We are often asked by advisors if they should use third-party publishing platforms (e.g., LinkedIn Pulse) or Q&A sites (e.g., Investopedia, NerdWallet, Brightscope) to promote their business. The answer is “It depends.” By providing content for other websites, you are helping those sites build their influence on the internet while potentially sacrificing your own influence. However, it may still be worth participating in these sites. We’ve included two scenarios below to consider.
Scenario 1: Go Ahead and Try It!
Read the following statements. If all of these statements are true about your business, then you may want to experiment with these sites:
- My business is location agnostic.
If so and you can work with clients across the country, then these sites might attract a large enough audience of prospects you can work with.
- My target market searches online to find a financial advisor.
- I am more concerned about gaining visibility than converting leads.
- I haven’t started building a web presence through blogs or videos on my own website and don’t intend to do so in the foreseeable future.
- The site I’m considering allows me to include a link to my website on every post I contribute (not just the author profile page) to drive traffic to my website to potentially convert a lead.
- I have enough time to contribute original content or answer questions without sacrificing my other marketing activities.
Scenario 2: Might Not Want to Try It!
Read the following statements. If these statements are true about your business, then you probably don’t want to use these sites:
- I have a content marketing strategy (blog, videos, etc.) in place using my own website and am consistent in implementing it.
- I want to improve my website’s search engine rankings.
If yes, you should take your original content and put it on your own website. When it comes to duplicate content on the web, Google attributes ownership to the first website that posts the content and may penalize other sites using the same content.
- I feel pressed for time to execute my current marketing strategies consistently.
- I am concerned about owning the copyright to my content.
If you fall into scenario 2, there is one way to experiment with these third-party sites. Repost your original content one week after you have posted it on your website, or use older, evergreen content. That should give time for Google to index your content and give it higher authority. The benefit of this is that you will increase exposure to your blogs without too much risk of cannibalizing the traffic to your own website. Be sure that if you are doing this, there is a way (such as a link) to drive people from the third-party site to your website to convert the lead. Not all sites will allow non-original content, so check the parameters for contribution prior to implementing.
In general, we have not seen much success from third-party publishing and Q&A platforms. However, I have seen a few exceptions that are driving quite a bit of traffic from these platforms. At the end of the day, every business is different. The only way you will know if a particular strategy will work for you is to experiment with it, measure results, analyze your efforts and then adapt (or abandon) your strategy.