5 Ways To Get Free (Or Nearly Free!) Financial Leads

One of the best ways to generate high-quality leads is to use a service like INO.com’s Standard Lead Generation program. Though this technology, we match your offer with select segments of our active trading audience. You can obtain a high volume of leads without sacrificing quality.

Although this is a cost-effective and efficient way to generate a high volume of leads for your financial product or service, you can also supplement your lead generation volume through campaigns that require relatively low manpower and cost.

Here are 5 ways to generate free (or nearly free!) leads…

1 – Good, Sharable Content

Does your content just beg to be shared? Having unique and interesting content can go a long way. What about publishing a review of online discount brokers, or maybe a free ebook with a new strategy to trade a specific stock sector? If you produce something of value and encourage sharing, you could get your brand in front of a large volume of prospective customers.

An article by Web Marketing Today lists 7 tips to get people to share your content.

• Make it easy for people to share your content
• Ask people to share your content
• Use images
• Create “round-ups” as blog posts or other content
• Write listicles
• Write strong headlines
• Write long-form content

2 – Social Media

Social media is a very powerful tool that can help your lead generation and sales efforts. Although marketers recognize the power of this medium, some argue that it is not always quantifiable. While this has been true in the past, major platform players like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram have provided application updates that display, track and measure lead generation campaigns.

3 – Partnerships

Another great way to reach a new audience and generate new leads is through the establishment of a partnership and in turn, the establishment of a new relationship with their audience. Through this partnership, content sharing, email marketing swaps, and referrals can be executed with a mutual benefit as the focal point.

This strategy expands your reach, yet still keeps your target market tight!

4 – SEO

You will win big if people can find you on the web. Search engine optimization (SEO) can help people find you and your lead generation programs. If you’re offering good content, content that people are interested in and actively searching for, then they will be delighted to enter into your lead funnel, if they can find you.

Read – 6 Ways to Improve Your Website’s SEO Right Now

• Get to know your customers
• Research and identify keywords
• Put your customer first
• Use links strategically
• Post new content frequently
• Give it time

5 – Be Generous!

With the right searching, you can find just about anything as free content on the web. You need to beat it; you need to give them that little bit more to draw them in. Once they are in, you need to be generous with your time and interaction. You only have a small window of time to foster a deep relationship that could lead to a sale, therefore, under promise and over deliver. By being generous with your interaction and content, you will beat your competitors and not only collect leads but monetize them. 

Generating high-quality leads can be as easy as a simple phone call with me, but there is no reason you can’t take content and rework it to create a great low-cost, low-effort lead generation campaign. Keep in mind that the web has a ton of free content, but truly determine what your potential customers really need and then match it up with the services you provide that can help fulfill that need. Be generous in your offering and remember that your customer’s time is valuable. Then through SEO, social media and partnership campaigns, you can reach a valuable audience who will find you valuable as well.


Bob Fladung
Director of Advertising
INO.com, Inc.

My 5 Favorite SEO Blogs for 2015

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is always changing. When I say always, I mean always! By the time you think you have it figured out, the big search engines drop another algorithm update and you’re back to the drawing board. So, how do you keep up?

SEO blogs are one of my favorite resources when it comes to keeping up with the search engines and their constant overhauls. These awesome blogs are written by some of the most well-respected SEO experts. It’s their job to know everything about rankings and they will often give you great insight into this sometimes complicated and intimidating science.

Here are my 5 favorite SEO blogs:

The Google Blog – You’re getting info right from the search engine giant themselves. This blog is more than SEO news though, it covers their new products, hiring info, and general communications for the company. Don’t expect this blog to give you any down and dirty tips, but it can give you a heads up on major changes which may impact your rankings.

Moz – This major SEO consulting company has been in the biz since 2004. They provide awesome resources for SEO beginners and will cover popular marketing topics like content and analytics.

Search Engine Watch – You can find 2 or more fantastic articles on Search Engine Watch every day. These articles cover paid and organic search, structuring campaigns, new platform features, and more. They have a great search feature that allows you to quickly filter all of their articles based on subject type.

Daily SEO Blog – Contributors specializing in social media, inbound marketing, content marketing and SEO come together to create this blog which is heavy in listicles and easy-to-absorb infographics. Posts are also well-labeled to allow readers to narrow down to specific specialty topics.

Search Engine Guide – I have enjoyed this blog for some time, as it is simply structured and easy to navigate. Posts have been sparse in May of 2015, but overall are consistent and cover a wide array of paid and organic search issues.

For me, these blogs are a great resource for daily research. I don’t have to be in the dark with all of these incredible experts sharing their knowledge! I hope you’ll find them just as useful.


Bob Fladung
Director of Advertising
INO.com, Inc.

Will you be in Vegas this week?

Will you be at the Money Show? I’ll be posting up in Las Vegas for the next few days to meet and greet my current and prospective advertisers. I’d love to meet you! The Money Show has always been a nice, relaxing event to sit down and discuss both marketing challenges and opportunities.

If you’ll be in Vegas from May 12th through the 14th, please get in touch with me. It doesn’t matter if we’ve done business together before or you’re new to INO.com, I’d love to buy you a drink!

Here’s to a great trip and extra luck to spread around,

Bob Fladung
Director of Advertising
INO.com, Inc.

Paying For Fake Traffic? Not Here.

Are you getting what you pay for? Imagine that your ad traffic was like a bag of chips. If you opened the bag to find it half empty, you’d feel ripped off.

If you’re buying display or video ads, it’s highly probable that you are buying fake traffic. Yes, bots that won’t actually become loyal to your brand, clicks that are automatically generated, and money spent on conversions that will never happen. An analyst report by Suntrust Robinson Humphreys found that up to 50% of publisher traffic is bot activity. They also found that 11% of display ad views and 23% of all video ad views were from a phony audience. Not too surprising though, more than half of the traffic that is sent from third parties claiming to lift a publishers’ traffic numbers came from bots.

According to a report issued by the Association of National Advertisers, fraudulent ad traffic and clicks will suck $6.3 billion from the industry in 2015.

Expectantly, this phony active also carries over to major social media networks. You may have heard about the great “Instagram Rapture” of 2014. In December, this social media giant purged millions of fake profiles, leaving many celebrities stunned by a dramatic drop in their followers. Instagram removed 29% of its own followers who were flagged as “spammy” accounts.

Fraudulent activity will always be an issue as long if people can make a dollar off quantity, and not quality.

Why should you pay for bogus activity and fraudulent clicks? You shouldn’t!

We, at INO.com, agree with you. You shouldn’t have to take your ad budget and automatically feel like 25% of it will be wasted. Thankfully, we have developed proprietary technology to detect and limit bot traffic across our ad channels.

We are fortunate to have a site where we know our audience very well, and our technology easily identifies visitors that do not follow a standard behavior pattern. Combined with a system that tracks IP addresses to our ad server, we can eliminate 99% of fraudulent traffic.

We also have a monitoring system that watches the INO.com site and actively blocks any requests from low reputation IP networks, browsers that seem to be fraudulent, or addresses with known fraud issues.


Bob Fladung
Director of Advertising
INO.com, Inc.

INO.com Turns 20 Today!

INO.com turns 20 today! It was March 21, 1995, when we hit the web – before Google, and before most stock and futures exchanges had their own websites.

Founder, Adam Hewison, originally intended to build traffic and then sell the site, but he realized how powerful a site that connected highly-qualified, active traders to brokers and trading services could be. Since then, we have continued to provide our clients with phenomenal returns on investment and an exemplary customer experience.

Thank you for your business and for the trust that you have given us. We will continue to change with the evolution of digital marketing while operating with paramount integrity.


Bob Fladung
Director of Advertising
INO.com, Inc.

Content Building with INO Contributors

If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times… “Content Is King.” These words were first spoken by Bill Gates in 1996, during the infancy of the Internet. With only a small percentage of businesses holding an online presence, content, any content for that matter, could generate traffic.

Once Google hit the scene in 1998, they changed the way that consumers and businesses searched for information and used the Internet for navigational, informational, and transactional applications. Although content is still important, relevancy and value are heavily weighted factors when it comes to search engine rankings and overall visitor satisfaction.

Content must be relevant to a search query and provide the visitor with enough information so that they do not feel as if their time was unfairly wasted. By ensuring this high-quality content, a publisher can please the SEO Gods and also foster relationships with prospective customers.

Content creation, good content creation, is not easy. It takes knowledgeable writers time to craft a high-quality piece that truly feeds the interest of an audience. In December 2014, we selected 6 writers to form our INO Contributor Team. These writers and analysts, from all backgrounds, regularly contribute content for their prospective trading area. So far, we have heard great feedback from our Traders Blog visitors and our affiliate marketers alike.

INO.com Contributor Team

Adam Feik – Energies                           Matt Thalman – ETFs

Aibek Burabayev – Metals                    George Yacik – Fed & Interest Rates

William Cikos – Equities                       Lior Alkalay – Forex

These contributors will help drive new traffic to INO.com. What does that mean for you? I mean a fresh pool of potential lead takers for your service/product and unique pageviews for display campaigns. We are looking to distributing much more content from our INO.com contributors and we know it will ultimately help our advertisers!


Bob Fladung
Director of Advertising
INO.com, Inc.

Financial Industry Cybersecurity Issues for 2015

The financial industry has always been a prime target for cyber terrorists. Why wouldn’t it be? Here is an industry that requires billions of sensitive data points to be passed to and from various people to execute transactions and return informational queries. Keeping this data encrypted and out of the hands of the wrong people is of ultimate importance. 2015 will undoubtedly be full of challenges for those responsible for site security.

Besides being very aware of your company’s cybersecurity risk management abilities, it is also important that your third-party data sources and vendors are following the same cybersecurity best practices. Recognizing third-party risks tops the list of “Top 10 Cybersecurity Trends for Financial Services in 2015,” in an article by ThinkAdvisor.

ThinkAdvisor suggests that companies will rely on third party services to handle “cyber risk mitigation and monitoring.” With all sites relying on cybersecurity specialists to protect their well-being, there will be a minimum security standard certified by an unbiased regulators and not by the sites themselves. This should ease the hesitancy of working with new partners, vendors and other third parties as “security will be built into any product, service, solution or software capability provided by a third party, and will be subject to frequent testing and updates.”

Also on their list of cybersecurity trends and concerns in 2015…

#2 Rise of the “fusion center”
#3 Intense protection of raw data
#4 New targets for hackers
#5 Evolution of cyber crime analysis
#6 Hacktivism infects the Middle East
#7 Developing nations encounter cyber problems
#8 Response preparation improves as a result of cyberwar gaming
#9 Expectation of privacy despite willingness to share data
#10 Increase in cyber insurance premiums

INO.com uses a number of vendors to power our site with quotes and news. We only work with trusted parties that take cybersecurity as seriously as we do. We continuously strive to keep one step ahead of the bad guys and will surpass industry cybersecurity stands to protect our integrity, visitors and vendors and 2015 will be no different!

You may find the above article an interesting read.


Bob Fladung
Director of Advertising
INO.com, Inc.

Test Our Standard Lead-Generation in February

February is that awesome month where life is pretty vibrant in the markets. As traders are ready to make some major moves, so are many advertisers!

Our standard lead-generation program is one of our most popular offerings. It’s a unique way to generate leads for brokers, investment programs and trading services in a way that qualifies the lead and ensures that they are active and willing to communicate with our partners.

Learn about how this powerful program works and contact me to check for available test inventory. I love getting new clients to try this lead program, because they become hooked as soon as they run their ROI numbers! I have the same clients coming back to us month after month, year after year for leads from our standard lead-generation program.

I hope to hear from you,

Bob Fladung
Director of Advertising
INO.com, Inc.

Let’s Meet! Marketing Summit – February 3rd & 4th

I love meeting my clients face-to-face, but this doesn’t always get to happen. In fact, I’ve probably met only a small percentage of my clients in person. It’s amazing what email, Skype and phone calls can accomplish. But when I actually get to shake hands with someone I’ve done business with, it sure is a pleasure. It’s always nice to place a face with a name!

I am heading down to Orlando, Florida on February 3rd and 4th to attend the Investing Info-Marketing Summit. Will you be there too? I would love to get together for a coffee or a drink.

INO.com‘s Director of External Advertising, Kenny Shay, and I attended the last summit in Vegas. It was phenomenal! This time around, we decided to man our own INO.com booth. We’ll have some great giveaways, so please swing by. This year’s speaker line-up looks even better than the last, so financial publishers and content creators are in for a treat!

So if you’re attending the summit or you are located in the Orlando area, please reach out to me. I’d love to shake your hand and introduce myself or thank you in person for your business.


Bob Fladung
Director of Advertising
INO.com, Inc.

Making The Most of Social Media with a Small Team

The web is such an incredible place. What started as a new and exciting way to distribute information from business to consumer, has now evolved into a never ending, free flow of communication between business to consumer, consumer to business and the almighty consumer to consumer. Cultivating positive relationships with customers in this era means successfully utilizing social media. So, the question becomes, can you handle it? If you’re a small company with limited resources, this task may seem daunting, but with the right tools and prioritization, it can be done!

Here are three suggestions to help you manage your brand and social media reputation regardless of your limited man-power.

1) Have Presence Where Presence Is Due!

There are over 200 notable social media networking sites worldwide. Trying to promote and protect your brand on all of these sites would be very difficult and not very efficient. Although there is a possibility that your company will be discussed on some of the lesser known sites, you should focus your efforts on the big players and those sites that are a close match for your industry type.

Google+, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have a combined 3.4 billion registered users. Those four platforms should be on the top of your social media priority list due to their reach alone. Then, you can consider sites with lower site registration volume if they reach your active target audience.

2) Let Tools Do Your Dirty Work

Social media tools can help a small team prepare, execute and analyze successful campaigns. What may have taken days, can potentially be reduced to mere hours. Instead of teeing up content on multiple social media sites, these tools allow you to sync the same messaging, deploy them based around your publishing schedule, analyze the results in one place and send you reputation reports.

Tweetdeck and HootSuite are two popular tools that allow social media managers to create content and schedule distribution. These management tools can perform multiple tasks and keep you organized in one platform. 

3) Monitor Your Reputation & Let Your Customers Spread The Word!

It is essential that you know what people are saying about your brand. Is there one customer with a bad experience who is using social media to vent? Maybe reaching out to that individual could help make them happy, clear up any confusion and quiet them. It may be that simple step that makes you look like a social media hero, instead of a total zero. Especially in today’s connected world, every customer’s voice can be heard and it must matter! From a simple “like,” to a comment that shows you care, each touch-point is an opportunity to build a relationship. If your customers are your biggest fans, they will act as your “street team,” spreading your brand-name and praising your products or services. So, by monitoring your reputation and interacting with clients, one single social media manager can create hundreds or thousands of word-of-mouth connections. Social media can present awesome opportunities to show your current customers that you appreciate them and show new customers how amazing you are. It doesn’t take a team of social media managers to create genuine relationships with customers which helps lead to new customers.

There is nothing social about a company that stays silent. Thankfully, you don’t need a ton of voices. You shouldn’t have a ton of voices! Just one, a strong company personality that mimics the brand voice. Even small companies can benefit from the social scene with little man-power by following just a few little tips.

Best wishes and merry marketing, 

Bob Fladung
Director of Advertising
INO.com, Inc.