Sam Thompson is a Sr. Director at Kaltura. He helps companies and schools better engage their learners and workers online.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that good communication between financial advisors and their clients is important. A YChart survey found that communication and engagement accounted for two of the top three most important factors when selecting a financial advisor.

Even more impactful is the importance of communication in growing business through referrals. That same survey found that 89.7% of respondents considered “communication style and frequency when recommending an advisor.” This is great for financial advisors, as good communication can help weather market volatility and grow their book of business.

To engage clients effectively, financial advisors need to be knowledgeable, personal, authentic and available. Increasingly, financial advisors are turning to video to help them connect with prospects, cut through the clutter of text emails and deepen relationships with their clients. Wealth management companies like Merrill Lynch have even launched their own tools to help their advisors do just that.

In a world of branchless banking and constant innovation, financial advisors must find ways to stand out. Video is a powerful medium to build brand awareness and strengthen their own personal brand. It can be used to explain complicated concepts and provides financial advisors a way to personalize their interactions with clients at scale. Here are some ways I’ve seen companies in high-compliance industries improve video communication and engagement with their clients.

1. Get started with scripts.

Some of the best short videos are improvised—or they seem to be. For today’s audience, that can play really well. My preference is to roughly outline what I want to talk about and then try a few different takes to get it right.

Though informality can feel more authentic and help financial advisors strengthen their personal brand, it isn’t without its risks. In 2022, a dozen banks and global financial firms were hit with over $2 billion in penalties and fines related to app communication. Financial advisors must find ways to stand out and communicate authentically with their clients, but that authenticity and frequent communication must comply with their company and regulatory policies.

One of the best ways to ensure advisors remain compliant and generally on brand is to draft scripts for them to use in their videos. Preparing the scripts ahead of time enables financial advisors to concentrate on engaging their clients rather than content creation and waiting for approval. Unlike written email templates, video provides plenty of opportunities for advisors’ personalities to easily shine through.

2. Provide room for personalization.

Scripting video message outreach is like writing email templates for prospecting. Templates help scale advisor outreach by optimizing their time. However, recorded videos don’t come with the benefit of email tokens that automatically personalize outreach. We could ask advisors to record a generic video and send it with custom email text. But over 70% of consumers expect personalized outreach, and generic is generic.

Scripts should leave room for personalization to help financial advisors leverage the strength of their brand and personality. Even just saying someone’s name can be enough to grab their attention. As with email templates, prepared scripts can leave room for advisors to say the name of their clients. They can even add personal detail specific to them. It is true that leaving room to go off script can lead to additional approval requirements. I believe it’s worth it. You can also consider providing tools that streamline approval processes with automated workflows.

3. Make it easy to record the right message.

Advisor time is best spent with clients. Maximizing the time engaging with clients is a priority, so advisors can’t very well be expected to take the time to memorize a bunch of video scripts, even if it will help them in the long run.

As with face-to-face conversation, one of the most important elements of a video message is eye contact. Eye contact is important in building emotional connection, exhibiting confidence, engaging audiences and establishing trust.

Teleprompter software is often designed to help you maintain eye contact while recording. If you don’t have dedicated software, then use Microsoft PowerPoint’s teleprompter view to help. Once set up with the teleprompter, develop best practices in terms of where to sit to really make the video feel like a real conversation.

4. Keep it short, or not.

LinkedIn found that under 30 seconds is the ideal length for brand awareness videos, but in that same study, they also found that longer videos could perform just as well. Hootsuite says that it’s best to stay around the two-minute mark for YouTube videos. The reality is that video messages should be as concise as possible, but we don’t need to keep it short just to keep it short.

The goal of financial advisors recording videos for their clients as opposed to writing an email is to deepen relationships by putting themselves upfront along with their knowledge and expertise. Their messages need to deliver value and provide useful information for their clients. If the video is under two minutes, then great. If it needs to be a bit longer, then that’s okay as long as the added time is adding value.

As more clients prefer remote engagement and continue to move to branchless banking and wealth management, financial advisors lose a little bit of the edge they once had with face-to-face interactions. They are being removed from the process and losing the ability to build relationships with clients. Prospects now do most of their own research, and without frequent communication, existing clients have fewer reasons to stick around. Adding video into communication and engagement strategies can create new opportunities. By providing content and tools that remove barriers to recording personalized video messages, financial advisors can connect with more prospects than before, deepen relationships with their clients and grow their business.


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