As a private equity firm, building out a strong business development program is essential to success. It’s table stakes—you can’t not do biz dev.
A savvy PE firm used to be able to get an edge over others by having a stronger outbound program for deal origination. This advantage is waning as more firms enter the space and build out their own outbound programs.
When your outbound email is only one among many (sometimes 50+), you can’t differentiate yourself with vanilla biz dev alone. You need to sprinkle on some content marketing.
Content Marketing Is an Extension of Biz Dev
What does content marketing for a private equity firm look like exactly? I go into more detail in this article, but in a nutshell, a content marketing program promotes your firm as the best partner for a company to work with. The content includes:
- Expert content, in which you demonstrate expertise in a given strategic area for a prospective portfolio company (e.g. how to build out a sales & marketing team)
- Testimonial content, in which your port cos give a firsthand account about your qualifications as a partner
- Industry content, in which you demonstrate your understanding of a specific domain/end market
Content marketing is a natural complement and differentiator to business development. Sharing content via your standard biz dev channels—and other channels—sets your outreach apart from that of other firms.
One of the great benefits of complementing biz dev with content marketing is that doing so minimizes some of the limitations of biz dev. With standard biz dev, you face limits as to:
- How broadly you can communicate your core messages to your target prospects
- How often you can reach out to a prospect
Content marketing helps mitigate these limitations, since:
- Content marketing is highly scalable
- Content interactions can be more frequent than biz dev engagements
Content marketing is highly scalable
By promoting content on various channels (including LinkedIn matched advertising, marketing newsletters, and biz dev email templates), you can reach a broader audience more frequently than with traditional biz dev.
Content interactions can be more frequent than biz dev interactions
With traditional biz dev, you’re limited in how often you can reach out to prospects for a “catch-up” call. But prospects are always open to valuable content, giving you more chances to share your most important messages and position yourself as a good partner.
Make Biz Dev Better with Content Marketing
The goal of content marketing isn’t to replace biz dev. Rather, you’re broadcasting key messages that your firm normally can only communicate if you get on a call—something harder and harder to do these days.
At some point, content marketing may well go the way of business development and become table stakes. But when that point arrives and you already have a wealth of content integrated with biz dev, you’ll be in a great position to compete.