Videos Humanize Mutual Fund, ETF Firms—All That's Needed Now Is Viewers

When was the last time you went to the movies? And by that I mean, when did you last watch an asset manager video that you didn't have a hand in producing?

If it's been a while or...never, you are not alone as mutual fund and exchange-traded fund (ETF) firms' videos continue to languish in obscurity. While other brands in other industries consistently report success with video, investment firm-sponsored videos do well to attract three-digit view totals on YouTube. (See a lonnng Rock The Boat Marketing post on this from June of last year.)

But low viewership is not stopping firms from elevating their art, as this selection of recent videos suggests. We're seeing a distinct effort to humanize using "a day in the life" themes, whether it's an investment strategist, marketing or sales professionals or a portfolio manager or analyst.

Up Close And Personal With iShares' Chief Investment Strategist

The money shot in this video? Right around 2:14, when Russ Koesterich is practicing his martial arts. 227 views, published in August.

Regional Marketing Directors Are Putnam's Talking Heads

The video that follows is just one of many on Putnam's Advisor Tech Tips blog, which launched this week. It features videos of the firm's regional marketing directors demonstrating iPad apps and other mobile technology, software and social media. 16 views, published Monday.

Inside No More, OppenheimerFunds Gives Sales Reps Profile

The video below profiling an inside sales representative is one of four in an Oppenheimer series. 265 views, published in July.

T. Rowe Price Demystifies Municipal Bond Investing

"It's not sexy or sizzling," as a portfolio specialist notes, but this video does its best to introduce some drama into the analysis process. 116 views, published in August.

American Funds Showcases Clients, Advisor Indirectly

What I like about this video from American Funds is that it flips the camera away from firm personnel and instead humanizes investors. And yet this video is not like the others. It doesn't impart much information. In fact, it recalls a day when load fund shareholders had such confidence in their advisors and how markets performed that they didn't feel the need to educate themselves about municipal bond analysis. Because American Funds disabled embedding, you'll have to go to YouTube to watch this video, one of two like it on the American Funds YouTube channel.  48 views, published Monday.

The YouTube Playbook

Of course there's the possibility that asset manager videos with low YouTube views are also being used elsewhere and to greater effect. Also, some of the subjects have limited appeal. But video production represents a significant resource expense. I can't help but wish that these and other mutual fund and ETF videos were using YouTube to reach a wider audience.

If video is in your digital toolbox, be sure to avail yourself of the programming, producing, publishing and optimization help that YouTube extends with its very detailed, 92-page Creator Playbook. You can do this.