In many circles, content marketing has only recently made the transition from a marketing buzzword to a respected best practice. Although content marketing is just beginning to hit its stride, the value of this approach has been around for decades.
The trust, authenticity, and authority that come as a result of high-quality published content that positions you and your company as industry leaders has helped savvy businesses for years, but the change that content marketing specifically presents is in who controls that published content.
Journalists, PR spokespeople, and other external media reps traditionally cover newsworthy events to create content, and your team can leverage that content to back up its claims and achieve its goals — but you have to earn that media. This leaves your personal brand open and vulnerable. And because PR thrives on the existing buzz around your business, it can be hard to earn and leverage the right coverage if your business isn't going through "newsworthy" changes.
Content marketing puts the power into the hands of your internal leaders to create, publish, and leverage owned media — content that you control — to establish your team's authority and industry leadership.
One of the primary benefits of content marketing is that you lead the conversation and have the power to craft the right messages for the right audiences. And one target audience that businesses can't afford to overlook is investors.
When investors read your content and begin to see you as a thought leader, it translates to credibility — and sometimes, a solid investment opportunity. Here's how to properly leverage your content to attract investor attention and secure buy-in:
Much like using your expertise and passion in the cycle of attracting, engaging, and nurturing potential clients into closed sales, you have to communicate that same expertise and passion to attract that initial interest from potential investors.
Create content that communicates your industry leadership and passion for your vision. This will attract attention from investors who share that passion and can become a part of bringing it to life.
Further, leverage the content you're creating by sharing it with potential investors digitally via email or LinkedIn's groups or publishing platform. Or share it in person by bringing a portfolio of your published work to investor meetings.
At Influence & Co., we emphasize to our clients the importance of using content in investor meetings. Not only can it help you schedule a meeting with investors in the first place, but it can also help you close a meeting with funding.
To make this process easier, our team created a public content profile feature for our custom software, ICo Core, that allows our clients to access in one place every piece of content they've published and share it with their readers, clients, and investors — because the better investors understand your passion and position as a thought leader, the more likely they’ll be to invest in your vision.
In fact, a client of ours secured an impressive amount of additional funding in 2015 after she published an article on Re/code that communicated her passion and established her expertise in network intelligence and business development.
Your passion is imperative in sparking interest, but it won't get you buy-in on its own. The next step is providing compelling facts that give your business, products, or services an edge. Make sure the content you're leveraging addresses these critical questions:
You must showcase — factually — why an investor should give you money and trust you with it. Showing that you've done your due diligence to explain your business's position and your product's or service's role in the market will give investors the confidence boost necessary for you to close.
Investors and clients alike are putting their money into your vision and company. Both believe in your message, and both need to be nurtured to keep growing that confidence. Once investors have bought in, you must continue to nurture them just like you would clients.
Keep them abreast of how your company is doing, how they've helped you, and what their support is doing for your vision's overall success. Even though your company is your "baby," these investors have a stake in it as well, and they need to feel like their needs and concerns are top of mind to you.
Investors could pull at any time, which would be detrimental to your business. But as long as you give these relationships the care they warrant, they'll continue to grow and strengthen. This could lead to even more investors jumping on board through word of mouth — just as satisfied clients tend to refer other potential clients.
Communicating passion for what you do, what your company stands for, and the unique expertise that differentiates you from other potential investments should be easy if it's genuine. And, if done correctly with a solid content strategy, that passion will become contagious and facilitate ongoing investor relationships for years to come.
Natalie Slyman is a content marketing and social media professional. She enjoys reading her favorite blogs, perusing Instagram, and talking about her cats (even when no one is listening).