So, you want to be a video star? Or, at the very least, you believe people have shorter attention spans and don’t like to read much anymore, and that the best way to convey the values, investment philosophy and personality of yourself or your financial advisor firm is by telling your story through video?

You’re not alone. While the number of financial advisor firms adding personalized video clips to their websites probably isn’t a groundswell, there appears to be a discernible trend toward having some type of video presence as a way to reach 21st century consumers.

Like it or not (and not everyone does), various media in the online world seem to be pushing us into the realm of visual stimulation—or perhaps overstimulation. And as video communication begets even more video communication, it becomes an inexorable wave that, if you serve the public, almost becomes a “gotta have” element.

That said, do you really need to have a video presence on your website? And for those who think it makes sense, what’s the best way to do it? The answers to both questions are subjective. Some advisors are happy—and are quite successful—going videoless. But for advisors who want something more than just words and photos on their website, the options are many.

Some people opt for a polished, professionally made video shot in various locations that costs thousands of dollars, while others prefer a low-key effort made in their own bedroom at virtually no cost. Videos can be about the individual, the firm, an investment-related topic or all of the above. Either way, it’s all about brand management and how you want to present yourself to the world.

“It has become a marketing trend as Internet speeds have gotten faster and people have been using video more on the Web,” says Maggie Kokemuller, advisor agency director at Raymond James Marketing, the in-house unit that provides advertising and marketing—including video—services on the corporate side for the financial services giant, as well as for Raymond James financial advisors. “In the past few years, it has emerged as a trend for how people absorb information and how they want to get information, so you want to keep up with that from a marketing standpoint.”

Raymond James has been producing videos for more than two decades from its studio at company headquarters in St. Petersburg, Fla. They also shoot videos for advisors at conferences where they throw up a green screen (in what is called chroma keying, a technique used to replace a background scene) and do a quick Q-and-A the advisor can use on his or her website.

“We help them strategize what the video should be, what the content should be and we help them write the content,” Kokemuller says. “We either build the brand around the video or build the brand and then provide some direction on the video.”

And because advisors are, well, advisors and not actors, the company’s team of in-house experts coach advisors about pacing, proper breathing and using inflection to help them come across more natural on camera.

Most of all, Kokemuller says, they encourage advisors to be their own person in their videos. “We encourage Raymond James advisors to brand themselves as themselves—not necessarily to rerun the company line but to create their own brand.”

Some Raymond James advisors opt to make their own videos without company help. At David Adams Wealth Group LLC in Nashville, Tenn., the company’s “Meet Our Team” video is polished yet casual, complete with acoustic music and company founder David Adams talking about his passion for his job and the work his firm does while viewers see him interacting with staff and clients in the office and around town.

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