Curating great content is one of the most important marketing strategies you can employ in social media networks.

Why? As the information landscape becomes more and more crowded, literally by the minute, finding and sharing great content is a way to add value that attracts clients and prospects to you.

Read: Curating content is smart business strategy

But that also means there are many challenges associated with curating great content. Chief among them: defining what constitutes “great.”

The interests and needs of your audience should drive the content you share in your networks. When you understand these needs and deliver content your followers want, you show that you know them.

Here are five characteristics to look for when curating content in a financial services context:

1.  Evergreen content, because you can push it out anytime.

Content that isn’t tied to a specific event will stand the test of time. A well-written article about investor psychology will stand up better than an article about what will happen in the markets after a particular event (an election, for instance). Evergreen content has a longer shelf-life.

Sample article to share: In this post, Barry Ritholtz summarizes CNN Money’s 25 Rules to Grow Rich By. As true in 2006 as they are today.

2. Targeted content attracts specific demographics.

If you’re specializing in women business owners, then share content about the unique needs of women investors and business owners. If your ideal client is older (and has children who are Gen X or Y), try sharing content targeted to the unique financial issues faced by these generations. If your clients tend to be families with younger children, send them content that speaks to teaching children about money.

Sample article to share: 13 things to teach your children that will make their financial lives easier.

3.  Personal finance content is almost always universal.

Everyone has financial concerns. Smart budgeting and financial planning has almost universal appeal. And who doesn’t like to read about how they can save money, whether on home energy costs or when traveling?

Sample article to share: The seven deadly financial mistakes.

4.  Content that gives a financial perspective to a non-financial topic.

The content that you share doesn’t have to always be about narrowly defined financial topics. If you’re familiar with the movie “Moneyball”, you’ll know it wasn’t so much a movie about baseball as it was a movie about big data, human decision-making and the economics of pro sports. It just happened to be set in a baseball context. Back in September, a great story appeared comparing the equivalent annual returns being offered by NHL teams as an incentive to season ticket holders not to demand refunds.

Sample article to share: NHL lockout could mean happy returns for ticket holders.

5. Lifestyle content allows you to talk to people on a personal level.

Sharing great financial content enables you to demonstrate your subject matter expertise and area of specialty. However, sharing lifestyle content opens up opportunities to connect personally with your followers. For this reason, people often find they get greater engagement from sharing lifestyle information, such as bucket lists, personal hobbies, charitable causes, etc.

Sample article to share: 40 things to say before you die.

Jay Palter is a social media strategist and coach with two decades of experience in financial services, software development and marketing.
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