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5 Ways Advisors Can Use Video and Stay Compliant

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Video has become one of the highest impact ways for advisors to drive loyalty, trust and wallet share, and if there were any skeptics in the room, COVID-19 surely has cleared them out.

The power of video is its ability to convey authenticity and simulate that human-to-human connection. Therefore, it’s no surprise that as video conferencing dominates, pre-shot do-it-yourself (DIY) style video has begun to make a strong appearance across advisors’ prospect and client experiences.

Advisors are leveraging the power of video to build trust on the front end so that by the time a prospect meets with them, they feel like they already know them. Likewise, when used across the client experience, advisors are able to add value to clients beyond the traditional semi-annual meetings.

This lets advisors stay in front of clients to further build confidence. It’s the celebrity effect — even though you’ve only seen them on the screen, you develop a connection as if you’ve seen them in person.

The power of video is undeniable, and yet, the biggest stumbling blocks for advisors to get up and running on video are building the confidence to do it well and overcoming the fear of compliance complexities. To address this, we developed a five-point list of guidelines for advisors looking to develop and distribute compliant video content:

1. Advisor Training

To develop a replicable process for creating videos, and to ensure all videos follow the necessary guidelines, it is critical that those handling marketing efforts for advisory firms work hand-in-hand with Chief Compliance Officers (CCOs) to create video-specific training for the firm’s advisors.

This training should tackle both compliance expectations as well as brand considerations such as on-camera presence, backdrops, expected dress, and tone. This will help to ensure that all video content created and distributed aligns both with the firm’s marketing standards, as well as the industry’s compliance rules.

2. Scripting

Reading word-for-word from a teleprompter only guarantees a robotic performance that encapsulates none of video’s benefits. If advisors are adequately trained, then compliance should be able to pre-approve bulleted scripts that advisors can riff from authentically, feeling confident that the resulting recorded content aligns with the industry’s rules.

3. 1:1 Video

With technology advancement, advisors now have the opportunity to use the power of video in 1:1 communications for activities such as client follow-ups, prep for meetings, or even to celebrate life events (think a “happy birthday” video message).

These videos, which can often be recorded in less time than it takes to write an email, provide an extra level of authenticity and connection that clients don’t get from other forms of communication.

The good news about these personalized videos is that the same compliance rules that apply to emails apply here as well. Rather than typing a note, advisors should consider putting those thoughts into a quick video, which could ultimately save time while providing a more authentic, more personal touchpoint.

4. Disclosures

Firm disclosures are easy to forget but are absolutely necessary to include in any marketing materials, and video is no different. Imbedding a brief disclosure at the end of any video helps ensure the content is compliant.

We have all seen the late-night infomercials with a disclosure that flashes across the screen, illegible without pausing. Don’t follow their lead — we recommend leaving around seven seconds at the end of your video to display your disclosure.

5. Video Archiving

As with any written content, advisory firms must comply with SEC archiving rules. The safest way to remain compliant with recordkeeping rules when employing a video strategy is to download and archive all video files the firm records, rather than simply archiving links from a third-party video hosting site like YouTube or Wistia.

Archiving platforms are encouraged and enable firms to easily revert to past videos in their native format for review whenever needed.

The way advisors view video should be the same way they view traditional one-to-many communications or one-to-one client communications. The same rules apply from a compliance standpoint, and if handled correctly, video can be a powerful tool to help advisors supercharge their connection to their clients and their firm growth.

Candice Carlton is senior vice president of FiComm Advisor Education. GJ King is president of RIA in a Box.