Journal of Financial Planning: April 2018
Greg Rollett is the founder of Ambitious.com, an Emmy Award-winning media production and marketing agency for financial professionals and business owners. He is the host of the reality TV show “Ambitious Adventures,” seen on Entrepreneur.com, and the host the Ambitious Life.
Late last year, thousands of the world’s top video marketers came together in California for an event called VidCon. This is where the best of the best reveal what has been working in the world of online video and where the big platforms reveal the numbers behind their business and unveil new features for video creators.
This year did not disappoint. In fact, what was revealed simply shows where the world is—not where it’s going or where it will be in three, five, or 10 years, but right now.
With that in mind, I want to share six of the top video marketing stats that should get you in gear to start thinking more like a media company and develop more video for your financial planning practice.
No. 1: YouTube Has 1.5 Billion Logged-In Users Every Month
The CEO of YouTube, Susan Wojcicki was on stage at VidCon to reveal that while Facebook is getting a lot of headlines about video, YouTube is still the king of the block. Wojcicki started her keynote by revealing that every single month 1.5 billion people log into YouTube and watch videos.
Here are a few things to note about this stat that mean something to you. First, this is only logged-in users. That means more people are watching videos who are not logged into the platform. Second, if YouTube were a country, it would now be the largest in the world, edging out China at 1.4 billion people.
Third, and I think most important to financial planners, is that 1.5 billion users on YouTube means that people young and old, and of every race and language, are watching videos on YouTube. It is not a platform strictly for young people with too much time on their hands. Your clients and potential clients are finding and watching videos on YouTube. Now is the time for you to develop a strategy to start putting videos and episodes on the platform.
No. 2: Logged-In Users Spend an Average of One Hour Per Day Watching Videos on their Phone
This stat is incredible. It shows you where the world is consuming content—not on their computers, but on their phones. They are watching while in line at the bank or the grocery store, at lunch, on the subway, and on their couch while the TV plays in the background.
This stat also points out the average watch time—one hour. Per day. Here’s why that’s important (beyond the fact that we all need more and better hobbies): if you only have one video promoting your financial planning services on YouTube, prospects can only watch that one video. If you have a catalog of videos and episodes, users will watch them all.
That is why we develop 13 episodes for clients in one day, to give them an entire body of work to post online. We want folks to binge watch your episodes. We want them to engage with you and build a virtual relationship with you. Your video strategy should include ways to continually create new video episodes, not just once in a while.
No. 3: 500 Million People Watch at Least One Video on Facebook Every Single Day
Now we need to talk about the other 500-pound gorilla when it comes to online video—Facebook. Make no mistake about it, Facebook and YouTube are major rivals, going neck and neck to win the attention of everyone on the planet.
The biggest mistake financial planners make when it comes to video is only uploading their video to YouTube and then posting the link to it on their Facebook page. Facebook doesn’t like this. They want you to upload your videos directly to Facebook.
And just like YouTube, you need to publish video content on a regular basis on Facebook. Don’t think that you can post one video, once, and expect to book a bunch of appointments. The top financial planners are posting new video episodes at least weekly.
No. 4: One-Third of all Online Activity Is Spent Watching Videos
This might come as a shocker, but it’s likely your employees are watching online videos at work. They (and you) are also watching them nearly all the time when a device is connected to the internet.
If people (like your clients) are spending a third of their time watching video online, shouldn’t you be making content for them to watch? It’s hard to stop consuming video content and to start creating it, but the creators are winning, making money, and growing their businesses.
No. 5: 59 Percent of Executives Would Rather Watch a Video
I love this stat. All the time I hear from financial planners who say, “My client is too busy (or wealthy) to watch video,” or “There’s no way my market would sit and watch a webinar or sales video.”
This stat from Google shows that 59 percent of executives—the people with real purchasing and buying power—would rather get the exact same information via video than text. It’s one of the reasons I have stopped sending proposals in Microsoft Word and only send them via a personalized video. People want to learn more about brands, products, and services via a video that connects with them emotionally rather than in a document that bores them to tears.
What are some ways that you can showcase your message via video instead of text that will get the attention of your ideal prospects?
No. 6: Six in 10 YouTube Users Would Rather Be Influenced by a YouTube Star than a Movie Star
This incredible stat shows a big changing of the guard. Traditionally, we loved to get product recommendations from celebrities. A movie star showing off a new perfume or a celebrity drinking a Coke would influence our purchases.
Today, we connect with people who we follow on a more intimate basis, be that a favorite YouTube star, an Instagram influencer, or someone who streams their life on Facebook Live. These new stars are becoming a big part of our lives, and when someone becomes a big part of your life, they can persuade you to make major buying decisions. This means that the more videos you create and put online, and the more that people watch and engage with them, the more influence you have over their purchasing decisions. You can use video content to build a long-term relationship with the audience so you can ultimately impact their future buying decisions.
The more videos and episodes you create, the more opportunities will fall onto your lap. But if you are waiting for things to simply happen to you because you’ve been a financial planner for 20 years, you are going to keep waiting. Many top-earning financial professionals today get their message out and build an audience that then wants to work with them.
My question now is: what video are you going to create next?
This article originally appeared on the Journal’s Practice Management Blog. Read more at PracticeManagementBlog.OneFPA.org.