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The rules for playing within the regulatory boundaries of YouTube are much the same as those related to other forms of social media:

1. Before you dive in, double-check with your own compliance department to find out what is and isn't allowed.

2. Treat YouTube videos as static content. Submit a script for pre-approval to your compliance team and turn off the comments and thumbs-up/ thumbs-down functions.

3. Archive.

4. Add a disclaimer.

5. Include YouTube use in your company's social media policy. Let investors know that YouTube (and your other social networks) will be used for company announcements. In April 2013, the SEC announced that companies can use social media for company announcements, as long as investors have been informed of what types of social media will be used for this communication.

6. The golden rule of social media: Don't do anything on social media that you wouldn't do off social media. This includes language that you wouldn't use on your website or in an educational seminar for your clients.

The bottom line is that millions of businesses are using YouTube, including financial professionals. For many in the financial industry, this is to establish credibility and increase exposure. Similar to your blog, you want to position yourself as the expert in your videos. By producing interesting, useful, and timely content, you send the message that you know what you're talking about. This is key to retaining client relationships, attracting new clients, and building your reputation.


Similar to the other social media platforms, the key here is putting yourself in the shoes of your customer. If you were a potential client, what would you want to watch? Here are eight ideas of what I consider the most popular types of videos.

1. Welcome videos – Create a welcome video for your website. Video allows you to connect with people in a way that is virtually impossible to do on paper. It allows you to make an impact and make an impression. When a new client walks into your office, they will feel like they already have a relationship with you. Include a brief story about your background, hobbies, favorite sports team, family, or business, and you'll be surprised how many people will ask you about it.

2. Educational Video – When it comes to the financial industry, there is so much to learn. There is also a lot of misinformation out there. Why not create educational videos that address topics that are important to your audience? As long as you don't offer specific, one-size-fits-all financial advice, this can be an incredibly powerful resource for your prospects and clients. As seen in Figure 15.1, companies like BlackRock are using YouTube to educate their audience.

BlackRock's Educational Video on YouTube

FIGURE 15.1 BlackRock's Educational Video on YouTube

3. Guest interviews – Not sure what to say or do for your video? Why not invite a guest speaker to come and do a live interview? Brittney Castro, CFP®, is a true pioneer of this strategy. On her YouTube channel, Financially Wise Women, she brings in a wide range of professionals to interview – from yogis to law professionals – to discuss their professional and financial lives. The question that ties all of the interviews together is, “What does it mean to you to be a financially wise woman?” This strategy has earned more than 13,000 views on her channel.

4. Financial news – Broadcast pertinent and relevant financial news. Several advisors host a weekly financial news recap to inform their audience about the most important discussions taking place and how it will affect them.

5. Themed shows – Piggy-backing on the financial news idea, you can also develop themed shows where you talk about financial-related topics such as law, tax planning, and real estate. Perhaps you have guest speakers or interviews. The goal here is to keep your audience interested and engaged.

6. Video responses – This is very popular in the YouTube world. Is there a television show, blog, article, current event, debate, or story that you want to comment on? YouTube is the perfect place to do it. Create a short video of yourself responding to an important issue. If you season it with slight controversy, it is likely to pique the interest of your audience.

7. Human interest – Your videos don't just have to be finance related. You can create videos about a whole plethora of topics: travel, golf, culinary, wine and spirits, the Olympics, you name it. As long as it aligns with your audience's interests, it's okay to weave in some human interest. Bryan Weiss of Marian Financial Partners created a YouTube video called, “You Won't Believe What I Saw on the Golf Course...”.[1] In this video, he talks about an abnormal situation he ran into on the golf course and then related it back to investing. This is a creative way to pique interest and offer insight.

8. Video for landing pages – When it comes to website landing pages, the purpose – whether you're a business, association, or individual – is often to capture your visitor's attention and encourage them to want to learn more. This can be done by entering contact information, signing up for an event, making a purchase, or simply driving them to a different part of your website. With video being the hot commodity in marketing, it's no surprise that more and more organizations are choosing to optimize their landing pages with video. Moreover, adding

video to your landing pages will improve opt-ins (visitors who grant permission to e-mail or contact them in the future) and click-throughs by up to 70 percent.

When you are creating your landing page, it's important to experiment with your registration fields and video topics. Typically, the more information required to complete a registration form, the fewer who will actually complete it and take the next step. This is also typical when video length increases. The trick? Keep everything short, simple and to the point. Don't stray from the purpose of the video and the landing page – to turn visitors into new relationships.

By creating powerful content, you build a following – fans, so to speak. Just think, if you were to run a news or radio ad, you would essentially be renting their audience for a brief period of time. But if you have a well- rounded, established YouTube channel, you can build your own audience – an audience that is loyal and interested in you. The larger and more engaged the audience, the more power and influence you'll have.

  • [1] Marian Financial Partners, “You Won't Believe What I Saw on the Golf Course . . .” YouTube, June 4, 2012.
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