Should you get a dedicated writer to produce unique content for your financial planning firm? Or, should you opt for an off-the-shelf solution, like we offer here at Clients+?
This is an important question and there are pros and cons to each approach. Ultimately, however, it come down to your content marketing strategy and goals. We’ll cover these in more detail, below, to help you decide on the right content mix for your business.
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Dispelling some myths
There are some misconceptions about syndicated content.
Sometimes, financial planners are under the impression that bespoke content is the only option when it comes to achieving “high quality”. However, this is not necessarily the case.
Syndicated content (i.e. content available for many financial planners to purchase) needs to be grounded in excellent research to make it appealing to financial firms. If the quality is sub-par, bluntly, then it is less likely to sell.
Part of this impression might come from the fact that, typically, syndicated content is cheaper than bespoke content.
However, the main reason for this is that the latter requires a writer (or designer) to use their time and skills to produce something unique. Syndicated content, on the other hand, can be sold multiple times. Provided sufficient sales volume is achieved, therefore, the seller (e.g. Clients+) can afford to bring down the price per unit and still make a profit.
Another misconception is that bespoke content for financial planners will, somehow, “last longer” (i.e. remain relevant for longer) compared to syndicated content. Again, however, this is not strictly true.
At Clients+, for instance, we make sure that each piece of content in our library is updated at least once per tax year. If any rules change in that timeframe (e.g. pensions), then this can be integrated into the content. A notification can then be sent out to previous buyers of the old article, letting them know that a new version is available.
The case for bespoke content
Bespoke content can offer at least two advantages for financial planners.
First of all, bespoke written content can be incredibly useful for search engine optimisation (SEO) when published on a financial planner’s website. Search engines like Google look for unique, excellent content which they can offer their users.
As such, if these algorithms see that the same article, video or other piece of content has been published multiple times on different websites, them they are less likely to push it to prominence in the search results.
Syndicated content, therefore, has little SEO benefit. If a financial planner wants to pursue an effective SEO strategy which helps bring in more organic traffic and inquiries, then they will need to consider bespoke content.
Secondly, bespoke content is much better suited for financial firms which are looking to ensure their true brand “voice” (or tone) carries across. After all, there are many different styles of writing. A syndicated content provider may not be able to match your brand voice, as the writing (and PDF designs) they offer need to appeal to a wide range of firms.
With a bespoke content creator, you can brief them on the brand voice you want to convey and refine this over multiple drafts.
The case for syndicated content
With off-the-shelf content, one of the best advantages is its pricing (as mentioned above).
Since the provider is providing more of a digital “product” than a “service”, the cost of production for the former is less equated to production time. Also, no physical distribution or warehousing is required like with a supermarket. These features allow cost savings to be passed down to the customer – lowering prices without needing to cut corners on quality.
Another benefit to syndicated content is its ease of accessibility. With bespoke content, you need to agree topics with the writer, wait for them to produce it and possibly then wait longer whilst amendments are made. With off-the-shelf content at Clients+, however, you can quickly log into the library, search for the topic you want and then download the resource.
Syndicated content for financial planners can also come in many forms. Here at Clients+, for instance, we have ready-made articles, guides, market updates, newsletters and videos. Many of these can also be branded with a firm’s logo and contact information.
As you can start to see, the suitability of bespoke versus syndicated content for financial planners largely depends on your marketing goals, budget and strategy.
If you are looking to grow the SEO profile of your financial website, then this lends itself towards bespoke content. If, however, you are not looking to grow your organic search profile (perhaps because you are happy with it already), then you may still wish to offer existing clients and website visitors great content for them to consume. In which case, syndicated content might be better.
Smaller firms on a tight budget may find themselves more attracted to ready-made content for financial planners due to the lower price point. However, larger firms might also want to incorporate this content into their strategy – such as animated explainer videos.