In the context of financial advisor marketing, how many times have you been told that “content is king”?

I often hear this from marketers and consultants who want advisors to purchase their content. But is it true? Is content really king?

The simple answer is no. In truth, there’s only one type of content that can rightly claim the crown:

Attention-grabbing, original content that generates high levels of engagement.

This doesn’t mean other types of content are bad. It just means they can’t claim the top spot in the content kingdom. Let’s review each type of advisor marketing content in order of best to worst.

1. The Best Kind: Original Content

There is no substitute for original content. This type of content is far and above all others because it is unique and no one can duplicate it without permission. Owning a healthy amount of original content is vital for advisors because it is the best way to showcase unique strengths, abilities, differentiators and personalities. It is also the best way to clearly position how the advisor or firm can fill those needs.

The most important place for original content is on a website. A client should never visit their advisor’s website and see the same content as a competing firm. Never.

The only drawback to original content is that it takes time, energy and money to get right. There is a ton of weak original content out there! So if you’re not a content strategist, writer, designer and videographer, you need to partner with talented people who can produce quality original content for you.

2. The Good Kind: Exclusively Licensed Content

If you can’t afford original content or don’t have the time or patience to produce it, exclusively licensed content is the next best thing. This type of content gives advisors most of the benefits of original content but at a much lower cost.

This allows million-dollar marketing agencies to create impactful campaigns that cost thousands of dollars to produce but re-license them to a limited group at a fraction of the cost. The result is that small companies can appear unique and highly sophisticated without breaking the bank.

With exclusively licensed content, advisors can buy the rights to be the sole publisher of said content in their geographic area, such as their town or section of a major city. While this doesn’t lock out the entire world from using the same content, it does ensure that no local competitors can. Often this kind of content can also be personalized to further enhance its effectiveness.

For most advisors, exclusively licensed content is a major leap forward in quality and value. The only time it doesn’t perform well is when a company wishes to market itself nationwide.

3. The OK Kind: Curated Content

Curating content involves sifting through original content from multiple sources and then sharing what is most relevant to your brand or audience. There are many tools that help advisors do this. A common use for curated content includes sharing links to helpful articles on social media.

While sharing curated content does little to help advisors generate leads or showcase their credibility, it does give them a chance to show that they stay current with trends affecting their industry. It’s also an easy way to stay active on social media.

4. The Worst Kind: Mass-Duplicated Content

If you need something fast and cheap just so you can feel good about having a presence, this may be for you. Outside of that, it’s a waste of money. Mass-duplicated content helps no one except the companies who sell it. If you must use mass-duplicated content temporarily, aim to upgrade as soon as possible!

In summary, don’t be duped into buying a content library or automated marketing system just so you can publish more content. There’s already enough bad content out there. Your clients and prospects are busy. They don’t need more content — they need unique content.

One of the most important things you can do for your business is to make it crystal clear how you’re different from your competition. The only way to do this is with original or exclusively licensed content.

The next article in this series addresses the biggest lie advisor marketing companies sell. Then see the final article to find out the top reason your online marketing isn’t getting results.


Robert Sofia is co-founder and CEO of Snappy Kraken, a firm that provides content and automated marketing solutions for financial advisors.

As a MarTech entrepreneur and marketing consultant, Robert Sofia has served over 1,000 companies since 2005. His list of clients includes solo advisers, ensembles, RIAs, family offices, BDs, GAs, BGAs, custodians, investment companies and insurance companies. On average, for the past 13 years, Robert’s work has driven annual growth of over 600% per year for the organizations he has operated or supported.

Robert has received numerous awards for his work. Snappy Kraken, took first place in the FinTech Startup Competition hosted by the XY Planning Network in September 2016.

Robert has authored three books — two of which were bestsellers — and written about marketing for many national publications and financial industry journals.

He is an award-winning public speaker who has keynoted conferences for world-renowned companies including Ford Motor, Adobe, TD Ameritrade and Prudential.