS and Android devices, more than any other app in the world. By August 2020, it had been downloaded two billion times. By January 2021, TikTok had a whopping 689 million global active users. In Canada, TikTok now averages 3.2 million users every month, and its users are more active than those of any other platform[1].

Among all content categories on the platform, however, one has remained largely unexplored by brands: Finance. This is an untapped opportunity.

Finance and TikTok

As millennials and Gen Z become more focused on personal financial management, they are a key growth audience for financial institutions. #PersonalFinance has amassed over 3.5 billion views on TikTok as of February 2021[2], demonstrating the demand for simple, engaging financial content.

Financial institutions can gain a first-mover advantage by engaging audiences on TikTok. While making this move, they must recognize that what works on other marketing channels such as TV, print, or outdoor advertising will not necessarily work on TikTok. Even on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, photos and both long- and short-form video formats perform well, whereas TikTok requires strictly short video content. A smart TikTok marketing strategy means ongoing investment in frequent and engaging content.

#FinTok by #Finfluencers

On TikTok, the hashtag #FinTok has been viewed more than 500 million times. What are people talking about? It goes beyond conventional topics such as banking, taxes, mutual funds or stocks. As of July 2021, #Bitcoin saw a staggering 4.4 billion views, #CryptoCurrency had 1.5 billion views on TikTok[3]. Other popular topics include saving money, investing early, and paying off student loans.

Like any topic on any platform, #FinTok has its most influential content creators, known as ‘Finfluencers’ (financial influencers), and creating new opportunities for brands. Among them is Californian Stephen Chen, a former math teacher turned ‘financial freedom coach’ with close to 850,000 followers on his TikTok channel, @CallToLeap. @calltoleap

Stephen Chen regularly posts content on investing options for kids & trading tips for saving on his channel @CallToLeap.

Another is Sara Rosalia, a Canadian teenager who has more than 670,000 followers on her channel, ‘Sara Finance.’

Sara Finance shares tips to make more money, how to save money and start your own business.

An untapped opportunity for financial brands

While a few financial brands have been early adopters and are leveraging the potential of TikTok, it remains an untapped platform for most.

Early successes such as Step’s partnership with influencer Charli D’Amelia and UK Fintech Plum’s financial education series have demonstrated audience interest and willingness to consume and engage through the channel. Financial brands are well advised to explore the unique opportunities of TikTok — in doing so expanding their own ‘finfluence.’

At Argyle, with a blend of strategic communications consulting and digital innovation, we help leaders in finance take advantage of opportunities to make an outsized impact on emerging communications platforms.

Find out more by writing to us at

[1] Get to Know the Average Canadian TikTok User (Stats).
[2] Financial advice blows up on TikTok. The narrative has changed.
[3] TikTok bans financial service ads.

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