Why You Need Video on Your Web Site

Beverly Flaxington

Beverly Flaxington is a practice management consultant. She answers questions from advisors facing human resource issues. To submit yours, email us here.

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Dear Bev,

We are upgrading our website, which is used mostly for clients now. We want to attract more prospects. I’ve been told that video is important, but the cost of adding this could be several thousand dollars per video. Will adding video give me an increased ROI? I don’t believe in this busy world that anyone watches this stuff.

Mike B., New York

Dear Mike,

First of all – several thousand dollars for what? A professional recorded and edited three- to five-minute video shouldn’t cost more than $1,000 – and on average about $750.

Video on websites improves search-engine optimization (SEO) as videos are “searchable” for keyword content. Video greatly increases the likelihood that people will consume your content and stay on your site longer.

Consider some of the studies and statistics:

  • When marketers used the word “video” in an email subject line, open rates rose 7% to 13% (Experian 2012 Digital Marketer: Benchmark and Trend Report).
  • Video in email marketing has been shown to increase click-through rates by over 96%. In response, the number of marketers planning to use video in email campaigns has increased 5x since the beginning of 2009. (Implix 2010 Email Marketing Trends Survey).
  • A recent study by a major analyst firm showed that video increased email click-through rates 2x-3x. (Bronto, 2010).
  • Among senior executives, 59% prefer to watch video instead of reading text, if both are available on the same page; 80% are watching more online video today than they were a year ago. (Forbes Insight, December 2010)

Marketing is all about building awareness and helping firms stand out in a crowded market. Video does this by appealing to people with different communication and learning preferences (e.g. capturing those who don’t like to read!) and tells your story in a more robust way.

Dear Bev,

I have a staff member who has been filling a few roles and we have grown to where I can justify a full-time person doing only back-office work. The problem is that while she is excellent at getting the work done and everything is top-notch, she has no people skills. She doesn’t instill confidence among our clients because of the way she communicates. She is almost mousy and deferential in approach. How can I coach her to be more forthright and confident on the phone and with clients?

Name withheld

Dear Advisor,

This is one of the eternal questions for managers and leaders (and maybe spouses and parents, too): How can I change a person to fit my needs?

The issue you are raising is one of behavioral and communication style. The good news is that adapting and coming across differently can be coached and trained; the bad news is that – to quote Popeye – “I yam what I yam.” We all have behavioral preferences that are developed and become part of our DNA. We don’t change fundamentally, although we can adapt to different circumstances.

You probably have a person who is high on the process and quality-control scale. She is attentive to detail and able to find and fix problems. Many times these same people are not also outgoing, engaging and “people-people.” They don’t come across as confident and bold, but rather as demure and behind-the-scenes.

To address this, first determine whether you have a problem or not. Do the clients complain about her style or are you projecting what you believe to be important? If clients are expressing their concern about her abilities and her seeming lack of confidence, then take action. Listen in on her phone calls or observe her interactions. Coach her specifically when she says something that belies a sense of trepidation, and suggest how she could have said it differently. Allow her to use language and an approach that works for her – not you.

Have her practice with others in your firm presenting her information with confidence. Videotape her and have someone watch the video with her so she can observe for herself how she is expressing her ideas. Support her in learning different approaches; don’t just tell her to do it differently.

Behavioral differences are like speaking a different language. We can’t just say to someone who speaks only English, “Start talking in French tomorrow.” They have to observe, listen and learn a new approach.

The last option is to simply remove her from client interaction altogether. Some people are meant to stay behind the scenes. You could have someone else follow up with clients if you value her and want to keep her on your team.

Beverly Flaxington co-founded The Collaborative, a consulting firm devoted to business building for the financial services industry in 1995; in 2008 she co-founded Advisors Trusted Advisor to offer dedicated practice management resources to advisors, planners and wealth managers. She is currently an adjunct professor at Suffolk University teaching undergraduate students Leadership & Social Responsibility. Beverly is a Certified Professional Behavioral Analyst (CPBA) and Certified Professional Values Analyst (CPVA).

She has spent over 25 years in the investment industry and has been featured in Selling Power Magazine and quoted in hundreds of media outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, MSNBC.com, Investment News and Solutions Magazine for the FPA. She speaks frequently at investment industry conferences and is a speaker for the CFA Institute.

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