For any business, a good marketing strategy is often the difference between landing the next customer and closing shop. As the number of new business ventures continues to rise worldwide, marketing strategy is quickly becoming one of the most crucial factors in landing investors.
While new businesses fuel the economy’s growth, they are also gradually establishing a fiercely competitive funding environment, with each new entrant fighting to secure capital from a limited number of investors. One of the few tools available for businesses that want to find and attract investors is an outstanding marketing strategy.
Just like customers, potential investors can’t find you unless you put the word out. They also won’t invest in a business that hasn’t figured out its customer acquisition strategy – a key goal of any sound marketing strategy.
To help you find and appeal to the right investors, we’ll explore some general marketing best practices along with nuanced investor-focused marketing tips.
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Marketing is about identifying your target market, understanding the needs of people in that market, and communicating how your company can solve their problems. Typically, companies do this to find potential customers.
However, you can also use marketing skills with the end goal of convincing people or organizations to invest money in your company. Here are five steps to take if you want to market to investors.
The first step is finding out what potential investors need or want in a business investment. Investors tend to focus on a few crucial factors:
Depending on your specific business, product, or industry, investors may look for additional factors, including strategic alliances, technical know-how, a critical mass customer base, or intellectual property.
Figure out what factors are most crucial to your potential investors.
When you’re ready to sell your house, you might enhance the landscaping and declutter the interior to make it more appealing to potential buyers. You’ll go through a similar exercise with your business when trying to secure private investors. Once you know what investors are looking for, it’s time to ensure your business is vital in those areas.
Follow these steps to shore up your business:
Next, create a business plan detailing your organization’s specifics, why your company is a good investment, and what kind of investment you’re seeking. Create a PowerPoint presentation with some of this information for investors, and write and practice your investor elevator pitch.
Consider creating a one-page company overview that includes the main selling points for investors. All your marketing materials should be well-written and designed to look professional and attractive, portraying your business in the best possible light.
The next step is finding your ideal investors. This process is akin to advertising and participating in trade shows to find customers. There are two primary ways to find and interact with investors: online investing platforms and in-person events.
While the marketing best practices described above will help you identify and appeal to investors in general, you’ll need more than that to seal the deal. These four marketing hacks will help you focus on your ideal investment partner.
One of the biggest mistakes budding entrepreneurs make is begging for funds from any investor that cares to listen. When desperate for capital, some business owners will market their businesses or ideas without identifying the type of investor they want.
Here are some tips for identifying investors in your niche:
Angel investors are high-net-worth investors who generally focus on local startups. They have skin in the game and often develop an emotional attachment to the companies they fund.
Once you’ve determined what your ideal investor looks like, ensure your PR strategy is carefully coordinated and sends the right message about your business to potential investors.
To accomplish this, back your PR campaigns with a solid digital marketing strategy. According to an in-depth Aquare analysis, a well-managed content-amplification strategy designed to generate thousands of retweets, shares and referral traffic is the only way to ensure PR campaigns achieve maximum reach and engagement.
Here are some tips for creating a PR strategy optimized for investor attention:
Your digital presence should also be front and center so potential investors can easily find you and interact with your brand. The last thing you’d want is to make a successful pitch to a potential investor, only for them to spend a whole afternoon wandering through the internet looking for the slightest glimpse of your brand.
Your company website is a significant element of your business’s online identity. Your website is usually the first place potential investors go for additional information. Despite its importance, a surprisingly small number of SMBs pay attention to their websites – if they have one at all.
Ensure your website – especially your landing page – is straightforward and easy on the eyes. It should also have the following qualities:
Consider adding a password-protected page for investors or creating a separate website for investors with a link to your primary website.
Your digital presence should also include social media marketing – another essential marketing element that will bring your brand closer to potential investors.
However, instead of going with every social media channel available, double down exclusively on platforms truly relevant to your business and investors. For instance, if you’re an online fashion retailer, you’ll get more brand visibility via platforms like Pinterest and Instagram than Twitter because of your products’ visual nature.
While most social media outreach builds brand awareness and promotes your products or services to potential customers, you can also reach out to potential investors. LinkedIn is the best social platform for investor outreach because you can directly message your business contacts, participate in industry or investor groups, and ask your contacts for introductions.
Use one of the best social media management and marketing tools to develop specific strategies, track mentions, and update and maintain your social media accounts.
Blogs can be an effective method of attracting investors. Use high-quality blog posts or guest posts on industry influencer blogs to tell your story and highlight your unique features and selling points. Search out the blogs of investors on your radar, and comment on their posts to start forging a relationship with them.
A vital part of finding investors is rubbing elbows with other people. For instance, hosting or attending a business networking event can lead to a one-on-one conversation with a potential investor who may even turn out to be a business partner.
Here are some tips for engaging in smart networking:
By combining digital and traditional marketing elements, you stand a much greater chance of catching the interest of that one person who could be the difference between success and disappointment.
After you’ve found the right investor, your next step is to determine if the investor is offering a good deal. Evaluate the deal, get advice from trusted experts or advisors, and ensure the partnership works for you and your company.
Howard Goldstein contributed to the writing and research in this article.