The world of wealth management is a tough one. Reputation is everything because, ultimately, it takes an awful lot of trust for anybody to hand over the stewardship of large amounts of hard-earned money.
So when it comes to marketing, you can forgive wealth management firms for exacting standards. In the summer of 2016, we were approached by AFH Wealth Management, one of the UK's leading financial planning led wealth management firms. The group is based in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire and currently retains over 150 self-employed financial advisers.
AFH came to us with the objective of igniting their marketing efforts by launching a new video channel, to be called AFH TV. The videos you see are the result of a pilot exercise to test whether a studio talk show format, which we called Talking Financial, could meet the objectives of:
By using three camera positions we were able to follow the conversation naturally, focusing primarily on the speaker whilst using a wider shot to give a view of the studio and the guests. We also used a jib arm to provide the swooping movement familiar from big-budget television programmes.
AFH TV is a completely new venture, so we needed to create an audio visual brand identity. We did this successfully through use of high quality motion graphics and music, which is designed to be urgent and in keeping with a sophisticated piece of current affairs factual content. In keeping with this, wardrobe was smart business attire.
One of the things I enjoy most about watching the videos is the introduction from our presenter, Mark Foster. Using the monitors and visual mixing desk at the studio we were able to show footage of each guest as Mark introduces them, which is vital in orienting the viewer before the studio conversation starts.
In order to sensitively address the problems IFAs face and which AFH help to solve, we had as studio guests Karl Thorpe, an IFA who had joined AFH as a self-employed adviser, and Alison Burgess, whose IFA business was acquired by AFH.
The personal stories of the guests were vital in explaining how AFH work but also describing the experience of working with them on a human level - At various points they talk about how the team at AFH reassured them about different concerns they had, and these testimonials provide social proof as well as human interest, to engage and build trust with the viewer.
Our presenter, Mark Foster, provides the voice of the viewer, tapping into the concerns of the intended audience perfectly. In contrast to, say, a talking-head style video, a presenter is a neutral presence who can be seen asking questions and responding to the answers, resulting in content that does not appear self-serving to the viewer.
Using a studio is perfect for a brief like this, where a key objective was to establish AFH as an authority in their industry. It takes advantage of the familiarity viewers have with the news programmes they see on television, and creates an expectation that the content should be taken seriously. Add to this that very few wealth management firms globally are producing this style of content, and you can see that these videos give AFH a very distinctive presence in the marketplace.
With the right budget (which can be smaller than you might think) you can have content of a type and a standard that you're used to seeing from the big television broadcasters, which serves to reassure potential clients about the quality of your organisation. This was an ambitious start for AFH, but I liked the fact that their intention was not just to produce a one off piece of content, but to build towards becoming a source of regular, varied, high quality content aimed at serving their clients and building their brand. AFH recognise that content marketing requires constant effort which is rewarded over the long term, and I look forward to seeing how their plans develop.