February 2015: Rich Media

The February 2014 Advisor Monitor Report looks at the different ways firms use multimedia on their sites. Multimedia (synonymous with rich media) resources are often used to present site content in an engaging and interactive format, as well as to supplement commentaries and marketing materials. All 19 firms in our coverage group use rich media to some extent on their sites. Specifically, this report looks at the following criteria:

  • Accessibility
  • Functionality
  • Content

Multimedia resources are most commonly used for promoting commentaries, with over 80% of firms using podcasts, webcasts, webinars and videos to present roundtable discussions on market outlooks, specific products and investing ideas. Most firms provide these multimedia resources within other text-based commentaries; however, 13 firms offer a centralized section from which to access current and archived video commentaries.

Nearly 40% of firms incorporate rich media within their practice management resources. Firms provide a mix of webinars, conference calls and videos to discuss a range of topics related to business building. These discussions are often archived online and include supplementary resources (e.g., presentation slides, white papers) that advisors can download.

Rich media resources are popular on advisor homepages, with 73% of firms promoting or embedding multimedia content. Four firms also use their main navigation menus to promote current or upcoming broadcasts of webinars or videos.

Videos are the most common format and found on every site in our coverage group. Less common, but still relatively popular, are webcasts and webinars, which are offered on 12 advisor sites. Equally wide-spread is the use of audio content, either streaming audio that discusses one-off topics or recurring commentary podcasts, found on nearly 60% of sites.

We discovered the following key findings in our analysis:

  • Ten firms allow users to share rich media content through email.
  • Seven firms provide the option to share multimedia through social media platforms.
  • Forty-seven percent of firms use multimedia to promote their company.
  • Only five firms offer podcasts on their advisor sites.
  • Three firms provide a video library.
  • Seventy-three percent of firms use multimedia on homepage promotions.