What Advisors Must Know about Grandmaster Flash and the Furious 5

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Editor’s Note: The following is a guest blog post by Craig Faulkner. Craig started his career as a Certified Financial Planner, and eventually founded a financial marketing company that created marketing materials for thousands of financial planners. In 2011 Craig founded FMG Suite to explore new marketing technologies for financial professionals. As well as being a marketing guru, Craig is also a surfer, runner, father of five, grandfather of three and loves his Australian shepherd, Frankie. Keep in touch with Craig on Twitter @FMGSuite.

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Alert: Grandmaster Flash is being pushed out by the Furious 5

What does a ruckus among early 80’s rap pioneers have to do with the business of financial advice? Well, we’re not actually talking about rappers, we’re talking about a battle. Not a rap battle, but a battle among technologies, and one side just threw up the white flag: (Grandmaster) Flash (from Adobe) and (The Furious) HTML 5, an open standard. HTML 5 won.

Why do I care?

Got a website? Do you have or intend to deploy any video, live graphs or the like? What would be the point of having these media if they weren’t visible to the majority of internet users? That’s like flying the confederate flag years after the Union won the war: pointless if not downright silly.

Here’s the bottom line: If you have or want to have any of that stuff on your site and would like it visible on tablet computers, Apple products or anything that isn’t Windows-based (which is MOST devices) then you need to sprint, don’t walk, to HTML 5 and HTML 5 based technologies. Flash will not work on the devices and products I just listed.

If you’re not already thinking about these kinds of components for your web presence, you ought to re-think your web strategy. The use of video, both live and motion-graphic, brings life to a site, has big SEO benefits (Google loves video), and is proven to make visitors linger longer and return more often, turning them into clients sooner.

The Surrender

Historically, Flash was how video had been added to websites. Last November, Adobe (Flash’s parent company) threw in the towel. They disbanded their mobile Flash team, which, in technology, is like publicly raising the white flag. While Flash will continue to exist, it will all but disappear on the few mobile devices that were ever able to use it. Time for you to side with the good guys.

What do you do now?

Your website needs a platform that will deliver videos and multimedia presentations in an HTML 5 format. Brandon Brown, FMG Suite’s Creative Director, says, “There are basically two options available to make sure that your video is in an HTML5 platform. The first is to use a service like YouTube or Vimeo to embed video into your website. Or if, like many advisors, you’d prefer not to have a third-party’s logo on your video, there are several pay-hosting services like Wistia (we use em’ at Blueleaf) that do the job as well. There are also those that offer templated websites for financial professionals that come pre-loaded with video and presentations; just be sure to ask if they are HTML 5. (Blatant commercial alert) That’s exactly what we do at Faulkner Media Group. FMG let’s you know your site will always have the widest possible audience and you don’t have to deal with it.”

Want to have a site that works – as in a site that produces referrals? Use video, and make sure you aren’t using the same platform you were five years ago, because I promise things have changed.

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DJ is a freelance writer, hopeful photographer, and social media has-been. He writes to financial advisors about lifehacks, science, technology, business and marketing for Blueleaf, a software that helps create dramatically simpler, more scalable financial advisory businesses. You can find DJ across the web (about.me/djswitz) or you can just follow him on Twitter (@djswitz)!
  • Nina Anderson5 January 26, 2012, 11:19 am

    You can convert Flash to video easily if you use this software: http://www.flvtoaviconverter.com

    • DJ January 26, 2012, 2:47 pm

      Great resource, thanks Nina!