In addition to guest posting on the UpCity blog, 2Novas Inc. is featured as one of the Top Digital Marketing Agencies in St. Louis. Check out their profile here.

Utilizing video to promote and strengthen your brand among consumers is more important – and affordable – than it has ever been before. Consumers have overwhelmingly turned to digital sources for their information, and most of those sources are now visual rather than textual. Generating and distributing visual content has been made incredibly affordable, both because the tools and resources for creating it are less expensive and because platforms such as YouTube mean that content creators are no longer reliant on costly traditional networks to broadcast their messages. Add to that the fact that practically anyone can view your content via a high-quality video device that’s readily available in their pockets: their smartphones.

'Content creators are no longer reliant on costly traditional networks to broadcast their messages.' Click To Tweet

The challenge, therefore, is to create a video that consumers and prospective consumers can relate to, and this is no small feat when it comes to the financial services industry. Consumers tend to regard service providers such as banks, insurance companies, accountants and other industry players as being generic: despite their unique identities, they pretty much do the same thing as other providers within their fields. So how do you appeal to a largely-indifferent audience and convince them that your particular business is different from the rest of the field?

The answer lies in crafting a message that speaks on a personal level to them: rather than talking about yourself, you need to address the problems, issues, goals, and aspirations of your current and prospective clients. You can’t effectively do so by just listing what your services are; you have to either break the ice in a way that shows you can relate to them, or show them that you understand the problems and issues they’re dealing with and can provide solutions that can help.

'Rather than talking about yourself, you need to address the problems, issues, goals, and aspirations of your current and prospective clients.' - Dan Novalis, 2Novas Click To Tweet

Here are four ways to produce video content that can help to humanize your financial services brand:

Rationalize

Content that rationalizes seeks to take subject matter that is confusing to the viewer and transform it into something that’s easier to understand. Another benefit of this approach is that you can make your services easily accessible – and by extension, your customers’ goals feel more achievable. By doing so you build trust with those viewers: they come to see you as something of a mentor that can both educate and enlighten them. An example of rationalizing content would be a bank breaking down a complex mortgage application process into an easy, step-by-step procedure.

Empathize

Content that empathizes conveys to your audience that you understand the issues that they’re facing and that you’re there to help them. Empathetic content is similar to rationalizing content is more emotional in nature: where rationalizing content speaks to a viewer’s brain, empathizing content speaks to their heart. An example of empathetic content would be an insurance company demonstrating how they were able to come to the aid of customers who were recovering in the wake of a natural disaster.

Humorize

Crafting humorous content is a great way to take an otherwise dry or serious subject and making it more approachable. Doing so demonstrates to a viewer that you’re able to appreciate the satire or absurdity of a situation that would otherwise feel stressful or confusing. In this way, humorous content often employs a rational or empathic approach, but in a way that exaggerates a situation to comical effect.

Personalize

Personalized content is designed to reinforce the identities of the people that are providing the actual services. Personalized videos have an intimate feel, allowing you to communicate with the viewer by way of either speaking directly into the camera or just off center to an unseen interviewer. Sometimes the presenter is from the top of the organization – executives, presidents or CEOs – but they can also be from the part of the organization that directly engages with the people they serve. Personalized content is conversational in nature, wherein the presenter discusses how they serve the needs of their clients; it can also draw on testimonials delivered by customers who have experienced a positive outcome by working with the organization.

When creating content to humanize your brand, the most important thing to avoid is the “hard sell.” Viewers know when someone is trying to sell them something: they’re constantly inundated with ads, so they experience it every day. Therefore, the goal of your video shouldn’t be to directly sell a product or service, but rather to share a narrative with the viewer that lets them know that you possess an understanding of their unique needs.

Video Works

Our agency has utilized this strategy to great effect with our own clients: not long ago, a bank president expressed a desire to shoot a series of videos to promote his organization’s products and services. His idea was to essentially produce a series of low-budget commercials that his bank could then publish via social media; in his mind, he would be able to use them in lieu of paying local television networks to produce and air more expensive spots.

We worked with him and convinced him that it was in his best interest to instead create a series of personalized testimonials, wherein a number of the bank’s employees shared stories about how they assisted various clients to achieve their financial goals. The campaign turned out to be a success: not only did the president stay true to his modest budget, but the bank also experienced a bump in new deposits and loan applications – reflecting the two product categories that were highlighted in the videos.

It can be difficult for people to trust a company, but it is much easier to establish trust between two people. Creating video content that is empathic, rational, humorous or personal in nature establishes an identity behind your business, thereby helping you to connect on a personal level with each prospective customer.

Dan Novalis
President & Owner at

Dan Novalis runs 2Novas Inc., a video production, customer experience, and marketing strategy agency based in St. Louis. 2Novas exists to help you become more proactive and effective in connecting with your customers.