Why financial advisers should embrace video marketing right now

Marketing financial services is becoming increasingly difficult for many financial advisers, especially with the proliferation of new brands coming to the market, the massive advertising dollars of those at the big end of town, and the increasing move to digital consumption by the New Zealand public. Traditional marketing techniques such as seminars, print advertisements, brochures, and radio are proving to be expensive and less effective than a decade ago.

Website video is a powerful tool largely under-rated by financial advisers. According to Snappy Kraken “Video on a website landing page can increase conversions by 80% or more”. Additionally, “Businesses who use video grow revenue 49% faster than non-video users” plus “An email with a video receives an increased click-through rate by 96%”.

Fish where the fish are

We have all heard the phrase ‘fish where the fish are’. The meaning is pretty simple. There is no point trying to put your fishing line into water where there are few or no fish, and expecting to get a good catch. Logically you identify where the fish are biting, then head to that spot before casting your line. The same approach applies to marketing. Try asking a representative sample of your clients the following:

“In an average day, how much time would you spend reading the paper, junk mail, and brochures vs being on your cell phone or some aspect of the internet- be it Netflix, apple TV, Google, YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn or whatever?” The answer would be pretty obvious - most financial advisers’ clients would be engaging with digital content more than via traditional formats. If still not convinced, ask a second question: “How many times in the past week have you seen a print advertisement or a brochure and then been stimulated to write down the phone number of the company, ring them or go and visit them (assuming they have a physical presence). In the same week, how many online marketing messages have you seen where you have clicked on a link to find out more?” Once again, the answer is likely to be self-evident. It is much easier to find out more information about a product or service via a simple click, than it is to write down information and spend time ringing or travelling to the physical site.

A website is absolutely critical to your business as this is effectively your shop window, display space and brochures all wrapped into one. The modern consumer will often think you are not a real business if you don’t have a website and they cannot google both you, the person, and the business where you work and find out all about your offering and how it will help them - before they take the more dramatic and fearful step of making physical contact. Getting an effective website is absolutely critical to growing and staying in business.

Back to the fishing analogy. When looking for where the fish are, we not only consult a fish finder, but we also look at winds, tides, moon, where the birds are hovering and also where the other fishermen are. Clients do the same when looking for a financial adviser. They don’t just use Google and then view your website. They will also use word of mouth, LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook, and the list goes on. In other words, you need to have a multi-channel approach to digital marketing.

So why fish in one pond when you can fish in many and have the ‘pond’ do it for you? Technology makes sharing content easy – in fact, it can do it without almost any effort on your (or your clients) part. Algorithms within large platforms, like YouTube, will reward businesses that can engage their clients and push content out to other users based on their online history. Clients can be directed to fresh and relevant content, without having to look for it. Content can also have multiple touch points with email, Facebook, and LinkedIn etc., also sending notifications of new content to your clients. These platforms are becoming better and better at pushing relevant content to users. If a business can produce engaging content, it has a very large reach, so why not make the most of it and let technology do your marketing for you?

There are heaps of articles available about social media so this document will not recreate these. Instead, we focus on just one tool that has mostly been ignored by a large section of the financial adviser community - video.

Why consider video marketing

Each year, thousands of the world’s top video marketers come together in California for an event called VidCon. This is where the best of the best reveal what has been working in the world of online video and where the big platforms reveal the numbers behind their business and unveil new features for video creators.

The latest conference did not disappoint. In fact, what was revealed simply shows where the world is. Not where it’s going or where it will be in 3, 5 or 10 years, but right now.

With that in mind, I wanted to share six of the top video marketing stats that should get you in gear to start thinking more like a media company and develop more video for your financial practice.

1. YouTube now has 1.5 billion logged in users every month

The CEO of YouTube, Susan Wojcicki was on stage at VidCon to reveal that while Facebook is getting a lot of headlines about video, YouTube is still the king of the block. Wojcicki started her keynote by revealing that every single month 1.5 billion people log into YouTube and watch videos.

Here are a few things to note about this stat that might mean something to you.

First, this is only logged in users. That means more people are watching videos that are not logged into the platform.

Second, if YouTube were a country, it would now be the largest in the world, edging out China at 1.4 billion people.

Third, and I think most important to financial advisers, is that with 1.5 billion users on YouTube, it means that people young and old, of every different race and language, are watching videos on YouTube. It is not a platform strictly for young people with too much time on their hands. Your clients and your potential clients are finding, discovering and watching videos on YouTube. Right now is the time for you to start developing a strategy to put videos on the platform.

2. Logged in users spend an average of an hour per day watching videos on their phone

­­­­This stat is incredible. It also shows you where the world is consuming content right now — not on their computers, but on their phones. They are watching while in line at the supermarket, at lunch, on public transport, and on their couch while the TV plays in the background.

What this also points out is the average watch time. One hour. Per day. Here’s why that’s important (beyond the fact that we all need more and better hobbies):

If you only have one video promoting your financial services on YouTube, prospects can only watch that one video. If you have a back catalog of videos, users will watch them all. You want prospects to binge watch your videos. You want them to engage with you and build a virtual relationship with you. That is why you need a strategy to continue creating new video episodes regularly, not just once in a while.

3. 500 million people watch at least one video on Facebook every single day

Now we need to talk about the other 500-pound gorilla when it comes to online video — Facebook. Make no mistake about it, Facebook and YouTube are major rivals, going neck and neck to win the attention of everyone on the planet.

The biggest mistake financial advisers make when it comes to video is only uploading their video to YouTube and then posting the link to it on their Facebook page. Facebook doesn’t like this. They want you to upload your videos directly to Facebook.

And just like YouTube, you need to publish video content on a regular basis on Facebook. Don’t think that you can post one video, once, and expect to book a bunch of appointments. The top financial advisers are posting new video episodes at least weekly.

4. A third of all online activity is spent watching video

This might come as a shocker, but it’s likely your employees are watching online video while at work. They (and you) are also watching them nearly all the time when a device is connected to the internet.

If people (like your clients) are spending a third of their online time watching video, shouldn’t you be making content for them to watch? It’s hard to stop consuming video content and to start creating it, but the creators are winning, making money and growing their business.

5. 59 Percent of executives would rather watch a video

I love this stat. All the time I hear from financial advisers who say, “My client is too busy (or wealthy) to watch video” or “There’s no way my market would sit and watch a webinar or sales video.”

This stat from Google shows that 59 percent of executives, the people with real purchasing and buying power, would rather get the exact same information sent to them via video, than in a written format

Strategi is now working with some advisory firms who want to stop sending proposals in Microsoft Word and only send them via a personalised video. People want to learn more about brands, products and services via a video that connects with them emotionally rather than in a document that bores them to tears.

What are some ways that you can showcase your message via video, instead of text, that will get the attention of the prospects you want to write business with?

6. 6 in 10 YouTube users would rather be influenced by a YouTube star than a movie star

We wrap things up with this incredible stat that shows a big changing of the guard. Traditionally, we loved to get product recommendations from celebrities. A movie star or sporting hero promoting the benefits of using XYZ financial firm would influence our purchases.

Today we connect with people that we follow on a more intimate basis, be that a favourite YouTube star, an Instagram influencer you follow, or someone who live streams their life on Facebook Live. These new ‘stars’ are becoming a big part of our lives and when someone becomes a big part of your life, they can persuade you to make major buying decisions.

This means that the more videos you create and put online, and the more that people watch and engage with them, the more influence you have over their purchasing decisions. It’s one of the reasons why Strategi has invested in a video suite to start making video training modules and advice content. You need to build a long-term relationship with your target audience so you can ultimately impact their future buying decisions.

The more videos and episodes you create, the more opportunities will fall into your lap. But if you are waiting for things to simply happen to you because you’ve been a financial adviser for 20 years, you are going to keep waiting. The top-earning financial professionals of today get their message out and build an audience that then wants to invest with them.

My only question now is: what video are you going to create next?

For more information on video marketing, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Note: This article is also available on Radar as a CPD module.