What content do you use in marketing your firm? And what content should go in which place?
Your company typically has seven layers of content marketing. In descending order of importance, they are:
- Email templates
- Social media
- Virtual data room
At HOF Capital, we try to manage these layers to be MECE (Mutually Exclusive, Collectively Exhaustive). When I was a strategy consultant, I used the concept of MECE to structure client problems into clean buckets of analysis. The idea of MECE is fundamental to how we run internal processes at our firm.
Specifically, the content for the seven layers are:
Jeff Bezos said, “A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well.” By definition, it’s unwritten, but critical.
To the maximum extent possible, in our marketing materials and LinkedIn profiles, we ban adjectives. I really dislike seeing companies or individuals say that they are “prestigious,” “influential,” etc. Those are not normally quantitatively defensible, and belong in the reputation layer. Your marketing materials should show, not tell. Of course, we do try to demonstrate quantitatively the aspects of our story we think are worth highlighting. And if the press wants to use positive adjectives, that’s great. But, when writing about a firm in its own voice, I like numbers, not adjectives.
3. Email templates
We have an ever-growing collection of email templates for origination, marketing, fundraising, recruiting, negotiation, etc. Every team member is expected to use those templates as the basis for their correspondence. These often link to specific pages on our website.
4. Social media
To the extent possible, we try to use our social media presence to point back to our website, our partners and/or our portfolio companies’ websites. Fundamentally, we control our web presence. But Facebook, Twitter, Medium and other social platforms control the extent to which people see the content we publish there. I don’t like creating content proprietary to someone else’s platform when they’re not paying us to do it. So, we don’t create unique content on someone else’s platform, without at a minimum also publishing it on a site in our immediate corporate family.
We currently participate in events as speakers and plan to continue hosting periodic events to build awareness around our fund and portfolio companies. We don’t normally distribute literature at these events, but we do prepare FAQs beforehand (not for distribution) to make sure that we’re all aligned on our talking points.
6. Presentation materials
Our deck is for material which for legal or other reasons we cannot put online. There is some inevitable duplication here of the website content.
7. Virtual data room
This is the granular content that only investors doing due diligence on your firm will assess, or perhaps a potential client who is thinking of writing a large check. For MECE purposes, whenever one of our potential clients (a limited partner) give us questions, many of our answers are along the lines of, “Please see the slide __________ in our deck” or “See http://hof.capital/______ .”