MIAMI, FL: Prudential, the financial-services company, has seen various benefits from leveraging the power of influencers to engage consumers.

Dorinda Walker, VP/Consumer Strategy & Key Initiatives for Multicultural at Prudential US, discussed this topic at the Association of National Advertisers’ (ANA) Multicultural Marketing & Diversity Conference.

And one of the main advantages that comes from using influencers to reach particular audiences, she asserted, involves injecting fresh life into what can often be perceived as a low-interest category.

“We’re a financial services company,” said Walker. “And we’re not seen as a sexy brand.” (For more, read WARC’s in-depth report: How Prudential got “sexy” with social-media influencers.)

Given it operates in a highly regulated industry, and that many employees are only permitted to engage on social media with pre-approved content, influencers offer a useful way to remedy this situation.

“It’s really not conducive to using social media. How do we get around that problem?” Walker asked in describing the background context for brands like Prudential.

The answer to this question: “With [influencers] who understand our brand, understand what we’re trying to do, and really can help us to communicate to our customers in an authentic way.”

Given the constraints on the financial services sector, Prudential is careful to make sure its influencer content both has a distinct flavor and remains very much in line with the rules it has to meet.

“We give them approved Prudential content and ask them to write in their own voice. Different bloggers choose different content,” Walker said.

“So, they may get 25 pages of [material], whether it’s [about] college planning or reducing debt. But all the content from Prudential is approved, and they use it in their own voice based on what they’re interested in.”

Elaborating on this theme, she reported that Prudential makes sure that every blogger clearly labels this material as advertising content. But this tactic has, in fact, proved to be far from a drawback.

“Based on their levels of engagement, I don’t feel like it’s a hindrance, either, because people are enjoying it because it comes from a trusted source, versus Prudential putting out an ad,” Walker said.

“You’re following an influencer because you love the food they cook or the messages they have about parenting.”

Sourced from WARC