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I’m seeing more and more financial planners using YouTube videos in their websites and blogs. Video is a great way for clients to learn more about you and see the human side of your business. And it’s so simple to make videos – if you’ve got a smartphone with a camera, you’re on your way.

There are a couple of tweaks you can make when embedding your videos to make them look a little more professional, and to increase viewer retention. I see planners making the same three mistakes over and over again when embedding videos in their site so I’ve prepared this article to show you three tips for embedding YouTube videos.

1. Use a good video thumbnail

The thumbnail is the image that appears for your video, both in search, but also when the video is embedded, before the play button is pressed.

In the past, YouTube presented you with three options for your thumbnail, usually taken from three different places in your video. I don’t know about you, but when I take video and freeze the frames, there are a lot of weird looking poses I’m doing, and not too many that I’m comfortable with!

YouTube have made some changes so many channels now have the option of adding a custom thumbnail to their video. This is usually an option for channels have have elected the monetization option.

Now that you’re able to upload your own thumbnail, it provides a lot more options. Either find a frame in your video that you like and select that, or make your own thumbnail using Photoshop or GIMP. Remember, having a good image appear in the search results can result in more people clicking on your video ahead of others.

2. Remove the video title

YouTube Title example

When you embed a YouTube video, you take some code from the YouTube site and insert it into your web page. If you use WordPress, the process is quite simple. Within this code are the details of not only the video, but also how it is to be displayed.

One display option is the video title. The default is for the title to display along the top left of your video.

I prefer to not display the video title. I may call it something obscure and I may not want my viewers to see this. This is less of an issue for videos that I show publicly on YouTube, but for my financial planning business’ home page I have a video that’s hosted on YouTube, but is listed as private. The video makes no sense if it’s viewed on YouTube as it specifically refers to things on the web site. I don’t want the title of this video to show when it’s playing because not only is the title meaningless, but it can also be a distraction.

Removing the title is as simple as changing some of the embedding code.

Here’s an example of the embed code from YouTube:

iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/09V1Fz0dFsY?showinfo=0;" height="315" width="560" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0">

I’ve added the highlighted part to it – ?showinfo=0; This code tells YouTube not to show the video title. The raw code from YouTube doesn’t include this – you need to past this code after the ‘?’ in the video’s URL.

3. Don’t show related videos

Once your video has finished streaming, YouTube will display a bunch of related videos for viewers to click on. YouTube are doing the right thing for them – they’re trying to keep people viewing their videos. However, you don’t want people watching other YouTube videos, particularly when they may be from competitors! You want people to stay on your site and look at your content!

Financial Planning Related videos

So, how do we get rid of these related videos at the end?

Again, it’s a very simple process.

YouTube No Related Video Code2When you get the embed code from YouTube, it gives you the option of whether you want related videos to appear at the end. Of course, this option is checked by default – you need to un-check it.

When the box is left un-checked, it adds the rel=0 code to the embed code – you can see it highlighted as part of the video URL. If you’ve already got the embed code on your webpage and you want to stop the related videos from showing, you just need to amend that bit of the embed code.

Why Bother With Video?

I’ve started to use video more on my financial planning website. I like it because it’s a good way for potential clients to see what I’m like. And it’s not hard to produce – you can use an iPhone camera and a tripod and still get decent results. People don’t want to see perfect videos – they want to see you!

If you have any questions about using video or embedding videos on your website, leave a comment below or get in touch with me via the Contact Page.