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private equity digital marketing Tag

Private Equity Firms are marketing online more and more, but few are doing a decent job of it and even fewer are seeing success from it.

Our experience has shown there are several key reasons for this.

  1. They Don’t Have the Skills In-House
  2. They Don’t Have a Strategy
  3. They Don’t Take it Seriously

These reasons should make sense to everyone, but as it relates to digitally marketing private equity firms the typical strategies that most marketers speak on are more aligned to consumer marketing, or where the company needs to have a high public visibility.
For Private Equity Firms it is more important to gain the intelligence of how your targets behave online to create a personalized approach and identify how and where they seek advice.

This is a story of how one Private Equity Firm Won Big Online
A Private Equity firm who focused primarily on B2B manufacturing companies wanted to increase dealflow but felt they had exhausted the personal and professional network of the team.

So the question was, “How do we get ourselves in front of new deals?”.

They Took to the Streets

The Managing Directors of the firm started calling on anyone they had met in the past who could potentially refer them to deals. Attorneys, CPA’s, Money Managers, etc.

While some seemed promising and the likelihood of deals in the future would likely come, they would also come slowly and with no predictability.

They Attended Conferences and Trade Shows

Another easy idea was to get in front of company owners and board members at trade shows and conferences. This too is great and can build trust quickly with potential targets.

The problem with this is that it is not scalable and again can result in slow acquisition.

What About Marketing?

For some reason many Private Equity Firms don’t participate in marketing.
Maybe it’s the rules that you must deal with from FINRA and the SEC.
Maybe it’s a belief that it doesn’t work.

But this firm decided that it was worth a try.

After looking at options and talking to many different agencies, they decided that digital marketing would be their best choice.

They came to this decision based on the fact that they could start finding businesses who were actually looking for growth opportunities which are closer to converting as deals and they could target and track the people and companies they would like to do business with.

What were the results?

The firm decided to optimize their website for search and for conversion.
They started doing content marketing focused on drawing in new business opportunities directly from owners, boards and deal makers.
They used paid ads and retargeting to stay in front of their prospects.
They tracked and measured the activity to identify high value contacts.

All of these actions resulted in 20% higher deal flow volume than their record year and a 25% reduction in time to close on those new inbound deals.

This resulted in Millions of dollars in new revenue and a greater profile / status as a solid firm in that particular sector.

You can read more on Private Equity Marketing here: http://acumenstudio.com/private-equity-marketing/

Branding for Private Equity Firms

In the past Private Equity firms had the option of worrying about their brand or not. Communication took place in an organic way through partner networks and personal connections. Results produced by the Private Equity firm could stand on their own, demonstrating the value and strength of a firm.

Today this is slowly fading away. A Private Equity firm is now virtually required to participate in building and growing it’s brand.
From the Name, Logo and Colors to the Voice of the firm and what sets it apart, all of these things are becoming more and more important to potential investors and business targets (not to mention consumers who voice their opinions about firms).

Listed here are some specific reasons that Private Equity Firms should care about Branding:

An increase in competition: There are more firms out there now due to growth in popularity of Private Equity. This is making it imperative to stand out and communicate efficiently an ever increasing number of firms in the US and Globally.

A maturing market: When it first began, Private Equity was new and sexy, but now that initial luster is over everyone is back to business. Investors were extremely eager to give their money over to firms in the early days, but now they are looking to invest with solid brands that ensure them with trust and performance.

Defining the offering: Private Equity as a term has been blurred for many investors and individuals. When so many things come to mind while speaking about private equity it is extremely important to define what it is a firm actually does, specializes in or does not do. The constituents and prospects need that clear distinction.

An increase in publicly documented commentary: In the past Private Equity firms did not need to worry about public scrutiny or even journalist comments. No one seemed to have anything bad to say. Then the media began to demonize practices within the industry and the public joined in. Social media has amplified the ability for investors, consumers, journalists and more to voice their opinions about firms or specific transactions. It is important to be there to control the message.

Regulatory changes: Recent regulatory changes in regards to general solicitation and advertising (the JOBS Act) has essentially told firms to start marketing & advertising and strengthen their brands. If one firm does not work on positioning themselves one way, it is most assuredly that their competitors are out their doing it.

Don’t get left behind and start Marketing your Private Equity Firm.

PPC for Private Equity

Private Equity has traditionally sourced deals through personal and professional networks, direct and referral. PPC (Pay Per Click) has not been used much in the industry.

Why hasn’t Private Equity used PPC?
The simple answer is they haven’t had to.
Now deals are becoming harder to source and competition has increased through the creation of many new PE firms.

How can Private Equity firms use Pay Per Click?
The search engines give you the ability to look inside at what people search.
We can identify search queries that are relevant to your firms offering.
“St. Louis Private Equity Firm”
“Investment Options to Grow my Business”

We can bid on terms like these and drive paid traffic to your firms website, where they can learn more about their options, contact you via email or call you by phone.

It really is that simple.
New Traffic = New Leads = Increased Deal Flow = More Closed Deals!

Knowing who to target
By matching search queries to intent we can identify what type of person is conducting the search.
A business owner, industry parter (Broker Dealer, Retail Bank, etc.) or a professional service provider (Advisor, Attorney, Accountatn, etc).
This is important because we can present the most meaningful information to them.

How else can this be used
Using search data, we can generate marketing or industry insights for your firm when considering a new business. This can be done industry wide or at the stage of feasibility.

PPC is a great tool within the entire spectrum of the Private Equity Digital Marketing suite.