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YouTube for Financial Advisors: A Social Media Marketing How-To Guide

Date: April 19, 2023

As the world’s most popular video-sharing network, YouTube is a great place for financial advisors to showcase your expertise in an engaging way so that when viewers are ready to work with a financial advisor, you’ve already built that foundation of trust. While making YouTube videos might sound like more work than you have time for, the effort pays off as those videos can be used across all of your social media platforms and even incorporated into direct marketing strategies like newsletters and cold emailing. Here’s what you need to know to leverage YouTube for financial advisors.

Who Is the Target Audience on YouTube for Financial Advisors?

The second most visited website on the internet after Google, YouTube’s audience is basically everyone with an internet connection. That’s no exaggeration. A whopping 81% of all internet users visit YouTube. That includes 95% of people aged 18 to 29, 91% of people aged 30 to 49 and 83% of people aged 50 to 64. As a financial advisor, that means you have your pick of the litter in terms of what kind of clients you want to target on the platform.

What Should You Post About?

While you have the potential to reach just about anyone on YouTube, your content strategy should be more focused on particular niches. Not only do viewers at differing financial concerns based on life stage, income, and other factors but different generations have different expectations for the content they view on YouTube. 

Gen Z adults, for example, want to be entertained so videos targeting that demographic should emphasize delivering content in the most entertaining way possible, even if that means making it light on actual information. A video where you list the top questions to ask a financial advisor while doing your best rendition of the baby shark dance will likely do better than a more in-depth explainer of why those questions matter.

Meanwhile, millennials are more interested in being informed. They watch news, tutorials, and explainers to get inspired to make smarter choices in their own life. While a purely entertaining video won’t scare them off, they might not take it as seriously as a more straightforward tutorial. 

How to Set the Optimal Posting Schedule

Unlike other platforms, YouTube doesn’t have a feed that’s constantly updated with the latest posts. That means there isn’t really a “best time” to post on YouTube because timing it just right doesn’t increase the odds of your post getting in front of more eyes. 

Instead, what matters is consistency and optimizing your video’s search ranking. First, some tips for maintaining consistent output on YouTube:

  • Set a realistic goal. Posting daily might help you grow your audience faster than posting weekly, but if you struggle to stick to that high frequency schedule, you’ll lose audience as a result of the inconsistency. So set an output goal you know you can keep up with.
  • Break bigger topics down into smaller sub-topics. This is an easy way to create more videos out of the same topic. It also allows you to potentially generate a month or two worth of videos out of one recording session. 
  • Delegate the majority of video production to staff. To limit the amount of extra work you’re doing to build your social media marketing strategy, delegate most of it to staff. Have your staff figure out what topics audiences are interested in and even write the scripts. You can then review the script for compliance with FINRA’s fair and balanced communication rules and read it for the camera. Then hand the project back over to staff to do the editing and scheduling. 
  • Automate scheduling. New episodes should come out at regular intervals and, ideally, at the same time. If you plan to post weekly, for example, use an automated scheduling tool to make sure videos go live at the same time each week. 

To optimize search ranking, keep the following SEO best practices in mind:

  • Define a unique focus keyword for each video. The title, description, and other details of a video should be shaped to target a specific search phrase, like “IRA vs. 401k” or “What is estate planning?” You can use free keyword research tools to find ideas.
  • Tailor video metadata to popular videos in your niche. Beyond showing up in searches, another way viewers can find you is in the “what to watch next” recommendations on a video they’re already watching. To show up there, you need to convince YouTube’s algorithm that your videos are related. First, find some of the top channels talking about finance and sort their videos by the most popular. Then, craft your video’s metadata (title, description, tags, captions, etc.) using the same tags (as long as they’re genuinely relevant) and similar language to describe your own content.
  • Keep titles short. Research shows that top-performing videos had titles of around 48 characters. Any longer, and your ranking will take a hit.
  • Use industry-specific tags. While YouTube doesn’t use tags to influence search ranking anymore, they’re still used for making related video recommendations. So always add around 6-8 finance-related tags to each video.

How to Grow an Audience on YouTube

Building an audience on YouTube can be a slow process. Search rankings are determined in part by a video’s popularity so when you’re starting from zero, it can be tough to climb the ladder. Here are some tips to push through that and start finding your audience:

  • Post reaction videos. As mentioned earlier, showing up in the recommendation list next to already-popular videos is a great way to get more eyes on your videos. One of the easiest ways to make sure your video is related to that popular video is to react directly to it. For example, your reaction video to a “5 tips for retirement planning” video could offer your own tips to add to their list or expand on why those tips from the original video work. 
  • Promote your videos outside YouTube. Share your videos in email newsletters, on your website, and on other social media platforms to bring in some views from the outside. That can help bolster your view count and push you up the search ranking so you can start reaching new viewers.
  • Create playlists. When a viewer clicks on your video, a great way to keep them watching is to create playlists around similar topics. If you posted a series of short videos all focused on different aspects of estate planning, for example, you could create an estate planning playlist. A viewer who came from one video will likely be interested in seeing more on that same topic. This can increase views across multiple videos and encourage new viewers to become loyal subscribers who watch every video you post. 

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