Professional digital equipment recording video blog of businesswoman, online business coach making presentation for website, filming popular vlog or master class for videoblog channel, focus on camera
Aleksandr Davydov / 123RF

Video marketing is rapidly evolving from nice-to-have to a necessity. Eight billion videos are watched on Facebook every day.1 YouTube is the world’s second-largest search engine, after Google.2 What’s more, companies that use video marketing grow revenue 49% faster year-over-year than those that don’t.3 [tweet this]

And with companies like Google, Amazon, Netflix, Microsoft, Facebook and Cisco investing in new technologies that will make video streaming even faster4, you can’t afford to underestimate the value of a video presence.

Trust is the foundation of the advisory profession

Highlighting your personal brand in a video builds trust and credibility. A top advisor told me that once she gets in front of someone, she’s confident she can connect. Like most of her peers, she’s brilliant at building personal connections face-to-face. This is why video is uniquely suited to advisors. It gets your face — and your voice — in front of a potential client, helping you do what you do best on a larger scale.

Are you referral-ready in the digital age?

If one of your clients recommends you to someone, chances are that person is going to Google you. If they do, what will they see? Try it for yourself, and then imagine the impact of a video highlighting what you stand for. When that person hits the play button, your professional brand will immediately shine through, making them feel more comfortable with how you’re going to engage them. It also
enables you to direct the message you want prospects and clients to hear. What’s more powerful: A LinkedIn profile or a video? The numbers speak for themselves. Internet users are overwhelmingly
drawn to video, so use it to your advantage.

Did you know?

83% of consumers would consider sharing a business’s video with friends.1

Video is also a valuable tool for your referral partners — accountants, lawyers, etc. — to share with their clients. It acts as a warm introduction by giving referrals a sense of who you are and what matters to you. And if you’re just as authentic in real life, they’ll feel even more reassured that the person they saw in the video is who you really are.

What makes a compelling video?

Let’s start with what doesn’t make a compelling video. It can be easy to fall into the trap of overthinking your approach. Don’t try to be something you’re not — be yourself. And just like your real-life meetings, don’t focus on products.

“People don’t buy what you do. They buy why you do it,” says Simon Sinek, marketing consultant and author of Start With Why and Leaders Eat Last. The goal, he says, is not to do business with everybody who needs what you have. The goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe.5

Along with cultivating clients you do want, a good video can also help you filter out prospects who might not be a good fit. If your video doesn’t resonate with some viewers, that’s okay. Successful advisors focus on the quality of relationships, not the quantity. Filtering out the people who aren’t aligned with your approach means that you can dedicate more resources to the ones who are. Prospects who appreciate your message are more likely to appreciate your advice, and vice versa.

If you’re truly interested in attracting clients that fit your target market, your video must tell a personal story that will resonate. Sharing your values, beliefs and stories — the why of your business — offers the audience a tangible way to connect with you on a deeper level.

While you want to stay away from products, provide a general outline of how you work with clients. Not the specific details about annual meetings and portfolio reviews, but how you learn about clients, their lives and what really matters to them. This will increase their comfort level, and when you deliver, they’ll appreciate it even more.

5 tips to create your own story

1.Define the goal of the video. Think about what you want to achieve. Do you want prospects to book discovery meetings? Or do you simply want to stay top of mind with referral partners? Maybe you want to connect with the adult children of clients. Your goal will shape the video’s content, and like any good goal, it needs to be specific and measurable.

2.Hire a reputable video marketing company. Ask your professional network for referrals.6 It’s an added bonus if the video production company has worked with advisors before. Ask for samples of their work and be clear about your expectations.

3.Create a concept and key messaging. You can work with a professional writer to build a strong message (high-level speaking points, not a script — you want to express yourself naturally). Watch videos that resonate with you and take notes about why you like them. Some video producers also offer an initial consultation to help you develop your theme and message.7

4.Include your team and/or family in the video. Get shots of your office, your home and other settings (indoors and outdoors. Keep in mind that you need to avoid any identifying features, like street signs or house numbers. Also, ensure anyone who appears in your video has consented to their image being used in this way). Take advantage of the features of your surroundings, like family photos or a beautiful view. You want a variety of locations and action shots (B-roll) to intersperse with shots of you speaking to the camera. Before filming, ensure your video provider creates a call sheet — a schedule of shots and locations — so filming is productive. And be clear about how long you want your video to be. Wistia studied over 500,000 videos and found that those under two minutes have the most engagement. After that, the drop off is significant.8

5.Lights, camera, action! Block off a day for the shoot and embrace the experience. If you’re worried about how you’re appearing on camera, ask your videographer for direction.

No launch, no results

Creating an effective video is step one. But how you activate it is even more important. The goal is to generate leads, warm up referrals, reconnect with clients, and ensure you’re attracting the right clients to your business.

This will look a bit different for everyone depending on their business model. For example, some advisors may be focused on cold prospecting, while others may want to amplify their professional referrals. That’s the beautiful thing about video: it’s versatile. You may assume that video is more tailored for younger audiences, but the reality is that there is high engagement across all age groups and demographics.9

Here are five basic steps to activate your video

  • Upload the video to a sharing platform. There are several options for video sharing platforms. Examples include YouTube, Vimeo and Wistia. Some are free while others have a small fee. A quick Google search will bring up several articles to help you compare your options.
  • Post the video on your website’s home page. You’ll also want to share the video on your social media accounts, including Facebook and LinkedIn.
  • Build your email marketing campaign. A newsletter is a great way to get your video out there. Use an email marketing platform like MailChimp or Constant Contact (take care to adhere to Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation. Some email platforms include built-in features, like an unsubscribe mechanism, to help you comply. You also need to have consent to send emails). Look for a provider that offers robust metrics and the ability to link directly to the video platform of your choice. Some even integrate with customer relationship management (CRM) tools like Salesforce. This makes it easier to track your video’s performance.
  • Measure the results. Metrics to consider include open rate (for your newsletter), view count, engagement (the percentage of a video the viewer watched), play rate (the percentage of visitors to your page who clicked ‘play’ and started watching) and whether the viewer forwarded your video.
  • Follow up on leads. Your newsletter metrics are linked to individuals on your contact list, so you can see who watched your video and for how long. If a viewer took the time to watch the entire video, or to share it, they may be open to a follow up. Strike while the iron is hot — typically no more than a week after they watch the video.

When building your email marketing messages, you’ll want to segment your list into four primary audiences and create messages specific to each. Here’s how your video will help you build credibility with these audiences. [tweet this]

  • Colder prospects. These are prospects you’ve had some limited contact with (who have also consented to receiving emails). This is an opportunity to introduce yourself and to engage them in a conversation. Asking a question in the subject line of the email is one way to pique curiosity. Depending on the content of your video, you can ask recipients what drives them, what they care about the most, or what they want to protect. You can then offer the video as your answer, and invite them to reply with their responses.
  • Warmer prospects. These prospects receive your communications and have met with you before, but they haven’t become clients. When you send your video to warm prospects, include a simple, brief message inviting them to get to know a bit about you before you meet. When they do meet you in person, they’ll feel like they already know you.
  • Existing clients. Your video is an opportunity to re-establish a connection, express your gratitude for the privilege of working with them, and an invitation to come into the office to meet.
  • Professional partnerships. Sending your video to professionals in your network will help you build credibility with these partners and give them an easy way to refer you.

Stay relevant

If you asked someone 20 years ago how important it is to be able to find their advisor online, the answer would probably be, “not very” or “not at all”. The stakes have changed. With every innovation, it’s up to us to ensure we stay relevant. Businesses that don’t, regardless of how powerful they are, will likely fall by the wayside as the innovators take over (think BlackBerry10, Blockbuster video11, Myspace12, the entire print publishing industry13 ).

Successful advisors are naturally gifted communicators. But the medium is the message, and your ability to connect is inextricably linked with where people choose to get their information. Based on the projections, video isn’t going anywhere — it’s only going to get bigger. Don’t get left behind.

Be bold, be strategic

Contact the Strategic Business Development team or your Sun Life relationship manager for insights and advice about how to incorporate video into your practice.

Amal Masri, B.A., M.A., is Senior Manager, Strategic Business Development, at Sun Life Financial. Her work includes consulting with Canada’s leading advisors and helping them create and launch compelling videos.






6 Members of Sun Life Financial’s Strategic Partner Program have access to a roster of recommended service providers.

7 The Strategic Partner Program provides free consultations to guide advisors through video message development. Contact the Strategic Business Development team or your Sun Life relationship manager to find out how.