Engaging. Provocative. Compliant.
There’s no denying that well-produced video has enormous marketing value, but the process of creating it can be challenging.
It’s important to get it right, too, because 93 percent of marketers say video has helped them increase brand awareness and 81 percent of marketers say video has helped them directly increase sales, according to a video marketing survey by Wyzowl.
Here are two tips to use for writing better, more engaging and compliant video marketing content for your financial institution.
Tip 1: Lay the Foundation
The first and most fundamental step in writing for video: Outlining.
Outlining helps you plan and organize your ideas in an orderly and thoughtful manner, and allows you to identify relevant information early on.
As you plan, consider the types of videos you can create. According to Wyzowl’s video marketing survey, 42 percent of marketers mostly use live action video, 33 percent primarily use animated video, 15 percent mainly use screen recorded video, and 9 percent use other types of videos.
Also, consider what channels your video may appear on. YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, and Webinar are the five most popular channels used in video marketing strategy, according to Wyzowl.
Video length should also factor into your planning. For TV commercials, many experts recommend 30 seconds. For social media, optimal ad length can vary by channel, however, many experts recommend 15 seconds. The most important thing to remember is to grab your audience’s attention early, ideally within the first 3-5 seconds. Ultimately, you want to make your brand stand out prominently and drive your audience to action!
Outlining is also the best time to take into consideration what regulatory restrictions you might encounter as you’re writing your piece, and what disclosures you may have to include.
The format you use for an outline isn’t important, as long as it’s one that’s easy for you to work from.
I like to use a format like this:
Impactful Introduction: It’s key to engage your viewer within the first 3-5 seconds
1. Visual Description:
a. Important message:
b. Secondary detail(s):
2. Visual Description:
a. Important message:
b. Secondary detail(s):
3. Call To Action:
4. Disclosures (if applicable) …
More than anything, creating an outline gives you a blueprint to use for your script. Even if you deviate from it while writing your script, you’ll have something to reference to keep you on track to reach your desired outcome.
Tip 2: How to Season Your Meat and Potatoes
Now develop your content and write your script (the meat and potatoes).
1. Think visually (camera angles, lighting, location, props, talent).
2. Be provocative.
3. Be interesting.
4. Meet a need or want.
5. Make sure you’re compliant
Like your outline, the format you choose for your script simply has to be one that’s easy for you to work with. I like to use a two-column script – one side for visual instruction, the other for audio. The key for effective script writing is always considering what the viewer is seeing on screen and how it connects with the message you’re trying to convey.
Be guided by:
- What action should be taking place
- Who and what should be prominently featured on-screen
- Who and what should be seen in the background
While writing your script, include your vision for the visual and practical production components of your video, such as:
- Audio (voiceover, monologue, dialogue, etc.)
- Camera angles and lighting
- Filming location(s)
Give special consideration to props and wardrobe for your talent if filming live action video.
- If talent will be portraying a representative from your financial institution, what should their appearance be — business casual with a polo or oxford shirt and slacks, or business professional with a suit or dress and jacket?
- What do you want your consumers to look like (i.e., business or casual retail consumers)?
Make your message stand out and evoke emotion from your viewer!
Grab your audience’s attention (the earlier on in your piece, the better – attention spans are short). Provocative writing gives your viewers something they’ll ponder after they’ve watched your video:
“Did you see Mills Marketing’s ad on LinkedIn? That company provides exceptional service!”
Shameless plug? Yes. But these are the types of comments that lead to conversations you hope to spark from your ads. Get people talking about your institution at the watercooler (or on Teams).
Your writing should have rhythm and be memorable.
Consider using alliteration, the repetition of the same or similar sound at or near the beginning of each word in a series. For example, maybe you’re running an agriculture loan campaign with a tagline that you can incorporate into your video ad: “First Financial, fit for farmers.”
Another approach is depicting opposites: “The weather’s cold, but our interest rates are hot.”
Meet a need or want
Remember that a good advertisement will highlight a problem and show how your brand will solve it.
For example, if stock market volatility is a common pain point for your consumers, you may opt to run a video ad showcasing your CD special. In this case, your messaging should speak to the safety and security of a CD. This addresses the issue of volatility.
Additionally, address the viewers’ needs or wants early in your video. Make an impact in the first few seconds. And remember to emphasize what makes your brand special and unique.
Lastly, tell your viewers why they should choose your brand (“your FI’s high-yield return rates”) and use a call to action (“Open a CD with us and start earning today!”).
You should also incorporate educational videos into your marketing plan for viewers to learn more about your brand and the products and services you offer.
Explainer videos (short online marketing videos used to explain a company’s product or service) are the most commonly created types of videos. 96 percent of people say they’ve watched an explainer video to learn more about a product or service, according to Wyzowl.
Spark human interest.
The best video content tells stories the viewer can relate to. The human-interest approach in video marketing is essential. Statistics are great, but also show the “human” element of it (think “smiling faces”).
For example, say your institution’s policy requires every employee to spend 120 hours a year volunteering in your community. Take 120 times the 100 employees at your institution and you have 12,000 hours of community service (spectacular)! It’s a great stat to work from, but what’ll resonate more with the viewer is the happy faces of the people that were positively impacted by your institution’s 12,000 hours of community service. Tell their story and how your institution made a difference for them.
Make sure you’re compliant.
The challenge is to be creative to get and keep customers, and yet be compliant. Two common advertising issues are claims by consumers that they didn’t receive the advertised terms and they felt the ad was confusing or misleading. For example:
Your video script for your new Relationship Checking Account includes …
Headline: Open our NEW Relationship Checking Account
• Premium interest rates
• Free cell phone insurance
• 0.25% consumer loan discounts
• $1,000 off mortgage loan closing costs
However, when the consumer tried to open the account, they found out the account had several requirements including a $50,000 minimum opening deposit. Since none of the account requirements were included in the video and the customer only had a $5,000 opening deposit, they felt the video was misleading.
TIP: When reviewing your copy/script, ask yourself … Have I included everything the consumer/business needs to know at this point? Is it easy to understand? Could it be misleading? Don’t be afraid to also have someone else review it before you send it on to your compliance department for review.
It is difficult to know all the regulations that apply to financial advertising. So, if you haven’t already, ask your compliance team for some basic advertising information for key deposit and loan regulations. If you have general knowledge about the types of things that will trigger additional disclosure and what needs to be disclosed, it will help you write your promotional copy.