Over the last few years, we’ve watched as animated videos have gradually transitioned from an adventurous format that ETF issuers were reticent about using into a “must-have” around which home pages, ETF detail pages, and marketing campaigns are built. Why the shift? There is ample evidence that website visitors are far more likely to engage with—and prefer by a wide margin—rich media content including animated videos, rather than lengthy white papers and reports, ETF detail pages, or fact sheets. In a world where our attention is constantly being split between our phones, our laptops, and other sources of media, it’s more important than ever before to quickly grab a website viewer’s attention and convey the most important topline information as efficiently as possible.
What follows are three ways ETF issuers can utilize animated videos in their marketing efforts.
Product-centric videos: communicate your fund’s key selling points
This is one of the most popular ways to utilize animated videos. Typically, product-centric videos live on the homepage or ETF detail page of an ETF website, and serve as an introduction to the one or two main value propositions of the fund. While prospectuses, fact sheets, static infographics, and investment cases all will continue to have an important role to play in the marketing campaign centered around your ETF, the animated video offers casual visitors the first chance to get to know your fund, and allows them to quickly decide if they’re interested in learning more and diving into the more detailed material.
Be sure to check out our related guide “Just one thing: Distilling your message to connect with Investors”
A distillation of lengthier material: transform longform content into short-form summaries
Have a 25-page whitepaper gathering dust somewhere in the bowels of your ETF website? Breathe new life into it by distilling its main points into a short animated video that acts as an introduction to the longer piece. You’ll be able to convey some of the main ideas, while drawing additional eyeballs to the longer piece of content. It’s a win-win: viewers who would never read a 25-page whitepaper get to learn something new, and you can gather additional interest to a piece of content that otherwise might not have gotten read by as many website visitors.
Explainers: communicate foundational financial concepts that may be an obstacle to investor interest
Let’s face it: finance can be complicated. As the ETF marketplace has become increasingly crowded and competitive, ETF issuers have been launching ever-more niche, nuanced products. This isn’t a bad thing, but it means that would-be ETF investors are faced with an ever-higher educational barrier to understanding exactly what it is a product does, or what problem the ETF actually solves. Enter explainer videos. Not to be confused with product-centric videos, explainer videos don’t necessarily address the product itself, but instead lay the educational groundwork so that prospective investors can understand the foundational financial concepts that make an ETF tick. This could be something as simple as interest rates, factor investing, correlation, beta, alpha, or other seemingly “basic” concepts that, while they’re “old hat” to asset managers, may still seem intimidating and unfamiliar to many investors.
The bottom line
Thanks to their relatively high engagement, animated videos have become a “must-have” in the ETF marketer’s toolkit. These are just three examples of how ETF issuers can use animated videos in the service of their overall marketing campaigns, but the potential possibilities are endless.