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Technology to Build Successful Online Video

Online video can further differentiate a business in a competitive market, but advisors must have a purposeful approach in order to project the image they desire.

Bill Winterberg, 07/12/2012

The use of online video is exploding. Each month, more than 3 billion hours of video are watched on YouTube alone, with 72 hours of video uploaded to the leading video site every minute. In response, many financial advisors are beginning to include online video in their overall marketing and branding strategy.

Although creating and posting video online is easier than ever before, advisors need to be certain that the quality of the content they produce communicates their intended message. Technology also plays an important role in creating a high-quality video experience while revealing the overall effectiveness of content produced for a specific audience. I spoke with several producers who specialize in video for the financial-services industry to identify the keys to creating and distributing content that conveys an advisor's desired message.

Before You Begin
Creating effective online video content involves a lot more than just setting up a camera and uploading footage to YouTube. Experts recommend that advisors first create a strategy for their overall marketing and public communications, in which video represents an important component.

"Video should complement other collateral, including an advisor's website, brochure, business cards, social media profiles, and blog," said Steve Biermann, president of Advisor Studios, a video production company specializing in content for financial advisors.

For example, Advisor Studios incorporates an advisor's existing logo and color scheme into the videos they produce, mirroring what appears on the advisor's website and marketing materials. When the final product is watched, viewers should easily recognize and identify the advisor's brand no matter where the video is located, be it on a website, embedded in a mobile app, or even in a Facebook Timeline.

Advisor Studios also leverages technology like Quick Response (QR) codes printed on business cards. Scanning the QR code with a camera-equipped smartphone or tablet launches a Web page with a short introductory video featuring the advisor.

"When QR codes are part of a marketing campaign, we are able to look at website hits, [event] registrations, [email] subscriptions, and even sales calls generated," added Biermann.

Components of Quality Video
With a complete strategy defined, advisors should next focus on the tools and technology needed to film high-quality video. There are far too many high-definition video cameras to address in this column, but producers caution not to overlook audio quality while exploring various equipment.

Bill Winterberg, CFP, is a technology and operations consultant to independent financial advisors. His comments on technology have been featured in a variety of financial industry publications. You can view more information about Bill and see his schedule of upcoming speaking engagements at his Web site, FPPad.com. The author is a freelance contributor to MorningstarAdvisor.com. The views expressed in this article may or may not reflect the views of Morningstar.
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