Marketing Corner – Summer Slump Survival 2017

Marketing Corner – Wednesday June 28th, 2017

Beat the Summer Slump

Now that is it officially summer, you may be preparing for a downturn in business. With prospects and clients engaged in summer activities, many advisors experience a steep slump between June and late-August. Some advisors use this period as a chance for a mid-year reset, while others simply accept the decline in business as a matter of course.

However, as we discussed last year, there are things you can do during the summer months to improve your business. Here are four more ways to beat the summer slump.

Barbecue Giveaway

The summer months are associated with many outdoor activities, including grilling. Popular around summer holidays like the Fourth of July and Labor Day, but also in between as a weekend occasion, barbecues bring to mind good food, good beer, good people, and good times.

There are a few ways you can leverage a barbecue into a prospecting activity.

1): Set up a stand in a local meat market or grocery store promoting a BBQ giveaway package, timed around key holidays, or even throughout the summer months. Have consumers fill out a short entry form that you can use for the drawing (and pull prospect contact info from).

2): Host a barbecue at your office or some other location.

3): Sponsor a barbecue contest/team.

Update Your Collateral

When you’re busy throughout the year, it’s easy to let things like your marketing collateral fall by the wayside. You can use the extra time you may have in the summer to restock your marketing collateral and update it with fresh pictures and current information. In the same vein, you can use this time to update your branding (i.e. replacing an outdated logo with a modern one, replacing old photos with higher resolution ones).

Fireworks Display

Most towns will have a grand Fourth of July fireworks display, drawing huge crowds of people of all ages. This presents you an opportunity to engage with your target market in a couple of ways. First, you could sponsor the fireworks event and ensure that your logo is listed on any fliers promoting the event. Secondly, you could set up a booth offering free water bottles, coozies, or other small swag items at the watch site.

Utilize Lead Magnets

Lead magnets are often thought of in digital terms—a consumer is routed to a landing page with a compelling offer inspiring them to submit their contact information. But lead magnets can also be used to entice consumers in the physical world, with a well-placed flier in a target-rich venue. For example, placing a well-designed flier offering a free pro lesson at a golf course or country club may attract high net-worth individuals who golf more in the summer.
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Want more tips on how to beat the summer slump? Fill out the form to request your copy of our 2017 Summer Survival Kit.

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June is Annuity Awareness Month

June Is Annuity Awareness Month

There are many kinds of seasonal-based marketing opportunities for advisors. You may be familiar with Life Insurance Awareness Month (September), organized by the non-profit Life Happens. May is Disability Awareness Month. As most of you know April and October are CD renewal months.

These awareness months provide great opportunities to present the value of specific products, educate potential clients, and generate more production. And, of course, they also give you access to helpful collateral from carriers, marketing organizations, and industry groups.

With that said, June is Annuity Awareness Month. What does that mean? While perhaps not as visible as LIAM, it means that now is a good time to discuss the many uses of an annuity with prospects and clients. Two big features that will appeal to consumers are the ability to accumulate tax-deferred cash value (as with fixed and fixed indexed annuities) and the ability to trigger a source of income that cannot be outlived (as with a life-time income rider).

Annuities come in many different shapes and sizes. Some consumers may not even be familiar with the fundamental structure of an annuity. So successfully selling a prospect on an annuity can depend on educating them on the basics and clearly illustrating how an annuity product can fit within their retirement goals.

To aid you in this process, we’ve created an Annuity Awareness Month kit.
This complimentary package includes:
  • Annuity Basics Guide
  • Annuity Slide Presentation
  • 2017 Quick Tax Guide
  • 2017 Annual Tax Equivalent Tax Yields
  • CD Alternative V. Split Annuity Concept Sheet

Fill out the form to request your copy of our Annuity Awareness Month Kit.

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Five Reasons Advisors Should Use Facebook

Marketing Corner – Thursday May 25th, 2017

In the thirteen years or so years since its creation, Facebook has developed from a social connection tool to a digital giant, encompassing more than just status updates and friend requests. Now it is a hub for an endless stream of information, social sharing, commerce, and advertising. Even as Facebook has grown, many businesses—especially financial advisors—have looked at the platform with skepticism. Is it relevant for my business, you may be asking yourself. Just a few years ago, our attitude may have been that Facebook can’t hurt an advisor’s business, but it’s not the most important marketing activity. But now, a business page and Facebook activity are essential for advisors. Here are five reasons why.

Boomers Are There

Surveying social media usage, the Pew Research Center found that Facebook was the most used platform for those aged 50-64 and those aged 65 and older. While this usage tracks with other age divisions, the difference from Facebook to other platforms is greater with those 50-64 and 65 and older than other ages. This suggests that while overall, on average, all generations use Facebook more than other platforms, Facebook is more relevant to older Americans.

Another Place To Leverage Content

A good content strategy can help you connect with consumers, boost your SEO ranking, and keep you in the minds of your client base. Facebook gives you a direct way to do this. In addition to distributing content through email newsletters, blog posts, and other social media platforms, cross-post on Facebook. Adapt pieces for the layout and features Facebook provides.

Affordable And Effective Digital Marketing Opportunities

All digital marketing has a learning curve, and Facebook’s Ad Manager is no different. But the sometimes confusing and tricky platform provides a relatively affordable option for marketing your services and boosting your content. With extremely detailed audience filters, you can target a wide range of demographics.

A Well-Rounded Business Page Helps With Consumer Confidence

Your business Facebook page may be the first thing consumers see relating your business. Or they may be driven to there when doing research about your services. A fully-fleshed out page, with good visual elements, recent posts, and complete business profile information can signal to consumers that you are trustworthy and legitimate. Avoid low-res images and out-of-date information.

Done Properly, Facebook Activity Doesn’t Take Much Time 

Advisors often think that a good digital outlay will consume a great deal of time. While you should regularly commit some time for social media activity and content strategy, once you have learned the lay of land, so to speak, the time you spend should become minimal. And the best part? Aside from display ads and boosted posts, it’s free.

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Marketing Corner – The Four Challenges Everyone Faces in Retirement

Marketing Corner – Thursday May 11th, 2017

The Four Challenges Everyone Faces in Retirement

Modern retirement planning has evolved to involve a number of complex strategies, products, and solutions. With each proposed idea comes any number of considerations; tax-liabilities, asset positioning, sequencing, risk exposure, etc. While working through these problems is the meat and potatoes of financial/ retirement planning, it can be helpful to highlight, in simple terms, the four challenges that everyone faces in retirement. By doing so, you can impress the importance of a robust financial plan.

So what are the four challenges? You’re likely already familiar with them. They are:

  • Taxes
  • Inflation
  • Market volatility
  • Longevity

Each of these impacts financial plans and retirement resources in different ways.

Taxes
Without getting into specifics, a consumer can face tax liabilities before and/or after retirement. This gets into the whole “would you rather be taxed on the seed or the harvest analogy.” And while deferred products grow tax-deferred, liability upon distribution is something to be aware of.

Inflation
Inflation is a constant ambient threat before and during retirement. Inflation affects the consumer’s real value of their dollars they have, which is why products or solutions that have some element of growth potential may be appropriate. The better a consumer understands this, the more they will appreciate the importance of deferred-growth cash value products. A good rate of return can combat the rate of inflation and large cache of retirement resources can help mitigate the effects of inflation once income is no longer earned from work.

Market Volatility
If a consumer’s risk exposure is inappropriately balanced, they may be subject to the effects of a market dip or sector drag. Many consumers might not even be aware of the level of exposure in their employer-sponsored plan. So a consumer not only needs to evaluate their stocks and direct investments, they need to look closely at their company retirement benefits. Just by explaining what is contained in their package (through policy and doc reviews) you can gain a lot of trust from a prospect.

Longevity
We all know that people are living longer. This means that retirement resources that in the past may have been expected to stretch 10-15 years, now need to go much further. This gets to the central challenge of retirement planning – accumulating enough resources that cannot be outlived. As soon as an individual stops earning income, the clock is against them.

Understanding these four challenges is crucial for a consumer to appreciate the value of a robust retirement plan. And it is not just these factors individually that work against the consumer’s ideal retirement; it is all of them working together. If you start the exploration process with a simple breakdown of these factors and boil complex solutions back to the core challenges they address, you should have a better connection with your prospect or client.

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Marketing Corner – Beyond Capital Transfer

Marketing Corner – Thursday April 27th, 2017

Beyond Capital Transfer

Many consumers (and some advisors) see life insurance as having two purposes. The first is to provide a death benefit that replaces income and helps with household expenses. The other, when expenses are met, is to transfer wealth to the next generation in a tax-advantaged manner.

These two purposes are certainly relevant and can help align other pieces of an individual’s financial plan. However, modern, cash-value policies have evolved to provide many more benefits, some that can even be tapped into during life.

This creates a situation where a consumer can receive the peace of mind that comes with a death benefit and legacy transfer, while also enjoying asset leverage, additional sources of retirement income, and increased tax-efficiency.

While you may be familiar with the concept of life insurance in retirement planning, there are a variety of ways life insurance can be used to increase retirement income. This is why we created our latest sales kit, Beyond Capital Transfer. This complimentary guide provides:

• Overview of several advanced creative life insurance strategies
• Information on how to reposition assets, maximize tax-efficiencies, and gain additional leverage
• Case scenarios and illustrations.

For this week’s Marketing Corner, we wanted to run an excerpt of this exclusive guide. Below is the guide’s section on GMWB Maximization. Use the form to request the full kit.

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GMWB Maximization

10,000 individuals are turning age 65 every day and will continue to do so for the next decade. Many of these consumers are not only concerned about maximizing their income in retirement, but also not outliving it. In fact, the number one fear of boomers is outliving their retirement income. With this in mind, a good solution can be using an annuity with an income rider that can generate a lifetime of income. Couples will often elect a joint payout for the income rider so that after the death of the first spouse, the surviving spouse will continue to receive an income for the rest of their life. The downside to this option is that a joint life payout will generate a lower payout than a single life payout.

A potential alternative to selecting the lower joint payout is to use the higher life-only payout and bundle it with a life insurance policy. By selecting a life-only payout and applying the income difference between the life-only payout and joint payout to a life insurance policy, you can ensure a continued income stream for the surviving spouse.

There are a few reasons why this strategy can make a lot of sense. First, many times the life insurance premium will be less than the income difference between the two payouts, resulting in a higher net income amount.

Second, if the annuitant passes away prior to the income distribution or during the income distribution but prior to exhausting the accumulation value, the surviving spouse will continue to receive income from the annuity until the accumulation value has been exhausted. The spouse will also have the life insurance death benefit.

Third, regardless of whether the initial funds in the annuity were qualified or non-qualified, the life insurance death benefit will be paid out income tax-free if a SPIA is used to continue the distribution. In this case, only a small portion will be taxed based off of the exclusion ratio.

Finally, since most income riders have a set income payment at the death of an individual, there can be an influx of bills or unexpected expenses that can be challenging to pay for with set payments whereas, having a lump sum from a life insurance policy can help mitigate these potential expenses.

Here is a case scenario that illustrates this strategy:

John Smith
Age 60

Jane Smith
Age 57

25% tax bracket

Clients have $250k saved up in an IRA to use for retirement income. Their primary objectives are to not outlive these funds and to generate consistent income. They are planning on retiring in 3 years and are considering purchasing an indexed annuity with an income rider to give them the guaranteed income they desire.

Annuity Company A can provide a joint income payout in 3 years of $12,823.45 for the rest of John and Jane’s lives. The equivalent single life premium for Jane necessary to generate $12,823.45 is $200,000.00. We then take the $50,000 difference and deposit the after-tax funds into a guaranteed universal life policy.

Based on this lump sum, Life Insurance Company B will guarantee a death benefit of $162,240.00 for the rest of Jane’s life. It is important to note at this point that at the death of an annuitant, an income rider will continue to pay out an income until the accumulation value is exhausted. In our scenario, assuming zero gains in the contract, the accumulation value will exhaust 14.81 years after income started. So if Jane dies in the 14th year of payout, John will be 77 years old and will receive the $162,240.00 from Jane’s life insurance policy. If these funds are deposited into a life-only SPIA with Insurance Company C, it would generate $15,729.05 per year of income for the rest of John’s life.

This strategy accomplishes a few things:

• If Jane dies prematurely, John receives a tax-free lump sum and can still continue the annuity’s income stream until the accumulation value is exhausted.
• If Jane pre-deceases, John he can deposit the funds into a SPIA that will not only increase his income but also has a lower tax liability because it is being funded by NQ funds.
• If Jane outlives John, her income remains guaranteed and she now has a life insurance policy that can transfer to her beneficiaries.
• The advisor, by presenting a more leveraged strategy, now has 2 sales instead of 1 and also has the potential to manage the funds received at Jane’s death.

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Marketing Corner – Going After Your Whales

Marketing Corner – Wednesday April 19th, 2017

Going After Your Whales

While you may have a healthy book of clients, there are likely a few big prospects you have your eye on. Your elephants. Your whales. These are the prospects that could take your practice to the next level, either through career cases or high-value lifetime planning opportunities. Because of their stature and the difficult nature of converting them into clients, some advisors find going after whales an intimidating enterprise. Here are six tips for chasing your whales.

Maintain Regular Contact

Very few advisors convert on the first touch, high-value prospect or not. The frequency of touch is key in maintain a prospect pipeline and wearing down objections. It can take months, even years before you convert a prospect, especially if they are a high-net-worth business owner, physician, or whoever your whale is to you.

How do you eat a whale? One bite at a time. As you engage with your whale, keep conversations focused on a few things—hitting them with all you got can come across as desperate. And remember, if they keep picking up the phone for your calls or answer your emails, that is a good thing. It means they like you or something you are saying. You just haven’t found the right thing to say to bring them in your book or they just aren’t ready. If you maintain a good series of regular calls or emails with your whale, the more you will both learn about each other.

End Every Interaction With Keeping The Door Open

A whale likely doesn’t have much time to chat with you, so you should handle every call with an awareness of the time you taking away from the important business they need to attend to. This means keeping conversations brief and focused on a few topics, without getting too deep (at first). This might seem like a disadvantage. However, brief calls mean that you are retaining information out for the next round of calls. You have a reason to follow-up and your prospect has a reason to pick up. If you hit a wall, make sure to ask if it would be alright to check in down the line. If your interactions have been pleasant, the prospect likely won’t object to this.

Really Uncover Your Prospect’s Pain Points

Compared to a regular client, a whale-type prospect often will have more complicated planning needs. They may not be concerned with 401(k) rollovers, basic life insurance coverage, or simple tax maximization strategies. Their needs may be more in the advanced markets realm. This means digging deep to uncover their needs and pain points. Thankfully, if you use a serial contact strategy, you will naturally come to understand what matters to them and what they need. As you further the conversation, draw on your growing knowledge of your prospects objectives and challenges.

Pay Attention To Life Events

Prospecting around life events is a great way to engage with a variety of consumers, no matter their profile. But your whale will probably have different life events than a regular consumer, or their life events will require different needs. Consider the life insurance solutions that may be appropriate for a business owner or executive, compared to a regular consumer. A business owner may be worried about transferring the business to the next generation, or shoring up additional protection for the company, or may be preparing for a sale. If you maintain contact with the prospect, you should have a good sense of what’s going on in the consumer’s financial life, what their worries are, and what future events to look out for.

Get Referred Or Introduced By A Mutual Connection

Between your current book of clients, friends, and acquaintances, there’s a good chance that you and your whale know someone in common. If you can get your mutual connection to vouch for you, you will gain a distinct advantage over others chasing the prospect. Through platforms like LinkedIn, you can see how you are connected and what connections you have in common.

Build Your Brand In Their Sphere

Think about the places your whale and other whale-level prospects visit. Do you have marketing outlay in the places? Are you sponsoring or participating in activities that make you visible to your whale? The more your high-value prospect sees you and your brand in their own sphere, the more credibility you may gain.

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5 Reasons Your Digital Content Marketing Strategy Isn’t Working

Marketing Corner – Thursday April 6th, 2017

5 Reasons Your Digital Content Marketing Strategy Isn’t Working

Content marketing is a broad term describing a range of marketing activity, from blog posts, articles, videos, emails, and status updates. While there are many ways to implement a content marketing strategy, the main goal is to leverage your expertise and engage your consumer base with relevant information. Here are five reasons your digital content marketing strategy isn’t working.

You Don’t Post Content Regularly

Regularity is key to staying in front of consumers. Many advisors will attempt a content strategy and then quickly burn out on articles and posts. Or, they may find that they aren’t able to maintain a steady time commitment to draft content. It’s generally going to be more advantageous (and manageable) to have one or two good posts each week than a short burst that stops. Figure out what you can fit into your schedule and keep a consistent flow that can be sustained over a long period of time. You’ll be surprised how much you can actually craft if you devote 1-2 hours each week for content marketing.

You Don’t Post Relevant Content

Given that your consumer base likely includes many types of individuals, you may have some difficulty in delivering relevant content. Your pieces don’t have to be relevant to everyone in your target market, nor do they have to address every age/situation of your prospects. What you should do, however, is ensure that the content is relevant to a specific segment of your audience. Vary your approach—address the many different consumers types within your overall target market. Maybe this week your piece on the top issues facing baby boomers isn’t relevant to the business owners you also pursue. Next week, have something that discusses key-person insurance.

Your Social Media Profiles Aren’t Developed

Social media is useful for distributing your content, especially since these digital spaces are where many of your consumers already are. Because your potential clients may develop an impression of you based on your digital hubs, you should take extra effort to ensure that your profiles are complete, with high-quality branding. Add personal touches by incorporating a portrait of you or a photo of your offices. Too often advisors will simply use a low-res copy of their logo for both profile pictures and banners. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, all give you many opportunities to present yourself visually, so take advantage of this. Why does this matter? If a consumer bounces to your Facebook page or Twitter page and sees that it is undeveloped, they may not have a lot of confidence in you.

You Don’t Share Across Multiple Platforms

Some consumers may be more active on Facebook, while others on LinkedIn. Some may exclusively use Twitter, and some may poke around many platforms. This is why you should spread your content across multiple relevant platforms. You may find that one platform becomes more relevant to you and your audience, but this does not mean you should ignore the other platforms. Keeping all your profiles active with recent posts can help you reach new prospects, help with SEO ranking (as this activity can be a ranking signal), and give you a trail of digital pieces that help to establish your credibility.

You Don’t Employ Different Types of Posts

A good digital content marketing strategy employs many different types of posts—articles, photo, video, infographics, macros, and more. Explore your options and get creative. Vary long posts with shorts posts. Use photos with your articles. Craft a short-video series. The more you have in your bag of tricks, the more you can engage your audience.

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Marketing Corner – April is CD Replacement Month

Marketing Corner – Wednesday March 29th, 2017

April Is CD Replacement Month—Don’t Miss Out

You might know that April and October are CD replacement months. But do you know why? The history that led to these sales opportunities is actually rather interesting and shows how economic events can ripple far ahead in time.

Nearly thirty years ago, on October 19, 1987, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped a whopping negative 22.61%–the index’s largest percentage drop. This event would become known as Black Monday and many thought this was the precursor to another Great Crash. While markets rebounded, there remained a great amount of volatility, with after-shocks and mini-crashes like the drop that happened on October 13, 1989.

Even though the economy has been beaten and torn since 1987 (hello Great Recession of 2008!) the effects of Black Monday are still felt today. As markets tanked in 1987, consumers pulled out of exposed investments and transferred their money into Certificates of Deposits.

Hence October and April are now CD replacement months, with six-month and twelve-month CDs up for renewal. For some consumers, CDs can seem like a great option for their money—certainly, they did in 1987. With guaranteed interest rates and FDIC backing, CDs seem like a relatively sturdy ship to navigate the sometimes choppy waters of the market.

However, because of their low-interest rates, CDs do not hedge against inflation well, when compared to other products, like certain annuities. This is especially true with long-range CDs that many consumers automatically renew out of habit. This means that some consumers may be losing real-world value that could be parlayed into another solution that works better against inflation and could provide lifetime income.

Obviously, every consumer presents a different situation. For some, CDs may track well with their needs. Others may not even be aware that there are other options. However, what this means is that April and October are good opportunities for review, discussion, and product sales.

To help agents and advisors take advantage of these CD replacement opportunities, Legacy Financial Partners is offering a complimentary CD replacement kit. Fill out the form to claim your free CD replacement kit.

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6 Unusual Marketing Ideas for Advisors

Marketing Corner – Thursday, March 23rd, 2017

6 Unusual Marketing Ideas For Advisors

As you try to grow your practice and attract new clients, you likely explore many different marketing activities. What tends to happen, however, is that you find one or two prospecting methods that work for you and stick with that. While you should have a few core marketing methods, you should enhance them with other types of marketing. Here are six unusual marketing ideas that go beyond direct mail, seminars, and other traditional methods.

Fliers

Whether to promote an upcoming event or to simply put your name and face out there, fliers are a cheap and effective way to market yourself, which is why we’ve mentioned them multiple times before as a marketing tool. A visually appealing one-sheeter can reinforce your name or event to consumers in physical areas they already traffic (coffee shop, grocery store, etc.). In any given community, you will have plenty of opportunities to post fliers—which, when you consider how cheap a run of fliers can be—makes them a no-brainer. What makes this idea unusual is how few advisors take advantage of this affordable strategy.

Shred Party

What is a shred party? A shred party is an event that takes place at your office or other location where you offer free document shredding. This is particularly relevant to consumers around tax-time, as they deal with sensitive personal documents and do some spring cleaning. Make it a fun event, with refreshments and something for kids. This will allow you to offer an unusual (but needed) service to consumers and mingle with prospects.

Parking Lot Carnival

One of the best ways to organize a community event is to make it something the whole family can enjoy. If you’ve got space (or can rent space), set up a parking lot carnival. This doesn’t have to involve Ferris wheels, carousels, or bumper cars, but rather fun yard games like cornhole, ladder ball, horseshoes, and watermelon seed spitting contests. Buddy up with a local food truck to offer food and refreshments.

Tailgate

In the same vein as the parking lot carnival idea, if you live in a college/sports town, you could look into getting tailgating space. With good weather, grilling, and sports, you can create a memorable event for potential clients.

Charity Events

There are numerous ways advisors can leverage participating in charitable causes while raising their own profile. However, many advisors stick with passive approaches—donating money or resources, without getting directly involved. Any help is good help, for sure, but consider more direct ways you can participate with a charitable cause. For instance, organizing a charity event yourself or finding existing ones that are physical (food drive, fun run, pancake dinner, etc.)

Branded Prepaid Debit Cards

Advisors often use gift cards/prepaid cards as promotions, rewards for appointments, or prizes for seminar raffles. While preloaded debit cards can be great for bringing prospects to you, you can enhance this strategy by branding the cards with your logo and contact information. There are several companies that offer this service, such as OmniCard, Giftcards.com, and InterCash.

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Marketing Corner – March 15, 2017

7 Video Marketing Best Practices

Incorporating video into your digital marketing strategy can reap great rewards. Rather than simply posting a block of text, you are able to present your value proposition in an easily digestible manner that already matches how many consumers seek out information. Here are a few stats that show just how relevant video is:

Over 8 billion videos or 100 million hours of videos are watched on Facebook every day (TechCrunch, 2016; TechCrunch, 2016 via Buffer)

55% of people consume videos thoroughly — the highest amount all types of content (HubSpot, 2016 via Buffer)

4X as many consumers would rather watch a video about a product than reading about it (Animoto, 2015 via Buffer)

Given how relevant video content has become, you might be wondering how financial advisors or agents like you can utilize video as part of your marketing strategy. With cheap equipment, social media platforms, and a little time commitment, it’s possible for advisors of all experience levels to create visually appealing and engaging video content. We’ve even had advisors use their smartphones to record clips.

Here are 7 best practices when developing a video marketing strategy.

Keep Your Videos Concise
With videos, shorter is generally going to be better. Instead of giving a 10-minute explainer video on how annuities work, break your videos into 2-3 minute chunks (or even shorter). While you do want to provide detailed information and may think that 1,2, or 3 minutes is not long enough to cover a topic, you’ll likely be surprised how much information can be presented in a short time if you practice before hand (and even use a little script).


Maintain A Consistent Schedule

As with other forms of content marketing, one of the crucial aspects of video marketing is consistency. Some advisors will burn through video topics quickly, struggling to come up with ideas for further videos. Schedule video creation within your other marketing activities, so that you have something coming out on a regular basis—whether it’s a video, a blog post, a guide, or promotion. Find the intervals that work for you.

Balance Timely Topics With Enduring Information
Current events can become a great jumping off point for a video piece. If, for example, the SSA has rolled out changes for the new year, your consumers might appreciate a short explanation video. However, you should balance timely topics with more enduring videos—the kinds that can be repurposed or stay relevant over alonger period of time. For example, a video discussion on the phases of retirement planning will have a longer lifespan than one that discusses an expiring tax credit.

Consider Basic Lighting and Framing
Nobody expects you to be Spielberg when creating your videos. But just because the clips are made cheap and quick, doesn’t mean they have to look it. Pay attention to basic lighting and framing issues.

• Make sure you are well lit
• Avoid distracting backgrounds and background elements
• Avoid unusual perspectives and angles
• A tripod or stable surface can really make a difference in the quality of your clip

Syndicate Through Multiple Channels
Currently, Facebook has become a key platform for the dissemination of video content. With an intuitive layout, it’s relatively easy to upload and share video, either from your personal or business page. Twitter and LinkedIn are likewise venues where video can be uploaded and shared easily. But also consider email as well. A Syndacast Infographic from a few years ago claims that just “using the word ‘Video’ in an email subject line boosts open rates by 19%, click-through rates by 65% and reduces unsubscribes by 26%”

Enhance The Quality Of Your Video With Graphics and Music
Amplify your message and the quality of your video with supporting graphics, music, and other little flourishes. Most editing software is straightforward enough that a lay person, with some playing around, can figure out how to include phone numbers, web addresses, and other supporting text as an overlay graphic (sometimes referred to as chyrons). Music is likewise relatively easy to incorporate, with a wealth of royalty-free music available online (for instance, Purple Planet, which has options for free and licensed music clips.) Make sure you follow the terms of usage carefully. Most royalty free music sites will simply request credit and/or a linkback.

Take Advantage Of Video Descriptions And Tags
Video hosted on a platform like YouTube will provide you an opportunity to describe what the video is about. While this helps consumers identify the content of your clip, it also can be useful in your overall SEO strategy. Lace your short descriptions and tags with targeted keywords, the same way you would with page content.

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