Part I: Lessons from La La Land
Or How to Bring Life to Your Story with Videos and Animation
To round out our discussion about content marketing, I promised to show you some real-world examples—ideas that might inspire you to create awesome, shareable, unique content of your own.Let’s start with videos and animation. First, take a look at some short animated videos we created for one of our clients, Mobile Assistant—a mobile transcription service that lets you dictate client meeting notes from your car, for instance, and get a transcript created by an actual human being.
Christopher Norton—our chief of creative and marketing—created those, and to be honest, I find them hilarious. They demonstrate the best way to use animation: bringing a complex topic or process to life in a way other media can’t. How could there possibly be a more engaging way to talk about dictation?
These videos also show how animation gives voice to a brand. Mobile Assistant’s logo includes an elephant, which they use to represent different ideas—memory, fiduciary duty, CRM, and so on. But when a brand is based on a narrative, its story can be hard to explain in plain text. Animations help people make sense of the brand and the personality behind it. The lighthearted tone also adds a human touch. The videos are fun, and animation should be more fun than other visual representations. The more entertaining content is, the more likely it is to be shared—not only by prospects, but by employees and job candidates, too. Animations play very well on social media because they’re quick and easy to look at. And they give you a perfect opportunity to distinguish yourself. None of your competitors will ever have animated videos that look exactly like yours.
Of course, everything can’t be a cartoon. Live-action video has its place as well. Check out this recent client video.
For an advisor firm, videos like this are more traditional—more expected, you might say. But they play an irreplaceable role. Advisors are always struggling with using marketing to extend their personal relationships. Video is the answer.
As we’ve talked about in other posts, the industry is shifting from advisor-driven sales—a straight, linear process with phone calls and meetings led by advisors—to client-driven sales—a nonlinear, random process led by clients who search online for whatever information they want, whenever they want it. Videos let you bring together the best of both worlds. Prospects get a chance to see the people behind the firm, hear their passion, feel their empathy, and understand why they care—and in a much more effective way than reading a bio. At the same time, advisors don’t need to be physically present, so they can save on time and travel and reach many more prospects at once.
For breakaways, we often do two separate videos.
First, there’s the evergreen overview or introduction video that every firm should have. That video should live on the home page—or close to it—so prospects can find it easily.
Second, we create a launch video for advisors’ existing clients. During a transition, client communications are critical. Most breakaways follow the same formula: send out client letters, then follow up with phone calls. Videos offer something more—an immediate face-to-face communication conveying an instant sense of comfort. What’s more, videos do a lot of the legwork upfront by addressing clients’ frequently asked questions. Why are the advisors making the move? What will change for me? What’s the timeline? And so on. Launch videos significantly cut down on the time advisors need to spend on the phone, and also help make those phone conversations more meaningful.
Here are other great uses for video:
- Education. Videos make learning fast and fun. Why not rethink all those pages and pages of newsletters and quarterly commentaries you send out and replace them with 60-second videos highlighting a few top-level takeaways?
- Personalization. Use video to create a holiday video, share your charitable work, highlight a philanthropic sponsorship, celebrate milestones or simply thank your clients for their business. The video makes personal messages so much more powerful
- How-to instructions. Make cool tutorials to demonstrate an app or walk clients through a process—and they’ll be much more effective than a giant wall of written instructions
- Quarterly video statements. Why not replace long commentary and dry statements with something more interesting? Orion Advisor Services has built a patent-pending technology called Orion Engage that lets you overlay portfolio and performance metrics on top of the video of an advisor speaking. How cool is that?
If you’ve wondered what you would possibly use video for, I hope I’ve given you some ideas. Now, action!
Next time, I’ll share some samples of social media advertising.