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For those of you who have left a job to start your own business, you’ll know that it is an exhilarating yet frightening feeling, all wrapped into one. Even when you have a great idea, and know exactly how you want to execute.
Charlotte Day and Niki Nikolaou just left their long-term positions at retail forex broker easyMarkets, where Charlotte was Head of Digital Content & Social Media Marketing and Niki worked in Global Comms and PR, setting up their own Cyprus-based content marketing agency called Contentworks.
Why is content marketing (increasingly) important in the FX world?
What do Forex brokers do well, and not so well, when it comes to content marketing?
We’re pleased to speak today with Charlotte and Niki on these and other topics, here is what they have to say.
LR: Hi Charlotte and Niki, and thanks for joining us today. Please let us know about your decisions to leave your jobs and set up an independent content marketing solutions company.
Charlotte: You’re so welcome and thank you for having us ?. It’s always been my plan to set up my own content marketing agency, it was just a matter of finding the right time and the right people to connect with. (You’re one of them by the way Niki!) In the past year, I have established myself as a thought leader within the content marketing world, authoring over 500 articles with a feature in Forbes magazine. It is thanks to this that I have been approached by a number of brands seeking content marketing services. Creating Contentworks Agency has been a liberating experience as we were able to unleash our inner creative beasts!
Niki: I came to Cyprus 10 years ago and considered doing something similar but no one really understood PR let alone content marketing. In fact, very few people even knew what FX was. The Contentworks Agency joke is that I got into forex when dinosaurs still roamed the land. It’s a big risk to step away from your comfort zone, but when the right people come along at the right time, you just have to do it.
Charlotte: Hmmm … How old are you really Niki?
LR: What services do you provide to forex brokers, and others in the FX sector. Where do you think you add the most value?
Charlotte: We offer fixed monthly content and social media marketing services to forex brokers with the flexibility to choose the solution that fits their needs. Our content marketing services include onsite marketing strategy, creating ebooks, landing pages, white papers, video scripts and case studies. We also write FX content (education, news or analysis) for their website or blog. We also offer fully managed social media services for brokers who don’t have the resources to tweet, post, like, share and network with high level influencers on their social media channels. I made it sound easier than it is didn’t I?!
Niki: Yes you did! We also provide a solid understanding of the more technical side of trading. We can combine the light-heartedness that social media requires with very robust analytics that traders are looking for. Charlotte and I bring both a keen marketing communication eye to what we can provide to clients, and a good understanding of what traders are looking for. Where we can add the most value is that special combination of fun, engaging content alongside meaty technical and educational writing that delivers real value to their clients.
LR: What are the key elements of a content marketing strategy for FX brokers? What do you think most brokers do well today, and what could they do a lot better?
Charlotte: It’s all about strong and consistent branding which is something most brokers just haven’t nailed. From a content marketing perspective, this incorporates your tone of voice, the way you’re communicating with clients, representing your USPs, aligning your brand with the right influencers and effectively managing your online reputation. Many brokers are still stuck in the decade of promotions, hard sell and campaigns. Today, the most successful companies are focusing on storytelling, branded content and education that really adds value.
Niki: I come from a theatre marketing background and along with all that wonderful art comes the need to have bums on seats (as we say in the industry). You can have thousands of people loving your Facebook page but is anyone engaging with you on it? The traffic to your website might be like an Audi on the Autobahn but is anyone hanging around and becoming a client or are they bouncing of it like a fizzed-up toddler on a bouncy castle? I need Charlotte to stop me using any more similes.
Charlotte: Stop using similes Niki.
LR: Why is content marketing important today?
Charlotte: Content marketing has always been important but the forex industry needs it more than ever right now. With the new CySEC bonus ban, leverage restrictions and an impending crackdown on IB activities, the party really is over for brokers who are unable to embrace change. Competition is high amongst brokers and the smart ones have really embraced the value of content marketing. At Contentworks Agency we understand the forex landscape and we know how to spin content that works for each broker.
Niki: Good marketing hasn’t changed since before the digital age. The basic tenets are still there – treat your audience with respect, give them true value and they’ll keep coming back. Content marketing, if done smartly, does just that. Ad blocker usage went up 30% last year so 92% of online ads go unnoticed. Whereas, companies that publish 16+ blog posts per month get 3x more traffic than companies publishing only 0-4 monthly posts. Those kind of stats speak for themselves.