Monthly Archives: May 2021

Webinar Marketing for Financial Advisors: Which Format is Right for You?

With advances in technology and the growth of online video meeting platforms, the way businesses share information and educate clients has changed. That’s exactly why webinars have become so popular.

Webinars come in a variety of formats. Depending on your audience and your strengths and weaknesses, not every format will be a fit. While some financial advisors may thrive in a webinar where they are live and can improvise as needed, for others the structure of pre-recording their content may work better.

Let’s take a more in-depth look at live and pre-recorded webinar formats, and what to consider when choosing which one is right for you. This is important because before you step in front of a video camera, you should already have your overall strategy nailed down. 

Is Webinar Marketing Right for Your Financial Advisor Business? 

While popular, hosting webinars to build business isn’t right for everyone. 

Webinars offer your existing and potential clients great value and provide an opportunity to showcase your expertise. And there’s this compelling fact: 73% of the marketers polled said webinars are the best way to generate quality leads. Prospects who are considering working with you can get a feel for who you are and what you do in a low-pressure environment. This can be particularly helpful for warming up your cold leads or generating new ones, and accelerating the sales process. 

Webinars as a marketing channel are very cost-effective, especially when compared to in-person seminars. You don’t need to rent meeting space or travel to the seminar location. As long as you have a strong internet connection and can ensure there’s a reasonable-looking background, you can create a webinar.

The content you create for webinars can be repurposed into other content, which also saves money. You can edit your webinar into short, easily digestible videos to share on social media, or create an email series based on what you taught. Although it may seem that the cost of pre-recorded and live webinars should be similar, pre-recorded webinars can actually end up costing more due to production expenses. There is an expectation that pre-recorded webinars be more polished; therefore they are often heavily edited. Unless this is your area of expertise, you’ll need to hire someone to do it.

Now, let’s break down each format in more detail. 

Live Webinars

Cost

Depending on the platform you choose, your cost will vary. Options like Facebook Live, GoTo Webinar, YouTube or Zoom can start at zero cost and go up from there. For those newer to creating live webinar content, these are a great place to get started. Your overall cost will depend on exactly what’s involved but can you easily spend as little as $50. The higher the production value, the higher your overall price tag will be. 

Who’s Attending Live Webinars?

Live webinars are at the peak of popularity, but, having your expectations in check regarding attendance will help you be realistic with your goals. It’s estimated that 78% of webinars have 50 or fewer attendees. Additionally, 59% of registrations happen within the seven days before the webinar, so that week is critical in terms of your webinar marketing. 

Why Go Live? 

Live webinars give you a chance to interact with your audience in real-time. With good audience participation, you can have an engaging conversation that goes beyond the content they see on their screen. As a financial advisor, you know that offering an excellent client experience is part of creating loyal customers, and live webinars give you a platform to build relationships. 

Possible obstacles to creating great live webinar include getting interrupted by other people and pets in the home, finding a time that works for attendees in varying time zones, and the always present risk of technical problems. 

Creating Content 

To create engaging live webinar content, you can choose from several different formats including:

  • Single speaker presentations
  • Guest speaker presentations
  • How-to videos
  • Question and answer sessions
  • Interviews 
  • Information sessions

Evergreen/Pre-Recorded Webinars

Cost

Although it may seem that the cost of pre-recorded and live webinars should be similar, pre-recorded webinars can actually end up costing more due to production expenses.. There is an expectation that pre-recorded webinars be more polished, there for they are often often heavily edited. Unless this is your area of expertise you’ll need to hire someone to do it. 

Who’s Viewing Evergreen/Pre-Recorded Webinars? 

It’s estimated that approximately 28% of people prefer watching pre-recorded webinars. People looking for flexibility are attracted to pre-recorded webinars because they can watch at their leisure and aren’t bound to a specific day and time. 

Why Choose to Pre-Record?

Pre-recorded webinars are appealing because the pressure to perform is removed from the equation, but you still have a platform to inform and educate. You can edit out mistakes, re-record sections that aren’t to your liking, and add effects during post-production. For those who have trouble with public speaking, it’s the ideal scenario as you can go at your own pace. 

The main challenge of pre-recorded webinars is that you have to find ways to make the content as engaging as possible since you won’t be interacting with the audience. When hosting a live webinar you can “read the room” and adjust your pace or your tone, or mix up the content if you feel interest waning. You can also let the conversation evolve in different directions.  However, with a pre-recorded webinar, you have to catch and keep the audiences’ attention for the entire time, so if your content isn’t engaging enough, they may not stick around until the end. 

Creating Content for Pre-Recorded Webinars

The content for pre-recorded webinars needs to consider the lack of interaction between the host and the audience, so the types of content best suited for this are:

  • How-to demos;
  • Product and service demos; and
  • Expert trainings where no audience interaction is needed .

As a final note, if you are considering creating webinar content that’s evergreen, that means steering clear of anything that may become outdated quickly. Otherwise, you’ll need to have a plan in place to review the webinar regularly so it can be updated. 

Not Sure Where to Begin? A Marketing Professional Can Help

Much of the success of a webinar comes down to one key element: having great webinar content that’s valuable, engaging, and informative to your audience.For anyone who doesn’t create webinars on a regular basis, having a marketing professional to guide you can make a huge difference in how successful the webinar is. An expert who helps you formulate clear goals for your webinar and create a strategy to effectively produce and market it can help save you time and money while ensuring you get a good ROI on your efforts. 

Are you interested in leveraging webinars as part of your marketing strategy? 

Crystal Marketing Solutions offers solutions for financial professionals looking to craft a strategic roadmap by having a consistent marketing presence that attracts the right customers. Contact us to discuss your needs.

How Financial Advisors Can Market with Videos and Podcasts

When expanding your online presence as a financial advisor, you have to take into consideration your long-term strategy to determine which avenue is best. Two popular options to connect with new audiences are podcasts and video content. Both have their benefits and drawbacks, so carefully consider each one before you decide.

Here’s what financial advisors need to know about creating video content versus a podcast. 

Before You Begin

As excited you may be, think about your long-term strategy. If that includes warming up a cold audience, then audio and video content is ideal for making a connection. 

An often-repeated phrase when it comes to business is that “if you build it, they will come” but this is not a strategy you can rely on when it comes to creating this type of content. If you’re creating audio and/or video content, you’ll want to have a solid email list with a good open rate. Otherwise, you may be creating content that very few people actually see.

Cost is another factor to consider when deciding between videos and podcasts. Sure, you can make a video with your smartphone and upload it yourself, but will it be professional looking enough to represent your business? Unless you have the time and skills to do things like audio and video editing, creating cover art, writing social media promotions, and more, then you’re going to have to pay someone to do those things for you.

While costs for these services vary, this is one area where you don’t want to save money. Things like poor quality audio or choppily edited video are an immediate turnoff for those watching or listening, which defeats the purpose of what you’re trying to accomplish and reflect negatively on your business. And without the right promotional copy and cover art to go along with your video or podcast, your content won’t reach more than a few people who subscribe to your page.

Podcast Content: What Financial Advisors Should Consider

What’s the Strategy? 

If you’re considering creating a podcast, it’s not quite as simple as just recording a show. Your overall strategy will need to include how the show will be marketed, where it will be published, and which social media platforms you’ll use to promote it. 

Podcasts are easy to create, highly engaging, and offer a way to build a relationship with your clients and prospects. Costs for podcasts are significantly lower than for video content.  A real plus with podcasts is that people can listen anywhere, any time.

Podcasts by the Numbers

It’s estimated that there are over 1,750,000 podcasts with roughly 45 million episodes as of January 2021. Nearly 50% of homes in the United States are fans of podcasts, and nearly 75% of people who listen to podcasts say they enjoy learning new things

These numbers represent a huge opportunity to capture the attention of potential customers for your firm if you’re targeting the right people.

Who’s Listening to Podcasts? 

If the purpose of your podcast is to warm up leads, knowing if your target audience actually listens to podcasts matters — otherwise you may just be wasting your time. Here are a few statistics to consider from PodcastHosting.org’s 2021 Global Podcast Statistics, Demographics & Habits Report:

  • 51% of podcast listeners are male, 49% female.
  • Age of listeners:
    • 12-34: 48%
    • 35-54: 32%
    • 55+: 20%
  • 41% of monthly podcast listeners have a household income over $75K (vs. 29% for US population).
  • 25% of US podcast listeners have a 4-year college degree (vs. 19% of US population).

Types of Podcast Content

As far as subject matter, anything goes when it comes to podcasts. However, you have a very short window to hook the listener in at the beginning, so your content needs to be compelling.

Think about what your audience would get the most value from. Options for podcast formats include:

  • Solo podcasts: Just you and the microphone speaking to the audience about whatever topics you choose. 
  • Interviews: Feature guests to cover a variety of topics that relate to your field of expertise and that may be of interest to listeners.
  • Educational: A more structured approach where your focus on teaching and educating the audience on specific topics related to finances.

Video Content: Is This the Better Option for Financial Advisors? 

What’s the Strategy? 

One of the biggest factors when considering creating video content is the cost. The last thing you want is for your videos to look unprofessional as this will be a huge turn-off for your viewers. For your videos to truly support your marketing goals, ensure that they are attention-grabbing and have a clear and compelling topic.

Determine your goals before you begin. What does your audience need from you? What type of information will be the most valuable to them? 

Budget to cover production, editing, promotion, and more. To keep costs in check, starting with short videos is a great way to test it out without committing too much time or money. 

Roughly 87% of video marketers have said that YouTube has been effective as a channel for video content marketing, making it the ideal platform to test the waters without incurring unnecessary costs. 

Video Content by the Numbers 

From Facebook Live to YouTube to websites, there’s no question that video content is absolutely everywhere. It’s estimated that 60% of businesses use video content for marketing purposes, and 30% of marketers feel video is just as important to their marketing strategy as their website.

In a 2021 survey of nearly 700 marketers and small businesses, when asked how video content helps their marketing strategy their primary responses were:

  • Raising awareness: 53%
  • Building trust with potential customers: 52% 
  • Engaging their audience: 49%

Why Do Consumers Watch Video Content? 

While the demographics of who’s watching videos spans across all age groups, it’s not so much about who is watching, but why they watch that matters. 

When it comes to learning about a product or service, 69% of consumers said a short video would be their preference. Videos can be a reliable way to warm up your leads, with 89% of consumers indicating that watching a brand’s video has convinced them to make a purchase. Additionally, video content is twice as likely to be shared than any other kind of content, making it easier to get eyes on the videos you create. 

Types of Video Content

Just like podcasts, your videos need to be valuable and informative to your audience. However, they need to look great. Humans are visual creatures, so consider things like the colors you wear, lighting, and background.

Types of video content that may be appropriate for financial advisors include:

  • Educational: Teach your audiences about topics related to your industry. 
  • Explainer: Give a step-by-step explanation of your products or services. 
  • Service: Showcase your services and share how you can provide value to clients. 
  • Frequently asked questions: Answer some of the common questions you get from potential and existing clients. 

Consistency is Critical No Matter the Medium 

Whether you decide to go with a podcast or videos, there’s one thing that’s critical: consistency. To get traction with your audience, they need to expect content from you at regular intervals. This trains them to look for your content, so if they go looking and don’t find a new podcast episode or video, they’ll stop looking at some point – either out of frustration or forgetfulness.

Whether you choose podcasting or video content (or neither), making an informed decision that supports your overall marketing strategy will ensure that your efforts deliver the ROI you want. 

Are you a financial advisor looking to increase your online presence and refine your marketing strategy? 

Contact us at Crystal Marketing solutions to see how we can help.