Targeted Musings on Financial Marketing

Here’s What’s Wrong With Your Video Content

30 Sep 2019

As attention spans have plummeted and bounce rates have skyrocketed, it’s become increasingly crucial to hook prospective investors with engaging, rich media content as quickly and effectively as possible, while delivering the most important pieces of information in digestible chunks that get the point across quickly. So perhaps it’s little surprise that engaging, high-quality video content is quickly transitioning from a “nice-to-have” add-on to an ETF issuer’s website or ETF detail pages, to an essential component in the investor education user journey.

Be sure to also read our related guide on Using Visuals to Tell Your ETF’s Story

Unfortunately, while there are plenty of very good investor education videos out there, there is also plenty of room for improvement when it comes to ETF investor education videos. So with that in mind, here’s what’s wrong with your video content:


It’s about too many things

We get it: there are so many amazing facets to your ETF that you want to communicate to prospective investors and you want to really leverage your video content to help them see the light. But the simplicity and straightforward communication style of an animated video can really be undermined by attempting to shoehorn too many ideas into it.

In other words, while length is certainly a critical consideration when putting together an ETF education video, the density of the subject matter is just as important. Ideally, an ETF video should be about just one or two big ideas, and little else. The goal is to communicate the main selling points of your fund as simply as possible. It’s important to accept that you will not be able to rattle off all 15 features of your ETF in a video while maintaining your audience’s attention. Too much information piled into a video will have most audiences clicking away before they’ve even gotten to the end. Which brings us to the next common problem with ETF videos….


It’s too long

In our experience, two minutes is about the sweet spot for an ETF explainer video. It allows for “breathing room” as you introduce a couple basic concepts about the fund, but it refrains from overwhelming the viewer with too many concepts all at once. Any longer than two minutes, and your viewership drops off precipitously. The difference between a two-minute and three-minute video might not seem like much (just a mere 60 seconds, after all), but that can translate into a five-to-ten percent drop-off in engagement.

In our practice, we have come across ETF videos that are as much as ten or even fifteen minutes in length! While these videos can undoubtedly serve some purpose as “additional materials” for serious investors who want to dig into extra content, they certainly should not be serving as introductions to a fund. Engagement on a ten minute video can be as much as 20% less than a two minute video.


The narration is flat and/or boring

When producing an ETF explainer video, it’s natural to focus on the voiceover script and the visuals that will accompany it, but all of this is moot if the audio—specifically the narration—is flat and boring. We’ve seen quite a few ETF explainer videos where the narrator sounds bored and robotic in their delivery. This is a major mistake.

If the narrator can’t even get excited about the product they’re discussing, how can you expect a would-be investor to get excited? The narrator for an ETF video should sound engaged, interested, and enthused about the product. Naturally, this delivery shouldn’t be over-the-top, but a robotic, monotone delivery should be avoided at all costs. After all the work of drafting a voiceover and getting the visuals nailed down, you want the narrator to tie everything together in a way that is inspiring, energizing, and delivered with the right tone of voice.


The bottom line

ETF explainer videos offer a tremendous opportunity for ETF issuers, however, as with most marketing initiatives, there is a right and wrong way to execute them. By exercising discipline in terms of subject matter, video length, and voiceover narrator, you’ll be well-positioned to maximize the effectiveness of your ETF explainer videos.