I have been creating behavioral finance content for eight years now. Some of the content appear on this blog, but the majority are white-labeled I create for financial advisors in The Behavioral Finance Network to use with their clients, prospects, and promote on social media.
What Makes Good Content
MIT Age Lab has found that content that is smart, easy, and fun contains the qualities to grab and retain someone’s attention. In my experience, I would add “timely” to that list. People are so busy these days, that if the message isn’t something that is already on their mind, they may not invest the time to read or view the content.
The good news is that we can pretty much tell what is on people’s minds. It is whatever the media is talking about at the time. And the more frequent and loud the headline, the more likely another person is thinking about, and even talking about it to others. A timely message on the headline du jour increases the likelihood they open, click, and/or view. This is especially true in the behavioral finance realm because true behavioral coaching is getting ahead of the issue, and providing proper perspective to filter the noise and respond responsibly.
The Best Article I Ever Wrote
It’s funny, I never know beforehand what content will be a home run. Sometimes I spend a lot of time on a piece, and nothing much comes of it. Other times, I create content fairly quickly and it is beloved by investors, and therefore by their advisors. Historically, the most favored content tends to be more psychological (soft) in nature.
But the best article I ever wrote had to do with the Coronavirus, and I wrote it exactly three years ago. It was released to advisors on Feb 1, 2020 – just 5 weeks before the pandemic took hold in the US and markets went crazy! I got lucky.
I was writing about recent headlines and something I knew could impact the market. I figured the flu would come and go as did other health scares. But I still highlighted that it could be something, and if so, could cause the markets to go down. And then I pivoted to state that even if that happens, markets will recover and we want to be in a position to recover with it.
See for yourself. Here is the article – click on it to enlarge:
Why Was it The Best?
I didn’t get any feedback from advisors on this article in February, so it didn’t seem to do much. But then the Coronavirus became very real and investors who read this were ready for it. They knew markets would likely go down, and that there would be an eventual recovery. It was the best piece of content because it worked as desired! I can say, at least with my own investment clients, not a single one sold and most of my clients added to equities during the selloff.
The key to content is to consistently share valuable thoughts and perspectives. Don’t try to hit a home run because no one knows how great it will be until after the fact. Consistent messaging through the lens of behavioral finance helps investors maintain proper perspective and positions you as a thought leader. And then, when things actually happen, and the content is a home run, that is just icing on the cake.