In this Swift Chat video conversation, I speak with Veriday's CCO Chris Lamoureux. The topic: Content and how producing good content builds trust and leads to business growth.
Chris and I share a formula for getting started if you haven't already jumped on the Content bandwagon. We also discuss how to produce a steady stream of good content that can help financial advisors and financial services brands stand out from the competition -- and ways to scale content creation when the advisor or firm is ready to ramp up.
Veriday builds technology solutions that drive client and customer engagement. Their flagship product, Digital Agent, is a marketing and engagement tool. There are solutions for individual advisors and large firms such as IBDs and corporate RIAs that need to manage the compliant creation and distribution of content for groups of advisors and their overarching entity.
Keeping Up with the Demand for Good Content
Chris and I also participated in a webinar that expands on the Swift Chat conversation that you will find below. On February 10, 2021 where we were joined by Teresa Leno of Fresh Finance and Scott Rogerson of UpContent. We discussed how to keep up with the demand for content with an effective marketing mix that ultimately drives new business and client retention.
To access the webinar replay, visit: https://www.veriday.com/keep-up-with-the-demand-for-content-webinar/
Watch Swift Chat with Chris Lamoureux
20:27 minutes, recorded January 18, 2021
Swift Chat Transcript, January 18, 2021
When it comes to content, here’s how I'm thinking about it. It's about not about content, it's about the conversation that you're trying to have. Increasingly digital is being used to trust and validate that you are, who you are say you are. That you offer an interesting service that's palatable to me as a prospect. I want to hire somebody that I'm interested in, that I'm learning from; they're giving me valuable insights and information." ~ Chris Lamoureux
Marie Swift: Hey everybody. Welcome back to another great Swift Chat and today I'm really pleased to have a fellow marketing professional. His name is Chris Lamoureux, and he is the COO, the Chief Operating Officer of Veriday, which is a Canadian company that I'm just now getting to know and I'm really loving what I'm hearing about their Digital Agent platform -- and content and how they're helping advisors, not just in Canada, but across the US more and more. And so, you're probably going to be hearing more about that. I just delighted Chris to have you here today to listen to you, share a little bit about how you think about content in today's new digital world. So, welcome.
Chris Lamoureux: Well, thank you very much, Marie. And it's great to be here with you today. I'm looking forward to sharing a little bit of a story now, and hopefully have some people come out to our webinar in a month or so.
When it comes to content, here’s how I'm thinking about it. It's about not about content, it's about the conversation that you're trying to have. You know, if you think about the last 10 years, last 20 years, you had a conversation with the marketplace, with your friends, your network, your prospects, and your clients. And you had the opportunity typically to talk to them face to face.
Well, the world has started to shift and change over time. And so, you still walk out of those conversations, but you also want to have a need to have some of those conversations happening digitally. If you think what's happened in the last, you know, year with COVID, this actually forced us to think and rethink our ability to have a conversation, both to communicate effectively, but also to take advantage of the digital platform that exists.
The ability to information share with a large audience rapidly, real time, across different channels, I mean, that did not exist a decade ago. And I think it's both a real opportunity but also, a real challenge for participants in this space. As you think about it, you know, our clients are financial services professionals. They're not professional marketers, they're not professional content writers. So, they need some tips and need some hints that it needed some tools to help them be successful here.
Marie: So, if we start with the why ... I mean, why even bother? You've got to do it. You've got to produce good content. It needs to be a mix of curated, canned, custom, and even credibility. That's the 4Cs when I talk about the Content Cs. Credibility marketing to me as being in media outlets. Curation is picking other people's content and helping share maybe with a little bit of value add. Canned is something that advisors would purchase from a turnkey system and then maybe customize or use as is. And then what did I not cover - Custom? That's what you create on your own. So how do you think about content and the why? How do you set yourself apart?
Chris: I think the why is for me, a lot of it is how do you uniquely get your brand out there using different vehicles, such as what you've cited? You know, how do you utilize that to your advantage? The why ultimately, I think is kind of two things.
One is, increasingly digital is being used to trust and validate that you are, who you are say you are. That you offer an interesting service that's palatable to me as a prospect. I want to hire somebody that I'm interested in, that I'm learning from that they're giving me valuable insights and information, and you can only give so many of those valuable insights and information in a face-to-face meeting -- it doesn't scale in the same way that digital does.
So, I think the why is using that for new business for certain, but also think about that your friend network, your referral network, your existing customers, you want to continue to stay in touch with those people. Again, you can't do all of those meetings face-to-face, but you want to ensure that your message, your communications get out at a frequency that you want to deliver, but they also want to receive. They don't want to hear from you once a year. They want to hear from you once a month. We all use digital channels to communicate and have that equivalent conversation. And then you utilize the different vehicles of content because you can't do it all yourself.
You should not be writing all of the content yourself. You should be using the sources available to you. Some of which are custom content that you write, for sure. Some of it should be custom content that somebody else writes and some should be custom content or curated content that you can pull in that suits the audience that's applicable for your marketplace because your marketplace could very well be unique. If you're targeting a set of medical doctors or teachers, you want to have content that's relative to that constituency. And that takes a bit of work along with all the other duties that you have as part of your service offering.
USING A CONTENT CALENDAR
Marie: It's a lot to think through and having a content plan that strategy, that why ahead of time can really help and maybe even flow into an editorial calendar, a content calendar, some sort. I imagine you do that for your big brand, for Veriday.
Chris: Oh, absolutely and I am a big fan of routine. Listen, I mean, this can sound daunting. We might be sending you a big message here. It doesn't have to be daunting. What you can do is start with a small routine that works for you. A content calendar helps you organize what you're thinking about next three months, the next six months, the next quarter, and the conversations that you want to have. And then what you can do is kind of diarize what you're going to do, and your team is going to do on a daily basis, maybe a weekly basis or monthly basis.
You know, 20 years ago, I ran a marathon when I was in shape. I'm not quite in that shape anymore, but the learning I got at that time was I couldn't run the marathon at the beginning of my training. I could run a mile. And I had to build up to get to the point where I could run a marathon, but I tell you, once I got into three or six months' worth of training, it felt so good because I was able to run a successful marathon. But in this case, this is how you can start to have better digital conversations. You build up towards it with routines, with content calendars, with things that make sense for you and your team.
Marie: I always tell my clients pick one thing and do that well. That's to your point about, get that walking before you start running and then add another thing and add another thing. And oftentimes they see that they're already doing some of the content gathering creation, or there are tools that hadn't occurred to them and once they get their sea legs and get that rolling, it becomes a lot easier instead of just like an ostrich in the sand, sticking the head in the sand.
You've got to do this people. It helps with search engine optimization. It also helps with your brand building. And just that trust factor, like you're saying, Chris, you know, people want to work with people they know and trust. So, video for instance, video chats like we're having today. My tribe is going to say, look, we like Marie, we trust Marie, we're going to share her content because it helps us in some way. And that's why people share content. Not only will they watch it or listen to it or read it, but they'll share it. If it supports their worldview or they're mildly entertained, I call that infotainment.
So, there's all kinds of content, not just video, podcasts, blogging, social media, email marketing, it's a big conversation, but I think just pick one thing and start with that and see how we see it is to layer on.
Chris: Absolutely. It's very important to recognize that you, as an individual sharing your content, you have a personality. You've got to go with what's comfortable for you as a personality and what's comfortable and/or with your team and on the receiving end, they in turn receive and want to receive that information in a certain way. And it's not a one size fits all conversation. There's at least a half a dozen different personality types that are at play here. And you want to make sure both your mix of that content works. It's kind of worked for you, right? And you've got to extend that.
I know it's taken me an awful lot of time as an individual to get comfortable with videos because I'm a reader. I mean my nature is I like to read. So, occasionally I'll click on a video, but I actually do like to read the content myself and then I'll go back, and I'll read something or look at the video after I've read it, but that's just me, but I'm just one person as an example.
CREATING THE RIGHT MIX
Marie: I believe in giving people choice. There are readers, there are watchers, there are listeners. So, if you're going to create content, create a variety of content and ultimately, I think you get better engagement.
So, as we think about the why and the what, there's also the how. Let's say that you've got the flywheel going, you've got your calendar, you're producing content. I mean, after a while you become known for that content.
How do you keep up with the demand for good content? And I know this is the topic of our webinar and we're going to have other people join us. So, talk to us a little bit about that idea of keeping up once you've got that hungry monster going. People are wanting to see your blog posts. Like I heard Michael Kitces say that if his blog, his weekend reading doesn't go out at 3:00 pm eastern every Friday, he starts getting emails from people like where's my weekend reading. So, he's got to keep up with it, right? So, talk a little bit about that.
Chris: We create this monster called content. I was on a webinar last week and I could see one of the chat windows saying, well, I don't believe in content anymore because there's too much of it and I'm not sure I would take it to that length. I think what we've got to figure out as both a distributor of content as a marketing foundation, as well as the receiver is the right ways to make that efficient and effective, right? So, the first start, as we talked about, we talked about our routines and our content calendar. We want to stay with those routines, but how do we get effective with it?
Number one, do what you do best. Do what your team does best, hire out the rest. But make sure your unique message is incorporated. You can't take your hand off the tiller. You have to actually stay there, but you want to distribute that. And so, you want to go work with partners who give you the capabilities to do the number of things that we've been talking about.
The only thing I would then say is you want to be able to pull that together into a cohesive platform and that's kind of where our reason for being came into play. How can we create a platform technology wise that allowed you to write your own content, that allowed you to input custom content from a third-party provider of your choice? How could you embed curated content in there so, you've got a more global view if you will, of other content that you can bring in and distribute that? And oh, by the way, in a regulatory compliant fabric, which is critically important here too, how do you work through the compliance of that in an efficient way?
Our reason for being is to produce a platform that harnesses all those vehicles. We don't pretend to do all of that ourselves either. We have partners as well. So, we integrate with the best practice platforms and capabilities that then let you deliver that conversation into the marketplace.
Marie: I want to learn more about Veriday' s program for financial services professionals, and that's called Digital Agent and we'll get the webinars too, but for listeners and watchers or readers, because I'm going to post the transcript of this; however, you're consuming this content today, the conversation with Chris and me we will have a webinar on February 10th and that will be at 2:30 pm eastern time. And so, if you haven't signed up for that yet, go to my Twitter feed, my LinkedIn, my Facebook, or visit Veriday.com. Where would they find more about that, Chris?
Chris: For the webinar if you go to Veriday.com under resources and webinars, you'll actually find that that webinar coming up. It will be listed there, and you can sign up directly for it on that link. And there were some other webinars coming up as well. Some are not related at all to this topic, but some are. I'm happy to have you all join in as an audience.
KEEPING UP WITH THE DEMAND FOR CONTENT
Marie: Since I've let the cat out of the bag ... why is Marie Swift going to be attending this webinar? Well, number one, I'm interested in the content. Also. I'm going to be serving as the emcee or the hostess, I guess. And we've got some great people participating. So of course, you, Chris, you're going to be there to expand on how you keep up with the content demand once you've created it. We also have Teresa Leno from Fresh Finance, and then Scott Rogerson from UpContent. So, I think there's going to be a really great conversation.
Chris: Oh, absolutely. I'm so looking forward to it and I think, you know, the energy of the people in that webinar going to be tremendous. I know Marie, you and I have had the chance to talk about content marketing and some of the different nuances going on there. These other folks that are coming on as well, this is what they do for a living. I mean, I create software. I distribute that content. I help organizations do it efficiently, but these people they're really ones who've got the gasoline to make it all. So, I'm really looking forward to the dialog there.
Marie: I had an opportunity to talk a couple of times with Teresa. I'm just getting to know her and Fresh Finance. And then one time recently with Scott Rogerson and UpContent. So, I'm really delighted to make their acquaintance and to learn more about their offerings and how they partner with Veriday Digital Agent.
So maybe in the last few minutes that we've got here, give us a little bit about Digital Agent. How could people use it? People who are financial services professionals, is this for big brands? Is it for individual advisors? And how does that all come into being?
DIGITAL AGENT BY VERIDAY
Chris: Thank you Marie. I'll try to give it to you in a nutshell. So, Digital Agent it came in as a digital marketing platform for financial advisors who either are on their own or work through an enterprise. It could be a large wirehouse. There could be a hybrid firm, it could be an RIA. I mean, it services that whole constituency and really what it does is it lets you have control over a website. You can put this content that we've been talking about out publicly. It helps you search optimize and get Google to find it efficiently and effectively because that's important too.
It helps you distribute an email newsletter, as an example as well. So, it's not just a website. It could be email distribution. It can also be social distribution, and all done in a way that we hopefully make it easy on you because you're not a digital marketing professional. So, we help you easily customize and tailor it to unique, look and feel to the content needs that you have and again, help you efficiently work through the brand compliance of that if you're an enterprise and the compliance of that, if you're an enterprise, or even the individual.
Nothing's worse than, I want to change my website, I've got to send an email into this compliance department, wait five days for them to get it back to me and then it goes live. The marketplace is moving towards near real time. Right? I mean, you want to be able to do that efficiently and make that easy on you. I think what we've tried to do is really take the complexities of advance marketing, put it into a capability that has some of that capability without other complexity of use. So again, a team, an individual can easily use the tools and the platform to advance their communications in the marketplace.
Marie: So, would we be thinking of this as an all-in-one solution where really it could all be covered with Digital Agent?
Chris: It certainly can work that way Marie. But, again, as I said earlier, we don't profess to be all things to all people. If you've got existing capabilities and tools that you like, if you've got a social platform that you like, but you want to use our website platform, we integrate to those social platforms. Or you can use some of our capabilities. If you've got other content providers that you want to use, we can offer something to the table, but we can use your content providers. I think what we can do is come with a cohesive one-stop shop package that makes it easy for you, if you choose that road as well.
FROM CANADA, WITH LOVE
Marie: Fabulous. Well, I know that you are just outside of Toronto today. Is it cold and snowy up there?
Chris: Believe it or not, one of our team members lives in Chicago and they have way more snow in Chicago than we have here. We have very little on the ground and it is surprisingly warm. So, we're hopeful and thankful that we don't get the real cold January that we typically have because this is abnormal for us.
Marie: I am in the Midwest here in Kansas City area and it's a very mild winter. We just got a slight dusting. Well, I hope at some point I can come up and visit your headquarters in Toronto and it's not weird COVID times, but you know, to your point, we do the best we can with the digital tools we have. And many of the things that we're learning as professionals, how to extend our conversations and keep in touch with people and have it been more than just a one-on-one conversation. But I'm just delighted to share this with my tribe.
Chris: Well, thank you very much, Marie. I much appreciate it and look forward to hosting you up in Toronto and look forward to our upcoming webinar.
Marie: Absolutely. And just a reminder, everybody, there's going to be a registration link right here in my blog post on MarieSwift.com. So, click the link -- and if you can't come in person at least get the replay. We're going to send that out, right Chris?
Chris: They will get the opportunity to get the replay. So, thank you again, and we'll see you on the webinar and hopefully in person sometime soon.