For as long as I've worked with financial advisers (a decade this year), it seems that people have been predicting that video will become the predominant form of marketing communication.
This year, I think that prediction finally comes true.
The recording capabilities and editing tools available from social media apps have matured to provide the sophistication and simplicity necessary for advisers to create their own high-quality videos. Professionally produced videos will still have a place on the homepage of an adviser's website, but for most firms, self-shot social media video will take center stage in 2019.
These are the trends to know for creating social media videos that will get engagement and position your firm as a social media marketing leader.
Embrace vertical video
For years, video production professionals have turned up their noses at videos filmed in a vertical orientation instead of the traditional horizontal format used by television and movies.
But as more people use their smartphones to produce video content, the number of vertical videos shared online has trended steadily upward, and today more than 50% of mobile videos are viewed in a vertical format. Vertical video is becoming the norm, not the exception, for videos shared on social networks.
Social apps like Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat have led this push toward vertical video. If you've watched a favorite celebrity's Instagram TV or your friend's Facebook Stories, you're already aware of how these services have optimized user behavior preference for vertical video.
It makes intuitive sense as well; we walk around holding our phones upright, not sideways. Digital marketing is all about providing the easiest path to interaction, and vertical video prioritizes a format created by and ideal for the mobile experience.
If you want viewers to spend more time watching your video and increase opportunities for audience engagement, using live videos on social media may be the best strategy. According to one survey, 80% of respondents said they prefer watching a live video over reading a blog post.
Live videos offer an easy path to audience interaction. In addition to a comment stream, viewers can let you know they appreciate your content with a simple tap on their smartphone screen to give a like or a heart.
Advisers need look no further than the ever-popular Michael Kitces' Office Hours, which he streams live to Twitter with the Periscope app, for an example of how to effectively incorporate live video into their marketing strategies.
Add subtitles to expand viewership
According to recent statistics, up to 85% of videos shared on Facebook are watched on mute. As with vertical video, this trend makes sense when you consider that more videos are watched on phones than on computers today.
A mobile experience makes it easy to watch videos in situations where having the sound turned up might not be appropriate, such as when you're out in public or catching a quick five-minute break at your desk.
If your video features someone speaking to the camera, subtitles are critical. Technology tools are now available that make it simple to add subtitles, so you no longer need to outsource a write-up to a paid service or waste valuable time doing it all yourself.
Videos uploaded to Facebook can have subtitles automatically generated by Facebook's auto-captioning tool, and iPhone users can use Apple's Clips, my personal favorite app. Clips adds subtitles automatically while you speak.
Both Facebook's auto-captioning tool and Clips allow you to edit your text, making it fast and easy to get videos with subtitles posted quickly.
Approach video with mobile mindset
We experience the internet and social media primarily through mobile apps.
Overall, more than 80% of time spent on mobile devices is spent in an app over a browser. Second to music, social networking apps garner the most mobile minutes, with the average adult spending 40 minutes per day using social media on his or her smartphone.
These trends illuminate the importance of approaching social media video with a mobile mindset.
Prioritize the wants and needs of your ideal client, and give your audience content that's fun, fast and flexible: fun to watch, fast to consume and flexible for optimal viewing on the social platform of their choice.