Over the past few months, I have spent some time in this column explaining how to incorporate video into social-media profiles and websites to make them stand out.
Now it's time to talk about expanding the use of video and trying something new.
Although the financial services industry is still lagging when it comes to social media and technology, some advisers are trying to make the best use of the power that video brings to the table.
Here are three ways that some top advisers are incorporating video into their practices:
• Using video blogs (vlogs). It is far easier for someone to click on a quick video and hear information than it is for them to read a lengthy blog post. Video blogs are a great way to share information. Be sure to keep videos short — less than two minutes is ideal — and summarize by giving viewers a few bullet points as key conclusions.
Ted Jenkin, co-chief executive and founder of oXYgen Financial Inc., whose site, yoursmartmoney moves.com, receives more than 40,000 unique visitors a month, recommends video blogging each week. On the site, he shares useful information and financial tips for his Generation X and Generation Y audience. Mr. Jenkin said that the exposure he gains through video and other social-media efforts has translated into significant new business for his firm and has helped him recruit numerous advisers looking for a way to market themselves.
• Conduct video interviews with industry experts. Mitchell Slater, senior vice president of wealth management at UBS Wealth Management Americas, is passionate about financial education and uses video to interview a variety of different people in an effort to teach financial literacy. Although he is the featured speaker in a number of his videos, he thinks that it is critically important to highlight other financial experts. Mr. Slater does so by identifying topics important to his audience, finding experts to address those topics and capturing those interviews on video. This allows him to educate viewers about a far-broader range of topics than if he limited his videos solely to his own areas of expertise.
Mr. Slater, who runs everything he does through compliance, said that video has been an easy medium for compliance officers to review and approve prior to posting.
• Consider a V card. Often, business cards go directly into the circular file. The purpose of giving out business cards is so others will have contact information handy when they need it. V cards allow an individual to receive a message with another person's contact information, which can then be immediately saved to their smartphone. Many V cards also allow users to add a short video along with contact information to educate the viewer about the individual and their firm. Mr. Jenkin uses V cards exclusively and has gotten tremendous feedback on them from clients and prospects. Although there are plenty of sites that create V cards, he uses izigg.com.
Once advisers begin to incorporate video into their marketing strategies, they should keep the following tips in mind:
• Be real. Although many companies pay big dollars for celebrity endorsements, what clients and prospects are really looking for is someone genuine. Video presents a unique opportunity for people to get to know advisers and their practices, and for the advisers to share valuable information. Speak in real terms and avoid industry jargon.
• Teach, don't sell. The use of video in a financial services practice should be more about education than about selling. Content should be relevant to the audience and focused on financial concepts and financial management tips, not on specific products and services that the firm sells.
• Share videos via the company's website and social-media outlets. Use status updates to share videos with connections on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. House the videos on the firm's website to ensure that visitors to the site have relevant information right at their fingertips.
Incorporating video into a practice takes time, and advisers may wonder if it is worth it. In a marketplace rapidly going mobile, the key to keeping up is to make it easy for clients and prospects to find advisers, and to view the information they have to share.
Video will be a key to survival in this business, and the time to get started is now. Try out a couple of these ideas, and don't be afraid to make a few mistakes along the way.
Kristin Andree (kristin@andree media.com) is president of Andree Media & Consulting.