The finance industry has increasingly gone digital, and unfortunately, the M&A and private equity space simply has not caught up yet. Even the firms that recognized the trend early, and have an established presence online, waste valuable resources on online marketing tactics that don’t work. It doesn’t matter how large or successful the firm, without guidance, mistakes happen.
Here at Merger Labs, we see a few problems that crop up time and again with every client we meet. If you’re hoping to avoid these pitfalls, we’ve got you covered. Without further ado, here are the five most common online marketing mistakes made in the private equity field.
Ignoring your Online Reputation
As so much of the mergers and acquisitions field is based on referrals and positive word-of-mouth, investing in a strong online reputation should be second nature. With online marketing, positive reviews are the equivalent of referrals, and should be cultivated at all costs. This is particularly important if you’re beginning to attract younger clients. Most investigative reports find that 85% of consumers trust online reviews more than personal referrals. By focusing your attention on digital brand recognition and a positive online persona, you’re not just finding new clients now, you’re building for the future.
On the other hand, ignoring your online reviews can severely damage the growth of your firm. If potential clients do any sort of vetting and see mostly bad reviews, or no reviews at all, that will undoubtedly undermine their trust in your capabilities. You could lose clients without even know it! As much as possible, focus your online persona to reflect the same professionalism and civility that you present in person. Consistency matters to people. You’re far more likely to land the client if you maintain the same high standards across the board.
Undervaluing the importance of online content
With how technical your work can be, the value of owning a website that explains everything in simple terms cannot be understated. Regular content that is relatable and understandable means a lot to your clients. They’re going to be more comfortable working with you if they can understand the work you’re doing and how it helps them directly. Lazy, salesy content is an immediate red flag for these clients, and can even steer them away from your firm and towards your competition.
If you don’t have time to spend on writing this content, it may be in your best interest to hire an agency or freelancer that can. Active posting on your website and social media isn’t just good for Google’s algorithms; it is the lifeblood of online client engagement with your firm. Not only will this highlight your area of expertise, it will also establish your firm as an authority in the field. Every time your content pops up for any M&A related search, you’re reinforcing the notion that you’re an industry leader.
Missing the target audience
Time and again we see firms using online marketing without clear direction. When it comes to advertising online, their strategy is far closer to throwing darts at a map than any well-executed campaign. It’s hard to point any blame though. Online marketing can be fairly complex. That’s why identifying and targeting a specific audience is so important. Without knowing the demographics of your clientele, it’s hard to develop a concrete marketing campaign, and your ROI will be paltry. So before you start sinking money into any paid advertising, do the research, have a plan, and make sure it’s being handled by the right people.
Underestimating the need for Mobile
Cell Phones have been widely available for a little over two decades and they’ve already completely taken over our lives. People use their phones for everything, including researching your firm. If your website and business information are not mobile-friendly, that immediately casts you in a bad light. By having the world at their fingertips, clients are less likely to forgive a bad mobile design and are more likely to just skip over to the next firm that is more accessible. In a competitive industry, having a mobile-friendly website can be a make-or-break deal.
Overlooking a Call To Action
Being able to close a deal is vital for any private equity firm, and yet it’s strangely ignored with their online platforms. Even if your website or social media accounts attract new viewers daily, it doesn’t mean anything unless those viewers become clients. That’s why a Call To Action is so important. Engaging with the viewer while their still on the site ensures that they won’t forget or lose interest without being able to connect to your firm.
Anything like a free consultation, downloadable ebook, newsletter list, or scheduled phone call will help retain their information and their interest. Once you have their information you can schedule a follow-up email or business call any time you want. But without a Call To Action, you’ve potentially lost a client and referral.
Looking for ways to improve your online marketing?
Our Merger Labs team are a group of expert marketers supported by ex-bankers who now help private equity firms achieve their marketing goals. We know that it’s often not enough to spend a portion of your day working on improving your online presence, which is why our dedicated team is here to help. If you’re looking for a digital marketing firm with direct experience in investment banking and business consulting, contact us online, or email our team directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.