How many hours of video have you watched in the past week?
Chances are you have consumed over 40 hours of video in the past week. According to Nielson’s Q1 2015 “Total Audience Report” the average American adult watches over 42 hours of video each week when you combine TV, PC, smartphone, and tablet viewing.
People spend the equivalent of a full-time job each week watching video!
Let that sink in for a moment….
Your clients and prospects love video so much that they consume video content to the tune of 6 hours each day. That’s kind of amazing when you consider that, according to a 2013 Gallup survey, the average American only clocks 6.8 hours of sleep each night.
Knowing this, it begs the following question.
How much video are you producing for your clients and prospects to consume?
If a prospect told you she was a vegan would you take her to a steakhouse for a dinner meeting? Of course not. Yet, if we did an audit of the digital content you and your firm routinely share via email, your website, and social media channels my guess is almost all of it is text based. There’s nothing wrong with text, people still read. It’s just that we know for certain that your prospects and clients love video. So why not share information with them in their favorite format?
There are two primary objections I hear most from clients when I suggest adding video to their marketing and communications mix. One is cost and the other is fear of making poor quality video. Let’s tackle both real quick so you don’t fall victim to them:
- Production Cost - If you have a smartphone and access to a reasonable quiet space with good lighting you’ve got yourself a production studio for almost $0.
- Your phone, if it was made in the last 3 years or so, can shoot in full HD and there are hundreds of video apps available on iOS and Android that are free or cost $10 or less.
- Distribution is also free or extremely low cost. Simply publish your video to YouTube, Vimeo, Vine, Instagram, or live stream it via Periscope, Meerkat, or Ustream. You can even post video directly to Facebook and Twitter now. Again, most of these options are free.
- If you want to spend some money on higher-end equipment you can get all you need including studio lights and miss for under $2,000 if you spend right.
- So, cost isn’t really a legitimate roadblock. If you are a professional in 2015 and beyond you should have video production capabilities.
- Production Quality - As I mentioned above, a quiet space, good lighting, and your smartphone will actually produce very high quality video at almost no cost. The question of quality for most clients (particularly financial advisors and other professionals) is really a fear of looking bad in front of their clients. We’ve all seen cheesy videos and no one wants that. Here are a few things that will help avoid making poor quality videos:
- Smile and talk to the cameral like you are talking to a real person. If you are engaging and approachable your clients and prospects will love it.
- Focus on video platforms where the viewer expects video with minimal or zero post production (editing). My personal favorite (as of this writing) is Periscope. It’s a live streaming app for iOS and Android that allows viewers to comment and ask questions while you are broadcasting. The fact that it’s live and interactive eliminates the fear of it needing to be “studio quality” and it offers you and your viewers a super high-touch experience.
- Pump up the volume! Produce video regularly, as part of your routine. Get in the habit of using video as a means to expand your influence and engage with clients. The more to you do it the better you’ll get and as a result the quality of your content will improve.
Note: Periscope is also one of the fastest growing social networks in history. Our “Periscope for Professionals” course offers several tips and tricks for getting started with the app and its social network. The course also covers recording for compliance and several use cases for your business.
The next generation expects video and will seek it out over print.
Eric Guerin of Adelie Studios wrote a great post about "Marketing to Millennials" and he lays out the case, with tons of supporting stats, that video is the most compelling medium for the millennial audience. It makes sense, the millennial generation are the first digital natives.
This next great, gold rush generation of clients has never known a world without online video. They have no idea what the “test signal” looked like on TV because they’ve always lived in a world with 24/7 cable television. They have no memory of a world before sports bars with flat screens everywhere. To them, watching videos on their smartphones while on the toilet is something they’ve been doing since high school.
YouTube is a viable search engine for your next generation of clients. Will they find you there when they search for their next big financial question? I hope so.
The big takeaway is obvious.
Start producing and distributing videos for your clients and prospects. Share them on your website, via your newsletter, YouTube, Facebook, Periscope, and whatever platform they are using. It’s just smart business.
BONUS: Below is what is claimed to be the oldest video footage of New York City. These video clips are from 1903 and 1905. Once you start watching it, I assure you you’ll be hooked. Like I said, video captivates like no other medium.