Embracing the digital landscape

A GP’s marketing budget can stretch further by incorporating digital media into their marketing strategy, writes James Sumpster.

As the digital landscape developed, opportunities have been created for private equity funds to communicate with their stakeholders.

Google is the internet’s gateway, currently it has a search engine market share of 89 percent in the UK, 70 percent in the US and 75 percent in Europe. So with the Google search page likely being the first port of call if someone wants to learn about your business it pays to have it optimized. By feeding content into each of the available online platforms, the corporate website and through search engine optimization (SEO), your google search page will be populated with a controlled subject matter. In time your google search page becomes your online corporate brochure, with links to your branded social media pages, videos showcasing your company story, investments and responsible investment practices.

Many more GPs are using videos to engage their audience these days. Videos are powerful at showcasing a GPs value add, Axxon Research found that 7 in 10 people view brands in a more positive light after watching video content from them, and 81 percent of senior marketing executives now use online video content in their marketing programs, up from 70 percent in 2011.

To fully realize a piece of content’s potential (both written and video), you must make it easy for users to find it. If you have a piece of written or video content on your website, it should also be posted to your LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Vimeo and YouTube pages. This way you can provide a feed of consistent and controlled messages to all of your stakeholders.

One mid-market private equity fund incorporated Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, an RSS feed, and a blog on its website. It also sent out a monthly e-marketing mailer to its distribution list of stakeholders and potential partners. Since they started using social media overall traffic to their website increased 13 percent per month, referral traffic (traffic from other websites) increased 119 percent over the three preceding months, visitors spent an average 3.17 minutes instead of the previous 1.32 minutes on the site and 16 percent of visitors reached the site from the blog or social networking sites. This analysis clearly shows that social media is not just a tool to be used by consumer facing brands, tailored correctly, private equity funds have much to gain from it.

Another benefit for private equity funds who decide to use social media platforms as a part of their marketing strategy, is that all of the platforms provide statistics and information about visitors to their page. This is also the case when sending out e-marketing mailers; it is possible to track your campaign performance by seeing who opened your email, how long they had it open for, what links they clicked on within the email and when they came back for more. Social media, e-marketing campaigns and the corporate websites provide some powerful analytics and data that can be used to inform future marketing strategies.

Using content across all of the possible delivery methods available makes a marketing budget work much harder for its money whilst reinforcing a consistent and controlled message to stakeholders. GPs who decide to evolve their marketing strategies to match the behavior of their stakeholders have everything to gain, those who dip their toes in the water risk being left in the past.

James Sumpster is a senior consultant at marketing and communications agency Peregrine Communications.