The Ultimate Guide to Licensed Content

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1 The Ultimate Guide to Licensed Content More so than ever before, marketers and small businesses are using niche editorial content, beautiful images, and engaging videos to build engagement and customer acquisition engines. By harnessing high quality content, businesses are able to generate leads, nurture prospects, inspire peer-to-peer referrals, and encourage repeat purchases. Today, content is currency. To that end, there are tens of millions of articles and videos that circulate the Internet each day, and paywalls are blocking non-paying subscribers from accessing content from top publishers. How can businesses stand out from cat memes, celebrity gossip and sports news, while ensuring that the content messages they want to send their clients and prospects can be accessed without the inconvenience and frustration of a paywall? Providing highly credible subscription content at no cost, advisors can demonstrate their value propostion and thought leadership. When it comes to content marketing, quality reigns. Consumers don t care whether information is coming from a brand, published novelist, or close acquaintance. They want to learn something new, feel enlightened, and stay connected to topics that they care about. As you can probably imagine, this level of quality requires a human touch. That s why top international brands like Red Bull, Pepsi, American Express, Dell, and financial services companies like Sun Life and Investors Group have hired agencies, teams of in-house journalists, and freelance writers to develop and execute robust content that they use on their websites, social media accounts, and in client communications. Using quality content in client communications gives investors peace of mind - knowing that their advisor is monitoring the world's most credible news on their and their family's behalf, with their financial plan in mind. However, this type of content production requires businesses to invest significant time, budget, and energy to produce content. Just one in-depth, reported blog post can cost hundreds of dollars to produce. Imagine what happens when companies decide that they re ready to amplify their communication efforts by 10X, or to amplify their lead generation goals. For businesses facing significant cost and resource constraints, it s simply impossible.

2 That s where the AdvisorStream platform comes in. The platform allows you to upload your firm and personal articles, as well as to access fully licensed and curated high quality material from top publishers. All this content is available in AdvisorStream s easy to use library, from which you can quickly create s, newsletters, posts to your website, blogs, or social media accounts. And, each piece of your custom or licensed content that you use to create communications in the AdvisorStream platform is enabled with auto-lead generation enabling you to capture leads and access detailed information about each new lead that will help you turn them into a client. In this guide, you ll learn:» What licensed content is and how it can help you achieve your marketing goals» How the power of the AdvisorStream licensed content library and communications tool can help you strengthen your client communications and generate leads» How to integrate licensed content into your marketing strategies

3 What is Content Licensing? The Basics Content licensing is a practice that stems back to the earliest days of online media. If you ve ever purchased a stock photo, for instance, you ve purchased a license to use that content. Even though you are not the original content creator, you are legally able to license that material in your own marketing projects. The same concept carries over to article and video content. Content licensing is a legal agreement between two parties known as licensees and licensors. Licensees can purchase the rights to republish content from a licensor. Licensing is extremely versatile and allows businesses to repackage content into a variety of forms across desktop and mobile platforms. The Law One of the core benefits of content licensing is that it is 100% compliant with the law. Licensors and licensees sign a written agreement that clarifies ambiguities and protects the two parties from potential litigation. This protection is especially important in online media and communications, where copyright laws can sometimes feel like a gray zone. Many times, small businesses will republish content without even realizing that they re exposing themselves to liability. In the past, the rule of thumb was that using a headline and first 300 words of an article is fair use. This is a myth. For instance, the entire article could be only 350 words long. Sun Life is one of the leading Canadian financial services firms harnessing the power of content marketing through Their Brighter Life sub brand. Since the 2011 launch: The site has posted more than 200 articles that advisors can share to generate referrals. Its traffic is on track to rise exponentially and make it a major source of new web leads in Canada for the company. In the first 9 months, it converted approximately 4 percent of traffic to leads with more than 8,700 clickthroughs to SunLife.ca. More than 620,000 pages of content were consumed

4 Using headlines and lead-in text in client communications is widely practiced, but courts have yet to definitively rule on the legality of it, cutting and pasting content into an marketing system like MailChimp or Constant Contact requires the purchase of a full copyright license from the publisher for that content. It s possible that websites are receiving takedown requests for this same practice. The Internet may be a new multimedia channel, but copyright laws are timeless. Using licensed content ensures that your company communications, web, and social media posts are repurposing articles and videos ethically and legally. It is the only way to avoid the risk of a lawsuit, takedown order, or fine that could severely impact your brand reputation, industry relationships, and customer operations. The Benefits Using licensed content in your communications and on your blogs, websites, or social media accounts can add significant value to your brand and value proposition. When starting out with content marketing, individuals and businesses are typically building their reputations and content inventory from the ground up. Content licensing can help accelerate this process by allowing them to instantly access a high volume of articles and videos from trusted publishers. Here is a breakdown of some of the key benefits of content licensing: 1. Trusted sources bring balance and credibility to content marketing campaigns. Anyone can write an article about how great a product or company is, but in today s blogophilic culture, where anyone with a computer can produce content, consumers are naturally skeptical of what they read. According to a study conducted by UCLA and HP, content source is the number one predictor of social sharing. In other words, an article from a trusted source will travel farther than an article created by a firm or individual. AdvisorStream allows users and companies to align themselves with top publishers like The New York Times, The Globe and Mail, Reuters, The Toronto Star, and The Washington Post.

5 2. Licensing helps companies scale their marketing campaigns and stand out from competitors. As online communications and social interactions continue to accelerate, companies need to be able to keep up with the volume of content that competitors and other information sources are producing and that readers want to consume. Using licensed content from world class publishers reduces the reliance on a small business s internal marketing and public relations resources. Content marketing campaigns can be executed quickly and can adapt in real-time to events as they happen. 3. High value content lives all in one place - a branded experience. A distinguishing feature of the AdvisorStream licensed content platform is that the full-text articles and videos used in your marketing communications live on your own branded page. When a user engages with an article from your communications, they don t have to click away to keep reading the article on the publisher s website, taking them away from your domain. This also allows you to post premium content on your social channels and website that drives viewers straight back to your branded page. Ultimately, the results are deeper client relationships, new leads, and ultimately growing your business. 4. You get more bang for your buck. Compared to creating original or purchasing content directly from publishers, the AdvisorStream platform is much more cost-effective for companies and individuals. Original content produced in-house or by freelancers is a valuable part of a company s content marketing equation, but it is also costly and timeintensive. By balancing original and licensed content, you can create effective and interesting client communications that will be shared. By licensing content and displaying it on your website, blog, or social media property, you re able to keep users engaged on your website, longer and to reinforce your value proposition to clients and prospects.

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