How Financial Planners Should Be Using Video

When your job is to dig into the personal finances of your clients, developing a relationship is clearly Job #1. That's why it makes a lot of sense in your relationship-driven business to use video. Nothing beats face-to-face interaction. But these days part of your relationship is purely digital. Video helps you connect with people digitally on a much more personal level than text alone.

Don't take our word for it though. Tim Wyman, managing partner at Center for Financial Planning says client relationship building is why his firm added video to the marketing strategy. 

"It’s a very personal business and I think adding video can increase that personalization. Folks can kind of see, feel, hear who they might be working with and hopefully gain a little bit more comfort.”
                                                                 -Tim Wyman, Center for Financial Planning
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Do Clients Expect Video?

Maybe not ... yet. But video has become a primary way many sectors of business communicate both internally and externally. Think of your Facebook feed. Two years ago it was all posted messages and photos. Today video clips fill the page. It's happening on Instagram and Twitter too. And websites are filled with auto-play or clickable videos. Melissa Joy, director of wealth management at Center for Financial Planning says there really is an expectation among her clients (especially those working in technology) that she'll use video as a way to build a relationship. 

“I think in today’s day and age, you’ve got to be doing video if you’re looking to put your best foot forward to your client. It’s important for me to be relevant to the people outside our little cocoon of finance and talk to them at their level. I know my clients that are in technology or my clients that are in healthcare, they’re used to this kind of stuff. And I want to be able to speak to them at the point where they’re looking to communicate with me and learn about me.”
                                                        -Melissa Joy, Center for Financial Planning

Melissa says initially video was daunting in the compliance-ruled world of financial advising. But after tackling a few initial bumps, it's not intimidating anymore. And for her team, she says facing the camera and delivering messages has helped them all become better communicators.

Video Doesn't Have to Cost a Fortune

You'd be a bad financial advisor if you weren't considering the cost of production and your return on investment. How can you be sure you can afford the kind of video you want? Start by figuring out how fancy you want to get. For our clients, we offer options from "Good" to "Best."

Good

You can shoot video with your phone. Camera quality improves with every new version of your smart phone. So if you’re totally sold on DIY, please first check out this video I made of 4 tips to getting the best quality from iPhone shoots. I found I was telling our clients the same things over and over, so we made this video to show you how to do it.

And while the camera is good, the mic won't cut it. For good audio, look at the Rode Smart Lav and an extender cable. You can find some $20 mic options too, but you get what you pay for!

You also need a tripod.

This is pretty down and dirty, but you can shoot and post content as quickly as compliance approves it. Here’s an example of one of our clients doing this:

The difference here is that we added the graphics and moving text. But if true DIY doesn’t conflict with your brand image, you could shoot with your iPhone and share your best take or edit it yourself on simple editing software. Here’s a video I did about editing with iMovie (which is also an app on iPhones now so you can edit it right on your phone). 

Better

To up your game, use a real camera. Most decent cameras these days also record video clips. If you go this route, get a mic (but not the one I mentioned above because it is designed specifically for iPhone). Here is before and after from the Center for Financial Planning. They started out using iPhone video:

And then decided to spend money on a decent camera. In the following clip you can see how much the video quality improved for what could be a $500 investment:

You can probably spot the video quality difference in the interviews (though phone cameras are getting better and better).

Best

Hire somebody. Preferably us. You don’t have to worry about focusing or audio or lighting. You just have to think about what you want to say. See if you notice a difference in production quality:

Measuring Your Success

There's a lot more to video marketing than shooting and editing. You'll want to consider messaging, scripting, and then put in place a strategy for delivery. From your website to your social platforms ... from embedded emails to digital ads, you have a lot to think about. And when it's all done, you definitely want to go back and size up your investment.

When you're considering if video worked for you, think about both quantitative data (like metrics from YouTube views) and qualitative data (like feedback from clients). Tim Wyman, the star of many of the videos above, says judging ROI can be trickier than you might expect.

“I think it’s always tough to really understand how to measure the benefits, but the feedback we’ve gotten, especially new clients, they’ve enjoyed seeing the person they might be working with. Our business is very personal and there’s something about that human touch that I think helps begin a relationship.”