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“Video marketing is important because it is an emotionally engaging and multi-sensory experience. And emotion is key to successful advertising.”
“The motion in video naturally captures short attention spans and makes people pause. They remember more of the content seen in videos than the content they only read or hear.”
Would you like to project your key marketing messages to many more prospective clients? Drive awareness of your brand both deeper and further than is occurring today? Win new clients and assets?
Try self-developed custom videos.
Having worked with video for more than three decades, I can attest to the accuracy of Adobe’s assertions. It is far easier to engage people and reach them at an emotional level with video than with any other medium.
Online videos have become the central component of content marketing strategy. As Adobe states,
They are no longer afterthoughts or product videos buried deep on a YouTube account, they are crucial pieces of multimedia marketing campaigns that attract potential customers and gain brand awareness.
Underused in the financial advisory profession, video provides an unexploited opportunity for advisors to reach more prospective customers. Fortunately, it has never been easier for advisors to break into video marketing. I’ll explain how developing custom marketing videos has become easy and cost effective.
A historical perspective
In 1987, I created a sales approach and a related client seminar for a tax-advantaged insurance strategy that was quickly embraced by E.F Hutton (remember them?). Hutton arranged to videotape me presenting the seminar. It then made copies using VHS tapes (remember those?). Financial advisors would give the VHS tape cassettes to prospects and clients. The seminar told a story that was compelling and reached people at an emotional level. It created interest in and demand for the life insurance strategy that the E.F. Hutton brokers would fulfill. The entire initiative was a huge success nationally.
In the 1980s, video production was expensive, ranging between $30,000 to $50,000 for a one-day shoot, plus post-production work. In addition, the duplication of large numbers of VHS cassettes, and the costs of shipping them added significantly to the overall financial commitment.
Everything changed in the late 1990s. A company called Macromedia developed a video animation program called Flash. This was a big development that launched a new job category – the Flash designer – an individual possessing a combination of artistic and programming skills. I saw an opportunity to use Flash-based videos to supplant the VHS tapes in favor of streaming video over the Internet. After all, we now had dial-up connections! And 56 kbits/second of bandwidth! (Remember that?)
From the convenience of home, prospective clients could watch videos in their Netscape or Opera web browsers. Thinking back, it sounds all so primitive, but at the time it was truly revolutionary. Flash gave birth to the company I founded, Wealth2k, which developed a robust business developing Flash movies for insurers and asset managers. My role was to write the scripts for these movies, and a team of Flash designers would turn them into polished videos.
Clients paid between $40,000 and $70,000 to have Wealth2k produce a Flash video. However, with no cassette tapes to duplicate and ship, their overall cost became much less.
Flash died in the 2000s. A plug-in for web browsers, by 2005 it was clear that it was prone to security issues. Moreover, Flash was proprietary. It would not run on every web browser and in every application. But through an endless stream of “patches,” one had to download to stay ahead of its security problems, Flash tried to remain vital. It was Apple, however, that ended Flash’s reign over content creation.
In 2010, Steve Jobs published a now famous “open letter” criticizing Flash for what he saw as problems related to the security and power consumption it would cause for mobile devices… the iPhone and iPad. Apple forbade Flash in its devices. And that was it for Flash. Fortunately, a newer technology called HTML5 had emerged. Designers did not like it, as it wasn’t as feature rich as Flash. However, HTML5 was more secure, and it worked natively as opposed to being a plug-in. HTML5 is what you are viewing in today’s devices.
Explainer videos debut
Several years ago, explainer-videos became popular. You’ve probably watched many of them addressing any number of topics. They are typically animation-based combined with a narration track and music. They are very effective in getting a message across.
Adobe defines explainer videos this way:
An educational tool used to inform customers or interested parties on how to do something for marketing purposes. It’s a tutorial video for your brand, in other words. These go a long way to establish credibility and trust, and they provide helpful information to consumers in a dynamic way.
We’ve seen the emergence of companies – including many based overseas – that produce explainer videos. For a few thousand dollars, they will create a custom animated video, including assisting with script writing.
The self-created explainer video
With the emergence of cloud-based apps that enable you to create your own animated explainer videos, every financial advisor should be at least experimenting with custom-video marketing. Popular apps such as Animaker, Doodly, Pontoon and Vyond make it easy enough that virtually anyone can quickly produce effective videos. Given their robust capabilities, the costs for using those programs are ridiculously low:
Vyond $25-$92 per month
All video-making applications provide templates that make it easy to create videos featuring a look that suits your preferences. They also allow you to upload images and logos. It will not take long to produce a video that effectively showcases your brand.
What advisors should do
Ask someone in your office to work with the video application you choose. Each is supported by easy-to-follow tutorials on YouTube. The role you must personally play in self-developing marketing videos is the most important one: find the words. Although the visual aspect is important, the words matter most. When you watch a “bad” Hollywood movie, the reason it is bad is invariably due to bad writing. The world’s most talented actors can’t salvage a bad screenplay.
When it comes to our profession, with its confusing nomenclature, complex products, and hard-to-read disclosures, your priority when writing a video narration script is clarity and simplification. Here’s how to do it:
- As you write, imagine that you are having an actual in-person conversation with a client or a prospective client.
- Write down the same words you would use in that conversation.
- Stay on message. Focus on a single but important concept or idea you wish to convey.
- If it seems more natural, and it probably will, record your voice rather than typing the words. Your computer is likely to have a transcription function that will do the typing for you.
- After you have the narration in a document form, review it carefully. Make certain it sounds naturally conversational. You are looking for the words that accurately reflect the way you speak to clients.
Once the script is ready, record it yourself using a program such as www.audacity.com or simply the voice recorder in your computer. Alternatively, use a professional narrator.
If you prefer a professional voice, visit www.voices.com where you can sample the work of literally thousands of narrators. Within 30-minutes, you will hear a voice that reflects exactly the speaking tone and style you seek. And you won’t have to spend have more than $200 to $300 to secure the voice which is “perfect” for you.
What comes next?
Once your video is complete, place it on your website. But there are many more ways you can use it to promote your brand.
I will address those strategies in my next article.
Wealth2k® founder David Macchia is an entrepreneur, author, marketing strategy expert and public speaker whose work involves improving the processes used in retirement income planning. David is the developer of the widely used The Income for Life Model®, and the recently introduced Women And Income®. David has authored many articles on the subjects of retirement income planning, macroeconomics, and financial communications. He is the author of two books, Constrained Investor®, and Lucky Retiree: How to Create and Keep Your Retirement Income with The Income for Life Model®.
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