Video for financial services: an overview
In this blogpost we’ll provide an overview about video for financial services and why video marketing is important!
Table of Contents
To sell any financial service, you first need to find ways to communicate what you’re selling more effectively. Basically, it’s about making complex topics understandable for everyone. And here, the best way to communicate is to break down typically vast and rather technical topics into smaller units and strive to provide all the information that people need to be convinced of your offering. What’s the perfect content for this far from mundane task? Videos for financial services.
The extremely “sensitive” nature of the subject matter—our financial resources—and the difficulty of language that is often specialized and generally poorly mastered means that financial communication is still particularly difficult today. The option to complete a purchase or to conclude an underwriting must go hand in hand with ever greater public awareness.
But to increase awareness of the target audience, companies in the industry are called upon to invest in building a relationship of trust.
All financial sector players are bound together by mutual relationships of trust. The customer must have trust in order to share sensitive information that enables the bank or financial institution to design the right solutions for him or her. On the corporate side, open channels, thanks to mass digitization, have greatly increased the amount of data that organizations in the sector can access, leading to a real quantum leap in the way financial communication is created, managed, and conveyed.
Today, videos for financial services represent the best solution for achieving this type of communication. In fact, they’re more successful than other content, especially in terms of:
- getting in touch with customers (acquired and potential);
- proposing relevant products in an understandable and engaging way;
- developing a relationship that will last over time;
Before delving into how videos can help financial sector organizations, let’s pause for a moment to provide some useful coordinates for understanding the relevant context.
A reputation that dies hard
The financial market has a reputation for being treacherous, ambiguous, and slowed down by bureaucracy and legal and administrative constraints. Consumers have to deal with huge amounts of paperwork, which are often still on paper, and are forced to turn to a “live” advisor or customer service operator to get the answers they seek, even for routine matters, with all the frustrations that can result from waiting and delays. So while we’re still far from the fully customer-centric attitude that is now prevalent in other industries, the situation is rapidly changing. And video for financial service not only offers formidable support for companies facing this change, but can help harness it.
Despite structural limitations, the financial sector is therefore also becoming a highly digitized industry. In what direction is it evolving? And what are its distinguishing features?
1. A new concept of proximity
In recent years, the concept of “proximity” that has always characterized the relationship between companies and customers has been profoundly redefined. In 2021 in developed financial markets, banks and other lending institutions closed 9% of their branches. This rather drastic cut in response to changes in consumer behavior accelerated the shift to digital channels and reduced the demand for services in physical channels (branches and contact centers).
The financial services industry is finally integrating digital innovation into its operations. Whereas until recently conversations with clients were strictly face-to-face, today banks, independent brokers, consulting firms, investment funds, and insurance companies can take advantage of the opportunities of “virtual proximity” enabled by remote communication. For companies, this translates into the simplification and speeding up of some important processes and the possibility of a more efficient exchange of information. In particular, videos for financial services offer a convenient and secure way to connect, gradually replacing endless meetings and untimely phone calls. For example, they can automate and personalize financial reports, thus turning them into additional opportunities for contact, upselling, and cross-selling. Not only that, as we have seen, video for financial services facilitates retention.
2. An increasingly competitive marketplace
The financial market is becoming increasingly competitive, especially since digitization has allowed the entrance of new players from the IT world—so-called FinTechs—who have used their know-how to reshape a sales funnel that was previously defined by in-person interactions and unreceptive to change. FinTechs, whether startups or large technology corporations, use technological innovation as a lever to impact existing business models and to redefine the operational and operating logics of an increasingly crowded market.
3. The acceleration of digital transformation
Digitization has provided an extraordinary impetus for innovation in traditional financial services, for example by simplifying access and streamlining or speeding up operations such as opening a bank account, applying for a loan, or making payments. This small revolution has produced an important social inclusiveness effect: it has made it possible to reach targets that were previously neglected or excluded. It has shortened the distance through the implementation of alternative modes of communication and agile and effective solutions, such as those prepared for executing digital payments. In this way, it has strengthened systems for responding to crisis or emergency situations.
4. Higher consumer expectations
Consumer expectations have risen, so much so that to keep up with competitors, banks, institutions, and investment companies have found themselves having to redesign their overall customer experience. Experience—which returns the final perception and determines sentiment —encompasses all the interactions through which the customer communicates with the financial institution: the touch points scattered along the customer journey, where information useful for making purchase and subscription decisions is transmitted, the systems through which conversions (and transactions) take place, at the different moments of the journey. All contact opportunities, whether online and offline, contribute to determining the company’s presence in the marketplace, in a context in which digitization and “face-to-face” interactions alternate, depending on specific requirements.
In this rapidly transforming context, video for financial services can support that new concept of the customer journey, centered on the customer experience, which is now gaining ground even in the more traditional, analog-linked environments.
From customer service to policy and contracting, virtually any activity in the financial services sector is becoming digital. Although communications between business and customers are becoming increasingly virtualized (including sales), in a market traditionally tied to in-person interactions, promoting new opportunities and building customer loyalty can be especially difficult. It’s better to reconsider how to make connections and maintain relationships from the outset. Here, you can start with video for financial services.
Why does video marketing work so well for financial firms?
According to Wyzowl’s 2022 State of Video Marketing report, people watch an average of 19 hours of online video per week, one hour per week more than a year earlier, for an increase of eight and a half hours per week over the past 3 years. If viewers stayed in front of their device screens for an average of 1.5 hours a day in 2018, by 2022 this figure had risen to more than 2.5 hours a day. This means that, in general, video marketing is confirmed as the most effective approach in reaching target audiences and keeping their attention.
Videos for financial services, we have already mentioned, serve primarily to explain procedures, illustrate phenomena, and clarify the development of trends. Above all, they are videos with great explanatory value, capable of translating even very complicated topics into a format that is easier to understand and to memorize by inserting quantitative data within a narrative.
As Wyzowl records, in 2022 96% of people decided to watch an explainer video to learn more about a product or service. Now, we can easily infer that this type of content is best suited for financial communication. This is confirmed by the fact that in order to get an idea, get informed and make an informed decision, 73% of people surveyed would prefer to watch a short video, compared to 11% who would read a text article or post or consult a site, 4% who would like to view an infographic, and very low percentages (3%) who would download an ebook or manual, attend a webinar or presentation, or opt for the more classic phone call from the vendor.
Regardless of the type of company-independent insurance brokers, banking companies, wealth management firms, etc.—a strategy involving clear and attractive new content formats is now practically indispensable. In this sense, videos for financial services can play a decisive role in creating opportunities to connect with new clients or to retain existing ones.
Video marketing works so well for financial services companies because it can be used profitably at different stages of the marketing and sales funnel. Let’s see how.
1. Gain customers’ trust at the top of the funnel
Videos for financial services manage to capture viewers’ attention because of their more direct and intuitive visual storytelling mode. By hooking the customer at the top of the funnel, it is possible to make the presentation message more interesting, increase response rates, and lay the foundation for a relationship of trust.
At this stage, formats such as brand videos or customer or expert testimonials (up to and including the participation of testimonials or influencers) are best suited to humanize the company, give it authority and make it recognizable.
Conveying a powerful story that can trigger an emotional response can help create a connection and increase the amount of time a potential customer spends on the channel where the video is posted (the website, a product page, the company’s account on a social network). Dwell time is one of the factors that determine search engine page rankings. Since videos are much more engaging and engaging than written content, they can affect the length of dwell time. Gaining a position at the SEO level helps boost the company’s image, thus making it a preferred interlocutor for its audience.
2. Convert in the middle and lower part of the funnel
Today, much of a client’s research and decision-making process takes place online, as a self-service activity. To be convincing, financial advisors will then have to take a proactive stance, developing valuable content for their target audience. Videos for financial services can encourage users to proceed on their journey, even at times when communication seems to have slowed down or stopped.
Explainer videos are best at this stage and are used successfully to generate conversions. Short in duration, usually animated, explainer videos explain complex problems and business concepts in a clear, comprehensive, and understandable way, and they enable companies and organizations to convey a message and make it easier for people to enjoy their product or service. Explainer videos are particularly functional when placed on the company’s home page or on social media: here, they can be used to provide an overview of the benefits of a particular solution and to communicate the brand’s point of view.
In the financial services industry where trust is a necessary prerequisite, advisors need to create a human connection to reassure customers of their commitment to them. They must invest in increasingly personalized forms of communication. Video for financial services that are also personalized can make each customer feel seen and heard. Video automation, on the other hand, transforms personal data into an effective, information-rich picture narrative and takes this customer recognition process to an even higher level.
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