Why private equity firms can’t ignore digital marketing trends
There’s no doubt every business has by now heard of digital marketing.
However many still think that digital marketing – which could include email marketing, social media, or making a website Google-search friendly – is not for them.
But consider this. Recent Cap Gemini research found that the companies that effectively use digital tools were 12 per cent more valuable and 26 per cent more profitable than their competitors.
“Digital maturity matters. It matters in every industry,” said the consulting firm in the report. This is particularly the case for the private equity industry, a part of the finance sector where firms use funds from investors to support growing businesses.
The days of private equity firms having single-page websites showing just their name and postal address are gone. However many still fall short when it comes to incorporating digital trends into their marketing strategy. Even though doing so could make them even more successful.
“The days of private equity firms having single-page websites showing just their name and postal address are gone.”
How private equity firms can benefit from digital marketing
(1) Marketing is about people
Private equity firms often say they do not need digital marketing because they market themselves to other businesses – such as potential investors or companies they might buy.
But just because you are a B2B business does not mean you are not targeting people.
And today, digital channels are often the best way to reach the people you want to – mainly because of the influence that millennials have in today’s workplace.
Those who make crucial first decisions about whether or not to engage with a private equity firm “are the more junior people,” says Sunaina Sinha of Cebile Capital, which helps private equity firms raise money. “For them, digital marketing would resonate.”
(2) You need to recruit and retain millennials
Broadening your company’s appeal to millennials will help ensure you are well-equipped for the future with enough employees with the right skills.
Presenting your business well online will help you to attract millennials to open positions.
Digital marketing also matters once they are on board. Millennials tend to focus on the overall mission of their employer and how this is communicated online.
Private equity firms can no longer rely only on big paycheques to keep their employees satisfied.
(3) It is a differentiator
The private equity sector is rapidly becoming more competitive, and digital marketing is a good way to stand out.
“There is a clear trend towards concentration of capital among a minority of large funds and firms are experiencing greater competition for assets,” notes a recent report from communications firm Peregrine.
“It is essential that private equity firms demonstrate their expertise and track record,” the report continues. Audiences “gain valuable insights into a [private equity firm’s] offering through [its] website and social media.”
What digital marketing should firms do?
Digital marketing includes social media marketing, search engine optimisation (SEO), email marketing, online advertising and more. All these are worth investigating, but here are our top three tips:
(1) Use video
Video traffic will make up 82 per cent of individual internet traffic by 2021, according to technology group Cisco.
So if you want to reap the benefits of digital marketing, video is an area that you cannot ignore.
Creating videos might seem like a big challenge to private equity firms, but good-quality video is becoming cheaper and easier to produce. There are plenty of specialist businesses that can make the process smoother and help you save costs. Have a look at 5 Tips for Creating Quality Video Content Even If You’re Clueless How to Begin.
You could also follow NorthEdge Capital’s example and reuse video made for another purpose, such as investor reporting.
(2) Get social media right
It is tempting to set up a social media account on every available channel. But your efforts will be more effective if you think about where your audience is and what your aims are. Then target your social media resources towards these.
LinkedIn and Twitter are typically better suited to private equity marketing than lifestyle-focused channels like Facebook and SnapChat.
But less typically used channels can work for some firms. For example, Eurazeo’s consumer sector-focused Brands division has an Instagram account.
(3) Aim to educate
Private equity firms might find it tempting to publicise their news and achievements.
But to drive more visitors to your website, sharing your expertise through content marketing is a much more successful approach.
“The really useful content is educational content – so not, ‘we are investing in this market’ but explaining why you are investing in that particular market,” says Alan O’Sullivan, managing director at Peregrine. “That content is interesting and compels people to engage with your brand.”
Permira, which Peregrine rates as the best European firm for private equity digital marketing, does this very well with sector-specific content and video.
Download our free guide
If you want to learn more about how to use digital and content marketing to stand out, download our free no-nonsense content marketing guide: