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One Main Idea: The Elegant, Impactful Simplicity of Two-Minute Animated Videos

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It’s become something of a truism in the financial marketing world to observe that “nobody reads anymore,” and that today’s consumers only respond well to rich media, whether it be audio, visual, infographics, or photos. While it’s not so much that investors don’t read anymore at all—rather, investors (and consumers more broadly) have grown more discerning in what they will devote their time to. With so many forms of entertainment and information clamoring for their attention, long text-only documents don’t stand out from amongst the clutter.

For ETF issuers, this is where animated videos come in. They do not serve as replacements for long form content such as investment cases or index methodologies. Instead, animated videos serve as the dazzling introduction to your ETF, a way to capture web surfers’ attention for just the amount of time it takes to get the main idea across. In essence, animated videos are complements to the other content pieces within your larger marketing strategy.

Two minutes sounds like plenty of time to get across every nuance of your ETF, and, technically speaking, it might be possible to rattle off every detail, but the audience will not absorb all of that information. Two minutes is only enough time to convey one main idea about your fund, slowly, methodically spelling out the one critical selling point that describes what your ETF aims to do.

No ETF has only one detail, adjective, or selling point, so it can be incredibly challenging to winnow your ETF’s message down to a single main idea. It may become easier to hone your ETF’s message by reminding yourself that the goal of the animated video is not to provide a comprehensive 360 degree top-to-bottom run down of your ETF, but instead to serve as a hook to other, more richly-detailed content, where you can dive into the six other selling points that really make your case.

Related: 5 Ways to Use Animated Videos to Boost Engagement

ETF marketers ignore the “one main idea” rule for short animated videos at their own peril. A more detailed video may hit every nuance related to a fund, but it will likely have a difficult time “converting” casual viewers into interested leads that want to consume lengthier, more detailed content related to the ETF in question. And if viewers never learn more about an ETF, it’s unlikely that they will become interested in investing in it.

Ideally, animated videos should point users to content that is fine-tuned to pick up where the video leaves off: engaging investment cases, enhanced fact sheets, or infographics that expand on the animated video’s main ideas without losing the energy and vitality of the original hook. By tying details back into the one main idea, additional content can help produce a coherent narrative for an ETF, which should help reluctant investors make more educated decisions about whether to move forward with an investment.

By adhering to the “one main idea” rule in your animated videos, you’ll be harnessing the short video medium for its ideal marketing purpose: hooking viewers and enticing them to taking a deeper dive. It’s not that nobody reads anymore, you just have to provide website visitors with a reason to dig a little deeper.

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