This is from a series of articles by David Inglis that first appeared in the IFA Magazine in July 2018.
The Blocks Which Often Stop Advisers Using Video
Since we first started delivering video into the Adviser market-place in February we have found most Advisers understand that video is now the communication medium of choice of their audience. The issue is not about video in its own right, but more about how to use video.
There are pre-conceptions which seem to be holding many firms back, to do with websites, costs, production and themes.
Adding this up the totality is that video is seen as ‘out of reach’ – too costly and complex.
The first thing I would say is that many advisers view the use of video as something inextricably linked to a website. In other words if they are going to use video it will be to place it or them, in the case of several videos, onto their website.
Naturally video is fantastic when added into a site, bringing a site to life, adding invaluable SEO credentials and showcasing a firm’s expertise and modernity brilliantly. The stats around website viewer habits show that video is far more likely to be viewed than any other type of content.
If a website has video it retains site visitors unlike anything else. But this is not the same thing as saying that video is only for a website, far from it.
The videos we produce can easily be stored on a phone, tablet or a laptop. This makes it easy to carry the video around and show it to anyone at any time, for instance in a meeting or at an event, maybe a networking event. They can be shared in a meeting with a professional connection or at a client seminar.
Likewise they are easily emailed. They can be built into a client newsletter (if shared electronically).
They can be linked to social media feeds and we all know the difference video makes to how many people will click on something via Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn if it includes video. Video is available to use in so many ways beyond a website.
Another block is the production side. Video seems like a costly and time consuming thing to develop. That has a large element of truth to it. Although it depends what one means by video.
Anyone with a half decent mobile phone can make a video recording by speaking to camera and in some arenas this sort of selfie video is actually quite appealing. However trying to present ideas on pensions or investments doesn’t really lend itself to this type of video.
A more professional ‘live’ recording can work although there is considerable evidence from research that this has limited appeal to viewers who are saturated by experts from all corners. Forbes reported recently that this type of video has less than one third of the impact of an animated video.
With animation, there are basically two options, properly crafted and drawn productions or the so-called doodles. These are where you see someone drawing on the screen as the video or story unfolds.
Again the evidence shows that doodles, whilst more effective than head to camera videos still don’t quite cut the mustard in engaging viewers. However because the cost of a doodle can be considerably cheaper than a full blown production these are the most popular type favoured by most firms when they start out with video and do it themselves.
The pinnacle for most firms is to get a properly animated, full production video into their branding.
However, the next block then comes along that stops this from happening – cost.
Costs vary depending on a lot of factors, but suffice to say that engaging with animators, voiceover artists and a production team will run into thousands. If you wanted a suite of videos to use with your audience you would almost certainly be looking at a five figure sum.
There is one final possible block, which seems at first innocuous but is actually quite real for a lot of the Adviser market – what to say.
Even if you make up your mind to embrace video in all its glory and pay for many animated videos to be produced, there is still the creative question, what shall we produce, what shall we say and how shall we portray the subject?
It’s not easy writing a script or producing a storyboard simplifying pensions or tax or financial planning.
These various blocks explain why – to date – so few adviser firms have properly started using video, even though the audience is crying out for it.
We looked at this as we worked with some firms late last year and realised that there was a chance to do something about this which is we created Own Branded Videos, a method of dealing with each and every one of these blocks head on.
If you look at Adviser websites, the content is broadly similar and Advisers are hardly competing against one another like firms in other sectors.
It struck us therefore that if advisers could get top notch animated video at a very low price, we could produce and build video which adviser firms simply bought from us. We apply their branding and by doing it this way we can absorb the production cost, thousands of pounds, by sharing the cost across many firms round the country.
This brings the cost per video per firm to a few hundred pounds.
Sure firms will have the same video as another firm (albeit with each firm having their own branding applied) but how many of each firm’s audience are going to come across another firm’s video which is the same? Hardly anyone, if anyone at all.
If Coca Cola and Pepsi both produced the same advert it would look very odd, but adviser firms having the same explainer videos is neither odd nor in any way diluting the value. Firms use the same guides as produced for other firms, so the idea is hardly new.
That’s why we have produced Own Branded Video because now, for the first time, advisers can get readymade animated video with high production values, tested with real audiences, plus help to introduce the videos into usage.
All blocks are now removed.
Dave is the owner of Gadget Line Films, a specialist video production company.
Gadget Line produce animated videos as part of a joint venture with Independent Check Ltd called “Own Branded Videos”. Independent Check distribute the video into the adviser.