Lenders Guide to Marketing to Millennials: Instagram Stories

Kim Collinsworth | January 8, 2020

Instagram officially has over a billion active users. And if we’ve learned anything over the past couple of years, it’s that the combination of Instagram’s engagement and the age of the audience makes it a crucial component in marketing to millennials.

But there's another piece to that puzzle: Instagram Stories. Every day 500 million people view Stories (one-third of those stories are from businesses), and 60 percent of people watch those stories with the sound on. Talk about engagement!

It's a great way to get information out and engage with your current and future borrowers. You can do Q&A's, surveys, promote deals, share announcements, do giveaways, and so much more in a matter of minutes. If you’re new to Instagram Stories, no worries–we’ll cover how to post them and what apps to use to make the most out of your stories.

One of the best things about Stories is it allows for human-to-human interaction and connection. Your future and current borrowers are real people that are coming to you for practical help. Using a platform where they can connect with you and get information about you will lead to a better borrowing experience.

Now, if you think this marketing approach doesn’t apply to the lending/financial world, you couldn’t be further from the truth. Take a peek at Mint and Akbank. These two companies in the financial space are incredibly successful using Instagram Stories.

  • Akbank converted its TV commercial campaigns into Instagram Stories and gained an additional 3.3 million views on their video content and saw a boost in their brand recognition and ad recall.
  • Mint, the popular financial app also used Instagram Stories to increase downloads by 497 percent.

Mint’s goal was to increase downloads and brand awareness, so they took to running ads on Instagram Stories. What did they find? That it was enormously cost-effective. They were able to better target their ideal audience (millennials aged 18-34), and all their Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) were not only met but were exceeded.

They ran their Story ads for 30 days, and their results were insane.

  • 497 percent increase in downloads
  • 60 percent decrease in cost per download
  • 45 percent lower cost-per-post-download engagement

When you use Stories correctly, it can be a powerful tool that can drive brand awareness, traffic, and conversions. Now let’s get into how to post a story.

Steps to Post a Story to Instagram

When you are posting a story, you have two options: you can either take your photo/video on Instagram or upload your content from your photo library.

How to take a photo/video on Instagram:

  1. Open Instagram, and in the upper left-hand corner of the screen, tap the camera icon.
  2. Choose a camera lens to capture a photo or video (Type, Music, Live, Normal, Boomerang, Superzoom, Focus, Rewind, Hands-Free).
  3. Tap once to take a picture or hold down to record a video. Keep in mind you can only record videos in 15-second increments.
  4. Now that your content has been captured, it’s time to edit it by adding filters, stickers, polls, captions, Call-to-Action (CTA’s), or swipe-up links.
    1. Swipe left or right on the photo or video to add a filter.
    2. Add stickers, polls, captions, and CTA’s by tapping on the buttons in the right-hand corner.
  5. Tap on “Your Story” in the bottom left-hand corner, or “Next” to share it.

Share photo/video from your library:

  1. Open Instagram, and in the upper left-hand corner of the screen, tap the camera icon.
  2. Swipe up and tap on whatever photo or video you want to share.
  3. Tap on “Your Story” in the bottom left-hand corner or “Next” to share.

Apps to Use


CutStory: This app allows you to edit your longer clips into 15-second installments. Because your Stories can only be 15-seconds, using this app can be a lifesaver for your longer videos.

InShot: Edit vertical videos for Stories by clicking on the 9 x 16 canvas option. You can also crop videos, trim or combine clips, and add text or emojis all within this app.

Lumen 5: If you’re new to video, this app is the one for you. You can take existing content, like a blog post, and create a video. And they supply you with all the tools you need like, copyright free photos, videos, and audio tracks.

Over/Unfold: Shooting video straight from the Instagram app is great, but if you want to make your stories look a little bit more branded and polished, using these template apps is a great start. With these apps, you can add a border, a design element, or your institution’s colors.

A Color Story/VSCO: Brighten up or add filters to your videos, just like you would a photo.

Life Lapse: Create a stop-motion video shot straight from your phone with this app. The best part is they walk you through the whole process, step by step.


Later: With this app, you can plan out and schedule a weeks’ worth of Stories at once. That way you don’t have to be on your phone all day every day.


As you start to develop your content strategy, the most important thing to keep in mind is that you’re marketing to HUMANS. Your borrowers are real people with real lives, and your goal should be to connect with their thoughts and emotions. Here are some ideas we came up with:

  • Do you offer home improvement loans? You could do a Stories series on DIY tips and tricks.
  • With summer approaching, you could do a series on how getting a loan allowed borrowers to take their family on their dream vacation.
  • You could do a series highlighting life’s misadventures with car problems, broken washer, or AC repair.

You really want to hit home that getting a loan is a means for borrowers to improve their lives. When you provide informative content and entertainment, you will gain people’s trust. And when you achieve that trust, you’ll be the first people they talk to when they need a loan.

Tags: Marketing for Lenders, How-To, Instagram, Marketing to Millennials

Kim Collinsworth | May 6, 2019

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