Each year StoneShot surveys hundreds of professional investors on topics ranging from how they react to the emails they receive from marketers, to how they determine what events they attend.

One of our surveys homed in on fund providers and how they respond to video marketing efforts directed towards them. They answered questions on how they choose to watch videos, their ideal viewing length, and the type of content they would be enticed to look at.

Throughout our research, we uncovered very clear behaviours that help drive insightful action for video marketing, and what we gleaned for sure was that video marketing is here to stay. In fact, 78% of advisors are currently tuning-in. But while fund provider videos are very much being viewed, we learned that 42% of those advisors are watching only one per week, meaning the fight for screen-time is more crucial than ever.

We also looked at those who weren’t tuning in, and why.

Based on our findings, we’ve pulled together suggestions for how marketers can get involved in video, what they need to consider when they do, and tips for driving optimal engagement.

Why Use Video Marketing?

Video marketing is not just a brand or corporate tick box exercise, it’s an exciting way of building credibility and trust with customers and prospects alike. Sharing your company’s values, ethos and expert insights, plays a large part in long term brand building.

Video content is a great asset to have that can be utilised over many different marketing channels, such as email and social. Critically, shareability is vital. Recipients are far more likely to view a video if the content is shared or recommended by someone they know or follow. Also, Google and video seem to have a great relationship, so the more video content you have available on the web, the more likely your content will be found organically.

What to Consider with Video Marketing

Video marketing is predominately based around four areas:

  1. Content
  2. Production
  3. Distribution
  4. Attribution

Content

Content should be considered as part of a holistic overview of your marketing objectives.

We found lack of time and awareness, coupled with poor content is stopping many advisors from consuming videos. With attention spans getting shorter, in part, due to the huge amount of content across media and marketing channels, this is hardly surprising. Yet, video doesn’t appear to be presenting itself in the best possible way that demonstrates its value and cut through the noise.

Interestingly, technology plays a part here as well, with many advisors stating that device and speed played an important role in deferring viewing.

While viewing device may be out of your control (don’t worry, advisors are predominately watching videos on desktop or laptop computers), make sure your videos are concise, and valuable. Your goal here is to captivate the attention of those with limited time (nearly 73% of advisors state their ideal video length is under 5 minutes).

Failure to provide brief and obvious value, can only result in failure for your content to be viewed, and acted on.

As part of your personas and audience understanding, the content will be themed to address the needs and goals of your audience. Who is it targeted to? Why do they need it? What query are you answering and what point in the customer journey / lifecycle is this directed at?

These objectives can be goal directed, role-based, problem solving, solution-based, or informative. Once you’ve determined what the takeaway benefit and the message will be, ensure it is clear at the very beginning of the video so the viewer knows upfront what they have to gain from watching.

Our research shows that hot content topics amongst the financial advisor audience tend to be fund updates and economic insights – with extra bonus points for a live Q&A session.

Production

Production is essentially linked to budget. Your budget will need to be aligned to the forecasted value of expected returns for the year ahead, whether that be in terms of subscriber acquisition, brand management or sales.

Define the process, deliverables and timelines and document them to provide stakeholders oversight of the who, what, and when to meet their expectations. Ensure you follow brand guidelines, such as compliance, tone and creative assets.

Distribution

As our research states, the channels you use to distribute your video content will be an integral part of your strategy.

The split between where advisors look for videos to watch (fund provider websites v. third party sites) is almost 50/50. A rule of thumb, post to both.

Host the video on your own site first, so it’s exclusively available there with it clearly signposted so it’s easy for visitors to find. The third party sites that you choose to host your video will have subscribers of their own based on content preferences and are a great way of attracting new viewers.

Video content is a valuable asset for your social and email marketing content calendar as well. Testing different topics and headlines against persona types, as mentioned above, will provide analytics to help improve the next production.

Attribution

Return on investment can be difficult to measure, but that doesn’t mean your video is not successful. In many instances, video is used to help inform viewers about your brand, and your company’s values in order to build up awareness of your products and services that will be considered in their future decision-making process.

It’s about building your audience, learning from their behaviours and interests, such as whom, how long, and where they visit.

What Metrics Determine Success for Video?

As with all marketing objectives, you need to consider your approach based on measurable Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). What does success look like for video marketing?

  • View volumes (site / third parties)
  • The length of watching time
  • Conversion rate increases
  • Subscribers and shares (email & social)
  • User feedback (comments / Q&A participants)

The key is consistency; similar to any other marketing effort, a one-off piece is unlikely to bring lots of sales, however, consistent long-term applications linked to your audience’s needs and digital marketing strategy, will.

So how do you make sure you as a marketer meet your KPIs? Here are some helpful things to consider.

10 Tips to Drive Engagement Through Video

Make it as easy as possible for visitors to find and play your videos.

This may seem like common sense, but if there is no clear direction from your homepage or navigation, you’re relying on visitors finding your videos themselves. Place clear signposting to your videos so that visitors to your site, or third-party sites such as YouTube, don’t have to dig to find them.

For video SEO, put a strong focus on your descriptions and metadata.

Follow your SEO strategy by enhancing titles, keywords and descriptions.

Submit a video sitemap so that it can be searchable in Google Video index for organic search traffic. Descriptions are recommended to be a minimum of 350 words, as they are taken into account for SEO purposes by Google and YouTube. Keywords should be featured throughout the video description.

Base the video content around the point you want to make.

The average reading time for a successful marketing email is 8 seconds. Video is still short, just averaging 10 seconds before the average viewer will click away if the content is not applicable or interesting to them.

Your video should be engaging from the very beginning, allowing viewers to instantly recognise the benefit of watching and what they will take away with them after viewing. If this part is successful, you’ll garner 90% tuning in for at least more than half the video.

Use viewing times to help determine which content is most popular, and to which audience demographics.

Title Screen and subtitles – be sure to add them. 

A title screen instantly provides the viewer details about the content. Bullet points of topics or questions are able to manage the viewer’s expectations on the benefit they will receive from watching the video.

Subtitles are an easy win when it comes to getting your message across. In an office or business environment, viewers may not have access to headphones or are self-conscience of how it looks if colleagues notice they are watching a video (and assume they are not working!). It’s not always an appropriate time to listen but viewers can take away the key points or topics discussed with the use of subtitles.

Add timestamps to your full video.

Allow viewers to jump to subjects they’re most interested in using a timestamp. You’ll see these on YouTube allowing you to jump to a chosen time in the video.

It’s also worth including the length of the segment in the timestamp, so viewers know how long each segment will take to watch.

For social posts, test different headlines, picking from the topics covered in the video, and use a timestamped link when you publish them, so that viewers are taken directly to that time in the video.

This is also a great way of finding out what type of subjects your audience is interested in, based on which posts were engaged with, so you can feed this back into the next production schedule.

Chunk your video content into bite sized pieces.

One way of leveraging maximum value from your produced video is to chunk it into easy-to-digest segments, discussing one talking point at a time. This helps with the distribution of your video and the full video and other snippet versions should be within easy reach of each other for quick access.

For example, if your video running time is 8 minutes, look to break the full video into 4 segments at 2 minutes a piece. If your viewers are willing to consume this type of snippet content, there’s an increased chance they see the value in the content being served to them and will be enticed to watch the full video, leading to return visits, as they now have options to suit their current time need.

Use animated GIFs in email marketing.

As well as being attention grabbing, animated GIFs give viewers a taste of the content, by featuring brief excerpts of your video. These have proved successful at creating significant clicks through uplift on email.  These can be created using Adobe Photoshop or through a contextual content platform.

Attach supporting collateral such as the transcript or slides.

Cover a wider range of how your content is consumed by adding other resources such as presentations and written documents. The key is the engagement of the content, so be sure to add further value with alternative ways of accessing the content within the video.

Integrate with a video provider.

The pathway to watching the video should be as smooth as possible and not have any barriers to access. Are there options where the viewer can consume the video content without having to register or login? By integrating your email platform with your video providers, watching videos becomes much easier for viewers.

Finish the video with clear call to actions.

At the end of the video, display a clear signpost to the next action you wish your viewer to take. This could point to other on-demand shorter segments or full videos on the page. You could consider the product or service that the video referred to, or a call to action towards your signup page to help grow your email list.

Ready to tackle video marketing head-on? Great. StoneShot’s software can help you successfully embed video into your marketing communications. What’s more, we integrate with video hosting platforms like Wistia, BrightCove, and BrightTalk – and have agency services available to help you get started.

Want more information on how we can help with your video marketing efforts, or to schedule a demo session with us? Contact us here, we’d love to chat.