Morgan Stanley Reveals How It Produces Awesome, Timely Financial Content

If you visit Morgan Stanley’s website, you may be surprised by what you found. A full-screen article teaser, topical financial analysis, and social media buttons? What is this, The Wall Street Journal?

Well, that characterization may be more accurate than you think. Last year, the global investment company completely revamped its content strategy to focus on creating deep, timely financial articles by leveraging its internal knowledge. To help, it also brought in Yu Wong, a former journalist at The Wall Street Journal and The Street, who is now the VP of digital strategy.

Last week, Contently CEO Joe Coleman sat down with Wong and Bryan Van Dyke, executive director and head of digital strategy at Morgan Stanley, to discuss the state of financial content at our latest Finance Salon. In front of a packed audience, the three discussed everything from building a content-centric website to leveraging internal talent to effectively measuring ROI.

Here are some of the best tips and takeaways from the discussion.

On technology:

Last year, Morgan Stanley scrapped its CMS and built an entirely new website on HTML5. The final product not only looks amazing—and much more like a publication than a banking site—but also allows Morgan Stanley to be much more agile when it comes to posting topical articles.

On repurposing talent:

Van Dyke and Wong discovered that leveraging your company’s existing data and design capabilities can be a huge asset. They also emphasized recruiting talented employees to produce valuable thought leadership on key finance issues.


Brand lift has been Morgan Stanley’s main indicator of success, though engagement and social shares are also key. The marketing team has tested CTAs for recruitment and financial advisor appointments with early success as well. Their biggest milestone? An employee’s six-year-old-daughter showing the website to her class, and her entire class going, “Wow!”

Image by Sam Slaughter

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