And the winner of the 21st Webby Awards is...

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(It's not La La Land)
By Caroline Faucher, contributor. 24 April, 2017
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The 21st Webby Awards' nominees have been announced and we’re placing bets on who will win the Best Financial Services Website category.

Considered by many as the most prestigious internet gongs, the Webby Awards are back to showcase the best of what the internet has to offer. While this year has been a record setter for the Awards, which received 13,000 entries from 70 countries, only a handful of finance brands were nominated.

However, and perhaps unexpectedly, the usual big players aren’t dominating the nominations for the Financial Services/Banking website category. Instead, there is an eclectic mix of smaller FinTech, investment, insurance and accounting businesses in the spotlight.

If websites have traditionally been judged primarily on their visual appeal, it’s clear this is no longer the case. Websites that capture interest today are created with just the right balance of visual impact, functionality and content. To win a Webby, all content types including text, sound, animation and video are taken into account by the judges.

And the five nominees in the Financial Services category are…

If Spike Lee saying Why He Never Feels bad Asking for Money doesn’t hook people into thinking about money, all that’s left is cats in sinks – full of money

Ellevest

Ellevest, as the name suggests, is a digital financial advice company that markets to women. Everything on the website is designed to entice. Focusing on goals of particular interest to women, and with an ethos based around: 'Investing shouldn’t be unisex. We factor women’s risk preferences and longer lifespans into your plan,' Ellevest has backed this up with an all-inclusive content strategy, and has also created a complete finance blog that complements the product.

Insurify

Insurify, is a website for car insurance comparison. While there has been a rise in the number of comparison sites, Insurify makes the whole experience fun, with animations, videos and simple microtext throughout. While the website is designed for users to get active and seek quotes, articles aren’t so easily found. You have to go hunting to find them. An innovative feature, however, is the virtual assistant. While still in beta mode, it's a great addition for engaging users.

Freshbooks

Perhaps the most known of all the nominees in this category is the cloud accounting website Freshbooks. The new website is rich in content, that’s particularly informative. A well-crafted blog provides a wealth of information for users wanting to know more about accounting, as well as just about everything related to owning a business. The site also offers eBooks, which can be downloaded from the website. When compared to the other nominees though, the Freshbooks website seems to lack the variety of content types seen on other websites.

WealthSimple

WealthSimple isn’t new to the Webbys, having won the award in this category last year. The company has since updated the website and this year has also been nominated in the Financial Services Mobile Sites and Apps Category. The new design is clean, and the content is meticulously presented. WealthSimple doesn’t hold back on beautiful animations, which are enhanced by interactive graphs. Where WealthSimple really makes an impact, however, is with its magazine, which features alluring titles such as Jon Hamm Would Like to Buy a Time Machine and Alex Karpovsky, Star of HBO's Girls, Has Always Known the Hollywood Money Would End.

ClearScore

The only nominee from outside North America, ClearScore, is a UK- FinTech that helps people manage their finances. The website showcases many types of content. From videos featuring team members to a blog that makes users want to know more about the business, it's clear that ClearScore has resources dedicated to the creation of quality content. Frequency of posting is perhaps something that needs to be considered as part of a longer-term content strategy.

Our pick for the winner? How can you possibly go past WealthSimple’s inventive, if celebrity-driven, hero content? Spike Lee Tells Why He Never Feels bad Asking for Money - if that doesn’t hook people into thinking about money, then all that’s left is cats in sinks – full of money.

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Caroline is a Canadian-Australian writer and online communication strategist with over 10 years experience in media, not-for-profits and government. Now based in the seaside city of Newcastle, she enjoys the variety of topics a freelance life offers and the challenge of turning complex ideas into simple messages.