Tag Archives: social media marketing for private equity

8 reasons why your business should outsource digital marketing

Many business would benefit a great deal from outsourcing some or all of their digital marketing efforts — as these efforts are complicated and require specialized expertise.  A recent series of articles provides some of the best reasons why business should outsource digital marketing.  In preparing this post – I’ve drawn upon the insights of Freya Jones, Irene Sun and Sheldon Payne to create a list of 8 reasons why your business should outsource digital marketing.  Here they are:

  1. You’re hiring experts —  The best digital marketers can identify custom strategies for your business and their unique role within that strategy.  Some digital marketers maintain a successful focus on one or a small number of industries — and will have the track record to prove it.
  2. You’ll receive a valuable outside perspective on your business —  An outside perspective from a digital marketing expert will provide you with a wholly unique and informed perspective on what might best benefit your marketing strategy.   
  3. You’ll receive a continually optimized strategy — A digital marketing expert will be committed to the ongoing, informed optimization of your strategy to achieve best results.  
  4. Less risk —  Digital marketing involves a number of areas of expertise, including strategy,  content marketing, social media engagement, analytics and more.  When you outsource these tasks you won’t be wasting your own time attempting to hire one person who is capable of performing all of these roles capably.
  5. You’ll achieve better results — A digital marketing expert will have the experience of previous successful efforts and be in a position to help guide your strategy and implementation to faster results. 
  6. Your marketing efforts will be seamless — By hiring a digital marketing expert, you’ll ensure your own staff won’t need to worry about this often labor-intensive work. Your digital marketer will have much experience in juggling a wide variety of tasks at all times.
  7. You get to do more with less — As digital marketing utilizes many channels and a variety of areas of expertise – by hiring the right professional for each task — you can turn over large portions of your marketing function to the copywriters, designers, SEO specialists and others integral to creating a fully functioning, sophisticated digital marketing effort.
  8. You get access to the latest technology — Digital marketing utilizes technologies that often change and adapt in the fast-paced digital economy.  An expert in digital marketing will know about these changes and be adapting your marketing efforts to be as up-to-date as possible.

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Essentials of Content Marketing Part #1: Strategy

The ascendance of content marketing

More and more companies are now utilizing the internet as a means by which to communicate with key audiences.  And this communication is commonly referred to as content marketing.  Content marketing utilizes a variety of forms of communication — including written, audio and video — often published on a range of social media channels.

Alexander Jutkowitz, vice chairman and chief global strategist at Hill+Knowlton has written about this trend, noting the “historic transformation for brands and companies” centered around content.  In particular, Jutkowitz has detailed how “nine out of ten organizations are now marketing with content”.  “The succes of content marketing”, he explains, “has radicalized the way companies communicate…mark[ing] an important new chapter in the history of business communications: the era of corporate enlightenment.”

With the importance of content’s role in modern marketing, those who might utilize it should first be aware of its’ essentials.  This post is the first in a series dedicated to the Essentials of Content Marketing.  It’s about getting the overall strategy right — before beginning any content marketing effort.

Content strategy tailors consistent messages to specific audiences

British public relations consultants Mackman Group have ably detailed the essentials of content strategy on their website.  As they explain, a content strategy permits an organization to align their business objectives with meeting the needs of their customers via online engagement.  Well thought-out content, as they explain, will be shared and more easily relevant in internet searches.  This amplifies those key messages and ultimately leads to more interest and more customers.  

The first step of a content strategy is research — which allows an organization to understand their key audiences.  Once understood, content can then be consistently crafted to meet the ongoing needs of an audience.  Too, companies should utilize platforms best suited to reaching and engaging with the audience that specific content is created for.  In particular: “[Content] output must be consistently good…regular, original and varied, [while] in keeping with the brand’s overall style.”  This is essential for building and maintaining an audience.  And well planned social media is required to properly promote content and engage with an audience.

Importantly, “customers are not the only audience content engages… members of the media community – [including bloggers and writers] — should not be overlooked”.

A well-planned content strategy will lead to measurable results

Mackman Group concluded that a “clearly set out strategy” means content is easy to implement and measure.  They recommend setting specific objectives which can be analyzed by using social media feedback and analytics from web traffic.  This author would also note that content marketing, properly integrated into outbound business development initiatives, can be credited with a percentage of the sales proceeds firms generate from this unified effort.

While much more is available online about content marketing strategy, this post provides a basic overview of the central importance of strategy to content marketing. More of those elements will be detailed in this series in the future.

Need help with creating content or managing social media?  Click here for more information or to arrange a discussion.

8 reasons why your company should be on Twitter

Companies are increasingly using the internet as a means by which to communicate with key audiences.  And as Ed Adler (@eadler12recently outlined in PRWeek, Twitter may be the best place for corporate executives to begin online engagement.

Importantly, as Adler notes, as a result of the rapid acceleration of internet adoption by consumers around the world, corporate executives “leave them[selves] and their companies at an increasing disadvantage” if they don’t adopt a considered online presence.

Social media usage greater than traditional media

Adler cited statistics which reflect that “by 2020, Millennials will make up 50% of the workforce. Today, 71% of Millennials check social media sites at least once a day. Twitter has more than 316 million active users, LinkedIn boasts 400 million members, and the population of Facebook (1.5 billion monthly users) is larger than that of China. The number of users is more than 150 times the combined daily circulation of The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Financial Times, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Forbes, and Fortune.”

Twitter, Adler notes, provides companies with a superb means by which to:

  1. Deliver news;
  2. Manage crises;  
  3. Identify influencers;
  4. Raise awareness;
  5. Generate recognition;  
  6. Increase loyalty;
  7. Engage employees; and
  8. Control the narrative.

Twitter is unique among social media channels

Adler noted in particular that Twitter has the unique quality among social channels of serving as a stand-alone real time news platform where “industry influencers can truly change company positioning with just 140 characters”  He noted how “Goldman Sachs… no longer distribute[s] press releases on the wire, but [instead] use[s] Twitter to release its results.”

Social Media usage is seeing 25% year-on-year annual growth

He concluded by noting that social media usage is growing 25% year-over-year across all age groups (citing ComScore) — making it an essential component for the communications strategy of any company and its senior management going forward.

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“Long form content” among digital trends of Davos 2016

Long form content is among 5 digital trends of Davos 2016, according to Marcia Newbert (@EdelmanDC), writing in Edleman Digital Blog.

As Newbert explained, each January, “the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, attracts more than 2,500 of the world’s top business leaders, academics, celebrities, activists, media and political elite to an otherwise sleepy ski town in the foothills of the Swiss Alps…The theme of this year’s [meeting, which took place between Jan 20-23, was] the Fourth Industrial Revolution, a new era that builds and extends the impact of digitization. So it’s fitting then, that even more so than last year, the impact of digital channels can be felt on the ground.”

Those 5 trends, as Newbert detailed, are:  1. A Growing number of digital channels; 2. An Explosion of Davos social conversation; 3. The Widespread adoption of multimedia content; 4 The staying power of long-form content, and 5. An uptick in paid amplification.

Explaining the long form content trend in particular, Newbert wrote: “The World Economic Forum’s Agenda blog published more than 70 blog posts from their staff and WEF attendees on Tuesday alone. Ian Bremmer, President of the Eurasia Group; Mark Tercek, President and CEO of the Nature Conservancy; and Devin Wenig, President and CEO of eBay* used their LinkedIn Influencer platforms to share their thoughts on the emerging trends in their respective industries. Other organizations like The Girls’ Lounge are using Medium to share their long-form essays about Davos.”

Corporate content marketing efforts are increasing

So while Davos’ digital trends reflect a deepening and diversification among digital and content marketing trends – “69 percent of companies are [now] growing their content” marketing efforts — as Travis Wright (@teedubya), Chief marketing technologist for CCP Global outlined in Inc. this week. “Modern marketers are devoting an increasing amount of resources towards creating great content and efforts to boost awareness rather than continue to invest in ads”, Wright detailed.

Based on Davos’ digital trends from 2016, therefore, long form content ought to be among the practices companies consider keeping at the forefront of their increasing content marketing efforts.

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Social media: A cost-effective way to strengthen private equity-corporate relationships

“Private equity investing is a relationship business. As more of our personal relationships move online, social media becomes a very cost-effective way to strengthen a firm’s corporate relationships”, as David Teten (@dteten) observed in a 2013 article in PE Hub (@peHUB) (an online community for professionals in private capital).

The C-suite is already benefiting from social media

According to”a 2014 Global Social CEO Survey of 1000 US and UK employees in diverse companies, ranging in size from startups to Fortune 1000 companies”, “social media engagement by companies’ c-suite executives is more critical than ever”, as Meg Guiseppi (@MegGuiseppioutlined in Executive Career Brand.  In particular, the study found that:

“Conversations taking place on Twitter, LinkedIn…YouTube…and other social channels do not stop because management is not looking. When executives fail to speak for themselves, other voices fill the void and the conversations continue without them.”

“C-suite executives who embrace social media”, therefore, “gain a competitive edge” Guiseppi concludes.

Private Equity can benefit, too

In private equity, David Teten cites “Robert Bruner, dean of the Darden School of Business, [who] observed in an interview that social media is particularly important in origination because of the significance of ‘weak ties‘ in identifying investment opportunities. In addition, he predicted that the rise in importance of online networks will make the most credible players even stronger.” Teten “suggest[s] the reason for that is: As people consider doing business with others that they know primarily online, a known brand becomes a significant expediter of a potential transaction.”

Teten goes on to detail how some private capital market advisors are already benefiting from social media, including his own firm, ff Venture Capital.

But how can a private equity firm adopt social media effectively?

Considered adoption of social media engagement by private equity professionals will result in more deal flow and larger and deeper referral networks.  But before embarking upon any social media effort, firms should educate themselves about what options are available and how to tailor a program unique to an individual firm.  Becoming more aware of what leading firms are already doing is just one of the prerequisites to beginning a unique, tailored effort.  Choosing which methods to communicate your unique message, what social channels to use, and which professionals to work with to adopt these efforts, are vital to get right before starting.

Important to keep in mind, however, is that the use of social media by the C-Suite consumers of middle market corporate advisory services is expanding rapidly.  Hence time is of the essence.

How social media is helping legacy media reach new heights

As Lucia Moses (@lmoses) reported today in DigiDay, The Washington Post recently surpassed the New York Times in online traffic via a strategy that includes increased social media engagement efforts, including:

Facebook

“Digital news outlets today can no longer assume readers will come to them, so they need a strong social distribution strategy to reach readers where they are”, as Moses reported.

In particular, “The Post has been aggressive in distributing its content far and wide, from Facebook Instant Articles to Apple News, and its numbers reflect that”.  And “(Two viral hits in June helped make [The Post] the 20th-most-engaging publisher on Facebook, according to Newswhip.)”.

Mobile

Moses detailed how: “The Post’s total audience grew 59 percent in the past year, according to comScore. But while the desktop audience grew just 6 percent, the mobile audience nearly doubled.” [emphasis added]

Viral

“The Post’s most popular stories show a traditional newsroom balancing the demand for viral hits with hard news coverage.”

Fast-paced blogs

“The Post also has been breathing new life into its fast-paced blogs, and that effort has paid off”, as Post executive editor Martin Baron (@PostBaron) told Moses.

Lessons for the corporate and professional services sectors

Corporate and professional services would be wise to emulate the success the Washington Post has achieved via a well-thought-out social strategy.  Substantive, well-written content combined with proactive social media engagement on the best platforms will generate more traffic.

Businesses need to be online

As Stephanie Sammons has outlined in WiredAdvisor:  More business are realizing “that they need to be self-publishing to attract and retain clients in the digital age.”  “You may think of yourself as being influential,” she writes, “but if you’re not blogging in the digital age, you’re likely not going to be influencing anyone online.”

Good Content + Effective Mobile/Social Engagement are key to success

Barbara McKinney explains in an article published on exploreB2B (citing Derek Miller): “With every content marketing shooting for ways to stand out from among the competition, one simply cannot settle with mediocrity. The only way to compete is to offer something quite unique, and rich-media content is the go-to “variety” that everyone is looking for.

“Mobile is becoming the default device of choice not the laptop”, writes Jeff Bullas (@jeffbullas) on his widely read blog about social media marketing.  “This device shift will be most prevalent in emerging nations including Asia and Africa as 3 billion more people go online on mobile devices. Not tethered personal computers.”  And “mobile marketing spend is predicted to hit $65 billion by 2019 in the US alone”, Bullas outlines.

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