Content Marketing – The Long Game Every M&A Firm Needs

You are probably starting to hear about content marketing more often, but what is it exactly and why should your M&A firm care?

Content marketing is a marriage of many marketing elements you may already be familiar with. These elements include blogging, social media, email or direct marketing and even PPC. The secret to successful content marketing is how these elements are levered to become more valuable than the sum of their parts.

Think of content marketing as your M&A firm’s anti-sales strategy.  Business owners are constantly being bombarded with unsolicited offers from buyers and prodding questions from intermediaries. It is our feeling that there is a lot of seller fatigue out there in the market.  So, rather than asking business owners to sell, consider giving them a lot of value added information in a lot of venues- it will pay off in the long run.

Good content marketing can pay off in a number of ways, although direct ROI can be tricky to calculate.  Content marketing helps with:

Reputation and Brand Exposure

Publishing content on multiple platforms and delivering direct to prospects will expose more prospects to your firm.  Your readers will view you as a thought leader, a voice of authority and a direct source of information all of which can drive increased inbound lead flow.

Qualified Website Traffic Generation

On-site content marketing is very survivable and can attract new qualified traffic by way of increased SEO, email marketing channels and more. Once an article is published and ranking, it will continue to exist online for years to come.  Prospects that find this content are already searching for questions you have answered. This increases the chances they are a qualified prospect.

Direct Conversions

Most good content marketing focuses on giving the reader something…but you should never be afraid to ask for something in return.  There are many direct conversion opportunities on site, in email, via social and other off-site locations.

More is not better – better is better!

By now you probably know you should be creating content, but don’t get fooled into thinking you need to pay huge dollars for high volume content campaigns or become a content farm.  In M&A, quality, voice consistency and value are more important than volume.  That said, the internet is vast and potential sellers have a huge appetite for information.  Pick a cadence and stick with it.  Skipping publishing dates and posting infrequently will dilute the value of your results.

Not a band-aid.

Content marketing creates long term explore and deal flow.  The key here is ‘long-term’.  Content marketing is not a quick fix and often takes 6 months or more to really prove out.  It should be viewed as a foundational part of your business development strategy, not as a means to an end.  If you need a quick fix, I would argue that you probably do not have a functioning content marketing strategy.

I am not only the president, I am a member.

I have been selling into M&A and other middle market companies for years and have tried everything to grow my businesses from sponsorships, sales staff, paid marketing etc. – after too many years spinning our wheels, we adopted a content marketing strategy that now accounts for more than 70% of all revenues generated in the last 12 months.  I am a big believer in content marketing because it works..plain and simple.

But watch out…

Most M&A firms are concerned about investing in something that is hard to prove the value of short term.  The reality is content marketing campaigns can be executed for modest costs.  Do not risk big dollars by jumping in head first, but consider starting with smaller investments that allow you to gather information about your potential client’s, building data tested campaigns over time.

When content marketing campaigns fail it is often because the client firms are not willing to adapt strategies based on the available data.  If you use data to drive your decision-making you should have a high probability of success.

Takeaways…

Do something – at least try to be on par with your competition.

Be prepared for the long haul.  Content marketing takes time to augment your business but once it does it is easy to scale.

Start small and scale with data over time.

 

Want to talk specifics about how we can help your M&A firm with all things content marketing?  Email us at hello@mergerlabs.com for more information or fill out a form on our contact page.  

Posted on
June 13, 2017

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