10 Key Slides for an Investor Pitch to Create a GREAT Business Pitch

Pitching investors is one of the most challenging things in being an entrepreneur.

Actually, it’s not…

You might think it is, if (1) your company is not prepared to raise money or (2) you are not prepared enough to pitch investors.

Let’s focus on #2, the investor pitch.

Here’s some good news:

You don’t need to be an amazing public speaker to impress investors. If you follow the advice from this article, you’ll get a real advantage.

But… you also need to practice as much as you can. Knowing is nice. Taking action is what makes a difference.

The 10 Principles for a Good Investor Pitch

Before diving into creating your pitch deck, there are few principles you must have in mind.

Based on my experience pitching multiple times (for GoudronBlanc and Blackwood), investing in startups myself, and digging into top business pitch advice, I condense my learning into the 10 Laws of Investor Pitch.

These 10 principles will help you improve the way you pitch your startup to investors, especially early-stage investors—i.e. business angels, incubators and accelerators, and seed-round venture capital firms.

LinkedIn’s Series B Investor Pitch (Including Slides)

I’m so grateful for what seasoned entrepreneurs have been doing recently.

Why?

More and more of them are sharing the backstage of their stories. And what happened behind the scene is actually part of the most valuable resources you can learn from.

One of my favourite backstage stories is how Reid Hoffman pitched the venture capital firm Greylock Partners. Here’s the pitch deck that Reid Hoffman used to convince them to invest in LinkedIn’s Series B.

Besides the actual investor pitch, Reid Hoffman also gives some context and shares some insightful advice—based on his experience as an entrepreneur and as an investor.

investor-pitch_linkedin

Airbnb’s Investor Pitch Deck for Early Stage Fundraising

Another of my faves is Airbnb’s first pitch deck. Now that know how successful Airbnb has become. It’s very interesting to see that their pitch deck has nothing extraordinary. You can certainly do better.

10 slides. Concise and consistent.

Looking at the structure teaches a lot. Great food for thoughts!

Here are the 10 slides that Airbnb included in their pitch:

  1. Introduce your company
  2. Start with the problem.
  3. Explain the solution.
  4. Prove that people want your solution.
  5. Demonstrate that your market size matters.
  6. Show your product/MVP.
  7. Tell them how you make money.
  8. Present how you acquire new users.
  9. Highlight what is your position in the competition landscape.
  10. End on a good note with your ‘unfair’ competitive advantages.

The structure of the investor pitch deck is quite similar to what Sequoia recommends that founders do, except that Nathan Blecharczyk did not mention his team at all.

(Funny enough, this is the team and their imagination that made Y Combinator’s Paul Graham tick when he invested in Airbnb—not the initial idea for Airbnb.)

Y Combinator’s Template for Your Investor Pitch (Executive Summary + Slide Deck)

In an article about raising money for a seed round, Y Combinator shares some advice about what you should include in an executive summary:

“The executive summary should be one or two pages (one is better) and should include vision, product, team (location, contact info), traction, market size, and minimum financials (revenue, if any, and fundraising prior and current).”

Regarding the slide deck, avoid too many words. Focus on sharing visual information: graphics, charts, screenshots… The words will come from your mouth, not from your slides.

Here’s a structure that the Y Combinator team suggests:

Investor Pitch by Y Combinator

It’s a great framework. And you’ll see below 500 Startups suggests something quite similar.

It gives you the necessary constraint to make sure you focus on what matters. But it’s also wide enough to make your story fit into it.

Dave McClure’s Structure to Build a Strong Business Pitch Deck

A good investor pitch deck by Dave McClure

500 Startups’ recipe to an awesome investor pitch is quite similar to what Airbnb did. Dave McClure highlights that you should start pitching ‘my problem’ and not ‘your solution’.

  1. Elevator Pitch (Teaser Image Goes Here)
  2. The Problem
  3. Your Solution (Demo Goes Here)
  4. Market Size
  5. Business Model ($)
  6. Proprietary Tech
  7. Competition
  8. Marketing Plan
  9. Team / Hires
  10. Money / Milestones

As Andrea Barrica, a partner at 500 Startups, mentioned:

A memorable startup pitch is “an exercise in empathy and storytelling,” not salesmanship.

TechStars’s Secret Sauce for Creating a Great Pitch

TechStars does a great job at teaching startup founders how to pitch to investors. TechStars Demo Days prove that it’s possible to get investors interested in the great potential of your business in two minutes.

Telling a surprising, unexpected story contributes a lot to getting investors on board. Here’s what Wesley Eames, a TechStars alumnus, recommends:

“An investor once told me his favourite thing about a pitch is when he thinks he knows exactly where it’s headed, but is then surprised by something the entrepreneur says or does. He said, You are truly excited about something you normally don’t care about, and you want to give the person your money because they just changed you, or convinced you to change your mindset.’ What this investor is saying is, you have to be very deliberate about your presentation. Instead of relying on industry facts and jargon, tell a compelling and surprising story.”

And there’s a structure that can guide you:

Strucutre of an investor pitch (Techstars)

But don’t forget that the structure is just a starting point.

Two things will help you create a great investor pitch:

  1. Helping investors to relate to the problem your target market has
  2. Allowing them to see the bigger opportunity (how your business can scale)

If you want a good way to express the customer problem, have a look at The Value Mix.

Make Your Investor Pitch Deck More Emotional

really-bad-powerpoint_seth-godinDon’t only focus on numbers. Investors should buy your story and their judgement is not only based on the figures you are showing, especially if you are running an early-stage startup.

Here is a piece of advice from Seth Godin an eBook titled Really Bad PowerPoint (and how to avoid it). Communication is the transfer of emotion:

“If all you want to do is create a file of facts and figures, then cancel the meeting and send in a report. Do it in PowerPoint if you want, but it’s not a presentation, it’s a report. It will contain whatever you write down, but don’t imagine for a second that you’re powerfully communicating any ideas. Communication is about getting others to adopt your point of view, to help them understand why you’re excited (or sad, or optimistic or whatever else you are.)

The three tasks that most people set out for a PowerPoint are in direct conflict with what a great presentation should do. Our brains have two sides. The right side is emotional, musical and moody. The left side is focused on dexterity, facts and hard data.

When you show up to give a presentation, people want to use both parts of their brain. So they use the right side to judge the way you talk, the way you dress and your body language. Often, people come to a conclusion about your presentation by the time you’re on the second slide. After that, it’s often too late for your bullet points to do you much good.”

Definition: Investor pitch vs. Elevator pitch

The investor pitch is one of the many formats for presenting your startup to potential investors. It takes place at the venture capital firm’s office and lasts for 15 to 45 min. Having a slide deck to illustrate your presentation is recommended.

A pitching competition or a demo day allows you to speak to a group of investors for 2 to 5 min. You’re often allowed to have a slide deck to support your presentation. As the time allocated to speak is short, I recommend that you memorise your pitch.

An elevator pitch is an opportunity to explain the problem you’re solving and your value proposition to someone you just met. The name reflects the idea that you should be able to summarise what your business does in the time span of an elevator ride (roughly 30 sec to 2 min). You should know exactly what you’re going to say.

(Here are a few pitch decks from companies like Buffer, Intercom, WeWork…)

How to Get Your Dream Job After an MBA or MSc

From day 1 at business school, you’re already thinking about the future.

You’ve not even settled down. And you’re already looking forward to getting a dream job in a kick-ass company.

Let’s see how you can get this done, the right way.

What the Hell Is Happening to the Job Market?

As a business school student, you’re ambitious and have high expectations for yourself. Right? So you want to prove that you can get the job you want.

Here’s the thing:

The job market is saturated. Each job opening gets hundreds of applications.

Since you really want your dream job, you default to put all your energy into it: playing the numbers game by sending as many CVs as possible. Maybe one company will randomly pick your CV and invite you for an interview. And if you’re the lucky one, you’ll end up with an offer.

Lots of people default to this plan. Unfortunately, this process is time-consuming, boring, and stressful…

Most applications get rejected. You’re not even sure why, especially since you believed so strongly that you deserved that job. If not you, who could be a better fit for the job you just applied to?

Hint:

People who’ve approached applying for jobs the right way.

Here’s a Better Approach to Landing A Great Job

You don’t go to a top business school to fill application forms…

You’re a smart person. You can do better.

The way you deal with the process of getting a job is a matter of attitude. Are you defaulting to being passive, a wait-and-see attitude? Or are you more like an overachiever that wants to make cool stuff happen?

How do others do it?

The people I know who got their dream jobs didn’t passively apply to jobs. They had lots of fun at business school instead… Not just attending “social events”, they were also active members of the business school community.

Making it in Investment Banking

A good friend of mine had no doubt about his dream job. He wanted to join the selective investment banking industry. One major challenge: he didn’t have exceptional grades. He could have merely filled application forms, hoping that, among numerous rejections, he would get an offer.

But he’s not the type of guy who just waits and sees.

Instead, he focused on becoming an outstanding applicant.

He made stuff happen for others. He set up an informal club for students who wanted to make it in investment banking. He helped them (1) connect with one another, (2) learn about the industry, (3) connect with senior investment bankers, and (4) prepare for doing well in the interviews.

So when my friend went to interviews, he had a different story to share. He didn’t have the excellent academic background that was required. But he could show his potential. He could also prove that he is a doer and is always willing to help.

Guess what?

He got a job he really enjoys.

Helping entrepreneurs share inspiring stories

At London Business School (LBS), we developed the London Entrepreneurship Review. As described here:

“It’s an online publication that captures the richness of entrepreneurial thinking at LBS. Like so many of the best initiatives, this is ‘bottom-up’, driven by the thirst of current students to draw on wonderful knowledge, experience and reflections of those who have gone before them.”

I was part of the team who led the LER from 0 to 1. Trust me, we got so much out of this journey:

(1) learning by doing, (2) meeting up with accomplished entrepreneurs, (3) helping MBA students write interesting articles, (4) sharing surprising stories with an audience of thousands of readers, (5) and making great friends.

As a passionate writer, taking part of the LER was also a chance to connect with great people and coauthor articles with them. This is how I got to meet and work with two great Silicon Valley VCs, Terry Opdendyk and Sean Foote, and did some work on neuromarketing with a neuroscientist from University College London (UCL).

Everyone who joined the LER as a member of the team, a writer, or an interviewee got something out of it. It’s one of the many examples that shows how much value gets created when you connect people.

Want to make it in Consulting?

Here’s what people get wrong about consulting

Once you understand how recruiters select their employees, things get much easier.

Many applicants think that consulting firms want them to go to coffee chants and be incredible at doing case interviews. So they tire themselves with hundreds of case preps, trying to learn every possible framework.

But this is not enough…

Consulting firms hire for potential. They want promising recruits who can learn on the job and go beyond what they’re asked to do.

A friend, who works at a top management consulting firm and has volunteered to help the firm find the next batch of business analysts, told me:

“We’re looking for people with emotional intelligence.”

She never mentioned anything about hiring fanatics who did hundreds of case preps.

So do you get a job in consulting?

As you’re smarter than most applicants, you see the opportunity to do something more interesting than just preparing for case interviews:

  • You could reach out to a non-profit organisation or an SME and offer them to build a team of business school students who would help them become more efficient;
  • You could organise an event about the future of energy and invite a panel of experts, including the partner of a consulting firm who specialises in this industry.

Opportunities are endless when you want to connect people and make things happen for others.

Another friend took the lead of one of the business school clubs. He could have merely used the existing network for his own sake and be an average president. But he had a better, bigger ambition…

He decided to do everything he could to develop the reputation and the impact of the club. He organised the biggest flagship conference the club has ever seen and created an international group for the clubs that had a similar focus in other top business schools. He put a lot of effort into making the club become remarkable.

His reward?

He developed something bigger than himself. He learnt a lot by doing. He built relationships with many senior professionals and industry leaders. And… he got his dream job at a top consulting firm.

My friend didn’t spend his precious time filling application forms. He took everything he got to make things happen for others. He was what you can call a real leader.

Do Your Homework before Going to an Interview

Browsing the company’s website and stalking people on LinkedIn won’t get you a job. What you want is to be able to demonstrate your potential in a brief interview. Show up to the interview with with additional information.

Here are some examples of what you can do:

  • Have interesting data to talk about. I heard of someone who wanted to work in consulting. He computed the number of consultants/partner in each firm. This was something that may have gotten the interviewer think: “Wow. I didn’t know this number. I like the analytical mindset.”
  • Show what you would do if you were hired. Someone, who was applying as Social Media Manager to a reputable tech company, created a fake private Twitter handle. She tweeted for a week. As it was private, she didn’t have any follower. But she could walk the interviewer through what she would do if she were hired… She got the job.
  • Have an opinion on the industry. There’s a typical question asked in finance: “What company would you recommend that we invest in and why?” The interviewer wants to understand if you have an opinion and how you support it. This can be applied to any industry. The best way to form an opinion is to read the right books.

There’s just so much you can do to show how smart you are. If you’re lacking good ideas, organise a creative session with some of your classmates.

It’s Up to You Now

Some like to create things from scratch, others prefer to join and contribute to existing initiatives.

What ever you choose, find ways to do things with people.

Those who enjoyed their time at business school the most were the ones who were the most active. You would see them everywhere. They were the ones who connected people and built bridges between the business school bubble and the outside world.

There’s more than getting a dream job

Here are the things people who got their dream jobs had in common:

  1. They made things happen for others;
  2. They knew what they wanted (and when they didn’t, they asked for advice);
  3. They weren’t afraid to go the extra mile to learn everything they could about the industry they were interested in;
  4. They enjoyed their time at business school and knew when to have fun.

Going to a top business school is an amazing journey. But it’s up to you to adopt the right attitude and make the most out of it.

The classmates who have inspired me the most have spent their entire business school experience giving back to the community. They organised events, invited world-class guests, created initiatives from scratch, shared people’s stories, and helped their classmates get jobs.

The secret sauce of getting a dream job and enjoy your time at business school is not that secret:

Make stuff happen.

The more active you are—making things happen for others and helping them—the more connections and opportunities you’ll create. This is how people create their own luck.

Thanks to Patricia de Lara for reading drafts of this.

 

How to Speculate like a Successful Trader

You want to learn how to speculate?

Jesse Livermore is your guy.

He is one of the most methodical speculators—a real advantage in an area where adrenaline kicks in frequently.

Speculation differs from investment. Investors buy stocks looking for high-quality companies with long-term potential, while speculators only look for opportunities where significant price movements are likely (Investopedia).

As Keynes said:

“Speculation is knowing how the market will move before it does.”

So speculation is not limited to speculative stocks—stocks with a high degree of risk. Speculators look for opportunities everywhere. They are “arbitrage seekers”. Speculation includes commodities, real estate, and all kind of securities. What define a real speculator is his awareness of how much risk he takes and his expectation of high reward.

Jesse Lauriston Livermore was a gifted speculator.

Although he went bankrupt several times, he always succeeded to rebuilt million-dollar fortunes. In How to Trade in Stocks, Livermore teaches us everything he learnt from his personal experience as a trader.

Bonus: Download a free PDF with Livermore’s 7 lessons on how to speculate.

Livermore was absolutely passionate about his job.

He kept track of every move he observed on the stock market. Thanks to his carefulness, he succeeded to develop principles that help us to understand how to speculate. Whether you are a risk-taker or a careful investor, reading this article will make you a better decision-maker.

Jesse Livermore, the famous speculator and author of How to Trade In Stocks
Jesse Livermore, the famous speculator and author of How to Trade In Stocks

Every reader of How to Trade in Stocks will be enriched by Livermore’s wisdom.

Pick up the book and you’ll learn that intelligent speculators are not basic gamblers. They are meticulous. They know the extent of the risks they take and follow strict methods and rules.

Choosing to speculate is a strategic choice. It requires a real commitment of time and energy.

How to Speculate: Lessons from a Trader

Speculating on the stock market was Livermore’s full-time job.

He spent his entire day checking how stock prices move and spotting opportunities. Throughout his impressive experience, Livermore learnt a lot. After speculating, sharing his experiences was a second passion. That’s the reason why he wrote How to Trade in Stocks.

Let’s see what he has to teach you on how to speculate:

1. Never act on tips

I repeat: Never act on tips.

Best-case scenario, your source was lucky. Worst-case scenario, you lose money and a friend. If someone is right, why would he or she share a good idea to make money?

When someone gives a tip, there are chances that he did not dare to seize this so-called opportunity. Or that he did seize it. In the latter case, the tip is already old news and you will just comfort his position. So remember: Never act on tips.

2. Speculation is hard work

Speculation is not an easy way to become rich. It is more an exciting way to do so. Indeed, as you do not make some quick money in law or surgery, you will not by speculating on the stock market.

Speculation involves effort. And it takes time.

Livermore made an interesting comparison here:

Reading How To Trade in Stocks and keeping your habits is useless if you do not follow through. It’s the same if you read a book on “how to be fit” and then wait to become fit without changing your behavior.

3. There are times when you should speculate and times when you should not

Speculating is exciting! It creates the same set of emotions than gambling. So the more you speculate, the more you want to speculate.

But stop!

It’s not always time to speculate. Sometimes, the market does not present the significant opportunities that you can seize.

If you constantly speculate, you will sometimes take a lot of risk for small rewards.

Risk is part of the game. Yet, you should only take some risk when the reward is likely to be significant.

In speculating like in life, patience is key. Although it is hard to wait for opportunities to come out, it can be really profitable.

4. Form an opinion as to what the next move of importance will be on a given stock

There is one thing that good speculators have to do well: anticipating coming movements. You need to spot triggers.

Anticipate the psychological effect of a particular piece of news on the mind of the public.

Sometimes, a piece of news will not affect the market. There is no effect because the market is either overbought or oversold.

To speculate, you have to follow three steps:

  1. Form a definite opinion on stocks;
  2. Wait until the stocks become active and confirm your opinion;
  3. Then back your opinion by buying or shorting.

Livermore highly recommended waiting for the market to confirm your opinion with a strong movement. It is not because you haven’t immediately acted on a move that you wont make any profits.

Why should we wait?

Livermore pointed out that we may be right on anticipating coming movements of importance. But the most difficult part is to determine when it will arrive. If we immediately buy stocks, we risk to give up if the stocks drop in price before acting as we anticipated.

So wait for the market to confirm.

5. Respect your stops

Speculators have to insure themselves against considerable losses by taking the first small loss. When you buy stocks, decide at what price level you will give up your position.

We all make mistakes, especially on the stock market.

The solution?

Putting a price limit. It guarantees to minimize losses in case we were wrong.

Sell your position when the stock price reaches because of moves that were contrary to your first opinion.

6. Develop your own guide

Although Livermore’s advice is a must-to-know, no guide can be 100% right. Recommendations mostly depend on context, personality, and time. There is no permanent truth.

It is up to you to learn from your mistakes as much as possible. And then adapt to what you learned.

How to develop your own guide on speculation:

Livermore recommended studying price movements. Keep records of price movements and take the time element into consideration.

It helps to understand how the market reacts to news, and then to anticipate coming movements of importance.

Choose different stocks on Yahoo! Finance, for example. Record news that can be related to your stocks. Then, find the correspondence between the time element and your records so as to determine major moves.

7. Learn to recognize danger signals

Spotting danger signals will help you to minimize the losses and wait for more favorable opportunities.

What is a danger signal?

Danger signals are weird movements that happen on the market. When you observe that stock prices do not move as you anticipated, look at it carefully. If you do not understand why the stock price is going downward, sell and wait for the stock to act according to your forecast.

If the stock start a downward trend, no one can say when it will stop. It is wiser to sell, rather than to wait too long and lose lots of money.

How to Trade in Stocks
How to Trade in Stocks

3 Don’ts of Speculation

1. Don’t sell because a stock seems too high

If the stock price seems high, do not sell without thinking carefully about it. Instead, you must decide whether the price could go higher. If you have no basis justifying an upward trend, it may be wise to sell.

Livermore recommended waiting for a danger signal. He preferred losing a bit because of a slight drop rather than missing the opportunity that the stock goes higher.

2. Don’t buy because the stock price has decreased from a previous high

When the stock price just dropped, it is likely that the price will keep its bearish trend.

If you have not anticipated this movement, do not buy more stocks. You might think it is an opportunity to buy cheaper stocks. But you will just increase the risk of losing money.

Take your loss and buy again later, when the stock prices move according to your forecast.

3. Don’t average losses

Averaging losses happens when someone who just bought some stocks keep buying, even though the stock price is declining.

For example, someone buys ten Walmart shares at $10. The day after, the stock price drops to $4 and he buys ten more. He does that because he thinks that it is the same than buying twenty shares at $7.

This strategy is bad because he lost money. When he averages losses, he is justifying that he was wrong. Instead of minimizing his loss by selling the stocks, he takes more risk speculating on stocks he cannot predict.

Bonus: Download a free PDF to keep the rules of speculation on your computer.

The Ultimate Speculation Guide

How to Trade in Stocks is a great guide for those who want to learn how to speculate. Livermore’s book is full of wise principles that you can benefit to a speculator or an investor.

At the end, everyone has their own rules.

If you want to learn more about speculating

If you want to learn either how to speculate or to be a better investor, I highly recommend the following books:

Reminiscences of a Stock Operator: Reminiscences is a novel about Jesse Livermore and his experience as a trader. The book was published in 1923, but it still offers a lot of insights into the art of trading and speculation.

Intelligent Investor: It’s a classic. Warren Buffett’s favourite book about investing. It teaches the philosophy of “value investing”—the opposite of speculating.

Have a good read!

13+ Examples of the Best B2B Content Marketing in Venture Capital

Venture Capital & Content Marketing

Content marketing is the trendiest digital marketing technique.

And venture capital gives great examples of B2B content marketing. Think about the reputation that venture capitalists have built. Both investment funds (the limited partners that invest in VC funds) and startups really trust VCs.

How?

This is what you’re going to find out in today’s article.

As an entrepreneur, you’ll get new ideas for your own marketing strategy. As an investor, you’ll get a glance at what your competitors are doing.

But before sharing the analysis, I just want to tell what you content marketing really means.

What Is Content Marketing?

Here’s how the Content Marketing Institute defines “content marketing”:

Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience—and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”

It’s a marketing strategy based on what Seth Godin calls Permission Marketing. Instead of paying for advertising in order to get the attention of a specific audience, content marketing allows you to get their attention organically.

Here’s how it works:

Customers decide to pay attention. Not because you interrupt them with an ad, but because you’re showing them something they find interesting.

The price for the attention is not the money you spend to get your ad in a medium—like a magazine. But it’s the time and resources you spent to create a valuable piece of content.

In the context of content marketing, “valuable” mostly means “practical” or “entertaining”.

What you should do depends on your industry.

For example, the venture capital industry benefits from being practical, while the fashion industry thrives by sharing entertaining content.

A Short History of Content Marketing for Venture Capital

Venture capital investors started blogging in early 2000s. At the time, it was certainly more a hobby than a way to compete for attention.

Nobody used the term “B2B content marketing” at the time.

Since they were sharing valuable advice for free, some of them started getting lots of attention from entrepreneurs and other investors. This was the beginning of this loving relationship between venture capital and content marketing.

Sarah Tavel, partner at Greylock Partners, see content marketing as the “freemium model” in venture capital:

“We’re trying to give you a taste of what we’ve got so you take some of our money.

Don’t you think that fits? All our VC blogs and tweets are the [free] 2.5GB equivalent of Dropbox.”

But with a growing competition, venture capital firms were facing a real need to differentiate from each other. Blogging wasn’t enough.

As marketing strategist Dorie Clark pointed out, a major shift happened in 2013:

  1. Some VC firms started doing content marketing like professional publications like First Round Capital did with its own version of Harvard Business Review.
  2. They hired editors, journalists, and content marketing experts. For example, Andreessen Horowitz hired former Wired Senior Editor Michael Copeland and NextView Ventures hired former HubSpot head of content Jay Acunzo.

Does Content Marketing Always Work in Venture Capital?

But it’s not because you hire a professional journalist that things will work out. And it’s not because you have a reputable brand that people will start reading your content.

Sequoia Capital hired a professional editor and tried to launch Grove, a portal for how-to content, videos and events. It somewhat never really took off.

What does it tell us?

Content marketing is not a mere communication medium.

It has to fit with the firm’s positioning strategy—which implies that the firm knows how it differs from other VCs.

Great content marketing doesn’t just get people’s attention. It embodies a particular positioning and makes the audience associate the VC firm with a specific element of differentiation.

Now, you’re clear on what content marketing means.

Let’s see how these VC firms implemented their content marketing strategy through different formats like articles, podcasts, and videos. [1]

How Venture Capital Uses Content Marketing

Blogs: Write, Distribute, Repeat

A lot of VCs jumped into blogging when Fred Wilson’s AVC blog and a few others got traction. But many didn’t have the stamina to write regularly in order to attract a loyal audience. This is why we’re left with lots of what CB Insight calls “Zombie VC blogs”.

Writing to captivate an audience is difficult and time-consuming. You need a real passion for the art of writing if you want to keep showing up for years.

Why do venture capital investors write?

There are obvious marketing advantages. You prove your credibility by sharing thoughtful ideas. This contributes to building a name for yourself to be top-of-mind of entrepreneurs, tech journalists, and other VCs.

But writing is also altruistic, as it’s a way to help and inspire entrepreneurs. On personal level, it also helps you think more clearly and stimulate your creativity.

As Mark Suster wrote:

“It’s when I can switch from Manager to Maker. I can express and convey thoughts about complex topics that help others peel back the layers of an onion in trying to understand the worlds of startups, technology, and venture capital.”

Many VCs write. So they need to differentiate themselves. You’ll see that all the featured VC writers adopt very different strategies.

 

Content marketing by investor Paul Graham

Paul Graham: Collection of Essays

Paul Graham’s collection of essays is a must-read. You feel that each essay aims at being timeless. And so the collection looks more like an ever-expanding book than a blog.

Paul Graham doesn’t just share his last new idea about startups. Every essay is carefully thought and discussed with some of the most prominent tech and business experts.

See the long acknowledgement for How to Get Startup Ideas:

acknowledgement_paul-graham

Obviously, his writing is about helping but also part of a clever content marketing strategy. You notice that some essays start with a non-intrusive call-to-action that encourages you to apply to Y Combinator.

Here’s an example with Startup = Growth:

call-to-action_paul-graham

Most essays have inspired many many entrepreneurs. And they’re definitely worth reading more than once. Paul Graham’s strategy shows that sharing well-thought ideas make it easier to spread them.

My favorite essay is Life Is Short. It’s the kick in the ass that you need to remind you that nothing will last forever.

Highly recommended.

More here: http://www.paulgraham.com/articles.html

 

Content marketing by VC Fred Wilson

Fred Wilson: Daily Blogging on AVC.com

Fred Wilson is one of the first VCs who started writing when blogging was still a thing (in 2003).

He takes a more quantitative approach than Paul Graham. Fred Wilson is committed to shipping something new every day. From featuring a new startup to giving precious advice to founders to curating thoughtful content, he never gives up.

One day = One new thought

Writing daily has two advantages:

  1. It encourages your audience to come back regularly. They know that there will always be something new when they come back.
  2. The challenge of publishing every day forces you to be more creative. You have no choice. You’re committed to share something new and worth reading every day. [2]

Fred Wilson shared some insight about his blogging recipe:

“The most important part is to engage. The second most important part is own your online presence.”

  1. Have a long form blog on a domain that you own and that is permanent.
  2. Participate actively in the social distribution platforms.
  3. Build community on your domains.
  4. Engage everywhere (Hacker News, other blog communities/comments, Twitter, Facebook, etc).

Another ingredient of the “Fred Wilson School of Blogging” is a real commitment to showing up for (13+) years:

“People ask me when I am going to write a book and I laugh at that suggestion. AVC is more than a book will ever be. It is live, it is deep (in terms of total posts), it keeps going, evolving, and ends when I end.”

Two of my faves from Fred Wilson are What Is Strategy? and Product > Strategy > Business Model that I mentioned recently here (writing about setting the right priorities).

More here: http://avc.com/

 

Content marketing by VC Brad Feld

Brad Feld: Thoughts on SaaS, Startup Ecosystem, and More

Brad Feld also started early (in 2004). He doesn’t ship every day but almost.

Unlike most VCs, Brad Feld chose to write on different platforms. He shares his personal thoughts on his blog. And more practical advice on Startup Revolution and Ask the VC. [3]

Brad Feld is certainly one of the most a prolific VC writer with three blogs and multiple books.

Here’s his take on this:

“I write to think.”

Another reason for Brad Feld success is that he started demystifying venture capital at a time where things were very opaque for founders:

“There was so much positive feedback on demystifying this one element of venture capital (term sheets). This time frame — 2005/2006 — web 2.0 was starting. Venture capital was still kind of closed, 1st time entrepreneurs had a lot of questions that were unanswered, and there was still some sort of hand waiving around all the financing stuff and so we took it on.”

More here: http://www.feld.com/

 

Content marketing about venture capital by Mark Suster

Mark Suster: Talking Venture Capital on Both Sides of the Table

Mark Suster is another committed writer.

What I really like about Mark Suster’s writing is his transparency. He shares stories and thoughts that many would have been reluctant to share.

Here’s an example with What Do Industry Insiders Think Will Happen in VC in 2016?

We can easily say that, like Brad Feld, he has contributed to (1) making the VC industry more transparent and (2) educating entrepreneurs about how to deal with investors.

What’s particular with Mark Suster’s strategy is that he focuses on building a brand name: Both Sides of the Table. The name speaks for itself and highlights a well-defined positioning strategy.

Among the VCs I mentioned, Mark Suster is the only one who switched his blog to Medium. He’s also exploring other forms of content like what he calls Snapstorms, certainly inspired from Marc Andreessen’s Tweetstorms.

More here: https://bothsidesofthetable.com/

 

Content marketing by investor Sam Altman

Sam Altman: Personal Thoughts about New Ventures, Silicon Valley, and More

Sam Altman succeeded Paul Graham as President of Y Combinator. And reading Sam Altman’s writing makes you think about Graham’s style:

Always thoughtful.

(You can see how their ideas complement each other in this article.)

His writing is much more casual. He’s not here to build an audience. Sam Altman focuses on sharing his thoughts on today’s startup world. He publishes something because he has an interesting story to share, not because he hasn’t written for while.

My fave from Sam Altman is not about business but life: The days are long but the decades are short.

More here: http://blog.samaltman.com/

 

ben-evans_blog

Ben Evans: Analysing the Future of Tech

Ben Evans is not a VC per se, but works at the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz.

He has done a great job at building a loyal audience thanks to the quality of his work. In less than 5 years, he went from zero to almost 300,000 pageviews/month. (It’s not the best metric to track, but it shows that Ben Evans got his content strategy right).

Content Marketing analytics for Ben Evans

Let’s dig a bit into this:

  1. Every article is the result of thorough analysis. Ben Evans does publish regularly but only when he has something new to write about. Original and well-thought ideas win.
  2. Ben Evans has a clear positioning. He writes about the future of technology, with a special focus on mobile. If you’re not interested just get out. But if you are, you’re likely to keep his name on the top of your mind.
  3. He keeps in touch with his audience regularly. Ben Evans leverages the idea behind permission marketing with a weekly newsletter. It’s a nice way to share curated content—what he reads— and to distribute his own content—what he writes.

As Ben Evans points out, building an audience is a massive challenge because:

“The problem isn’t freedom or openness but distribution.”

Everyone can create content. The challenge is to distribute it. How can you make sure that it will end up in front of the right people?

Ben Evans also exploits an unfair advantage. His job at Andreessen Horowitz is to come up with ideas about the future of technology. So there’s a real synergy between his job and his writing.

If you are not familiar with Ben Evans’s writing, get a look at his 16 mobile theses.

More here: http://ben-evans.com/

Podcasts: Interview World-class Guests

Podcasts are another way to do good B2B content marketing.

They’re great for three reasons:

  1. Your audience can listen to them while they’re doing something else like commuting;
  2. They allow you to share stories that nobody would have put in written words;
  3. Recording a podcast episode takes often less time than writing an article.

(Interested in leadership and personal growth, subscribe to Unlock People’s Potential—the podcast I host.)

The a16z Podcast by Andreessen Horowitz: The Future of Tech & Management

a16z_podcast

The a16z Podcast focuses on two main topics: the future of technology and high-level management advice. (And I think this is what they want to be known for.)

From interviews of thought-leaders to extracts of conferences, the podcast digs deep into ideas on the world of tomorrow.

Most episodes are very technical. When the a16z team talks about tech, they always go into the nitty-gritty. Same when the topic is about management and leadership challenges.

Here’s a pretty good example: Managing Uncertainty — Layoffs and Talent with Shannon Schiltz and Alex Rampell.

More here: The a16z Podcast

Traction by NextView: Early Stage Growth

traction_podcastTraction does a great job at sharing the stories of early stage startups. The content focuses on those first 18 to 24 months of a company’s growth. It shows that NextView addresses a well-defined audience: the “garage-stage” founders.

It has different podcast strategy.

What I really like is its well-edited format. The podcast doesn’t sound like a typical interview. Each episode is a mix of the interview of a guest and Jay Acunzo’s voice-over sharing additional context and advice.

One of my faves is Patrick Campbell’s story about how he started Price Intelligently.

More here: Traction

The Seedcamp Podcast: Uncover the European Startup Ecosystem

seedcamp_podcastMost of the resources I mentioned focus on the US startup ecosystem.

This is not the case here:

The Seedcamp Podcast puts an emphasis on the European tech scene. In each episode, Carlos Espinal, Partner at Seedcamp, interviews the founders, mentors, and investors who have contributed to building the European ecosystem.

This is how Seedcamp highlights its leading role as an early stage investor in Europe and its massive network of mentors, partners, and alumni.

More here: The Seedcamp Podcast

The Tim Ferriss Show: Long-form Interview of VCs

tim-ferriss-show_podcastAlthough Tim Ferriss is not a venture capitalist per se, he invested in many success stories as a business angel. And he got to do that thanks to a clever content marketing strategy based on long-form articles, books, and now a podcast.

Besides the quality of his show, the reason he deserves a spot here is the great interviews he did of some of the most prominent venture capitalists and business angels:

Unlike most initiatives listed in this article, Tim Ferriss makes money out his content. It’s his main job after all. And with nearly 70,000,000 downloads in two years of existence, he would be mad to wast the opportunity to make a few dimes from advertising.

More here: The Tim Ferriss Show

Videos: Record Events and Share Them Online

 

how-to-start-a-startup_video

Y Combinator on How to Start a Startup

How to Start a Startup (or Stanford’s class CS183B) is a series of lectures by Sam Altman and many guests who are part of the Y Combinator ecosystem.

This is pure gold for someone who wants to start a business. There are lots of advice that will help you avoid the mistakes that most first-time entrepreneurs make.

Running this class was a wonderful marketing success for Y Combinator and Sam Altman. I’ve heard of so many groups that were created in order to watch and discuss each episode together. Beyond sharing online content, Sam Altman succeeded to get into people’s offline lives.

The team also did an excellent job at sharing the content in different formats with a YouTube Channel and a podcast.

The initiative is a proof that working on your content marketing strategy with a partner works well. This is especially the case when the two partners have popular names like Stanford and Y Combinator.

More here: How to Start a Startup

 

technology-enabled-blitzscaling_video

Greylock Partners on Technology-enabled Blitzscaling

Following Peter Thiel’s CS183A and Sam Altman’s CS183B, Greylock Partners ran a class called Technology-enabled Blitzscaling (or Stanford’s CS183C).

While CS183B was about starting your business, this class focuses on scaling your business.

This class received less buzz than How to Start a Startup. (I may have missed something but less people seemed to know about it). I actually found out about it on Medium through Chris McCann’s notes.

But with guests like Google’s Eric Schmidt, Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer, and Airbnb’s Brian Chesky, it makes you appreciate that Greylock Partners and Stanford share this class for free.

More here: Technology-enabled Blitzscaling (video) and Notes

 

500-startups_video

500 Startups on Traction and Growth

500 Startups does a great job with video content. And its content marketing strategy doesn’t require a lot of work.

The videos are recording of conferences that 500 Startups organise regularly like the Weapons of Mass Distribution Conference 2015. No need to come up with original ideas, the speakers do the work for you.

The content is a nice push for the new positioning of 500 Startups around marketing and growth for post-seed startups. Here’s an example with the 500 Distro series.

The goal is to highlight the credibility of 500 Startups in scaling startups with tons of expertise and a large network of growth marketers.

More here: 500 Startups

Books Worth Reading about Venture Capital & Entrepreneurship

Books are also part of a good B2B content marketing strategy. Consulting firms and so-called “experts” master the art of publishing books to sell their B2B services.

As author Ryan Holiday wrote:

“Books are no longer simply books, they are branding devices and credibility signals.”

Books are a filter.

Everyone can publish a blog article, less people can write a book. So a book generates more significant credibility signals. Write the same content in a few blog articles and people won’t take your expertise as seriously.

Here are some examples of books by VCs:

  • Zero to One by Peter Thiel and Blake Masters — The philosophy behind the rapid growing ventures in Silicon Valley.
  • The Fundraising Field Guide by Carlos Espinal — A manual for the entrepreneurs who want to know more about how to raise money.
  • Venture Deals by Brad Feld — A more technical guide to raising money.
  • The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz — Practical wisdom for managing the toughest problems a business can face.

(Look up here to find my list of the best books for entrepreneurs.)

Some Pearls of Great Price about Tech Startups

The best examples of B2B content marketing share something valuable to their audience. You see all the examples above aim to help founders build better startups.

Some ideas of content are about being a founder—personal development. Other ideas deal with how to start and grow a startup—business.

It’s often hard to explain why but some ideas take off better than others. Usually, it’s because they fill a gap. The content provides some guidance that entrepreneurs were missing.

Here are some pieces of content that went viral:

(Hacker News is also the proof that user-generated content works well in B2B too).

These “pearls” show that the major factors that make content marketing thrive are sharing practical, original ideas and doing things differently.

Evergreen content works.

How Do Venture Capital Firms Benefit from Content Marketing?

You see now that there’s a lot of free, high-quality content out there. But why do these investors spend their time sharing this?

Three main reasons:

  1. They love to help;
  2. They benefit from a more mature startup ecosystem;
  3. They’re competing for the attention and trust of startup founders.

If you find what they share interesting, you’re likely to trust them more and even to spread the word about their work.

So content marketing is a way for them to make sure that the day you want to raise money, you’ll have their name on the top of your mind.

Generating a good deal flow is a challenge.

So every marketing initiative is an opportunity to encourage entrepreneurs to think about a specific VC firm. This is why venture capitalists speak at conferences, network a lot, do tons of PR, and share precious advice for free.

Where Is This Content Marketing Thing Going?

Venture capital is competitive because it relies on (1) finding the right startups to invest in and (2) convincing the founders that your commodity—money—is worth more than someone else’s commodity—still money.

This means that great venture capital firms must add more value than just money—network, brand name, support…

At the beginning content marketing was a nice way to show how a venture capital firm could add value.

But here’s the catch:

After almost 15 years of publishing free advice about the rules of the startup game, almost everything has been said. Everyone has access to some of the best startup lessons for free.

Value comes out from scarcity. To stand out, a venture capital firm would have to do things differently: solve problems that haven’t been solved, talk about things nobody talks about, come with a new angle, specialise in a vertical and nail it…

Distribution, the Growing Challenge for B2B Content Marketing

Besides improving the “quality” of your content, you also need to nail your distribution strategy. As Ben Evans points out, this now the biggest challenge in marketing.

The distribution channels that perform the best are the ones that are well segmented, those who are specific to your industry. Clement Vouillon of Point Nine Capital summaries it well:

“Go beyond the obvious content distribution channels (Twitter…) and start to use industry specific channels.”

Content marketing fit

The right content marketing startegy focuses on what the audience—the customers— wants to read/listen to/watch and where they go to consume this content.

Content Marketing Is Not Only Challenging for Startups but also for Venture Capital Firms

As you see, marketing remains a challenge for the venture capital industry.

Venture capital might be seen as holding the keys for startup success. But they also are businesses with their own challenges and competitors.

Like What You Just Read about B2B Marketing and Venture Capital?

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Notes about B2B Content Marketing and Venture Capital

[1] One Thing to Keep in Mind: Who Is The Customer?

Even though most VCs share content for free because they like helping people, it’s also part of their job.

In an article, Arthur Attwell highlights how startup lovers became customers of a new market:

“This is one, a note to my future self: Don’t call your projects ‘startups’. It’s a semantic trick, but a really important one. Here’s why. ‘Startups’ have become a commodity in an industry of startup conferences, websites, courses, and competitions.”

Be aware that content marketing is an alternative to advertising. It’s another way to get your attention as a customer.

So when you raise money or take part of a startup programme, you are the customer.

[2] Shipping every is something that Seth Godin has been preaching for a while. Honestly, I’m that close to doing it. Instead, I’m focusing writing every day, but not publishing every day. It works too but makes it a bit less challenging.

My issue is that you cannot write the article you just read every day. So I have to balance shorter and longer forms of content.

[3] Here’s one thing to keep in mind when reading/listening/watching all these pieces of content: Business is an art.

VCs cannot share more than thoughtful insights. None of them holds the keys to success, even though they can help you to open some doors. This means that all this content is only based on their own opinions.

And sometimes they clash.

For example in a piece called the Illusion of Product/Market Fit for SaaS Companies, Brad Feld highlighted a disagreement between Ben Horowitz and Fred Wilson.

I love the clash because it reminds us that business is indeed an art.

You should go through the content to get some inspiration, not a clear direction.

 

Are You Sure You Advertise on the Right Media Platforms?

You and your team must spend a lot of money and effort trying to get the attention of your customers to tell them about your business.

You want them to pay attention to your story.

No attention = No impact

Since we live an over-communicated world, attention has become one of the most precious resources. Getting people to pay attention to what we want to say requires to be in the right place at the right time with the right story.

What They Find the Most Challenging about Marketing and Advertising

Everything is changing so fast. Your customers’ attention is constantly switching from one platform to another.

Digital advertising started taking off in the ‘90s. Since then, we went from Email Marketing to SEO to Social Media Advertising to Mobile Advertising… Marketing experts are even now praising the potential of Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and the Internet of Things.

When things get wild, it’s always wise to get back to the fundamentals.

Your advertising media selection process should rely on one major element: where your customers pay attention.

Where Can You Reach Your Customers?

Here’s what bugs me:

I’ve coached and helped many entrepreneurs and marketers. They always come to me with the same question:

“Guerric, how can I be sure that I’m focusing on the right channels when everything is moving so quickly?”

Who wants to spend money on the wrong channels, sending messages in places where nobody pays attention to them?

This is nonsense. Yet, I’ve seen many marketers advertising on some channels without making sure that these were the best to get their customers’ attention.

Do You Really Need to Have a Facebook Page or to Be on Twitter?

It’s not because it’s easy to set up that it’s worth doing it.

If you want to make a difference with social media marketing, you need to spend more resources than you expect. Nothing goes viral without thoughtful hard work.

Apple knows that. It only started being present on Twitter in March 2016. Before that, the marketing team must have decided that being on Twitter wasn’t a good place to share their story. They were better off focusing on other channels.

Advertising campaigns that really perform require more hard work than creating a simple ad.

Where Should You Advertise?

Let me emphasise four questions that will help you figure out where you should advertise to acquire new customers:

  1. Who is your target audience?
  2. How are you exploring your next marketing moves?
  3. Do your customers really embrace new trends?
  4. How do you take advantage of the abundance of channels?

Since I feel I really want to help you, let’s dig into each one of them:

1. It Depends…: “Who Is Your Target Audience?”

In a new marketing podcast called Flip the Switch, the host, Hana Abaza, highlighted that people always ask her the same question: “Should I advertise on Facebook?”

This is a bad question.

Your story will have an impact only if the people you reach pay attention and care about what you’re telling them.

The right question to ask is:

“In which channel can we reach our target audience at a moment when they will pay attention and care about our story?” [1]

Here’s What You Should Know About Your Customers

What makes a channel right for your business depends on:

  • Where the people you target are in your funnel;
  • Where they go when they have time to pay attention to external information (online or offline);
  • When they are available to listen to your story or take an action.

Context matters a lot.

Having it right is what makes a difference between a bad and a good advertising campaign.

For instance, I’ve had great results in advertising with GoudronBlanc by targeting people when they commute in the evening. The reason? They’re keener on procrastinating. After work, they go back home. During the jouney, they’re bored and spend their time on Facebook. [2]

Key takeaway: Context matters a lot. Where you should advertise intrinsically depends on who your customers are. Don’t do it just because you’ve seen other brands doing it.

2. There’s a Lot of Talking But Not Much Doing

It’s easy to read a case study about a successful advertising campaign and think about the future of marketing. Yet, what really makes a difference is the difficult task of translating this know-how into an actionable strategy, making it real for your business.

“Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work.”

— Peter Drucker

I encourage you to read and listen to experts’ opinions about success stories and the future of digital marketing; you’ll get a good feel of where things are moving.

But what really matters is what your customers do.

Your business is unique. It’s not because it has been working for them, that it will work for you.

The only way to figure out whether an idea would work for your business is to test it yourself.

Scale and Explore at the Same Time

You should allocate the major part of your budget to keep up with your current marketing strategy.

At the same time, run exploratory campaigns. Figure out where your customers’ attention is shifting. There’s a massive competitive advantage at being among the first ones on a new platform. [3]

I like what Marcel Bleustein-Blanchet, the founder of the advertising agency Publicis, wrote in 1982 about embracing an emerging media platform. In a book called The Rage to Persuade, he explained how he experienced first-mover advantage by being one of the first advertisers on the radio:

“It was different when radio advertising was new: unknown little firms could turn into giants overnight. That’s true of all new media: for relatively little money, they can have a great impact and upset the status quo.” [4]

How to balance this in your budget?

I recommend dedicating roughly 80–90% to scaling your current marketing strategy and 10–20% to exploring your next marketing moves.

Key takeaway: A focus group or a marketing guru won’t be able to tell you what is going to work. The only way to plan your future marketing moves is to test things yourself. Run low-cost experiments to test how your customers engage on a new media platform or what is the impact of a new marketing tactic. You can only figure this out by testing.

3. Consumer Behavior Does Change Fast But Not That Fast

Since the invention of the radio, experts have proclaimed the end of print advertising. Radio and, later on, TV were supposed to take over. By now, everyone should have stopped reading.

Here’s what really happened:

People kept reading…

David Ogilvy made a name for himself as a master of print advertising. At a time when radio and TV ads were supposed to make people stop reading, Ogilvy successfully contributed to building brands like Dove, Rolls-Royce, Shell with print ads and great copies. [5]

The Same Thing is Happening Today

The Internet was supposed to kill print advertising. Mobile is eating the world.
(Read this article to see how mobile has changed your customers’ expectations.)

The reality is a bit different:

Most consumers are slow to adopt new trends. Many people are still reading print magazines and using desktops as their primary device.

You should take new trends into account but you shouldn’t neglect the customers who are slower to embrace them.

The Power of Neglected Channels

There’s an advantage to using a channel that has become less competitive because it’s not trendy anymore. You can get people’s attention at a much lower cost.

For example, sending letters could generate a much higher return on marketing investment than doing email marketing. Your emails would just get lost among hundreds of other emails.

Know Your Target Audience

You should interpret new marketing trends depending on who your target audience is.

As consumers, we don’t adopt new media platforms at the same pace. Teenagers are likely to jump on the trendiest one—like Snapchat. Older generations will stick to what they already know, until all their friends start using something new.

Key takeaway: Don’t neglect ‘old’ media platforms. While every brand switches to what is in fashion, keep reaching your customers where they are still paying attention.

4. Most channels are complementary: Focus on Cross-channel Marketing

Each media platform has its own rules. You don’t run a Facebook ad campaign in the same way you advertise on Instagram.

You need to be a native speaker of the language used by your target audience in each of these channels.

Here’s the Secret of Great Marketers

The brands that succeed are those that understand how to give a consistent picture of their story on different channels.

They’re native speakers and they take advantage of what each channel has to offer. For example, Instagram is good at engaging your audience, while Google is great at helping you find prospects with strong purchase intent. Successful brands know their funnel and advertise accordingly.

Look at how you consume information. You never stick to one channel. You switch from email to social media, from desktop to mobile, from digital to print.

There’s a real need to understand where your audience is and what they expect from you on a given platform.

“Print media served to elaborate theses radio slogans by presenting real selling arguments. Print ads and commercials are not rivals—that’s baloney. Rather, they complement each other.”

— Marcel Bleustein-Blanchet, founder of Publicis and author of The Rage to Persuade

Media platforms are complementary. Tailor what you say to each different channel.

Key takeaway: Make sure you adapt your story to what your target customers expect on each different channel. But don’t forget that for your customers it’s natural to switch from one media to another. Find a way to make your story consistent across media platforms.

Treat Each Channel as a Salesman

“Treat it as a salesman: Force it to justify itself. Compare it with other salesmen. Figure its cost and result. Accept no excuses which good salesmen do not make. Then you will not go far wrong.”

— Claude Hopkins, author of Scientific Advertising

At the end of the day, your goal is to make a sale. You’re not spending money on social media advertising or any other digital channel to entertain people. You’re a business person.

Make sure that you selected the channels will benefit the most to your business.

Embrace a Long-Term Approach to Marketing and Digital Strategy

At BoostCompanies, we decide to play above the trend. We adopt a long-term view on marketing and advertising.

The brands that win are those that proactively embrace new trends. They don’t react. They choose what is relevant to them and ignore what is not. They succeed because they’re in it to play the long-term game.

What to do next?

Reach out to us.

We have more than 9 years of experience in digital marketing. We can help you acquire and retain online customers.

Notes about Selecting The Right Advertising Media Platforms

[1] Here are two good reasons why asking the right questions matter so much.

[2] Noticing how your customers behave is key to creating advertising campaigns that perform well.

I figured the best time to advertise on Facebook by observing my fellow classmates at university. If you sit in the last row, you’ll see that instead of taking notes students spend time on social media and eCommerce websites.

[3] Companies that were fast enough to move to Facebook benefited from a massive early mover advantage. For a few years, they didn’t have to pay to get their stories in front of their target audience.

It was pure online guerrilla marketing. Today’s Facebook marketing requires a real advertising budget, especially since you now need to pay if you want to get your stories into your audience’s News Feed.

[4] What Bleustein-Blanchet wrote about doing advertising on a new media platform is timeless.

Forget that he was referring to radio advertising and see how relevant what he said is to social media advertising:

“That leap of faith into the present and the future is the secret of success and progress. If you wait for things to change before you act, they change without you. At a certain point, you must let go of your rationality and jump—and jump correctly, of course. I did, whether by luck or instinct.”

Interested in the advertising industry? Get Ogilvy on Advertising and Scientific Advertising.

[5] Ogilvy illustrates a typical management paradox. A lot of specialists—creative, engineers, developers, doctors—struggle because being promoted is often synonym of becoming a manager. The thing is that when you become a manager, you’re not doing what you enjoyed doing. No. Instead, you’re managing people. This is something totally different.

Ogilvy explored the issue in Ogilvy on Advertising and Confessions of an Advertising Man.