Using video as a marketing tool gives you a significant competitive advantage over advisors who use only the more traditional ways of communicating with clients, says Stephanie Holmes-Winton, CEO of the Money Finder in Halifax.

“This is the year of the video,” says Holmes-Winton. “Advisors who have a good online presence and use video will be heads above their competitors because so few of them are taking advantage of the opportunity that’s right in front of them.

“Everybody has a business card,” she continues. “But so few have video.”

Holmes-Winton offers the following reasons why you should use video to help build your business:

1. Video captures more than words
Videos offer a way to help you convey subtle details that simply cannot be conveyed in a blog post or brochure.

For example, video allows you to present your unique personality to clients and prospects. If you have ever been told you have a “lively personality” or “charisma” that helps you attract and retain clients, Holmes-Winton says, then you should definitely consider video.

As well, a few short videos on your website can serve as an introduction to you for prospects. A potential client who has watched your video before coming in for a first meeting will feel as if he or she already knows you.

2. Video is easy to consume
Videos are more freely consumed by audiences than long sections of text. Short videos (one or two minutes in length) assure your viewers that only a short time commitment is required to view your message.

This feature can help you achieve a significant uptake in your marketing material.

Instead of filing your brochure to read later on, clients are more likely to screen your video now, knowing they can spare a minute or two.

And because web content is available on portable devices, prospects can see your video anywhere. “People are checking their smartphones in between meetings,” Holmes-Winton says. “Be the one they are watching.”

3. Video makes content more dynamic
Humans like to be told stories and entertained. Videos that present strong content in an engaging way can accomplish both goals.

If, for example, you use hypothetical scenarios in which you demonstrate how your services can help clients save for retirement, consider putting one on video, perhaps accompanied by a written version.

A few short videos on your website that address issues of relevance to your target market can help attract new clients and increase your web traffic.

4. Video can make you more searchable
Uploading your videos to your website or posting them on a hosting site such as YouTube will help make you easier to find in online searches.

YouTube is now one of the world’s most popular search engines, so posting on YouTube can boost your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. Building your own YouTube channel can give you a central place to catalogue all your videos for your audience to view whenever they want. For more in SEO, visit the special feature Know your SEO.

This is the first instalment in a four-part series on using video as a business-building tool.

Tomorrow: Tips on becoming a “video star.”