Rich media is increasingly considered a non-negotiable part of an effective marketing strategy. Video is a particularly popular method for many investment managers, especially now in the Zoom era.
With so much video content out there, how can you ensure your video hits home with your audience? While it is tempting to set out a prescriptive set of rules, think instead about how you can influence the content creation process to increase viewer engagement while remaining consistent and on brand.
1. Avoid logo builds/animations at the beginning of your video - overly complex animation beginnings are wasting the precious first five seconds. Think of other ways you can incorporate your branding, such as brand coloured backgrounds, visual brand representations and a specifically designed thumbnail that clearly describes the video's contents to engage the viewer before they have even clicked start
2. 60 - 90 seconds is a great length for video - retention drops quickly after this point, so if you have a longer video, think about dividing it up into one-minute topics. Viewers are more likely to commit to a one-minute, or three-minute clearly defined and labelled video than an eight-minute monologue where the audience doesn't know what is coming next. Combine this with labels and tags which allow the viewer to cherry-pick which sections they want to watch. Remember that video is best for high-level and emotive messages, so it's recommended to leave the detailed information for PDF files.
3. If you've got a longer video - make sure to change specific elements as you go along. Keeping the same background or accompanying music can become dull and monotonous, try adding more than one person to the video, changing locations, backgrounds or accompanying music to keep things fresh and interesting.
4. If you're going to ask an influencer or partner to share your video content - be sure to involve them in developing the content. Asking for their input and creative skills, as opposed to asking them to solely be a distribution channel. Involving them will likely produce better content, as they become more invested in publicising the content themselves. It can also help build on your relationships for potential future collaboration.
5. If you're filming it yourself, sound is crucial - use a professional microphone or lapel mics if you can, even if you're only filming the video on your phone. Also carefully consider the soundtrack. Is it going to act as a bed beneath the main audio content? Or will it help bring added emotion and clarity to what is being shown? Sound can be crucial in defining a brand identity.
6. Engage viewers with YouTube, then direct them to your website - YouTube is designed to keep the user on its site by watching more and more videos. Although it can be difficult to do as a financial services business, the best way to use YouTube is as a site to place 'teaser versions' of your video that are only 30 seconds. In the teaser, or its description, place a link that directs the viewer to the full video on your website. This also allows you to maintain compliance features by having the video on your site behind any necessary pop-ups.
7. The option for subtitles/captions is a must - your audience will have varied needs when watching content so providing the option of subtitles can help your video be understood by those with hearing difficulties or simply on a crowded commuter train. Providing them as an option that can be turned on or off, as opposed to being embedded into the video file, is the preferred method. Also consider how the video will be viewed on social networks such as LinkedIn and be conscious of the sizing and format so these subtitles aren't obscured by set features - such as LinkedIn's time countdown on mobile.
8. Generate a subtitle file - uploading a subtitle file to YouTube will enable Google to index the video content for search. Don't try to cram keywords into your subtitle file as Google checks that they match the video. Any extra 'keywords' that don't match the video will instead push Google to see the subtitle file as inaccurate and untrustworthy. Instead focus on improving your naming conventions, descriptions and tagging to help boost the search performance of this video.
9. Save plenty of time for editing - editing is the most time-consuming element of video production, even firms with in-house video production capabilities often outsource the editing. Save yourself time by planning and agreeing in advance what channels you want to host the content on and what edits you require so the correct content is captured during those precious filming hours.
10. Efficient recording process - the most efficient way to record content for a series of videos is to capture as much content as possible in a single day. This takes a lot of advanced planning, preparation and can be helped by writing an itinerary or script that helps you follow an agreed upon schedule for the day. Agreeing beforehand on the content and the platform the video is created for will help you and your team produce more impactful and engaging content.