Here’s the problem we have with placing a registration process in front of your best content. The value exchange is skewed in favor of you, not the financial advisor, your customer or prospect.
Who has the power in a relationship? The movie “Ghosts of Girlfriends Past” is taking this issue on right now in movie theaters across the country. The debate centers on whether the person with the power is the one who cares the most or the one who cares the least. Matthew McConaughey’s character is going to have to figure this out himself for his love life (no spoilers here).
But for the purposes of requiring registration on financial advisor sites, we respectfully ask you to look at your registration trends and password-only site traffic. Who cares more that your content be consumed or that your company builds its brand awareness? You care more, the advisor cares less. It’s the advisor who has the power in this relationship, isn’t it?
Rock The Boat Marketing’s eBook "Who Says You Can't?" [The eBook has been removed from the site, pending an update], provides content syndication best practices among mutual fund, ETF and other investment management companies. But in a few months those might be considered baby steps, given how two recent announcements accelerate the trend toward the broad distribution of content.
First, from Morningstar via iTunes comes a free iPhone/iPod Touch application providing access to research, investing ideas, real-time quotes, ratings, company profiles, a customizable watch list, ticker look-up and search and financial news. A Blackberry application is planned for this summer. Premium (paid-for) content is in the works, too.
With its first mobile phone app, Morningstar joins other financial services and financial information providers (e.g., Bloomberg, Bank of America, eTrade, Mint.com, Wesabe) in recognizing that people like to access information and functionality on their phones. We’ve written about this previously (see "3 Questions About Your Digital Strategy") but have to mention again now. Independent financial advisors may well be the target audience for this app on this increasingly popular content delivery platform. What could you deliver—free and without the rigamarole of a registration alongside Morningstar?
The second development comes from Amazon.com, which Wednesday enabled the ability to publish blogs on the Kindle. This is a significant opportunity to introduce your company (or further engage followers) via your content, which you make available via an RSS feed (see our eBook for more on this). As of 9 a.m. CDT Saturday morning, about 500 investing-related blogs had been submitted—none that I could find from an investment management company.
Marketers, please look into this. It’s another way to support the content you create, to meet new people and to generally make sure that your company is within a consideration set (in this case of Kindle users, whose demographics are likely to align with your customers’).
Why would someone pay a nominal monthly fee to subscribe to a blog that’s free on the Internet? I’ve subscribed to a few blogs through Kindle for more than a year now. These are blogs I really care about. I don’t want to miss their posts. I could subscribe via my feed reader but if I don’t get to them in a day or two, they’ll scroll off. On the Kindle, I can read multiple posts at my convenience. I am an engaged consumer of these blogs' content.
Oh, and also Amazon blog subscriptions will generate revenues for you.
What kind of marketer would I be if I didn’t tell you that the Rock The Boat Marketing blog is one of 139 (as of today) marketing blogs available via the Kindle? We're looking forward to Amazon (Amazon!) broadening our reach as well as to the ranking features. While it’s unlikely that we’ll be able to compete on the sort by best-selling, we’ll be focusing on feedback from the customer reviews—that’s assuming, of course, that we survive the 14-day free trial periods. Gulp.
Here are screenshots of the offer of the blog on Amazon.com and what the blog looks like on the Kindle. It looks as if readers of the RTB blog on Kindle will have to go without the wacky over-size images.
This is an exciting time to be marketing what you market—which are the investment insights that power your investment products. There is so much you’ll be able to do when you set your content free.