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Friday, March 24, 2023

What Merrill Is Doing Proper—and How RIAs Can Study From It 

When you haven’t heard, in February Financial institution of America Merrill Lynch introduced Merrill Video Professional, a digital video studio that lets its advisors script, report, and share brief movies by way of e-mail and social media. It additionally hosts the movies on Advisor Match, its digital referral platform. By automating workflows, together with compliance evaluate, Merrill guarantees that advisors can create and publish a video in a single day.  

Merrill is making it straightforward and environment friendly for advisors to make use of video inside their present programs. 

First, Merrill deserves credit score for persevering with to ship advisors a parade of value-added assets. As I’ve stated earlier than, market volatility is prompting advisors to scrutinize what they’re getting from their relationships. With this announcement, Merrill is demonstrating a continued dedication to serving to advisors drive natural development.  

Second, Merrill picked the suitable medium to reinforce. Video is the here-and-now for creating human connection at scale. When used accurately, it lets advisors present up meaningfully and authentically to their communities, constructing affect and driving development.  

Video isn’t new, as Merrill is first to confess. What’s new right here is the extent of assets the corporate is committing, with the objective of serving to advisors construct a stronger digital presence. By integrating video inside present platforms and workflows, Merrill has made movies sooner and simpler to provide and extra discoverable to potential purchasers.  

Ought to RIAs Fear? 

Merrill is pulling forward of the pack, however that doesn’t imply it’s unbeatable. 

With the proliferation of content material as we speak, click-throughs and conversions are falling total. It’s very laborious to maneuver the needle with company content material like preapproved scripts and template libraries. Content material works provided that it’s hyper-relevant to its goal market, with data that’s attention-grabbing, nuanced, and well timed. That’s laborious to ship once you’re an enormous group aiming for a typical denominator and insisting on preapproval for each script. Customized intros and outros aren’t the identical as genuinely human content material. 

Proper now, RIAs have a brief benefit at creating human and heart-centered content material. They’re free to do no matter works. They will hyper-target their insights and knowledge to particular wants, geographic areas, and psychographic profiles. They will decide and select a tech stack at will—slightly than squeezing a brand new medium into an previous stack—and reply nimbly with out ready for preapproval.  

For now, RIAs nonetheless have an edge. 

Over the long term, although, it takes a giant quantity to create infrastructure like Merrill Video Professional. Solely large firms like Merrill and Raymond James can supply it to advisors at no cost or at an reasonably priced value.  

The Actual Secret to Making Movies That Work 

My suggestion to CEOs of advisor networks, and to their RIAs: Don’t be discouraged. As an alternative, be fast. Double down now to construct your video presence, when you nonetheless have a human benefit. 

What would I say to Merrill? Congrats, in fact. But in addition: Don’t depart advisors to implement the instrument on their very own. Video isn’t as efficient with out technique, ongoing teaching, and peer accountability. Give advisors the suitable further assets and watch them rework into advertising and marketing giants who know construct a reputable, approachable, and scalable presence on-line. You’ll be able to’t exchange that with a script. 

No matter your online business mannequin, keep in mind advisors make movies work—not infrastructure. They’re the human a part of the human contact. Spend money on advisors, and so they’ll return greater than you ever imagined potential. 


Megan Carpenter is co-founder and CEO at FiComm Companions

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