Many aspects of advisors' lives changed drastically during the pandemic. Suddenly working remotely is the bright line item that jumps out; but on the marketing front, a significant rise in the use of video was particulalry interesting.
Pre-pandemic, video was a desirable medium, but it's also a luxury for a lot of advisors. It wasn’t required to run the business and it can get expensive, so it was put on the backburner. COVID-19 single handedly turned video from a luxury to a necessity overnight. According to Dynasty Financial Partner’s Benchmarking Report, published video content increased by 300% per quarter during the pandemic. Advisors could no longer afford to ignore video.
For some lucky (or prescient) firms, like Katherine Schneewind and her team at High Note Wealth, video has always played a role in their client communication. “Because we have clients in many different states and continue to build our community, we were already utilizing Zoom and other virtual technologies to communicate with our clients. Living in a metro area like Minneapolis, commuting to an office can be 45 minutes to over an hour. We realized we could easily use the same tools to connect with local clients during the pandemic. We were very lucky in that way,” noted Schneewind.
Miguel Sosa at Premia Global Advisors was in a similar situation. With an international client base, Sosa was always traveling to maintain that face-to-face connection with clients. They incorporated video into their communications strategy early on with a goal to have a visual connection with clients.
Once the pandemic hit, Sosa and his team increased the frequency of the videos they shared and began offering videos in multiple languages. "When you have this guy managing your money and the world is falling apart, you want to know what he's thinking. Is he nervous? Is he going crazy? Video gave us the opportunity to showcase not only my advice but my tone, my body language and other non-verbal cues,” commented Sosa.
As the world continues to transition out of the pandemic, it’s important for advisors, and marketing professionals working for advisors, to pay attention to how video will continue to play a role in how they communicate with their clients. For Schneewind at High Note Wealth, the pandemic brought to light the need for accessibility. “We have clients that are elderly or that can’t get to our office easily. Moving forward, that virtual option will always be available to those who need it.”
For Sosa and his team, the need was comfort. Prepping for each video, they started with the question, “How can we get closer?” Premia predicts video will remain a large aspect of their communications plan and may even allow for in-person travel to focus on relationship building rather than all business.
Outside of the basic communication functions that video capabilities offer, why should any advisor create more videos? Video quickly familiarizes your audience with your name, face, voice and overall brand. This can be an extremely useful tool in a relationship-based business-like wealth management.
It’s also very popular. Schneewind noted that out of all their social media posts and e-newsletters, the most engagement comes from those that incorporated personalized videos. “It is a wonderful feeling to get so many comments and texts about the videos we share. We love getting to see our clients in any format and it’s great to see that feeling reciprocated.”
Premia experienced the same reaction from clients. “We’d get comments, emails and texts from our clients saying how much they enjoyed seeing my face,” commented Sosa. “I can tell it brings them comfort to have that visual connection.”
Video can be an intimidating tool to someone who has never used it before, but it is not as hard or as awkward to do as you might think. Plus, with today’s mobile phone technology it is easier than ever to snap a quick high-quality video and post.
However, it’s still important to plan your video content before you start. I recommend every advisor and their team to consider these three items before they start filming:
Define your purpose. Why are you recording the video? What is the impact you want to make with this video?
Share your message. What do you want the viewer to learn? What action do you want them to take after watching your video?
Target audience. Who is your audience? What are they thinking before watching your video?
Once you’ve created and published your video, it’s equally important to look at how it performed. I recommend advisors adopt this simple process: test, learn and refine. Here’s an example:
An advisor invested in a big launch video for their website. The entire team was so proud of the video and what they accomplished, but when reviewing the analytics less than 1% of the website traffic watched the video. Using the test, learn, refine approach they changed the color of the play button on the video from white to green. Traffic went up 37%. They learned the analytics didn’t have anything to do with the quality of the video, just how it was displayed on the website.
The face of wealth management is changing and will continue to change with each generation that comes into the space. Therefore, it is crucial for advisors to understand where to reach their customers and how to use those platforms.
Justin Barish is Senior Vice President of Marketing at Dynasty Financial Partners.