Defined contribution plan participants are active users of both social media and mobile technology and it is important for retirement plan providers and advisors to incorporate usage of these tools into their marketing and customer service strategies, according to Spectrem Group’s DC Participant Insight Series report, Using Social Media and Mobile Technology in Financial Decisions.
DC plan participants tend to characterize themselves as “fairly knowledgeable” about finance and investing, or even “not very knowledgeable.” Only 9 percent consider themselves “very knowledgeable.” This means they are looking for information from the website of their retirement plan provider in the form of articles, blogs, repurposed content and videos. Spectrem research finds that reading an article or talking to an expert face-to-face are the preferred methods for obtaining information, but watching videos is gaining in popularity as an alternative that offers the accessibility and convenience of simply pushing “play.”
“Videos are an effective tool for plan providers and advisors to engage plan participants,” notes Spectrem Group president George H. Walper, Jr. “Videos are a user-friendly way to convey plan information specifically and financial news and information in general.”
Presently, one-quarter of DC plan participants watch videos on financial websites. And if you think this is the province primarily of young people who have never lived a day of their lives without the internet and have been quickest to acclimate social media and mobile technology into their lives, look again. Across all age groups, Baby Boomers and even World War II generation households comprise the largest percentage of those who watch videos on financial websites (roughly 30 percent).
Analyzed by gender, Spectrem finds that male plan participants, especially like to watch, with just over one-third who view videos on financial websites, compared with just 16 percent of females.
With wealth comes a greater confidence in one’s financial knowledge, and video’s steadily increasing role in gaining this knowledge is reflected in the fact that video viewership on financial websites increases with participant plan balance. Almost 40 percent of participants with a plan balance of at least $750,000 indicate they watch videos, which is twice as many as those with a plan balance of less than $10,000.
What kind of videos would participants most like to see on your financial website?. According to Spectrem’s report:
- Financial information videos (71 percent)
- Videos on current financial events (49 percent)
- Videos featuring financial commentators (42 percent)
(Videos on stock tips are not appropriate for most retirement plan provider and advisor websites, but three-in-ten plan participants indicate they do watch them on other financial websites).
Millennial and Gen X plan participants are more interested than older generations in financial information videos, while the oldest participants indicate the most interest in videos by financial commentators and videos on current events.
Female plan participants indicate substantially more interest than males in financial information videos (86 percent vs. 63 percent), while male participants are more apt to watch videos on stock tips, videos featuring financial commentators and videos on current financial events.
Clearly videos have become and will remain a popular way to communicate and educate Defined Contribution plan participants as well as other investors. Make sure you are including videos in your strategy.
Top Takeaways for Advisors and Providers:
· Financial information videos are the most viewed by plan participants. In curating a video library, these videos have a longer shelf life than those about current news events.
· Address frequently asked questions plan participants may have about their retirement plan.
· Older plan participants are watching videos more than their younger counterparts. Make sure your content is for general audiences, unless you are creating a program geared toward retirement issues and concerns of a specific age demographic.
©2016 Spectrem Group