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Investment Executive - - FRONT PAGE - BY LEAH GOLOB

YouTube can help you con­nect with clients and prospects.

with more than one bil­lion users, YouTube LLC’s videoshar­ing plat­form of­fers an enor­mous reach that can help fi­nan­cial ad­vi­sors con­nect with their clients and prospects.

Ac­cord­ing to the San Bruno, Calif.-based com­pany, more than one bil­lion YouTube users ac­count for al­most one-third of all peo­ple on the In­ter­net.

“YouTube is the sec­ond-largest search en­gine in the world,” says Michelle Mat­son, vice pres­i­dent of mar­ket­ing for Scotts­dale, Ariz.based Mat­son Money Inc. “If you don’t have a YouTube chan­nel, then some peo­ple, es­pe­cially the younger gen­er­a­tion, may not re­ally [view your busi­ness] as es­tab­lished.”

Gen­er­ally speak­ing, peo­ple of­ten spend more time watch­ing videos than they do read­ing ar­ti­cles, adds Richard Heft, pres­i­dent of Ext. Mar­ket­ing Inc. in Toronto. He be­lieves pro­duc­ing video con­tent on YouTube is a good way for ad­vi­sors to share their mes­sage with clients and prospects.

To make the most of YouTube, here are sev­eral tips:

cre­ate ed­u­ca­tional con­tent

Mat­son Money uses com­mu­ni­ca­tion tools, es­pe­cially YouTube, to help clients main­tain their fi­nan­cial strat­egy over the long term.

“In­vest­ing is a com­plex, com­pli­cated and of­ten emo­tional topic for a lot of peo­ple,” Mat­son says. “What we try to help peo­ple do is stay ed­u­cated.”

The firm ac­com­plishes this by shar­ing videos rang­ing from “quick hits” (short videos break­ing down a spe­cific topic) to longer record­ings of speaker pre­sen­ta­tions and a monthly (for­merly weekly) se­ries en­ti­tled Money Mat­son Live that dives deeper into fi­nan­cial is­sues and events.

For ex­am­ple, the firm might use longer videos to ad­dress and share re­search on the ef­fects of a heated po­lit­i­cal cli­mate on the in­vest­ment in­dus­try.

When brain­storm­ing ed­u­ca­tional top­ics, con­sider us­ing video to an­swer ques­tions and con­cerns that arise reg­u­larly with your clients and fo­cus your con­tent on ful­fill­ing that need, Heft adds. don’t push a sale One of the quick­est ways to lose an au­di­ence is to fo­cus solely on prod­ucts and sales. View­ers will be un­in­ter­ested if con­tent takes the form of a com­mer­cial.

“Any­thing that’s a hard sell or in­vest­ment ad­vice-re­lated can run afoul of reg­u­la­tors and reg­u­la­tions around the in­dus­try,” Heft says. “You can’t be­come a cow­boy out there and say ev­ery­thing you want.” cre­ate brief videos Mat­son Money didn’t es­tab­lish an au­di­ence for its YouTube pres­ence overnight. Mat­son’s ad­vice is to be­gin small with a tight fo­cus, then save the length­ier videos for when your au­di­ence ex­presses a de­sire to learn more. Mat­son be- lieves that three to five min­utes is the ideal length for videos. Any longer and you greatly in­crease the risk of los­ing your view­ers, she says.

For Heft, an ideal be­gin­ner video is even shorter: 90 sec­onds or less.

De­spite the ap­peal of videos, Heft says, “you don’t want some­thing that is tremen­dously long.” use key­words Key­words in the ti­tle and de­scrip­tive copy can help at­tract view­ers us­ing Google and YouTube search en­gines, says Adri­anne Lima, growth lead at Ext. Mar­ket­ing. Th­ese can be a mix of one-word terms, such as “fi­nance,” and phrases known as “long-tail key­words,” such as “fi­nan­cial ad­vi­sors in Toronto down­town area.”

Google AdWords can be a goto tool to help ad­vi­sors dis­cover which key­words are trend­ing and typ­i­cally searched for on­line, Lima adds. keep it sim­ple Tech­nol­ogy has made cre­at­ing videos eas­ier than ever. You can get away with us­ing sim­ple tech­niques in us­ing a smart­phone, a mi­cro­phone, a cam- era stand and iMovie or an­other sim­ple video edit­ing soft­ware, says Lima.

Al­though Mat­son Money some­times cre­ates con­tent that em­ploys a lot of script­ing and edit­ing, Mat­son adds, other con­tent fol­lows a “vlog” (i.e., video blog) for­mat in that it’s one-take, “off the cuff” and in the speaker’s nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment.

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