Many clients ask us how important fresh content is for their financial planning website. Well, we cannot say it enough – very important! Content is king when it comes to any successful online presence, as it not only engages your visitors but also directly impacts your SEO. One marketing goal for any financial advisor trying to build their business should always be to develop your own unique original content and post it directly to your website (in the form of blog posts, videos, podcasts, newsletters, etc).
However, we understand that for many advisors, writing your own fresh content regularly can be time-consuming and frustrating. So today we’ve pulled together six great resources to help you curate and share content.
The Details: One common practice on websites is to encourage visitors (who may not yet be ready to contact you directly) to provide their email address in exchange for a freemium – an ebook, a whitepaper, a guide or list, etc. If you would like to utilize a freemium like this but don’t have the time or inclination to develop it yourself, the Kiplinger- Twenty Over Ten content store is a great, reasonably-priced solution. We’ve partnered with Kiplinger to curate a list of content options.
Both one-time pieces (such as “the Boomer’s Guide to Social Security in 2017”) as well yearly subscriptions are available (the annual subscription puts editor-picked top content on your website on the first Monday of each month).
What We Recommend: Kiplinger is great for advisors who need a freemium to entice their website visitors but don’t have time to produce it, or advisors who want interactive features at a great price (quizzes, videos and infographics). This option is also great for those who don’t want to appear as though they are just curating content from other publishers – once added to your website, the content appears native.
The Details: With its built-in, robust Al capabilities, Vestorly adds new content to your website automatically, in real-time based on parameters you set. Vestorly searches the web and populates news stories from major publications (such as the New York Times or Wall Street Journal) to your website and shares directly to your social channels. You can tell Vestorly to find stories by topic, publication, or keywords, and can even set it up to curate specific streams for individuals or groups.
Since all browsing happens via Vestorly’s embedded technology, the tools’ AI can then track what content readers are engaging with (whether through your website, emails, or social media posts) and provide you with recommendations and next steps, all while pulling important data and information on who visitors are (Learn more in our previous blog post review of Vestorly).
What We Recommend: This is the best option for anyone who wants articles from top publications automatically added to their website and then wants every piece of data possible on how users are engaging with that content. Vestorly’s robust AI capabilities and prospect tracking cannot be beat, but they do come with a price tag (you must contact Vestorly to get a specific quote for your business). One thing to note – it would be smart to consider how much time you’ll realistically be able to spend using the tool, since the last thing you want is to be paying for features you don’t use.
3) FMex (Financial Media Exchange)
The Details: FMEX is a great option that comes with both a free and premium version. FMeX bills itself as the world’s largest content library built on sales enablement technology. The tool allows for the aggregation, curation, and distribution of content from any mobile device. All articles are compliance approved and formatted into three different styles (HTML, Word, and PDF) with the ability to share via your website, email, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.
FMeX’s solution automatically identifies and suggests articles from thousands of sources that are relevant to the interests listed on contacts’ social media profiles. Advisors can then share the content on social media or share it one-on-one with contacts through built-in and customizable templates that can be shared via email. FMeX’s analytics provide details on open rates, click rates, sharing, subscribers, and top users, allowing advisors to measure the business impact of the content and streamline future content decisions.
What We Recommend: This option is perfect for those financial advisors who want content added automatically to thier website from top news sources, but don’t need (or want) as much AI as a tool like Vestorly offers. FMeX offers a sleek, user-friendly mobile interface at a very reasonable price. The paid version ($396/year) also grants you unlimited access to all types of content as well as CRM integration tools.
4) Advisor Stream
The Details: AdvisorStream licenses and curates thousands of articles (and videos) daily through partnerships with publishers (such as Bloomberg, Forbes, Reuters, CNN Business) for advisors to leverage across all digital channels. AdvisorStream is really best known for their social media capabilities, as the tool allows you to schedule multi-channel communications at whatever frequency you desire (so you can post to Facebook 5 times a day or once a week for instance.
In our opinion, the best feature about AdvisorStream is the landing page that is created with each shared piece of content – so whether someone clicks on an article that is on your website, or shared to LinkedIn, they are taken to a landing page that houses the article, but that is also branded with your company name, logo, your bio photo and contact information – reinforcing your role as a thought leader.
All AdvisorStream content meets FINRA, IIROC, and SEC marketing communication guidelines, and most importantly, the platform uses machine data to add only the most engaging 5% of publisher content in advisors’ libraries – so you know the content you’ll be sharing is already proven to be the most engaging pieces out there.
What We Recommend: If you are looking for a way to curate top news articles to your social media and reinforce your brand when prospects or clients click on those stories, AdvisorStream is a great option (and the landing pages they create for each shared post is one of our favorite features). Again, you have to contact them for individual pricing, but advisors we know pay around $100 per month.
5) Wendy J. Cook Communications (for Evidence-Based Investing Advisors Only)
The Details: Wendy J. Cook Communications is a very reasonable priced ($299/year) option for evidence-based investing advisors. Unlike many of the other providers, rather than pooling content from top publishers, Wendy writes the content herself, so the content is unique and will not be found on thousands of websites as is the case with other big publishers. With Wendy J. Cook Communications, you also have access to a content sharing library, writing samples, custom creations, and more.
What We Recommend: This option is the best choice for Evidence-Based Investors who want unique content tailored to their target audience. While this content option is not automated (meaning it does not feed directly into your site – you must take the content and manually upload it to your website), the content is high-quality and will be much more unique to your website. On the plus side, since you must manually upload the content to your own blog, the posts will appear natively and you will get a bigger SEO boost as well.
6) One Blue Window
The Details: One Blue Window provides newsletters and a content library with the ability to participate in a 14-day free trial. Their content curation tools grant you access to content you can use to supplement your newsletters, blog, and emails. One Blue Window also provides access to custom newsletter templates that allow you to add your own thoughts and commentary while also inserting content from One Blue Window’s content library. All newsletter templates also allow you to upload your logo and contact details and to create newsletters in PDF and HTML formats.
What We Recommend: If you are looking for financial market content to use in your monthly newsletter and also need helping formatting your emails and making sure everything looks professional, this might be a good option for you.
What to know
Vestorly, FMeX and AdvisorStream all utilize articles from top publications your audience already knows (organizations like Bloomberg, New York Times, Morningstar, CNN, Kiplinger, etc). The content will always be “branded” with those organizations logos and bylines.
One Blue Window and Wendy J. Cook Communications allow you to take the content that they write and make it appear native to your website or email (almost like a ghost-writing service, except you do not dictate what is to be written – you just take the final product and utilize it). You can even use pieces of articles or posts and weave them together to create your own unique pieces – once you purchase the content, you are free to use it however you wish.
Kiplinger’s content store is a great option for budget-conscious advisors who want to offer a freemium (such as an ebook, infographic, or quiz) that will entice website visitors to provide their email address, but do not have the time or inclination to create such an offer on their own.
Curated vs. Original Content – Final Thoughts
As stated at the beginning of the post, ultimately you really want to be posting your own original content to your website as much as possible (that either you write or a copywriter writes on your behalf). So while third-party content has it’s place on your social profiles, emails, and even your website, you should still set yourself the goal of writing at least one new thought leadership piece or blog post per month.
The more you write, the easier it will become – so keep practicing! We also tend to write what we know, and since you know your business and target audience best, you will naturally write posts that are interesting to your audience and filled with keywords that you want your site to rank for in search engines. A win-win!