One of the major points that I’ve been telling my wealth management and financial planning clients for years is that, almost more so than any other industry, theirs is a business that lives and dies on trust.
You’re not just trying to help someone make better decisions – you’re literally trying to get them to trust you to secure their financial future. People aren’t going to just “take your word for it” that you know what you’re talking about. They need to believe it before they’ll ever even think of listening to what you have to say.
It’s helpful to go into a phone call with a prospect having already created as much trust as you can. Sometimes, people come to me and say they understand this but aren’t sure where to begin. Other times, they say that they’re “too shy” or that “they’re an introvert” and thus, aren’t able to leverage some of the techniques that their competitors are using to great effect.
In both of those situations, I tell people the same thing: if you need to build trust going into a call, adding a company video on your homepage is a good way to do it.
But not just ANY company video will suffice. If you really want to make the best and most positive impact possible, there are five key tips that you can use to create the right type of video content for the right audience at precisely the right time.
The Secret to Financial Advisor Video Marketing is Being Yourself
While it’s absolutely true that there are a wide range of different tips that you can use to make your digital marketing efforts soar while incorporating video, the most important of them all is to simply be yourself whenever you’re given the opportunity to do so.
If your video content lacks that human element—if it doesn’t give your prospects something real and tangible to latch onto—all the digital marketing best practices in the world aren’t going to be able to help you.
In other words, don’t treat your RIA firm’s video like a commercial. If all you’re trying to do is SELL your services, people are going to be able to feel that … and they’re going to tune out fairly quickly. People don’t want to watch a video that is cold, calculated and ultimately cynical.
Instead, use this as an opportunity to put as much of your own personality on display as possible. Give people insight into not only who you are as a small business owner, but who you are as a person. Let them see what makes you tick—oftentimes this human element alone will go a long way towards differentiating yourself from your competitors, particularly if that video also gets shared on social media sites like Facebook or on your YouTube channel.
Practice Your Storytelling Abilities
Because this video is going to live on your RIA firm’s homepage, you might want to consider framing your efforts in the form of a narrative. Tell a story about what motivated you to found the company in the first place and discuss the goals you have in terms of HOW you’re going to serve your future clients. This is a great way to give people insight into not only your thought process, but to also SHOW and not TELL what you’re prepared to do to make their lives better in some way.
Likewise, you could consider telling a story about just how your RIA firm is different from so many others out there. Let’s be honest – there are a lot of other firms who do what you do, but nobody does it quite like how you do it. That unique quality – that special thing that separates you from your competitors – is absolutely something that you need to latch onto when you create videos for clients and prospects alike.
Regardless of the shape your narrative takes, all of this goes a long way towards accomplishing what is maybe the most important goal of all – building a tremendous amount of good will with your prospects. That good will absolutely carry into your first call with these people, thus making sure that so much of the “hard work” in crafting a relationship has already been done for you.
Generally speaking, remember to SHOW, not TELL, whenever possible. Don’t just sit there in your video and explain what a financial planner does. Show footage of yourself or your colleagues working with clients in a way that brings your everyday efforts to life.
Likewise, always make sure that your video is building towards something – in this case, you’re going to want to direct someone’s attention to the call to action so that they take that desired next step.
Professionalism is Key
Another great tip that you can use to empower your video-based digital marketing efforts involves keeping things as professional as you possibly can. Don’t just sit down in front of a camera and start talking – you need to have a game plan so that you know exactly what elements will help your small business shine.
You need to think about purchasing or renting equipment to capture high quality sound, for example – that means boom mics, wireless mics and other things of that nature. You’ll need to make sure you have proper lighting equipment to give everything that professional-grade look. Don’t just shoot “talking heads” – also make sure you’re getting B-roll footage of you and your employees working around the office. That alone will give you a tremendous amount of options when you get in the editing room.
If you’re not capable of handling all of this yourself, don’t worry – there are a wide range of different videographers in your area who would be more than willing to lend a helping hand. Just make sure you partner with someone who has experience in marketing for financial advisors, and not just “general” experience. That way, they’ll be able to suggest even more ideas that will help you meaningfully connect with your target audience.
Pay Attention to Length
Another one of the important factors to pay attention to with your financial advisor video marketing – and maybe the most critical from a logistical standpoint – is the length of your video. When you’re talking about the business you’ve already worked so hard to build, there’s obviously going to be a lot of passion involved. You could probably talk about your RIA firm for hours if someone were to let you. That’s all well and good, but when it comes to incorporating video onto your home page and landing pages, you need to resist the urge to do that as much as possible.
Human beings not only have short attention spans, but they’re also being bombarded by marketing messages all day, every day. Because of this, their time is precious. According to one recent study, engagement tends to peak with videos of up to two minutes in length. A 30-second video and a 90-second video tend to hold a viewer’s attention at just about the same amount, but once you cross that two minute threshold the drop off in engagement is dramatic.
After two minutes, literally every second counts – meaning that for each additional second that goes by, you WILL lose more and more people.
Keep in mind, all of this applies to short videos. If you were trying to create a longer video, you would want to keep your length anywhere from between six and 12 minutes. However, as important as those longer videos are, they are NOT the kind you want to put on your home page or your landing pages. That note is simply a tip that you can keep in your back pocket for a later date.
The Power of Multiple Cameras
Another one of the most important steps you can take to effectively incorporate video and build trust going into a call involves using multiple cameras whenever possible.
There’s a reason why “Best Editing” has been a category at the Academy Awards for years – solid cutting can create a much more energetic pace in a video, capturing someone’s attention from the very first frame. It can also create a much more polished end product… provided that you’ve shot enough footage to CREATE that end product in the first place.
If you use a single camera, you’re either going to have to shoot the same thing multiple times to give yourself options in the editing room, or you’ll be forced to use that single, stock angle. Instead, use two cameras to really open up what it’s possible to do with your end result.
If you don’t want to go out and rent or purchase an actual video camera, don’t worry – you’re likely already carrying one around with you in your pocket everywhere that you go. Apple’s iPhone (and most other smartphones) are capable of shooting 4K video at 60 frames per second – meaning that this will be more than effective as a “B” camera for your video production efforts.
In the end, just remember that you can only make one first impression – which means that you need to pull out all the stops to make the most positive one that you can. By virtue of the fact that you’re incorporating video on your home page in the first place, that content will BECOME the basis of your first impression for many people who arrive at your site from a search engine. By using tips like those outlined above, you’ll do more than just boost your conversion rates.
You’ll build a tremendous amount of trust going into that initial phone call with a prospect, thus putting you in a better position to capitalize on that first impression and grow your business in the way you always wanted to.
Christopher P. Wendt is president of Midstream Marketing, a digital agency that generates predictable leads for independent financial advisory firms.
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