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Why Video Marketing Is Important For Financial Advisors And Three Things To Get It Right

Authenticity and trust matters in wealth management so firms to should embrace video marketing but it’s also important to not get it wrong

If there was one lesson learned over the last three years of the pandemic, it’s that video can take care of most — but not all — in-person communication. But another lesson is that video must be done intelligently — especially in the wealth management industry.

During the years of lockdown, financial advisors that were used to quarterly in-person meetings with most of their clients were suddenly forced to conduct business over Zoom and similar platforms. The early days of Zoom-meetings no doubt posed some challenges but it also opened the door for opportunities to engage with clients. Whereas firms may have been in the habit of hosting periodic in-person thought-leadership events for clients, they could now do streaming events, which allow clients to view at their own leisure.

That doesn’t have to change with the return of in-office communications. While many welcome the return of in-person interactions, video will continue to be an important way to reach clients and share their expertise. Video also allows advisors to connect with clients in a manner in which voice and facial expressions can convey more empathy for a client’s situation than an email alone.

Here are three things for advisors to keep in mind when using videos:

Know your audience. Financial advisors surely want to reach clients and prospects but they have to understand what those constituents want to see. How an advisor is going to present information in-person is very different from how information is presented in video. A client may be fully engaged during a 30-minute meeting with their advisor, but they’re likely less keen to watch a 30-minute video. Clients and prospects engaging in videos are likely looking for quick, digestible information that can spur ideas for questions to ask during meetings.

For example, if there is a change in market conditions or tax regulations that can have implications for clients’ portfolios, a short video introducing the topic with a call to action to learn more is a good start. A lengthy video giving all the ifs, ands, buts, and what ifs of the conditions is more likely to confuse — and potentially irritate — clients and prospects.

Also, even though a video is one-sided, it should feel like the beginning of a two way conversation with clients. The feeling in videos should be approachable — planned but not scripted. This is a time when an advisor may not want to appear too buttoned up.

Know what makes for a good video. To borrow from communication theorist Marshall McLuhan, “the medium is the message.” In client communication, there is a place for phone calls, meetings, white papers, newsletters, and finally, video. Employing video is a choice because the information is best transmitted in that format. Video is audio and visual, where tone of voice and visual cues are able to convey as much as a few paragraphs of copy-writing.

Unless we’re talking about streaming a live event, videos should be short, hitting on three to five pieces of information in bullet point form. Video must also be immediately engaging. It may feel more natural to give a lengthy introduction, but remember, someone engaging with your video is likely already on your page or opening your email, meaning they already have a sense of who you are. Not to mention, text on the screen can handle a lot of the introductions for you. The key is to get right to the point of the message, and the easiest way is by asking and answering a question that is likely on everyone’s mind.

Finally, practice good video hygiene. After years of people being accustomed to pandemic video, there is no longer an excuse for bad lightning, poor audio, and distracting backgrounds. There is no need for massive investments. Many of these issues can be taken care of with equipment that can be bought on Amazon
for less than $50. Also, while people may want to watch your video, they may not be in a spot to listen, which means spending the extra time to make closed captioning available.

Think but don’t over think. A lot of times when firms make a push for video communication and marketing, they start to fall into analysis paralysis. Obviously, there is no excuse for sloppy execution, but too often firms let perfect be the enemy of good enough. There should be a feeling of spontaneity to the video, not something that has been endlessly edited and tweaked by committee. Be thoughtful in your execution but not obsessive.

For financial advisors, a short video message can be a way to introduce a topic that may be further explored in a company newsletter or whitepaper.

Identifying why you’re doing video and focusing on clean, crisp quality is the important first step. Graphics and other visuals are certainly important, but there is no need to go overboard in the initial tries until you know what your clients are looking for. Knowing that means taking the plunge and delivering video content and making tweaks as you see what types of formats resonate more with your audience.