5 types of videos that perform better than talking heads for financial marketers

Financial marketers have embraced videos and the leading brands have YouTube channels where they post regular content. Invariably these videos are either interviews, with two people on screen, or a single narrator, where we see the answer to a question in the video title. Both can be classified as talking heads. The issue for financial marketers is twofold. They tend to look all the same. As viewers now consume so much video online they are expecting something a lot more eye-catching and differentiated than what they see on TV.
If you think it is hard to make financial content engaging, here are 5 examples that show financial marketers how it can be presented differently.

The YouTuber Vlog

The most common style for YouTubers also works well to explain financial and economic issues. Here is an example on the Korean economy from VisualPolitik. Unlike traditional “talking heads” the narrator is looking at and talking to the viewer.

The Video Essay

A very popular style that uses exclusively voice-over and footage.


Ray Dalio, the founder of the world’s largest hedge fund likes to use animation. He recently published a series on “Principles of success”. A few years ago he had published “How the economic machine works” which has been watched by millions.

What are your thoughts

Although it involves two talking heads this variations feels very different and it shows that there is no need for great production resources to make the video content more engaging.

The video is by Ritholtz Wealth Management, which is a model of content marketing.

The ‘blend’

Vox Media has become specialized in what they call “explainers”. It is similar to the video essay, that also blends in animation and interview (as you can see at 2:20) in the video below.

What is the lesson for financial marketers

Video is a very powerful medium, but it is also one that is expected to be entertaining. Even if your content is very serious, it is worth exploring non-traditional ways of filming and editing it. If you can develop your own style and publish a regular series you will see much stronger organic results, including views and engagement. Something that traditional financial videos ordinary lack.

If you want more inspiration from top financial content marketing, check this free report on the content strategies of the most successful financial firms on the web.

From hedge fund king to video king: Bridgewater’s Ray Dalio

Ray Dalio: hedge fund manager and viral video maker

Bridgewater Associates, is the world’s largest hedge fund with $160bn AUM.
Ray Dalio is its founder, Chief Investment Officer and Co-Chairman as well as a philanthropist and author.

In 2014, Ray Dialo published “How the Economic Machine Works” (2014). This 31 minute animated video boasts over 7 million views, in various languages.

Dalio is at it again in 2018, this time with a series on “Principles of Success”.

Principles of success: state of the art video execution and distribution

The content is educational, directly inspired by Dalio’s thought leadership and wrapped in short stories forming the episodes of the series.

The format of the animated video is described as an “ultra-mini series adventure” available individually.

The whole series is also available as a 28-minute film.

The release of the episodes exhibited careful campaign planning across platforms. It leveraged the personal following of Dalio and powerful advocates as diverse as P. Diddy or Tony Robbins.
The episodes were staggered across seven days and published at the same time across Linkedin, YouTube, Facebook where they have their own “Show”.

It is unlikely that this type of content marketing for hedge funds becomes the norm, yet Dalio’s success could tempt others in this secretive industry to share their knowledge with a greater audience.

Do you want more inspiration about content marketing for the financial industry? Check this free report on the content strategies of the most successful financial firms on the web.

Content marketing done right for wealth managers

The content marketing challenge for wealth managers

A recent PWC report indicates that wealth management is one of the least tech literate sectors of financial services.

In the traditional wealth management world, discretion is highly valued and clients are acquired through existing relationships or word of mouth. Institutional communication relies heavily on research or ‘views’ on the market.

These elements alongside with the digital lag explain why content marketing still plays a relatively minor role in the industry. This is not due to a lack of opportunities to create engaging content, as the example of US-based Ritholtz Wealth Management (RWM) demonstrates.

The case of RWM: multi-channel content marketing

thebigpicture Ritholtz blog

The Big Picture: one of the RWM blogs

RWM is a US financial planning and asset management firm. The firm offers a variety of services including Financial Planning and Wealth Management. Data from Similarweb indicates a combined monthly traffic of over a million potential investors. Although its asset under management stand “only” at around $600m, the firm is reaping the benefits by being one of the fastest growing in the market. Below is an overview of their content strategy.

Individual blogs from wealth managers

The company operates a network of 6 blogs, each written by key employees of the firms under their own name and evocative brands. These include The Reformed Broker, The Certifiable Planner, A Wealth of Common Sense.
RWM blogs

Although written in the first person, the blogs follow a template and all have one page in common inviting you to invest via RWM.

Wealth management podcasts

The colleagues team up on a weekly basis to talk about “all things financial markets, personal finance, our favorite books, movies, and TV shows, dad life, the asset management business and more.”

There is often an overlap between the podcats and blogs. As they are different channels this tactic allows to create more content with fewer efforts.


As prolific writers the RWM team have published a few books, generating significant press coverage and a lot of social engagement.

YouTube channel

Finally, the company has launched its YouTube channel in 2018, again using a different brand name “The Compound”. It features all the different bloggers either individually facing the camera or using innovative formats like in this video:

What can be learned from this example of wealth management content marketing

This abundance of content provides a formidable reach, but the benefits go beyond that. If you are just getting started in content marketing as a wealth manager, it would probably take years to achieve the same audience organically. However, some effects would be immediately beneficial:

  • A personable approach: people are a very important factor when choosing a wealth manager
  • Being seen as an expert
  • Scale relationships: video, in particular, is the closest thing to a one to one conversation and can be scaled immensely

RWM’s style may not be for everyone, and it probably fits Wall Street better than Geneva or Luxembourg. Yet their commitment and content strategy could inspire many others.

If you want to learn more about content marketing for the financial industry, I have prepared a free report on the content strategies of the most successful financial firms on the web in 2018 http://bit.ly/2Jh8oGJ