If you’re like most advisors, you’ve probably given some thought to using video for marketing purposes — after all, they’re ubiquitous on the Web — but you likely have not taken any concrete action.
That assessment is “empirical,” according to advisor technology guru Bill Winterberg, who put it this way in an interview with ThinkAdvisor:
“There are over 300,000 advisors in the U.S. and between 60,000 to 80,000 RIAs, yet I would say there are less than 100 advisors actively posting video content online.”
So advisors need not feel alone in their predicament but, according to Winterberg, neither should they neglect to keep up with changing business standards.
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“Over the next five years, prospects are going to have expectations that they can watch something on advisors’ websites, whether that is an explainer video or a video biography that helps me figure out who you are and how you can help me,” he says. “Advisors who don’t step out and create these videos are going to miss the opportunity to convert these prospects to clients.”
Winterberg, who was a financial planner before forming FPPad in 2008 to educate advisors on technology — everything from customer relationship management (CRM) to going paperless — distinguishes between the video basics that every advisor must produce to the more advanced productions of the elite advisors who dominate video marketing.
The first “must-have” is what Winterberg calls an “explainer” video.
“That’s the 60- to 90-second video that clearly explains how the advisor and how the advisory firm helps people with specific needs,” he says.
He cites the file storage site Dropbox as a model advisors should emulate:
“Go to the Dropbox website and see the 60-second explainer video about managing your files and synchronizing your devices. The first 30 seconds explains these problems and the last 30 seconds shows how Dropbox solves these problems and ends with a great call to action: ‘Sign up for a free trial today.’”
Advisors too should conclude their videos with a call to action, he adds. “Ask the viewer to send an email, to schedule an appointment, to reach out to the advisor.” That puts the ball in the prospect’s court, he says.
The advisor tech consultant, whose free video broadcasts appear weekly on FPPad, says an advisor’s second “must-have” is a video biography.
“As a prospect, I want to know why this person is an advisor and why they wake up every day to be involved in this business,” Winterberg says, adding that a printed biography doesn’t cut it because it doesn’t convey “the human element” like video.
“It’s the mannerisms, the passion and it’s the way they say things — their expression — that does not come through in a written biography.”
Beyond these essentials that every advisor must have, there are a variety of ways advisors can express themselves in video both in terms of content and in terms of format.
As for content, Winterberg says it should “absolutely” vary among advisors since the video’s purpose is to demonstrate the advisor can solve the issues of his or her unique client base.
“One advisor should know all about taxes for physicians; another should know all the ins and outs of running a small manufacturing business. You should be very clear about understanding your niche and creating video content that addresses issues in that niche,” he says.
As to format, “there’s no right away of doing it; but there are a lot of wrong ways to do it,” he says.