Video could be your marketing's missing link

We're all watching a lot of online videos these days. YouTube alone boasts more than 2 billion views per month1 and since the pandemic people have watched an average of 18 hours of video per week2.

Video is everywhere because it's immediate and easy to digest. The best videos can take you inside a world you know little about or help you learn enough to do some specific job.

RIA firms have a unique opportunity to attract new clients and strengthen current relationships through video because clients want to get to know their advisor (and the team) better and want to feel smart about their investments. Your videos can keep clients updated on what's happening at your firm, educate people about financial planning and the markets, and show off what sets your firm apart.

So, what does it take for an RIA firm to develop a video strategy? Here are 10 quick tips to get you started.

Since the pandemic people have watched an average of 18 hours of video per week.

1. You don't necessarily need fancy equipment

It can be helpful to have a nice camera, but online viewers aren't expecting it. In fact, many people value a less polished, more authentic approach to videos, especially on social media. A good smartphone, the right lighting, and a decent microphone can get the job done. Also, make sure you have someone who can edit out gaffes or add basic graphics such as names and titles.

2. What's your format?

Think about what kinds of videos do you want to create. Will you be making explainer videos where one person describes how something works? Will you post interviews with investors, analysts, or teammates? Will you have multiple segments? How long will your videos be? The sooner you decide on format, the easier it will be to plan and execute each video.

3. Do you have a story to tell?

Story arch challenge to solution

Stories draw us in and help us connect to the speaker and the topic. Consider whether your video will have a story arc that moves from challenge to a solution. If not, you could simply open with an anecdote that illustrates the topic you're discussing in some way. And don't forget, every marketing effort is a chance to tell your firm's story.

4. Open strong

A few seconds is an eternity online. If your video includes a lot of throat clearing, viewers will click away. Get into the topic as soon as possible and save credits and extra information for the end.

5. Be yourself

You don't have to have a big personality to make good videos. A relaxed, clear, conversational approach is what people are looking for from an advisor video. Of course, if you're charismatic or a little quirky and that's part of your firm's brand, then go for it.

6. Pay attention to detail

What's in the background? Is there a strange sound just outside the door? What are you wearing? Many of the details we look past as we go about our lives become magnified on video, so look and listen closely before you shoot.

7. Add captions

80% of people are more likely to watch a video if there are captions

Many people watch videos with the sound off, especially in public places. And 80% are more likely to watch the whole video if there are captions3. Especially for short videos, take the time to add captions. Most low-cost video editing software makes it easy to add text.

8. Develop a cadence

Woman looking at calendar

How often do you want to post videos? You don't have to be rigid about it, but make sure you post videos regularly so that viewers will begin to expect each new release.

9. Post your videos in multiple places

Social media, your website, emails—you can even use your videos in digital ads. And don't forget podcasts. If the story in your video is compelling or you do a lot of interviews, it's easy to separate out the audio and post it to a podcast feed. For more on starting a podcast read: What if your firm started a podcast?

10. Are you providing value?

No one wants to watch a video that feels like a waste of time. Make videos that have a purpose and that current or prospective clients will feel good about. And don't forget to include a call to action so that your video can deliver ROI for your firm.

What you can do next

  • Elevate your firm's profile with marketing tips and tools that can help you gain more visibility, increase your market reach, and connect with new clients.
  • Consider a custodian that invests in your success. If you're thinking about becoming an independent advisor, contact us to learn more about the benefits of a Schwab custodial relationship.