To help advisors share information about making sales and serving clients, RBC Wealth Management has launched a new web-based media platform that acts as a kind of YouTube for financial advisors.
Called Springboard, Minneapolis-based RBC Wealth Management's internal site features advisors talking about what has worked for them as well as RBC executives talking about timely subjects.
Some of the videos are also approved by RBC’s compliance department for client use, and advisors are beginning to post them on their individual websites, such as Hardee Investment Group (click on this link, then click on 'Navigating Through an Evolving Tax Environment' on left), ranked as one of Barron's "Top 1000 Advisors.”
In the months since Springboard went live in February, about half of RBC’s 2,300 financial advisors have already used the new website, said Shawn Spott, RBC’s vice president of corporate intelligence and research. Part of the site’s popularity comes from its focus on substance and minimal marketing talk.
“There’s no shortage of products and services at RBC, and advisors told us repeatedly that it’s hard to cut through the clutter to find out the new ideas and practices out there,” Spott said Thursday in a phone interview.
Earlier this year, for example, RBC created a white paper on the Bush tax cut situation and what it could mean for high net worth clients, then
Springboard posted content to help guide advisors through the paper’s intricacies.
“We created an article that highlighted an FA talking about how they leveraged the white paper using an external attorney at a client event,” Spott explained. “Then we packaged in some extra commentary from the people who wrote the white paper as well as some commentary about the white paper’s strategic and tactical use from our product folks.”
The advantage of Springboard, he noted, is that in the space of three two-minute videos, an advisor can hear from another advisor—“someone who’s in the business, which is always popular”—as well as the white paper authors and RBC product specialists.
Springboard, which started out as an RBC training tool and later morphed into a sales tool, bills itself as a social media tool, although the platform does not offer instant messaging or Twitter access. It’s more a place for storytelling, Spott said.
“When we do videos, we say, ‘Get as technical as you want. Use the RBC vernacular and the way FAs talk to each other.’ They know their peers, and we try to keep the marketing to a minimum. This is a YouTube, if you will, with high production values where FAs can share their stories.”
Within the platform, Springboard also has blogging, commenting and ranking capabilities.
“We don’t see this as a big social site where everybody interacts for the sake of interacting. This is about the content,” Spott said.
Read Advisors Beware, Client Testimonials on Social Media = Advertising: Compliance Watch at AdvisorOne.com.