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TikTok is packed full of educational content, with a large corner dedicated to quick snippets of easy-to-digest - but potentially damaging - financial advice. With the guidance of a foremost financial psychologist, we carried out independent research for Paxful to explore the problem of risky and over-simplified financial advice (without appropriate disclaimers) being shared on a platform where 69% of the audience are teens and young adults.
The methodology and results of this campaign won at the UK Search Awards 2021 (Best use of search - Finance (SEO): Small) and received Silver at the Digital Impact Awards Europe 2021 (Best use of digital from the financial services sector).
1. Achieve top-tier, authoritative, editorially valid links that increase site authority.
2. Increase organic search rankings to increase the client’s traffic.
Our methodology was manually constructed and sourced with the guidance of Dr Brad Klontz, a financial planner and psychologist. With no pre-existing data to use, we pursued the research with an original hypothesis that financial misinformation was exposing itself to millions of TikTok users.
We began by constructing a seed list of 50 TikTok influencers providing content on personal finance, financial investment, and wealth increase by exploring various popular hashtags on the platform, and analysed a random sample of 25 videos from their profile.
We then established if and how much of their content could be considered as ‘misleading’ as per our definition of the term.
‘Misleading’ content was defined as TikTok videos that featured no disclaimer on the video itself, in the video description, or in the account bio, and matched at least one of the following criteria: the content encourages the viewer to invest in particular assets; the content implies that a particular investment will guarantee the viewer an increase in wealth or return on investment; the content encourages the viewer to invest a particular proportion or amount of their income.
We highlighted each account and video for whether or not they featured a disclaimer. A disclaimer should inform viewers that the content is opinion not advice; to do their own research; to seek further professional advice; that past market performance is not an indicator of future returns.
The results were broken down into several categories to highlight the most interesting findings, such as the number of likes, followers, views, and type of misleading advice circulating.
Finally, the findings were presented to Dr Klontz, who provided us with invaluable feedback on our findings and incredibly useful commentary and advice around the subject.
• Won at the UK Search Awards 2021
• Awarded Silver at the Digital Impact Awards Europe 2021
• Shortlisted at the 2021 UK Content Awards
• Significant offline coverage including an article in The Globe and Mail, Canada's biggest national newspaper
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