12 Takes on the Emerging Role of Online Video in Banking

What role does online video play in banking? How should banks and credit unions leverage online video, if at all? Here are a dozen different perspectives, collected by Mark Arnold, The Financial Brand's reporter at large.

1. Tell & Sell

james_robert_layBanks and credit unions must use videos to tell stories that sell throughout the digital buying journey. It is these stories that will allow banks and credit unions to differentiate themselves and rise above the commoditized features, benefits and rates offered by their competitors in a digital economy.

By positioning consumers as the hero of the stories being told, banks and credit unions can take the humble role of the guide, like Obi-Wan Kenobi from Star Wars for example, and help the hero along the journey to find success together. But simply producing videos and posting them to YouTube is not enough.

These stories must be told, shared and distributed through a variety of digital marketing channels in order for them to attract leads and grow share of wallet.

James Robert Lay, CEO, CU Grow

2. Consistent Marketing, Cohesive Brand Messaging

yvonne_hamiltonA financial institution’s online videos should support the messaging conveyed in other marketing mediums to create a streamlined, consistent brand message.

Today’s consumers increasingly use online research to help them make purchase and financing decisions. Showcasing your financial institution’s videos on both YouTube as well as on your website will help you maximize the reach of the video content and increase engagement with today’s consumers.

Video is one of the most dynamic tools available for storytelling. A marketer’s ability to use video to package a message in a succinct, easy-to-understand and relatable manner is a powerful tool for creating brand awareness, topic interest and engagement.

Yvonne Hamilton, Marketing Manager, Ent Federal Credit Union ($4 billion in assets)

3. Humanizing Banking Brands Affordably

mike_lawsonAs video production technology continues to improve and bandwidth issues gradually falling by the wayside, video should be at or near the top of most financial institutions’ marketing efforts. The reason: video is a magnet for online visitors. People just enjoy watching videos — especially ones that are short, informative, and entertaining. Done right, videos can humanize any organization by putting a face on it, instead of using a logo or a building.

Banks and credit unions should be making two-minute, educational videos on all their offerings (with consumer benefits) — mortgages, auto loans, investing, getting out of debt, retirement, etc. The name of the game here is help, help, help your audience. Become a trusted leader and people will do business with you. Educational videos are ideal tools to play a significant role in meeting this goal.

So how should financial institutions promote their online video content? That’s the easy part: post/archive on website, post on all relevant social media networks consistently, pitch to the media (become their go-to financial resource), embed or include video links in your newsletter, play videos on branch monitors while customers/members wait to see a teller or representative — tons of distribution options once you have the content.

Mike Lawson, CU Broadcast

4. Get the Basics Right

shari_stormFinancial institutions should have a YouTube channel that succinctly explains any and all questions consumers might have — like what is Reg D, how does premium overdraft work, what is the credit union difference?

Clips should be shorter than 60 seconds. Content doesn’t need to be continuously updated, but it does need to be accurate. Make sure to use a good microphone and good lighting. Sound and light quality will make all the difference.

Shari Storm, 6th Story

5. Don’t Take the Opportunity for Granted

tim_mcalpineIt’s pretty simple. First of all, make great videos that people will want to watch and share and then use YouTube to host those videos. Embed those videos on your website, your blog and your social sites. For bonus points, experiment with YouTube advertising. Create engaging 15-second spots and place them on popular videos as geo-targeted pre-roll ads. It’s affordable and can be very effective.

YouTube is an unbelievable free resource! If I told you 10 years ago that there would be a place online that will host all of your videos for free no matter how many people watched them and it would be bigger than any television network, plus you would have the ability to place these videos on your own website, you’d think I was crazy. But today, we take it for granted. First of all, make great videos that people will want to watch and share and then use YouTube to host those videos. Embed those videos on your website, your blog and your social sites. For bonus points, experiment with YouTube advertising. Create engaging 15-second spots and place them on popular videos as geo-targeted pre-roll ads. It’s affordable, and can be very effective.

Online video presents a great opportunity to teach and position banks and credit unions as experts. “Better Money Habits” by Bank of America in partnership with the Khan Academy is the gold standard. Useful, engaging and extremely watchable. Learn from what BofA is doing to apply it to your situation.

Tim McAlpine, President & Creative Director at Currency Marketing

6. Educate and Engage

cherie_tilsonVideo is a fantastic tool for member education. You can take a topic that might otherwise be a little boring and make it interesting, engaging and even fun. Offering a library of branded tutorials adds credibility and creates a personalized member experience. You become the expert!

Cherie Tilson, Creative Director at Collins Community Credit Union ($787 million)

7. Content Marketing’s Secret Weapon

brian_hollowayVideo is the most valuable asset in your content marketing arsenal. It’s viewed more. It’s shared more. And most importantly, it’s remembered more. All of which will help with unaided consumer recall – the number one factor when evaluating your brand equity score.

Too often, institutions use YouTube as a video storage warehouse simply linking from websites or part of an e-mail marketing program. YouTube can be an effective addition to your existing television advertising, or a stand-alone program if TV doesn’t align with your budget.

We recently worked with Google in developing a YouTube advertising campaign that saw a 6.5% CTR by cross-referencing our demographic data with the wealth of information Google knows about its users.

Brian Holloway, AVP of Marketing at Grow Financial FCU ($2 billion)

8. Use One Voice to ‘Pull’ (Not ‘Push’)

tommy_smithOnline video content is meant for communicating a personal, one-on-one message that informs, requests, or calls to action. Online video is a means to continue the conversation… but not just any conversation — the conversation that is most recent, relevant, and personal with a consumer. This requires a financial institution to speak with one voice and execute that voice using digital media, which is not a small task.

Use a “pull” approach instead of “push”. Shift some your resources away from creating content and advertising, and redirect them to empowering consumers and members to create their own content as advocates. For example, allow consumers to create their stories and submit them for use on your website. This offers a much more powerful “promotion” than navigating the loud world of online media advertising.

Tommy Smith, VP of Marketing & Brand Development at ORNL Federal Credit Union ($1.6 billion)

9. Marketing Online Videos Is As Important As Making Them

marc_sandersLet’s be honest. The odds of someone randomly landing on your marketing video without some sort of prompting are probably very small. If you are going to invest the time and energy (and for many community institution’s, my guess is this task falls on the internal marketing staff who may already be taxed to the limit), you need to have a plan in place on how you will drive people to your video.

Some financial institutions use video to offer a behind-the-scenes view of their corporate culture. At Royal Bank America we used video to highlight employee efforts in the communities we serve (MLK Day of Service, Relay for Life, etc.), and on a much lighter note to immortalize our attempt to build an 80 foot cheese steak at a recent branch opening.

Our biggest video of the year is one we use exclusively at our annual meeting of shareholders. Produced in-house, we find this video is the ideal vehicle to quickly and effectively bring our shareholders up to date on all that we have accomplished in the past year and to provide a glimpse into where we are focusing our energy in the year to come.

Last year we produced a really fun and informative video in partnership with a local cable channel. Created with a middle school (and up) audience in mind, the mostly animated video has been well received and has become a key part of our “Bank At School” programs. We use YouTube to host the video. Most classrooms are wired now so we can easily access the video online and build it into our discussions. Our team members don’t have to worry about bringing a DVD with them, they just surf over to our YouTube channel and click play. This video is also available year round via a link from our website.

Marc Sanders, VP/Marketing at Royal Bank America ($726 million)

10. More Than Just Commercials

mika_moserFor any organization considering online video, the first step is to determine the purpose, goals and anticipated outcome of your program. Far too often I see financial institutions simply treat video as a commercial that runs on their website with no real strategy behind it.

There are several ways that banks today can take advantage of online video, such as developing an ongoing educational series, telling stories about their bank or community, or sharing regular messages from the president. When producing your videos, consider how they will be consumed so make sure they are good quality, short in length and engaging.

Mika Moser, SVP at Bank Director

11. It’s Time to Jump In

katrina_wellsVideo marketing has become a key component of any marketing mix. According to Nielsen, 64% of all marketers expect video to dominate their marketing strategies in the near future. If you aren’t on the band wagon, it’s time to jump on.

First National Bank of Omaha uses videos as an opportunity to create new and engaging content, while helping bring to life core elements of our operating philosophy. In the case of our ‘First in the Community’ series, we produce community spotlight videos once a month that feature a cause, destination or organization that deserves the spotlight because of how those efforts contribute to a community moving forward. We believe that when the community is successful, we are successful. So we’re proud to share examples of how we partner with these great organizations to enhance the quality of life in the communities that we live and operate in.

To ensure that our “First in the Community” message reaches as many people as possible, these videos are housed on our website and employee Intranet, along with our YouTube channel, and promoted via social media.

Katrina Wells, SVP/Corporate Marketing at First National Bank of Omaha ($16 billion)

12. Increasing in Strategic Importance

mark_arnoldVideos shouldn’t serve as an afterthought – it should be central to your marketing and branding strategies and thought of strategically. As mobile devices like smart phones and tablets continue to gain popularity, marketers will find that easy-to-access, relatively short and entertaining/informative video clips will help address consumers’ thirst for information.

Video use must rise to the forefront of bank and credit union marketing strategies. We live in an age of extremely limited consumer attention spans. Video is a terrific way to make good use of the precious few seconds they’re going to give us. It’s also one of the most powerful ways to tell the story of your bank or credit union.

Mark Arnold, Founder and President of On The Mark Strategies

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