Future of Investing
Investopedia now wants to ‘match’ financial advisers with readers
- Investopedia is launching a service to match clients with financial advisers, an expansion of its Advisor Insights forum.
- The integration of content from accredited financial advisers is one way Investopedia has distinguished itself among a growing family of personal finance and investment news sources.
Far from just a how-to guide to financial and investing terms, Investopedia has evolved into a media brand in its own right. With coverage ranging from bigger economic stories, advice on investments and budgeting, and entertainment with a finance lens ("Investopedia's Guide to Watching Billions"), its reach is growing. Now, the publisher is looking to drum up more interest with a new service that will match some of its contributing writers, mostly financial advisers, with readers. “After talking to a lot of advisers, clearly building the brand is important, but what they really care most about is driving leads and new client acquisition -- their goal is to grow their practices," said David Siegel, Investopedia's CEO, in an interview with Tearsheet. The move could help solidify the publisher's Advisor Insights platform's reach among a specialized community of advisers and investors, making it even more valuable to advertisers and ultimately generating additional revenue. "Our aspiration is to have every one of the 300,000 advisers [nationally] work with Investopedia as part of their daily workflow," he said. "If we have hundreds of thousands of advisers who are using Investopedia, and if we have tens of millions of users who are asking questions of advisers, there is significant monetization in being the intermediary," he said. Siegel, who took over as Investopedia's CEO two years ago, has been working to build a more socially-inclined, specialist audience for the site. It's an approach that draws 27 million unique monthly visitors and a ranking of 6th among the world's top investing sites globally, according to SimilarWeb. The site has also beefed up original news content, including video. IAC-owned Investopedia launched the Advisor Insights section of the site a year ago as a platform to allow accredited financial advisers to answer questions from users, for no fee. While Investopedia doesn't pay the advisers for answering questions, it said it offers perks and exposure to help them grow their reach -- after 25 answers or articles, Investopedia staff will shoot a marketing video about the adviser, and after 50, Investopedia gives them additional visibility by letting be the sponsor of the term of the day. "They're not paid and they don't pay us, but by publishing content, they get tremendous digital exposure and traffic," Siegel said. "But what they really care the most about is driving leads, driving new client acquisition." The new matching service (called Priority Leads) is available to advisers who have contributed at least 200 articles or answers. In response to requests from clients to connect with advisers, Investopedia staff will tap into its pool of top contributors to find a suitable match. Only 50 to 100 of the 25,000 advisers using the platform today have access to this service, but Siegel said he expects it to grow quickly. Investopedia has quadrupled its staff over the past two years and now has 115 employees -- 12 of whom focus on Advisor Insights. Siegel said he intends to keep the online advisory service free, as the site generates revenue from advertisers. The move to offer free curated advice from accredited advisers is one way for Investopedia to distinguish itself among a family of sites dedicated to personal finance and investing, including NerdWallet, Kiplinger, credit.com and others. It's just one step of a larger strategy to drive audience engagement, he said, and future plans include the launch of Adviser Insights as brand on its own; continuing education content for financial advisers; and the creation of a online community for advisers who could discuss industry issues such as succession planning. "Our focus is how we can create content in a differentiated way, and engage with users such that users are coming back on a more frequent basis and are engaging much more deeply with our content -- Advisor Insights has proven the answer to that for us."