Financial Advisors: Build a Better Digital You

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As a student looking for work, I was repeatedly asked, “Do you have a LinkedIn account?”, “What do your social media accounts say about you?”, and “What kind of an impression are you making on the digital front?” It has become very common for employers to look for potential candidates through social media and use it to vet applicants. So, ask yourself, “What do my social media accounts say about me and how can that affect my Advisory firm?”

Just as employers use the internet to find the right candidates for their organization, your prospects look to the internet to decide who the right Financial Advisor is for them. So, take a step back and assess the online presence of your business:

Where can I be found online?

  • A personal website
  • Your company’s website
  • Your social media accounts – Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc
  • You were featured in a news article
  • A guest blog you’ve written

There are many ways to get your name (and your Advisory Firm) out there.

  1. Create a website

We are in the digital age of “Googling”. People will Google anything and everything, including which Financial Advisor would be best suited for them. Having a well designed, user-friendly, and dynamic website can help you gain credibility as a Financial Advisor by continuously establishing a great first impression with website visitors. Adding non-financial information such as community involvement, charitable endeavours and local events on your website can also help build strong relationships between you and your audience. A website can act as an extension of your business. It has the capacity to be a 24/7 online business that is working and available to clients and prospects, even when you aren’t. If you put the work in, your website can be a hub of answers for your clients and prospects.

  1. Create and build your social media accounts

Gone are the days where a first impression occurs when you first meet and shake someone’s hand, especially in the Financial Services industry. Considering that 70% of the buyer journey is completed before reaching out to a company, chances are your prospects have researched you prior to your first phone call or meeting. Having a strong social media presence that effectively articulates your services, brand and you as an Advisor, can be the difference between a gaining another prospect or a client.

  1. Blog!

It is said that the millennial generation, also known as your future clients, have an approximate purchasing power of $200 billion. 88% of millennials used Facebook as their main source of news in 2015. When it comes to news, answering questions, a means for entertainment (the list goes on) – we, the millennial generation, will turn to answers or information we find online and share it with our peers.

81% of U.S. online consumers trust information and advice from blogs (BlogHer). Blogging is one of the best ways to have a conversation with your audience by answering their questions in a non-intrusive manner. Blogging is also a great way to boost your websites search engine optimization (SEO) and ranking. Improving your search engine ranking can also help improve traffic to your website, all while building your digital brand.

So, to get you started on building a better digital you, do a quick audit of your existing online presence:

  • Do I have a website? Is it mobile friendly?
  • Do I have a profile on my company’s website?
  • Do I have an account on at least 1 social media platform?
  • Am I active on my account(s)?
  • Have I blogged?
  • When will I start (or continue) to build a better digital presence?

Learn How to Put Customers First at Liferay Symposium NA

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This post was written by Angela Wu and appeared here first on Liferay.com.

A Conversation with Customers: Liferay Digital Experience Platform

As digital transformation continues to inform the way we live, work, and play, we expect companies and brands to understand what we’re looking for. Businesses have a great opportunity to hear their customers, understand the problems they face, and give them the right solution to make their lives easier. But, do most companies have an idea of how to listen to their customers?

In a recent interview with CMS Connected, Bryan Cheung, CEO, shared how listening to customers sparked Liferay’s progression into the digital experience market with the launch ofLiferay Digital Experience Platform (DXP). In Liferay’s case, transformation was not so much disruptive as it was natural, given its portal heritage, which already had laid out integrations with backend systems and the framework to drive personalized customer experience.

A Better Direction for Customer Experience

The unique infrastructure of Liferay DXP can help build a range of customer experience solutions including web, mobile, and hybrid online/offline experiences across the entire customer lifecycle. In addition, having a single view of the customer lets companies create better, more relevant interactions down the line and gets all departments working together to care for customers.

In this retail banking example, a teller displays a singular customer view. In one page, the teller can see relevant, current information, i.e., the latest conversation between the customer and the bank (wherever it might have been), gathered from multiple systems across the organization. Based on this customer view, the teller can then make intelligent suggestions to the customer and give the bank an opportunity to offer related or complementary services.
Single Customer View on Liferay Digital Experience Platform
Cheung also shared that Liferay DXP isn’t just about connecting surface level interactions. The whole point of Liferay DXP is to let businesses work smarter at what they do—without having to start all over. In this way, businesses gain another opportunity to engage, provide self-service, engender loyalty, and repeat purchases through all customer interactions.

A Natural Fit for Digital Experience Management

Over the past 15 years, Cheung notes that Liferay has set out to make technology work better for people:

“We see Liferay Digital Experience Platform as the next logical step in our evolution as a company, and I hope that we’ve done a good job listening to your needs as we’ve designed our product.”

As customers drive how they interact with brands, companies need to stay ahead of the curve with tools that deliver personalized digital experiences wherever, whenever they engage with your business.

Introduction to Content Marketing for Financial Advisors

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Marketing has evolved tremendously in the past decade – and more importantly the way we market to people has changed. Today’s consumers make purchasing decisions based on research they do on their own, reading online reviews, and through trust that is built overtime with an organization.

We are now in the age of “Googling”. This means that people are turning to search engines, like Google, to find the answers to their questions. Considering that 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine (imFORZA), having the ability to answer a prospects question online could help you seal the deal when the time comes. After all, 70% of the buyer’s journey is complete before a buyer even reaches out to a sales associate (Pardot).

With content so readily available to consumers, one of the best ways to build trust and credibility is through content marketing. So, what is content marketing and how can you start your content marketing journey?

Well, first off…

What is content marketing?

By dictionary definition, content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience – and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action. 

Content marketing aims to educate and inform your audience without selling your product or service – a form of uninterrupted marketing. Consistently creating content that is relevant, informative and provides value to your audience will help attract new clients to your business as it positions you as a thought leader and builds a sense of trust between you and a prospect. Content marketing is one of the most important marketing strategies you can implement for your business. It helps you to build trust with your audience, connect and engage with prospects, and strengthens your Search Engine Optimization, all while further establishing yourself as an expert in the Financial Services industry.

Content creation

There are a variety of different formats of content that you can create to attract a wider audience of prospects. By creating content in different formats and promoting through different channels, the chance of others finding, reading and referring back to your content increases.

To make things easy, start with one idea and decide which medium would be the most appropriate way to share it. Would the information be better interpreted as a blog post, an infographic, a video?

Why content marketing?

Content marketing is a means to help solve, educate and inform your audience on problems they may be facing. By providing prospects and clients with readily available information online, you’re able to build a more trusting and valuable relationship with them. This is one of the most inexpensive and effective forms of inbound marketing. According to DemandMetric, content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about 3 times as many leads.

If you think back to a problem you may have encountered, or a question that came up such as, “How do I stain my porch?” or “What are the best restaurants in Toronto?”, Did you search for an answer online? Just as you turned to the Internet to find answers, many people do the same for topics related to the Financial Services industry. Search is the #1 driver of traffic to content sites, beating social media by more than 300% (imFORZA). By including content marketing in your digital marketing strategy, your business has the potential to be a 24/7 online hub for individuals looking for financial advice.

Getting started
To get started on your content marketing journey, here are some things you can do:

  • Find an area that you can be an expert in and use content marketing as a means to answer your target audience’s questions, and solve their challenges.
  • Make a list of blog post ideas – kind of like an extensive FAQ, or relevant topics that would be of interest to your audience
  • Create a content calendar – this will help keep you organized throughout the process
  • Decide on the types of content you want to create
  • Make your current content more socially shareable
  • Learn to optimize your content and boost your SEO to amplify your organic reach
  • Use eNewsletters to push out and repurpose your content

 

For a more in-depth guide to content marketing, try downloading our eBook: The Financial Advisor’s Guide to Content Marketing

The Road to Local Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Success

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On the path to marketing a business, people can lose sight of their local audience. According to a study done by the National Public Radio, localized content had 6 times more Facebook shares than non-localized content. From increasing your website traffic to improving your clients overall experience with your business – localized marketing can do wonders for your Advisory Firm.

According to Search Engine Land, 67% of smartphone users want ads customized by city and 61% want ads customized to their immediate surroundings. With SEO continuously evolving, it’s hard to keep track of how to best optimize your Advisor website and content – especially with a local focus.

There are many elements that go into a building a strong and effective local SEO strategy. One of the most important features to have for your Advisor website is to be mobile responsive as Google now ranks responsive websites higher than those that aren’t in search engine rankings.

The infographic below, courtesy of 99MediaLab, takes you on a visual journey down the road to local SEO success for your business. As a Financial Advisor, be sure to take note of what you are currently doing with your SEO strategy, and what you need to start doing to successfully market to your local audience.

The Road to Local Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Success Infographic

Newsletters: The Forgotten Hero of Content Marketing

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Newsletters are one of the most cost-effective mediums for building relationships and maintaining contact with your customers and prospects. Despite being one of the most effective marketing tools available, this digital channel is often overlooked by digital marketers.

As a Financial Advisor, Newsletters are a great way to boost your content reach, grow your contact list, and help in building trust with clients and prospects. As newsletters are now an opt-in form of digital marketing, they are the perfect medium for pushing out content to your target audience without being disruptive.

The Content Marketing Institute found that 78% of respondents included newsletters in their content marketing strategy. With newsletters being the primary use of email marketing (Capterra), taking advantage of this marketing tool can lead your business to further success.

So, why newsletters? As a powerful marketing tool, newsletters can:

  • Increase your web traffic
  • Increase your repeat visitors
  • Allows you to track who’s receiving, opening, and visiting your website
  • Educates your target audience
  • Nurtures your leads
  • Builds trust with your clients and prospects

Just like anything in digital marketing, newsletters are not a one-size-fits-all approach. There are 3 different types of eNewsletters that marketers typically use, each with a different purpose.

Corporate eNewsletters

They are designed to keep customers and prospects up-to-date with organization updates. They summarize company announcements, press releases, new products, etc. This type of newsletter is typically sent on a monthly or quarterly basis.

Lead nurturing eNewsletterssales funnel

The goal of this type of eNewsletter is to engage, inform, and stay top of mind for clients and prospects. The content you share with your audience can lead them through the awareness, consideration, and decision phases by providing them with useful content, familiarizing them with your business and, eventually, driving them to take action and become a client. Content within the eNewsletter can include educational materials such as blogs, sales information, and marketing offers. Depending on where your audience may be along the sales funnel, having a call-to-action may push those at the decision making phase to commit and become your client.

The goal of this type of eNewsletter is to engage and influence prospects with every interaction they have with you. The content you share with your audience can lead them through the awareness, consideration and decision phases by familiarizing them with your business and, eventually, driving them to take action and become a client.

Curated eNewsletters

Curated eNewsletters aim to build awareness of a topic, while also allowing your organization to provide their perspective on it. This type of eNewsletter is a mixture of syndicated (third party) and original content. It displays that you have a grasp of what your audience is looking for by surfacing the best content out there into a one stop shop. This is also a great approach for Advisors with a limited amount of content.

Lead nurturing and curated newsletters tend to have higher open rates, and are generally sent on a weekly basis, at the same day and time (ex. 2:30 pm every Tuesday).

 

An effective eNewsletter is non-intrusive, provides value to the reader, and makes them feel like they are being educated rather than sold. eNewsletters don’t require you to create new content as they’re a great way to repurpose your old content. As a Financial Advisor, you should take advantage of this effective means for building and maintaining relationships with clients and prospects. eNewsletters will not only extend the reach of your content, but can also do wonders for your business.

Takeaways from the Digital Marketing for Financial Services Summit 2016

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I recently attended the Digital Marketing Summit in Toronto and was a panelist on the Power Panel: Surmount Barriers to Transform your Omni-channel into a Customer Centric, High Performance Digital Ecosystem. The conference was very educational and a great way to meet industry leaders in the Digital world of Financial Services. Having learned some new perspectives on all things digital, I wanted to share some of my thoughts on two presentations that stood out during the conference.

The Keynote Address by Mitch Joel

The keynote address “Reboot Your Digital Marketing Strategy to Transform Your Brand and Win in the New Landscape” by Mitch Joel, President of Mirum, and author of Six Pixels of Separation and CTRL ALT DELETE was the most interesting. His presentation provided me with a different perspective on digital today.

The first was Mitch’s story about Snapchat. Apparently, in Snapchat’s very early days, when it was only about 5 people, Facebook offered to buy it for $3 billion.  Amazingly, Snapchat’s founders turned it down. Snapchat’s size and younger audience demographic was attractive to Facebook, but Mitch explained that Snapchat was quite different from Facebook. Snapchat represented the real world.  In the real world, most conversations are not recorded.

Today, in the ‘virtual world’, what people really want is an in-the-moment experience and to interact in a non-recorded way.  Snapchat, and tools like Slack and Periscope, provide the brevity and genuineness of reacting to something as it happens, just like real life.

Teenagers need unstructured time online without fear of parental criticism, which can easily happen on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Snapchat gives younger audiences the freedom of communicating in a private digital environment. Similarly, ‘Periscope’ lets you broadcast live video to the world. Followers can join, comment and “send you hearts in real time”. In the workplace, Slack, a chatting application, has been encroaching on email as a form of business communication. Email is still quite formal but conversely Slack allows for creativity and brainstorming — similar to a face-to-face meeting. Slack imitates that experience better than prescribed emails that most work-forces use.

Apps like Snapchat, Periscope and Slack prompt us, as marketers, to think about ways our own brands can mimic ‘real world’ experiences to connect not only with millennials but also with all of our customers in the ways they connect with each other.

Another interesting tidbit from Mitch was that Amazon bought the gaming channel, Twitch Interactive, in 2014 for almost $1 billion. Twitch is not actually a gaming website but an Internet video channel for “broadcasting and watching people play videogames”.

At first glance this seems like an awkward acquisition, however, Twitch is the fourth-largest source of U.S. Internet traffic, so perhaps $1 billion was worth it.

Mitch’s take away from this acquisition is that companies should obviously be investing in video, but also that thinking differently about your business can sometimes lead to tremendous success. An ecommerce and cloud computing company is leading the way with Amazon Prime video streaming and networks like Twitch. It is now not just about content or channels, but about networks like Netflix and CraveTV. Mitch Joel states that Amazon’s move into networks teaches us a potentially new way for marketers to think. Many brands are hiring journalists and other media types as a way to create more authentic, creative stories. He says that maybe the opportunity is for brands to think about not just creating and publishing content, but more about how to “become their own media network”. Perhaps the future is less about native advertising and more about brands becoming a network with their own studio.

Think about Purina owning a ‘kitty network’ similar to AFV or Elon Musk owning a “sustainability network’ that is all about saving the environment.

Another very interesting comment Mitch made was that the ‘purchase button’ should be everywhere. He mentioned the Best Buy Facebook Page that has a tab titled, “Shop Now”. Mitch says, why drive people back to your website when they should be able to buy right from within Facebook? The Internet strategy of years ago that drove consumers back to their website is slowly dying. This rang particularly true for me because in 2001, I worked for a ‘dot com’ called ePod. ePod had a unique advertising technology, that was way before its time. We called it a ‘website within a website’. We worked with companies like Disney to create an ad unit that would advertise a Disney product in a video, inside an ad unit with a ‘buy now’ or ‘add to cart’ functionality built-in.  Yes, ePod was quite a way before its time.

My final takeaways from Mitch’s presentation were that we, as financial services marketers, need to ensure that we represent real-life. Marketing with flexibility, creativity, authenticity, and kindness. He said those were the keys to developing great businesses.

In a digitally centric world, authenticity and creating and developing real relationships are the keys to success.

Facebook’s Erin Elofson

Erin Elofson, Director of Financial Services at Facebook, sold the benefits of Facebook advertising, but she did it in a very educational way. I have spent a fair bit of time trying to find the secrets to effective Facebook advertising – with some great success – but I always thought that we could do better. Of course, video advertising was lauded as the key to success.

Video on Facebook has exploded, but the most enlightening was Erin’s comments on storytelling and driving people down the purchasing funnel. In hindsight, it is common sense, but Erin’s examples and success stories sent a strong message to the DMFS audience.

If you are a believer in content marketing, then you know that ebooks, case studies and blogs that educate the consumer before asking them to buy are significantly more effective than content that immediately asks people to take action1. Erin says that Facebook advertising should do the same. Campaigns that “sequence” different ads work best. The first ad should tell the brand story. For example, “our community focused bank supports people who lost their homes in Fort McMurray with a 1% mortgage”. The next ad in the “sequence” should provide product information. For example, “our friendly bank will easily transfer your mortgage over from another bank with no penalty”. Only after these two ads have run one after the other, should the message include a call-to-action such as stating the current mortgage rate and inviting the audience to click to apply.  Erin also showed a simple formula for taking existing television or YouTube video ads and paring them back to become effective brand stories in Facebook.

From personal experiences, acting too quickly by asking people to take action immediately, without persuading them down the purchasing funnel through story telling, takes discipline. In a world where CEOs and shareholders are clamoring for quick results to meet quarter-end numbers, it is very tempting to ask prospects immediately to ‘buy-now’. I get many sales calls right after I download a piece of content. We often wrongly assume that if the product is as good as we think it is, or if they are the right target audience, they will buy. And if they don’t buy or click now, they never will. Erin brought American Express to the stage to tell their Facebook advertising story. American Express explained that once they adopted this disciplined approach to Facebook advertising, or ‘story telling’, the results were overwhelmingly positive. Research from Adaptly2, published by Facebook, concurs with the same results:

Among those who were exposed to the sequenced ads compared to those who were exposed to the non-sequenced ads, there was an 87% increase in people visiting the landing page and a 56% increase in subscription rates. In addition, they converted at higher rates.

When you think of this approach, it makes total sense. I am on Facebook reading my friends’ updates, looking at their photos, watching funny videos and reading news about a movie star’s dress. Do I really want some stranger telling me to buy their product?  Wouldn’t it be better to see funny videos or moving stories related to the brand to get to know them before I am asked to buy?

“Some advertisers may find it counterintuitive to elongate a campaign as a way to more gradually bring their audience through the purchase funnel, rather than more immediately delivering a call-to-action,” says Adaptly’s CEO, Nikhil Sethi. “But we have proven that this classic brand-building approach it is both effective and efficient, even for direct response advertising.”3

My most memorable brand video on Facebook was the Westjet Christmas Miracle. That doubled my affinity for the airline. My resulting perception is a kind airline that cares about their people and their customers. As a marketer, I am surprised that I would feel that way about a brand solely based on their marketing.

Other themes of the Digital Marketing Financial Summit, were personalization, utilizing data to deliver better customer experiences, omni-channel challenges, using attribution for measuring advertising and more.  Lastly, as a regular conference participant, I was very pleased to see how engaged the attendees were. Attendees had many questions for the presenters. When visiting our booth, they were open to hearing about our products and services rather than just the giveaways we had at the booth.

Conferences like DMFS provide us with the ability to step outside the office to learn, develop relationships, and talk to people in the “real world”.

 

1, 2, 3 Creating More Effective Online Marketing Campaigns.

Veriday Announces Sponsorship at Liferay Symposium North America 2016

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Digital business technology event will showcase Veriday’s expertise and services

Chicago, IL – (June 9th, 2016) – Veriday, a digital marketing and technology company, and Liferay Platinum partner, announced today its participation as a Gold Sponsor at this year’s Liferay Symposium North America. Hosted by Liferay, which makes software that helps companies create digital experiences on web, mobile and connected devices, Liferay Symposium North America will take place from September 26th to 27th in Chicago. This premier event for Liferay’s customers, digital business leaders, partners and community developers in North America will include two days of expert sessions, hands-on workshops, networking opportunities, access to Liferay’s top executives and architects, and keynotes from digital experience thought leaders.

“We are happy to have Veriday join us at this year’s Liferay Symposium North America. Our partners play an important role in Liferay’s success and having Veriday at our event brings added value to our attendees looking to meet the industry’s top-level enterprise technology vendors,” said Brian Kim, Chief Operating Officer for Liferay.

For more about the Liferay Symposium North America and to register, visit the event website.  As a Gold Sponsor, and Platinum partner, we are pleased to offer passes at a discounted rate.  Please contact us for details.

For more information about Liferay, visit www.liferay.com.

About Veriday:

Veriday is a Digital Marketing and Technology company, and Liferay Platinum Partner. Veriday specializes in developing products, solutions and methods to transform online user experiences and engagement.  Our professional services and development teams help organizations reach their employee, customer and member’s digital needs by creating portals and websites that transform their business. Our portals have an amazing reputation for fostering communication, engagement and collaboration, and creating unique online experiences built for blue chip brands.


About Liferay:

Liferay makes software that helps companies create digital experiences on web, mobile and connected devices. Our platform is open source, which makes it more reliable, innovative and secure. We try to leave a positive mark on the world through business and technology. Companies such as Adidas, Carrefour, Cisco Systems, Danone, Fujitsu, Lufthansa Flight Training, Siemens, Société Générale and the United Nations use Liferay. Visit us at www.liferay.com.

 

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Contact:

Veriday Inc.

Kayla Shaw

888.706.2817

connect@veriday.com

Twitter: @VeridayHQ

 

Liferay, Inc.

Rebecca Shin

1-877-LIFERAY

pr@liferay.com

Twitter: @Liferay

Advisors: Why whitespace is NOT wasted space

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Whitespace is commonly referred to as negative space, the portion of a page that is left unmarked, blank, or the empty space on a page. Whitespace is the fundamental building block of good design. If used correctly, it can transform a design and provide many advantages to your Financial Advisor website.

As a Financial Advisor, you’ve taken an important step to grow your business by creating your own website. Keep in mind that as you market your business digitally, you are marketing to a digital audience and should keep that audience in mind with designing your website. As a Financial Advisor, one of your goals should be to deliver an exceptional and consistent experience to your clients and prospects on all fronts, including a positive experience for your website visitors.

Using whitespace effectively can create several benefits for your website.

  1. Emphasize your Call-to-Actions (CTAs)

At first glance, the most obvious way to make your CTA stand out would be to make your button larger than anything else on your page. However, surrounding your CTA with whitespace can be just as effective, if not more. Having whitespace surrounding your CTA gives your readers just one thing to focus on. Below is an example of how whitespace can be used effectively to emphasize a CTA (Reserve Your Spot!):

Advisors: Why Whitespace is NOT wasted space

  1. A tidy site is always better

If you were to have an in-person meeting with your clients, would you want them walking into a cluttered, messy office or an office that was clean, neat and inviting? Just as you would want to create a good first impression when someone walks into your office, you want to do the same when someone visits your website.

Aside from a great colour scheme and an easy-to-follow layout and navigation, whitespace is crucial because it adds a certain finesse, and also exudes a sense of elegance and superiority to your website. Below is an example from Mark Boulton’s article showing an Advertisement that is transformed by the use of effective whitespace. As you can see, the result is a much cleaner, and visually appealing Ad.

Example of whitespace used effectively

  1. Acts as a separator

As a Financial Advisor, there is a range of topics to discuss with your clients. Sometimes those topics are completely unrelated, making it harder to decide how to lay them out on your website. Whitespace is a great way to separate unrelated elements in your website while enhancing the overall visual layout. When you use whitespace effectively, it can pave the way to clearer communication and navigation through your website.

Although having whitespace can provide clear benefits for your website, a good balance of design and whitespace is important. Too much whitespace leads to confusion and gives off the impression that your website lacks content. However, not enough whitespace leads to a messy, disorganized and confusing layout for your audience.

Below are some websites that use whitespace effectively:

Built by Buffalo uses whitespace wisely. The whitespace helps to emphasize where they’d like their visitors to go first. As you scroll through their homepage, you can see that whitespace still dominates the page while emphasizing the icons at the same time.

Website using whitespace effectively

 

Mailchimp uses whitespace to effectively highlight their CTA’s. Their design is simple, allowing visitors to easily navigate themselves around the page.

Website using whitespace effectively

 

Google uses a minimalistic approach to their homepage. At first glance, visitors will notice their colourful logo.  Visitors will then proceed to the text box to begin their search. Their design is simple but effective because of the dominant use of whitespace.

Website using whitespace effectively

Take a minute to analyze your Financial Advisor website to help determine if you have enough (or too much) whitespace. Formulate a plan of action to incorporate more whitespace into your website design to effectively create a clean and visually appealing website – your visitors will thank you for it.

4 Benefits of a Content Management System (CMS)

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According to TechTarget, a content management system (SMS) is a system used to manage the content of a website. Using a CMS to power your website could be one of the best investments you make for your website and business. Although, a CMS can be a steep investment, it can also be a great asset to your business in the long run.

In a digitally-centric world, your organizations website is one of your main communication tools with your clients, prospects, and the rest of the digital world – so you want to make sure your audience loves your website. CMS is a web program that allows users to easily create, modify and maintain content from a single interface. Below are 4 benefits of investing in a CMS for your organizations website.

  1. Boosts productivity

Have you ever had to go through your IT department to make a change to your organization’s website? Something as simple as adding a new blog post, changing an image, or updating information? Going through this process can be daunting as it has to go through several people in your organization to make the simplest changes.A good CMS is user friendly and enables people, including those without a coding background, to make changes quickly. Having a good CMS helps boost your organizations productivity levels by streamlining website changes (and more).

  1. Allows multiple users

In an organization, there are many employees who have input into your website – the creative director, marketing team, developers, and so on. A CMS makes it easy to manage different roles and permissions for each user, whether they need to produce and publish blog posts for your content marketing efforts, give your website a fresh new look, or change the layout entirely.

  1. It’s easy to use for the non-technically minded

Not everyone has the same skills and comfort level with technology. Working with a CMS allows those without a design or developing background to easily create functional pages and update them periodically without having to depend on back-end developers. CMS functions like writing and publishing content are easy to grasp for everyone, so you don’t have to worry about spending too much time on training.

  1. Easier access to content

According to SER Group, businesses spend 30% of their working time searching for “locked up” information. With so much time being spent searching for that information, an organizations profitability and efficiency decreases. A CMS makes it simple to share, reuse and search for content throughout the system, ensuring that the data is available to everyone who needs it. This heightens the effectiveness of your employees and helps in decreasing total costs for your organization.

Although there are many benefits that a CMS can bring to your organization, not all CMS systems are effective.

Blogging Like It’s Nobody’s Business

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What is Blogging?

Blogging is the act of adding new material to or the regular updating of a blog. A blog is a collection of articles that provide helpful valuable educational and remarkable content to your target audience.

You might be thinking, “it sounds like a lot of work” but there are many benefits to creating a blogging strategy that will benefit advisors and their business.

What’s the difference between a blog and a website?

As an advisor, if you’re thinking “I have a website, why do I need a blog?” They are often mistaken for the same thing when they are not. Blogs are updated more frequently whereas the rest of your website is static content that is not updated often. This could be basic content about you and your business’s products and services. 

Blogging Benefits

1. More traffic & New Visitors

Blogs that are consistently updated often see up to 55% more website traffic than those that don’t. Blogs that are updated often also help with Google rankings as the crawlings see a new blog post as fresh new content. 

Before/After Blogging

This advisor started blogging on October 1st, 2014. As you can see, after they began blogging, the traffic going to their website increased, both organically and in total. In addition, there were many new users that started visiting their website after they started blogging.

2. Delivering an Experience

Marketing is not what it used to be where it was constant one-way communication. Now, it’s about creating advocates for your product or service. It’s about creating an experience online that will make your audience want to come back. If your audience feels they are getting valuable, relevant content on topics that matter to them they’ll have a great experience with your content and want to read more of your content.

Social media changed that entire game. With social media, your audience can engage and interact with your content. Engaging in blogging is a strategy to extend your experience to a communication medium where your audience lives.

3. Develop Authority and Trust With Your Audience

Being an authority helps to establish trust, develop credibility as a thought leader in your industry. By writing blog content advisors can position themselves as experts in their particular specialty. Your target audience wants to read content that is relevant to them by someone that is reputable and knows what they are talking about.

Components of a Blog Post

1.Page title: Keyword focused page title

2.Page URL: A url that has the important keywords of your blog post will help with SEO

3.Blog titleCaptivating, eye-catching title to make your audience want to click and read your article. There are some free tools you can use to check the quality of your blog title.

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4. Description: The description is what will be displayed in search results when your blog post comes up.

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5.Content: Writing content that has keywords is important for getting your blog post to rank on Google. Keyword research can be done using the Keyword Planner tool.

6. Call to Action: Having a call to action at the end of each blog post is crucial in moving prospects through the buyer’s journey. This could be Contact, Download, Sign Up. By completing an action, the prospect is telling you they are interested and want to learn more. 

Common Mistakes and Pitfalls

Pitfall #1 – Expecting Overnight Success

Success in blogging takes time but people who commit to a consistent blogging strategy will see results over time.

Pitfall #2 – Forgetting to tell your audience about your writing

Just because a new blog has written, that doesn’t mean people will automatically read it. It’s up to you to tell your audience about your new blog post. This could be posting it on social media channels and including the blog post in an email newsletter. It’s a good idea to always look for new ways to promote new blog content to get it in front of new people.

Pitfall #3 – Missing Conversion Mechanisms

When it comes to blogging or any marketing activity, your ultimate goal would be to get new clients and new business right? Be sure to include a call to action to convert your blog readers into actual leads. You want to be always trying to move prospects through your sales funnel.

Pitfall#4 – Creating Content that is off topic

It’s important to know your target audience and write content that is relevant and important to them. The blog content should relate to the title of the blog post so people know what to expect when they’re reading.

Pitfall #5- Trying to Create the Perfect Post

If you’re new to blogging, it can be easy to get caught up in making the perfect blog post. There are thousands of blog posts on how to make the perfect blog post but having a completed live blog post is always a better approach.

Our eBook, The Financial & Insurance Advisor’s Guide to Content Marketing, can help financial advisors get discovered online quickly and easily, check it out to take the next steps in your content marketing journey!

Blogging: Content Marketing