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Leverage the Power of Online Video: Presentation

March 5, 2015 by

So far in our series on online video marketing we’ve looked at the effectiveness of online video in today’s marketplace and scripting tips for crafting an effective client message. In this part, we’ll examine some presentation types for delivering your message.

With video, there are countless ways to get creative and turn what may be considered a “dull” topic into an engaging or even entertaining one. Your scope will only be limited by your own imagination, so don’t shy away from trying something different to grab people’s attention. Consider using a compelling client story to bookend your message, take a camera around your office for an inside look at your business or create an interview format with you and another professional. Just remember that video is a visual medium and you should always strive to “show” your audience over just “telling” them.

Here are some common and feasible presentation types that may be most applicable to your financial service business:

Talking head – The most standard and economical way of delivering your message is straight to the camera. This format can be effective for personal introductions about you and your business. To add some energy, consider using props, a white board or graphics to better convey your message visually.

News style interview – Invite another professional to join your video and use an interview format to discuss trending topics, products or services. You could also utilize Skype and Google Hangouts to record a two-way interview.

Informative webinar video – You can build your credibility by creating an informative video through a recorded webinar. You only need a webcam and a web resource such as Camtasia or GoToWebinar to host and record your session. You can then use the recorded archive as a video for distribution.

PowerPoint video – A quick substitute for video that most already have available on their desktop can be achieved through PowerPoint. You can use PowerPoint and your computer’s mic to narrate a voiceover to go along with your presentation slides and then export the slideshow video for posting. This feature also creates the flexibility to quickly customize videos for individual clients.

Testimonials – Let your clients tell your story with a testimonial video. Testimonials from your clients build trust with your audience and can be used to promote a particular service or product that solved a problem for your client.  Remember, that to remain compliant, testimonials must also follow these standards: Testimonials must be genuine, relevant, current and clearly written. Testimonials cannot be edited and you must obtain the written permission of the individual in the testimonial.  Testimonials may not be paid for other benefits given for the use of the testimonial. The Investment Advisor’s Act of 1940 prohibits the use of testimonials for Investment Advisors and or Affiliates. Testimonials included in videos must also include the following disclaimer: “This testimonial may not represent the experience of other clients. This testimonial does not guarantee performance or future performance of any product. The Investment Advisor’s Act of 1940 prohibits the use of testimonials for Investment Advisors and or Affiliates.”

If your content is informative and lends itself to more than one video, you could choose to break out your topic and create a video content series (ex. Five commonly asked questions about retirement) that builds interest as you release them. If you plan to shoot a series, pick a presentation format that would allow you to easily shoot a number of them at once. This will save you time, create consistency and also keep fresh video content readily available as new marketing opportunities arise. As always, be conscious of all compliance expectations as you put your video together.

By choosing a simplified format, you won’t need an army of technicians to create your video. Check back soon for an at-a-glance look at some tools and resources you can use to commit your message to video.

Ryan Kennedy

Ryan Kennedy joined Brokers International in October 2014 as a Marketing Project Manager. He is responsible for creating marketing materials and messages to support the strategic initiatives of Brokers International. In addition to developing marketing strategies, he will serve as a frequent blog contributor. When not in the office, he enjoys writing, graphic design and biking.

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Stay active on social media with these post ideas

February 19, 2015 by

To get the most out of your company social media accounts you have to post regularly. By posting regularly, you can show clients and prospects who find your business on social media that you are committed to providing helpful information, starting conversations and building relationships.

It can be hard to take the time and creativity to post regularly, especially if you don’t have a staff member dedicated to social media marketing. That’s why we’ve come up with a few post ideas you can implement on your company social media accounts:

  1. Find an interesting statistic about how Americans are handling their finances and then share the information with your own audience. For example, a recent survey found only 39 percent of Americans have a budget and keep close track of their spending.1 You can share this statistic and then ask your audience why they do or don’t keep a budget.
  2. Feature one of your employees. You can share a photo, a few facts about them and a quote about why they enjoy working at your company.
  3. It’s tax season, so it’s a good time to share tips or reminders about filing returns. The IRS website has a lot of helpful information you can link to.
  4. If you host a workshop or seminar, take a photo during the event and post it on your accounts. With this photo you can give a quick overview of what attendees learned, and then suggest your audience register for an upcoming workshop or seminar.
  5. Link to an article that teaches your audience about the retirement strategies you offer. By sharing an unbiased article on how insurance products work in a retirement portfolio, you can help your audience become more financially literate.

Remember, these are just suggestions to help you get started and be more active on social media. You know your clients and personal style best, so tailor your schedule and topics to what works for you and your audience. As always, remember to be conscious of compliance expectations on social media use.

__________________

1“The 2014 Consumer Financial Literacy Survey.” The National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC), 6 Mar. 2014. Web. 2 Feb. 2015. <http://www.nfcc.org/NewsRoom/FinancialLiteracy/files2013/NFCC_2014FinancialLiteracySurvey_datasheet_and_key_findings_031314 FINAL.pdf>.

Kelly Madsen

Kelly Madsen joined Brokers International in August 2014 as a Marketing Project Manager. She is responsible for creating marketing materials and messages to support the strategic initiatives of Brokers International. Prior to joining Brokers, Kelly studied journalism at Iowa State University. She loves the outdoors, the Iowa State Cyclones and her Aussie puppy.

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Leverage the power of online video: Content

February 5, 2015 by

As we outlined in an earlier blog post, the rise of online video has shifted the way consumers view and engage with marketing content. As a result, today’s consumer has come to expect more than text and static images in communications. In part two of this series, we’ll focus on content suggestions that can help you tell your story.

For the financial and insurance professional, online marketing videos can be effective in showcasing the benefits of products, providing client testimonials, personally introducing yourself or delivering news that is relevant to an existing or prospective client base.

Whatever the message, the duration of the average online long-form video is a little over four minutes and averages about 25 seconds for an online advertisement video.1  However, 20 percent of online audiences tune out after just 10 seconds with that number increasing to 44 percent by the one-minute mark. Almost 60 percent of your audience will stop watching before they reach two minutes.2

To reach a majority of your viewers, you need to be as direct with your message as possible. To start, determine the key message that you want your viewers to receive. Then deliver it and the benefits of your business or service in the first five to ten seconds of your video.

Use the remainder of your video to explain how your service or product will deliver the benefits you’ve highlighted. You can support your message with a realistic client situation, credible statistics, news items or client testimonials. When supporting your message, be sure to avoid jargon or industry buzzwords. Instead, focus on the relatable benefits that your service can fulfill and not specific features or details.

End your video with a call-to-action. Your call-to-action should include your phone number, email address and web address. You should also provide a reason for your audience to contact you. For a refresh on writing a call-to-action, you can download tips here.

Following these content tips can provide you with a solid guide for mapping out your message, but how you choose to visually present this message is where your video will ultimately fail or succeed in its power to engage. To get the most out of your message, look for the next installment of this series on presentation.

 


1  “comScore Releases March 2014 U.S. Online Video Rankings.” comScore. 18 April 2014. Web. 6 January 2015 http://www.comscore.com/Insights/Press-Releases/2014/4/comScore-Releases-March-2014-US-Online-Video-Rankings

2 Leggatt, Helen. “Online Viewers Abandon Clips After Just 10 Secs.” Biz Report. 06 October 2010. Web. 20 January 2015. http://www.bizreport.com/2010/10/online-video-viewers-abandoning-clips-after-just-10-secs.html

Ryan Kennedy

Ryan Kennedy joined Brokers International in October 2014 as a Marketing Project Manager. He is responsible for creating marketing materials and messages to support the strategic initiatives of Brokers International. In addition to developing marketing strategies, he will serve as a frequent blog contributor. When not in the office, he enjoys writing, graphic design and biking.

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Kick start your 2015 social media efforts

January 22, 2015 by

This can be your year for social media. As you develop your company initiatives and marketing strategies for 2015, make sure a commitment to social media is one of your goals.

Whether you post helpful articles on retirement strategies, remind clients of special events at your office or share photos of your latest community service project, every interaction on social media can help you build relationships with clients and connect with prospects.

To help you start the new year off strong, we’ve come up with five post ideas you can add to your company blog, Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn pages:

  1. Some of your clients might be helping with their children’s college loans. Share an article that helps your audience learn ways to ease that burden on their own financial picture.
  2. Remind your audience to schedule an annual review meeting. It is a great chance to update your clients’ financial strategies for the new year.
  3. It’s time to start thinking about filing taxes. Remind your audience that they can deduct expenses like out-of-pocket charitable donations, work-related moving expenses and child care costs.
  4. Ask your audience what they dream of doing in their retirement. It’s a fun question, and people enjoy sharing their hopes for the future.
  5. Cross promote your company LinkedIn account on your Facebook or Twitter pages. Simply share a link to let your audiences know they can find more helpful information on your LinkedIn page.

If you need more post ideas, you can find last month’s social media post ideas here.

Kelly Madsen

Kelly Madsen joined Brokers International in August 2014 as a Marketing Project Manager. She is responsible for creating marketing materials and messages to support the strategic initiatives of Brokers International. Prior to joining Brokers, Kelly studied journalism at Iowa State University. She loves the outdoors, the Iowa State Cyclones and her Aussie puppy.

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Leverage the power of online video

January 8, 2015 by

Online video has become one of the most effective marketing tools for businesses. By 2017, online video content is expected to make up 69 percent of all consumer internet traffic.1 As financial professionals, planning for this shift now can give you a leg up in engaging your next generation of clients.

Video is cost-effective, simple to produce and can creatively highlight services and products about your business. Plus, video itself can be distributed and archived on multiple online and social media platforms. Living online, these videos can then act as a gateway to new clients and leads. Consider these video marketing statistics:

  • Over fifty-four percent of internet users view at least one video online over the course of a month.2
  • Videos increase understanding of products and services by 74 percent. 3
  • Ninety percent of users say that seeing a video about a product is helpful in the decision-making process.4
  • Seventy-five percent of users visit a marketer’s website after viewing a video.5
  • Video attracts two to three times as many monthly visitors to a website and doubles the time visitors spend on a site.6
  • Business emails that include video increase click-through traffic to websites by 96 percent.7

So what does this mean for your business? Even a quickly produced video made from a camera phone can have the potential to garner exposure when posted on your social media feeds, emails and website. But taking the time to craft an effective and polished video can build credibility amongst your online audience. For tips on creating your own video, check back here for future installments about content, tools and distribution techniques for engaging a new audience through video.

 

1  “Cisco Visual Networking Index: Forecast and Methodology, 2013–2018.” Cisco Systems, June. 2014. Web. 15 Dec. 2014. http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/solutions/collateral/service-provider/ip-ngn-ip-next-generation-network/white_paper_c11-481360.html

“comScore Releases March 2014 U.S. Online Video Rankings.” comScore. 18 April 2014. Web. 6 January 2015 http://www.comscore.com/Insights/Press-Releases/2014/4/comScore-Releases-March-2014-US-Online-Video-Rankings

“Why A Video Elevator Pitch Will Improve Your Market Share.” Forbes. 10 October 2013. Web. 6 January 2015 http://www.forbes.com/sites/theyec/2013/10/10/why-a-video-elevator-pitch-will-improve-your-market-share/

“50 Must Know Stats About Video & Animation Marketing.” Insivia. Web. 6 January 2015 http://www.insivia.com/50-must-know-stats-about-video-animation-marketing-2013/

“25 Amazing Video Marketing Statistics.” Digital Sherpa. 9 January 2014. Web. 15 December 2014 http://www.digitalsherpa.com/blog/25-amazing-video-marketing-statistics/

6 “Content Marketing: Videos Attract 300% More Traffic and Nurture Leads.” Marketing Sherpa. 14 December 2011. Web. 6 January 2015
http://www.marketingsherpa.com/article/how-to/videos-attract-300-more-traffic

“GetResponse Study Shows Video Emails Increase Click-through Rates by 96 Percent.” PR Newswire. Web. 6 January 2015
http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/getresponse-study-shows-video-emails-increase-click-through-rates-by-96-percent-78406237.html

Ryan Kennedy

Ryan Kennedy joined Brokers International in October 2014 as a Marketing Project Manager. He is responsible for creating marketing materials and messages to support the strategic initiatives of Brokers International. In addition to developing marketing strategies, he will serve as a frequent blog contributor. When not in the office, he enjoys writing, graphic design and biking.

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Life events that influence women’s financial decisions

December 23, 2014 by

Forty-nine percent of women say they have a great deal of responsibility for making major financial decisions.1

In past blog posts, we’ve highlighted women as an underserved segment of financial decision makers and detailed how financial professionals can better serve this untapped market. In this post, we’ll look at the life events that spur women to start thinking about retirement solutions.

The “Women, Money, and Power Study” commissioned by Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz) surveyed more than 2,000 women about their views on retirement, investments and financial goals. From the results, the Allianz study identified changes in family structure and economics as motivating factors for women to seek out financial guidance.2

The study found that refraining from marriage, getting divorced and experiencing the loss of a spouse are among the most typical life events that increase awareness for meeting future financial goals. The survey results concluded:

  • 65 percent of single women without children worried about long term care and how they will provide for themselves as they age.
  • 50 percent of divorced women felt particularly overwhelmed about financial decisions with 48 percent admitting their divorce created financial challenges.
  • 92 percent of single mothers agreed that their situation has increased their need for financial solutions.
  • 84 percent of widows reported that losing their spouse reminded them of the importance of being financially independent.

In addition to marital status, the increasing upward mobility in today’s workplace has also triggered women to become more hands-on with their financial goals.

Respondents to the study that were distinguished by their higher incomes (an average of $57,000) reported more confidence in investing money. Additionally, they also tended to start their retirement savings early with 47 percent beginning their saving while in their 20s.

Regardless of income, the financial downturn of 2008 also influenced 68 percent of women respondents to become more active in their financial strategies.

While life’s twists and turns play an important role in deciding to seek out retirement solutions, the study also pointed out that nearly two-thirds of all women still expressed a strong desire to learn more about finances and retirement strategies. As financial professionals you can begin serving this need by reaching out to current and prospective female clients. But before offering solutions, be sure to first identify and understand the circumstances that have created a need for your products and services.

To help you better understand your existing female clients’ needs and provide a more personalized experience begin by accessing a client profile template here. In each profile, you’ll list demographic information, identify current challenges and acknowledge future wants.

For additional insight into how women view financial decisions be sure to also download the “Women, Money, and Power Study” white paper here.

 


1Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America, “Help your clients find solutions that fit.” 2012

2The Allianz Women, Money, and Power Study: Empowered and Underserved. Rep. Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America, Mar. 2013. Web. 14 Nov. 2014.

Karen Bump

Karen Bump joined Brokers International in 2011 as the Coordinator for the WOMAN Program. Karen is passionate about providing resources, education and networking opportunities to women in the industry. When she’s not at work, Karen enjoys being active, watching college football, traveling, and spending quality time with her husband, three kids and Yorkie.

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Promote your company social media accounts

December 16, 2014 by

Social media is all about interacting with your audience. But before you can have valuable conversations on social media, you need an engaged audience.

Here are three ways you can promote your social media accounts to clients, prospects and community members interested in your services:

  • Make it easy for readers to connect with you. Simply add links to your social media pages on your company website, in your email signature or on your business cards.
  • Make it easy to find you. Cross promote between social media accounts. For example, make a Facebook post that directs readers to your Twitter or LinkedIn profiles.
  • Build stronger connections with your existing audience. Send an email to your existing clients to let them know you are on social media. It is great way to nurture the relationships you have already built.

With social media you have the chance to interact with your audience in a more casual and personal way. It is a great opportunity to start conversations and remind your audience how your services can help.

If you haven’t added social media to your marketing mix, we can help you get started. Simply download our LinkedIn Guide and Facebook Guide for step-by-step instructions and tips.

Kelly Madsen

Kelly Madsen joined Brokers International in August 2014 as a Marketing Project Manager. She is responsible for creating marketing materials and messages to support the strategic initiatives of Brokers International. Prior to joining Brokers, Kelly studied journalism at Iowa State University. She loves the outdoors, the Iowa State Cyclones and her Aussie puppy.

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Sales and marketing advice from our featured agent

December 10, 2014 by

mike-terrio-headshot-smallFeatured Agent: Michael T.

Home State: Florida

Years in industry: 6

Licenses: Life, Health, Variable Annuity, Series 65, CRPC, AAMS

Michael has built and operated a successful practice that has thrived from not only meeting his clients’ goals, but also from his dedication to staying focused on his own.

Following his own strategy to tailor his services to fit each individual’s needs to meet both short and long-term objectives, Michael does the same with his business by diligently paying attention, monitoring its progress and making adjustments as necessary. Here’s how he made it work:

Why do you think you’ve been successful?

I’m laser-focused on what my niche is and where it should be going. I set lifelong goals, five year goals, yearly goals and three month goals. I keep track of this progress and review each of these goals every ninety days. By evaluating every three months I can continue to evolve and adjust my business so I’m not left behind in the industry.

What marketing techniques work well for you?

The best thing I can do is everything. A lot of people say there is a silver bullet approach to marketing but you’ve got to be doing everything. We brand and market our services through an entire spectrum of channels: radio, television, social media and newspapers. I also make personal speaking appearances at educational and charitable events, contribute to the Wall Street Journal and host my own radio show.

The people who come into the office have told us that they’ve seen or heard us on several of these mediums at once and that builds credibility. That’s why they’re coming in.

What keeps you motivated?

My family and the families I work with keep me motivated. I want to make sure I don’t make a bad decision for the people I represent. I also have a desire to grow things. I love to build my practice and my firm, it’s very important to me.

What piece of advice would you give to an agent who is just starting out?

Structure a consistent business plan that you stick to but still leaves room to be flexible based on possible changes in your own life and your clients’ needs. As you go on remember that growth is never linear or static. Don’t be a one-trick pony when it comes to your business’ offerings, have several sources of income that you can rely upon. It would only take one negative change to your core service for you to be toast.

Also, be sure to find a mentor and learn from those that have been there. They can get you to the next level.

This material is being provided as a service to you. Please note that the information and opinions included are provided by third parties and have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed by Brokers International.

Travis Redfern

Travis Redfern is a Relationship Manager for Brokers International. He works closely with key producers to help identify products and services that they can use to grow their businesses. Travis has been with Brokers International since 2002. In his spare time, he enjoys hunting, golfing, team roping, time with friends and family and escaping to his “man cave” to watch football. ADR-1263

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Download this guide to be successful on Facebook

December 2, 2014 by

Facebook_Guide1Facebook is a valuable marketing tool and information-sharing platform for your business. If you utilize this free resource to its fullest potential, it can generate conversations and drive clients to your services.

Nearly half of insurance customers consider information from social media when making their insurance buying decisions, according to Accenture’s 2013 Consumer-Driven Innovation Survey.1 Brokers International has created a free Facebook guide to help you meet this demand, and not miss the opportunity to engage with an expansive network of potential clients through social media channels like Facebook.

Whether you are just getting started, or you already use Facebook, this guide is a great tool to help you grow your social media efforts and reach out to prospective clients.

This complete Facebook Guide can help you learn how to:

  • Create a professional-looking profile.
  • Build an audience.
  • Interact with your audience.
  • Post regularly.
  • Follow compliance expectations.

Click here to download the comprehensive Facebook guide today. To learn more about why you should engage in social media, click here.

1 Sandquist, Erik, and Carlos Lugo. “Unleashing the Potential of Social Media in Insurance.” Accenture Insurance Insights. Accenture. Web. 15 Oct. 2014. <http://www.accenture.com/Microsites/insights/Documents/pdfs/Accenture-Social-Media-in-Insurance-PoV.pdf>.

Kelly Madsen

Kelly Madsen joined Brokers International in August 2014 as a Marketing Project Manager. She is responsible for creating marketing materials and messages to support the strategic initiatives of Brokers International. Prior to joining Brokers, Kelly studied journalism at Iowa State University. She loves the outdoors, the Iowa State Cyclones and her Aussie puppy.

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Earn attention with social media

November 24, 2014 by

Did you know social media is a form of earned media? This means it costs you nothing to earn your clients attention, unlike paying for costly advertising. With quality posts and conversations on social media, you can prove yourself as a knowledgeable resource for your clients and prospects – without spending a dime.

To help you get started on posting engaging content for your social media audiences, we’ve created five post ideas for December. You can incorporate these post ideas into your company blog, Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn pages this month:

  1. Educate your clients on common insurance or retirement jargon. You could write a post that defines or explains terms like “premium,” “dividend” or “beneficiary.”
  2. The average American plans to spend $781 on Christmas gifts this year1, so it may be helpful to advise your clients to create a reasonable budget and stick to it.
  3. Add a fun quote about retirement, such as “The trouble with retirement is that you never get a day off.” – Abe Lemons. Then tell your clients to give you a call to start creating their retirement strategies.
  4. Remind your clients to pay attention to the upcoming health insurance open enrollment deadlines.
  5. Wish your clients happy holidays! The holiday season is a great opportunity to show your personality and remind clients that you care about them and their families.

Want more ideas? Check out last month’s social media post ideas here.

If you are just getting started on social media, be sure to download our LinkedIn Guide here. The guide will help you get the most out of your earned media efforts.


1
Saad, Lydia. “Americans’ Initial Christmas Spending Estimate Is Positive.” Gallup. 27 Oct. 2014. Web. 11 Nov. 2014. <http://www.gallup.com/poll/178859/americans-initial-christmas-spending-estimate-positive.aspx>.

Kelly Madsen

Kelly Madsen joined Brokers International in August 2014 as a Marketing Project Manager. She is responsible for creating marketing materials and messages to support the strategic initiatives of Brokers International. Prior to joining Brokers, Kelly studied journalism at Iowa State University. She loves the outdoors, the Iowa State Cyclones and her Aussie puppy.

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