For any business, a good marketing strategy is often the difference between landing the next customer and closing shop. But as the number of new business ventures continues to rise across the globe, a business's marketing strategy is quickly becoming one of the most important factors in landing investors.
Fueled by the growth of the digital economy, these new ventures are introducing some much-needed disruption within many traditional industries.
On the flipside, however, these new businesses are also gradually establishing a fiercely competitive funding environment, with each new entrant fighting to secure capital from a limited number of investors. Toward that end, the marketing strategy becomes one of the few tools available for businesses that want to capture the attention of willing investors.
Potential investors, like your customers, will not find you unless you put the word out. They’ll also not go with a business that hasn’t figured out its customer acquisition strategy, something that requires a well thought-out marketing strategy. Here are a few tips to help you develop a marketing strategy that will hook you up with the right investors.
1. Identify investors within your niche.
One of the biggest mistakes that many budding entrepreneurs make is begging for funds from any investor that cares to listen. Desperate for capital, most business owners will market their businesses or business ideas without first identifying what type of investor they want to bring in. As many of them learn down the line, the right business matched with the wrong investor or investment platform is almost always destined to fail. Especially once ideological differences between the founder and the business's investors play out.
Before you embark on marketing your business to potential investors, take the time to know your ideal investor. Find out things like the niches they invest in, the location of their investments and their investment potential. If you're planning to pitch to venture capital and private equity firms, find out as much as you can about individual decision-makers within these companies to give your marketing plan more leverage once they interact with your business.
It's only after you've characterized your ideal investor that you can start infusing your marketing plan with this information.
2. Redesign your PR strategy for maximum exposure.
Once you've figured out what your ideal investor looks like, it's important to make sure that your PR strategy is carefully coordinated and sends the right message about your business to potential investors.
One effective way to accomplish this is by making sure your PR campaigns are backed by a solid digital marketing strategy. According to one in-depth analysis by Aquare, a digital marketing agency, a well-managed content amplification strategy designed to generate thousands of retweets, shares and referral traffic are the only way to make sure that PR campaigns achieve maximum reach and engagement.
Value does not necessarily equate to how much you spend on a campaign – it is all to do with a tangible return on that investment measured in revenue. An effective paid ad strategy on social media is vital, but approaching and using influencers in the right way is just as important for organic reach. By covering all your bases – or, in this case, digital channels – your PR campaign has a higher chance of landing in front of the right investors who won't hesitate to come on board.
Additionally, your PR strategy needs to show potential investors within your industry that you're ahead of the curve. Your press releases, newsletters, special media or speaking engagements should ideally focus on current and future trending topics within your industry with the objective of establishing your business as a thought leader. This will help set your business apart from the hundreds of startups and SMBs that are also looking for investors.
Also remember to time your PR campaigns appropriately. Press releases, emails and other elements of your PR strategy need to all be scheduled appropriately in advance of seeking out funding in order to lay the groundwork for productive conversations.
3. Solidify your digital presence.
In addition to your PR strategy, your digital presence should be felt by any investor who wants to interact with your brand. The last thing you'd want for your business 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.
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Therefore, one of the most important elements of your business's online identity is your website. This is usually the first thing potential investors go to for additional information about you. Despite its importance, a surprisingly small number of SMBs pay attention to their websites – if they even have one at all.
Make sure your website – especially your landing page – looks simple and easy on the eyes, is mobile friendly and loads quickly. That last bit is important because page load time affects bounce rate significantly, with a five-second page load time resulting in a 38 percent bounce rate, which translates into a ton of lost opportunities.
Your digital presence should also include social media – another important element of marketing that will bring your brand closer to potential investors. However, instead of going with every social media channel available, double down exclusively on those that are 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 the visual nature of your products.
There's a ton of other ways you can tweak your marketing strategy to attract investors outside the digital world. 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. By combining digital and traditional elements of marketing, you stand a much greater chance of bumping into that one person who could be the difference between success and failure.