by Tony Vidler
A little while ago I participated in a survey on marketing by financial advisers internationally. The results were intriguing in that clearly there is widespread recognition by advisers of the importance and effectiveness of creating videos as a communication and marketing medium, however there is a disconnect too as the majority of advisers also said they still don’t see the business benefits of social media.
Some 74% of the survey participants also saw client education as a critical need for their business, and 80% are actively planning to use video as a means of doing that. So they say. Over half however still don’t think social media is that big a deal for them in their business….
I immediately ask questions when that sort of thinking is highlighted, such as:
What’s the plan for getting these brilliant video’s to be watched by the people you want watching them?
I mean…what is the alternative? Direct mail DVD’s or CD’s with the videos pre-loaded to prospects homes? With a covering letter of course…perhaps in an evelope with a stamp and a handwritten address….
Actually that might be very effective. Relatively expensive, and pretty laborious probably, but it will get attention. Except most of us barely use a DVD player anymore, and certainly the generation coming through behind me would think it quite a quaint idea using technology that they simply wouldn’t contemplate buying….they don’t even run laptops with CD drives anymore….so it is cute but will end up in the recycling bin immediately.
So; it is all well and good buying into the idea that video marketing is a good idea but you have to think it through a few steps beyond merely producing a video or two.
Only 66% say they have a strategy, and 19% of them admit to not sticking to the strategy they have anyway. Essentially that means about half of the advisers producing video content have no viable video distribution plan at all.
I cannot help but conclude that the majority of advisers do not really have any clear idea about how they are going to engage with prospects and clients in a meaningful way which reflects the way those people communicate and consumer information now.
That may appear a fairly provocative statement, but with so many advisers apparently not understanding that delivering the message is as important as creating it in the right medium, together with a large proportion either having no strategy or ignoring what strategy they did create, it seems a reasonable conclusion to me.
The BIG question that this survey raises is why would anyone intend to create content, and in a new medium for their business, without a clear idea as to how they are going to get it to the target market?
Without a Master Plan you may as well be flushing money down the toilet…
There is an abundance of evidence to support the idea of investing in producing video content, and there is a voracious appetite amongst consumers for quality video. In fact, it is almost tailor-made for professional services where we are usually engaged in a blend of educating and selling complicated concepts to customers.
According to another survey I saw some 67% of consumers want “how to” or instructional/tutorial videos, with 34% also wanting product/technical information videos. That survey highlighted the importance of social media, and the sharing of video content amongst peers as a means of establishing authority and relevance given that 38% of consumers believe a video is worth watching just because it is trending or being watched by others, and 61% will watch a video that friends have shared. Different surveys and reports throw up variations on these numbers but they are not wild variations – they are broadly consistent.
So there is a consumer appetite for solid and educational content. There is a consumer appetite for it to be available in video format. And for that to be online and vailable through trusted channels. And there is evidence that social sharing vastly increases the chances of the video being viewed.
There seems to be a strong intent to produce the content by advisers. All that appears to be missing for most advisers is The Master Plan to begin with and an understanding of how social channels are the primary medium for distribution of the great video content.
Creating your Master Plan does not need to be overly complex. Realistically it can be summarised in 5 steps:
1. Have a clear idea of who you are trying to appeal to
2. Have a clear strategy for how you are going to appeal to them (with what type of content, and frequency, tonality and style)
3. Work out how you are going to get the material out to them.
4. Work out how/where/when you are going to produce the content.
5. Put together an action plan and timetable to make it happen.
Producing fabulous videos without going through these basics steps first is nothing short of madness. You really may as well be flushing money down the toilet.