Step is a mobile banking app targeting teens through a variety of Instagram ads on both feed and story platforms that has helped lead to a +511% increase in Instagram followers. Step’s ad strategy takes the following factors into consideration:
Step is a mobile banking app targeting teens through a variety of Instagram ads on both feed and story platforms. Step has developed a strategy that addresses both the buyer and the user through campaigns speaking to parents and their teens, leading to increased visibility and followers online.
As of September 2021, Step Bank had 143K followers with a 1.3% engagement rate. Since October 2020, Step saw an increase of +511% followers on Instagram.
Step Bank Advertising Spend
From Q4 2020 into Q3 2021, Step Bank only made advertising spends* on Instagram seeing a peak in spending in Q2 2021 at +153% compared to Q4 2020.
In Q2 2021, Step spent the highest amount of money on their Instagram advertising at $771K. Step spent 80% of their budget on Instagram story ads and 20% on Instagram post ads.
With the 20% budget allocation to Instagram post ads, Step only ran five creatives at $152K over Q2 2021.
Instagram post ads have a heavier focus on top and middle funnel audiences. The top of funnel content focuses on brand awareness and visibility. Middle of funnel content focuses on previous affinity to the brand by providing additional value such as a blog posts & interviews.
This ad of TikTok influencer Charli D’Amelio uses $48K of the Instagram post budget. The content features the influencer speaking organically in selfie mode about what Step is and how it works. The caption speaks directly to teens and clearly lists the benefits of joining.
Q2 2021 Influencer Ad Performance:
Spend: $48K | Impressions: 4.8M | CPM: $10.00
$1.2K of the Instagram ad post budget went towards an A/B test comparing two ads with the same creative and different captions.
Creative B won with a caption focused on talking to a pain point in many teen’s lives in the form of a question, “Are you a teen looking for a way to send and receive money with your parents and friends?”.
Q2 2021 A/B Test Ad Performance:
Spend: $1.2K | Impressions: 124K | CPM: $9.67
$9.8K of the Instagram ad budget went to two different ads about Step’s “Real Talk” blog post series. Each ad features a different guest, including the CEO of Step as well as a financial influencer @pricelesstay. Both ads link back to the Step Instagram account keeping viewers on their owned media channel.
Q2 2021 Podcast Ad Performance:
Spend: $9.8K | Impressions: 982K | CPM: $9.97
With the 80% budget allocation to Instagram story ads, Step prioritized story creatives with a spend of $620K in Q2 2021. Into October 2021*, Step ran 77 ad creatives that all have Instagram story platform variations. Instagram story ads fall into four categories including videos edited as to look like TikToks, testimonials, stylized editorial videos and parents & teens.
Out of the four content categories for story ads, TikTok based videos had the highest number of creatives (34%), compared to the remaining content all averaging at 22%.
Ads run as Instagram stories have a split focus on middle and bottom of funnel audiences. TikTok style videos and testimonial ads focus on educating while stylized and parent ads focus on calls to action. Both sets of ads click through to app download landing pages.
34% of story ad creatives are TikTok inspired videos. These videos feature teens recreating popular dances or vlogging similar to content that would be posted organically on TikTok.
22% of the ad creatives are testimonials from teens about Step. These videos are natural, organic and authentic to how the person in the ad feels about their experience with the bank.
22% of the ad creatives are more stylized videos featuring graphics, colours and professional footage featuring Step. This acts as editorial and traditional advertising content focused on the benefits of the product.
22% of the ad creatives feature parents with their teens. This demonstrates the collaborative and open nature of the product for more protective parents.
Where Instagram post ads click through to Step’s Instagram account, stories drive traffic to Apple and Google Play landing pages to download the app.
Step’s Android app saw an increase of +72% in Monthly Active Users going into Q2 2021 and onwards.
To maximize the reach and strategy behind their Instagram ads, Step employs two forms of verbiage based on their audience. One speaking directly to the user (teens) and one speaking to the buyer (parents).