With Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) growing scarcer and heightened financial market volatility becoming the norm, startups must today explore innovative ways to secure capital and build momentum. One effective strategy is conducting a series of Regulation A+ (Reg A+) raises in advance of an IPO. Reg A+ enables issuers to raise capital through equity crowdfunding and is a game changer for startups looking to secure capital and build their investor community.
From a marketing perspective, investor audiences are notoriously difficult to reach and convert. However, Reg A+ provides a unique opportunity for companies to build a strong community that will ultimately help engage potential investors. Building a strong investor community is a great way to show institutional markets that you have already successfully attracted interest from retail investors.
“A strong investor community is the bedrock of raising capital. An engaged community is one of the most important factors we consider when deciding which issuers we take on as clients; it is the strongest indicator of whether an offering will be successful.” – DealMaker
We sat down with our key strategic partner, DealMaker, to discuss 4 reasons why building a community is critical to the success of a capital raise:
1. Shows proof of concept.
A strong community sets the stage for a compelling proof of concept, signaling a genuine interest and belief in your company’s mission. This traction also validates your company’s business model and enhances credibility and attractiveness to external stakeholders, including public and family offices.
2.Creates an active shareholder base.
An active shareholder base goes a long way in creating a solid foundation for your company, bolstering credibility, and facilitating long-term growth. An active shareholder base can make your company more attractive to institutional investors and others who might be interested in being a part of your future IPO. This proves your company has a track record of effectively communicating with investors.
3. Conversion of customers to shareholders.
An interconnected relationship between customers and shareholders will strengthen your company’s position and potential for long-term growth. Reg A+ allows companies to convert customers into shareholders and vice versa, fostering a dedicated community of supporters. Customers-turned-investors have a strong interest in seeing the company thrive and grow, leading to increased loyalty and advocacy on behalf of the brand.
4. Make the most of less restrictive marketing regulations.
Reg A+ comes with the ability to use general solicitation for marketing and communication. This is an excellent opportunity to utilize modern marketing strategies, including social media and email marketing. Investors are known to research a company’s level of social community by looking at the number and engagement of real followers, as well as the company’s media coverage, including press releases, videos and other publicly available content. Leveraging appropriate marketing strategies will strengthen your company’s online presence and generate a wider interest in your future offerings.
Ext. Marketing understands the power of community building and has worked on many successful Reg A+ raises. Let us help you make your next raise a success. Contact us today for a complimentary consultation at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lookalike audiences are an effective way to extend your brand’s reach and boost conversions. When used in digital campaigns, they allow your company to reach a targeted network of relevant potential clients and establish a strong digital presence. Lookalike audiences are extremely valuable, in that they can improve your audience targeting and ultimately increase your engagement and conversions.
What are lookalike audiences?
Facebook and LinkedIn lookalike audiences are sophisticated matchmakers between your brand and new clients. Lookalike audiences are developed by leveraging your current audience data to find other highly qualified users you previously wouldn’t have been able to reach. Instead of straining your team’s time and resources by manually searching for new audiences, these systems provide data for extended audiences that match the attributes and preferences of your current audience.
How to build lookalike audiences
- Know your audience.
You can only create valuable lookalike audiences if you already know your audience. Lookalike audiences provide an extension of data based on the audience you already have, so it is very important to properly identify your current audience and have the right persona. The more refined your current audience data is, the better your lookalike audience(s) results will be. Read more about developing a highly detailed persona here.
2. Refine your data.
Obtaining data on your audience, which you can then use to develop lookalike audiences, can be done using either first-party, second-party (business partners’) or third-party data.
Data can include information such as name, surname, gender, date of birth, country of residence, etc. You may have multiple audiences that you are looking to market your brand to, so narrowing the scope of your audience can help to create refined groups of lookalike audiences that target specific audience segments. For instance, you can specifically target wealth advisors in Toronto or business owners in New York.
3. Start reaping the benefits!
Lookalike audiences extend your brand’s reach to a curated list of relevant people who are highly likely to be interested in your product or services. As a result, lookalike audiences:
- Generate high-quality leads: Data is gold! Having data on potential clients is extremely valuable in generating new leads.
- Increase your return on investment: You can increase conversions when your content targets a wide group of relevant potential clients. Lookalike audiences extend your reach to people who are most likely to engage with your product or service.
Want to see a real-world example of how lookalike audiences can accelerate your business growth?
Ext. Marketing recently worked with a leading wealth advisor to expand client outreach strategies though a dynamic lead-generation campaign. With the help of Ext. Marketing’s audience segmentation, cohesive digital marketing strategy, and ongoing optimization and retargeting, the advisor established a strong presence and successfully connected with previously inaccessible prospects. Click here to read more about this advisor’s success story.
Looking to boost your brand reach and increase conversions? Ext. Marketing can help. Book a meeting with us today to discuss how a digital campaign can accelerate your business growth. email@example.com
An interview with Cesar Lugo, Managing Director, Digital, Ext. Marketing
From the growing influence of TikTok to the emergence of AI-powered chatbots, the digital landscape has quickly evolved over the past year. To help us navigate the digital noise, we spoke with Ext. Marketing Digital Managing Director, Cesar Lugo (CL), to identify which trends demand further exploration. He shared with us why establishing a clear digital strategy can help companies easily navigate these changes and generate the best-possible business outcomes.
Q: How can a defined digital strategy help a company respond to emerging trends in technology?
CL: The digital ecosystem is vast and constantly changing. It’s easy to get swept up in the latest trends, without having a complete understanding of the problem you’re facing and the key drivers that will generate the desired outcome. Your digital strategy should include an audit of your current digital touchpoints, assets and tools; short-, medium- and long-term objectives; success measures; and a digital roadmap that can keep you on track.
A digital strategy is more than just a one-off project or a one-size-fits-all approach. It should reflect a long-term commitment to using digital tools to achieve your business objectives. Defining this foundational framework allows you to make strategic decisions about these emerging trends.
Q: What digital marketing and social media activation trends should companies be aware of heading into 2023?
CL: Here are some trends I believe will be game changers we should all be watching:
- Individuals 45 years old and younger are turning to social media platforms rather than traditional search engines to find the information they need. There’s evidence of the same growth in buying and shopping on these social media platforms.
- It is all about TikTok these days. There were nearly 1 billion active users in September 2022, which is impressive growth from 700 million users in July 2021.1 It will be important to stay up to date on U.S. regulations in the coming year, as lawmakers continue to scrutinize this platform.2
- Short-form or ”snackable” videos are still crucial for driving views and generating richer engagement on social media. However, long-form content is making a comeback with the 25-and-under crowd.
- Artificial Intelligence has grown in relevance in the tech industry, with expectations that it will grow by 23% from 2023 to 2028.3 ChatGPT is just the latest revolution worth exploring. This AI-generated natural language processing tool crossed one million users within one week of its November 30, 2022, launch.4 Spoiler alert: all these solutions will need human involvement to ensure quality and accuracy.
- The metaverse, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and Web3 are on the horizon. Depending on your industry, these technologies might help your company grow in the future. We recommend you monitor the progress and adoption of NFTs and Web3 within your industry.
Q: How can companies capitalize on those opportunities in 2023?
CL: Most of these emerging trends could be very important to the success of your company. If your digital efforts need to catch up, now is the time to roll up your sleeves and develop a strategy. Establishing an effective digital ecosystem will provide you with the foundation to determine how these trends can benefit your business.
Whether you are increasing brand awareness, generating leads or raising capital, it is important you remember that your digital strategy should be diversified across digital platforms and mediums, and include regular A/B testing to determine whether or not you are achieving your business goals.
Q: What advice or takeaway do you want to leave companies with?
CL: It is important to be nimble and agile so you can respond to change. Digital spaces can open avenues and create a broader perspective on available opportunities, changing circumstances and even better ways to operate.
Contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org to start developing your digital strategy and to respond to the key emerging technology trends of 2023!
Notes: From an Ext. perspective – these are trends we recommend you watch.
Many individuals have long predicted the fall of email as a marketing channel, but email marketing continues to be an important component of any marketing strategy.
A well-executed email campaign can be very effective at helping you achieve your business and marketing objectives. Here are three ways to optimize this important channel and achieve the measurable performance you’re looking for.
Email marketing drives customer acquisition and retention, delivering an impressive return on investment (ROI) of US$36 for every $1 spent. To achieve that level of ROI, however, companies need to have a strategy in place to maximize any investment they make in this channel. Organizations need to consider relevance, experience, messaging, benefits and customer needs.
The bottom line is that having a tool is not enough. The most sophisticated strategies will fall flat without a well-planned content marketing plan to feed them. If you have answers to the 5 questions below, you are well on your way to building your strategy:
- How well do you know your customers?
- Do you have a good understanding of their needs and pain points?
- How well do you know your organization’s brand promise?
- Do you know what you want to say and how you want to say it?
- Have you determined what success means to your organization?
The next step is to focus your content strategy in a credible and meaningful way. Only at this point, are you equipped to partner with your email platform and data colleagues. They will thank you for the guidance and insight and be more motivated and engaged to help you execute strategic and effective email communications.
Relevance is king
“Relevance is king” can be a useful adaptation of the traditional mantra “content is king” to level up your use of the email channel. One of the most common quandaries organizations face is how many emails to send. Often, companies are surprised when research suggests customers want to hear more from them, not less.
The secret to answering this question is relevance. Customers’ perception of an email as spam is highly correlated with relevance, meaning a hard-and-fast number will not suffice. Customers who receive few emails with very little relevance will have low engagement compared to those who receive frequent and relevant communications.
Find your target
Relevancy is achieved by segmenting your audience based on their client profile. Whether you are at the crawl, walk, or run stage of your use of the email channel, you should always aim for maximum personalization. An email recipient is 50 percent more likely to click on a link in a segmented email.
For many, this means targeting your email distribution using, at a minimum, basic segmentation based on a foundational data strategy. No more mass messaging with information relevant to only a small section of the distribution list. This old batch-and-blast approach is well past its expiration date.
For others, this means more advanced behavioral-based and customized segments. This requires a true understanding of the customer experience and profile to provide the right content at the right time under the right circumstance.
Email marketing should always start with developing your strategy to set your goals and find the best way to achieve them. Once you have your strategy in place, support it with relevant messages that target audiences that want to receive them. Do that and you can watch your customers’ engagement grow!
Looking for help developing an effective email marketing strategy? Ext. has the expertise you need. Contact us today at 1.844.243.1830 or email@example.com
The next time you question the value of digital marketing, post “free baseball tickets” on your social media feed and watch what happens. We guarantee you’ll be overwhelmed with a response. Why? Your message is short, direct and conveys something people want.
At a time when everyone struggles to cope with information overload, digital marketing needs to be able to cut through the noise and deliver something that will make the audience feel it was worth their time. And short is best – according to a study by Microsoft Corp., people today generally lose concentration after eight seconds.
To consistently craft those messages, remember the five Cs:
Digital copy needs to be clear, concise and easy to understand. It starts by knowing what you want to say. Start by referring to your key messaging (if you don’t have that in place, then consider developing that first) and then build your concept around that idea.
Once you have a crisp idea what your message, find a succinct way to say it. You lose clarity when you pack words into a sentence. Avoid long words and unnecessary adverbs or adjectives (e.g., actually, really, very etc.)
And keep it scannable. Short sentences and single-sentence paragraphs – often called snackable content – are usually the most effective.
Digital marketing allows you to give your brand some personality. Keep it authentic. Whether your brand is fun or serious, there are many creative ways to tell your story.
Push yourself to capture the audience’s curiosity with a smartly crafted message. Pair that copy with innovative insights, strong images, animations, and videos to add more interest to your story.
The digital space is a visual medium so think graphically. Support your message with an infographic to tell a complete story.
Connection is about understanding what your audience needs and offering a solution. Done effectively, it results in that “aha moment” by creating a relatable, emotional connection with the reader.
Being authentic and solving challenges helps you build trust. Remember, people tend to share content they can relate to.
It’s not about you; your content has to resonate with your audience. Successful client relationships are built on generating genuine rapport and respect.
Engage your audience by encouraging collaboration and getting familiar with their goals and pain points. When you treat your clients as partners by inviting them to participate in your message, you’ve started a conversation that’s more likely to last.
Maintaining a regular distribution schedule for your content can help build customer loyalty. They can come to rely on you as a source of information. But consistency isn’t just about providing structure; it also refers to the type of content you are offering. Are you always communicating valued information? That’s the key.
Whether you publish two blogs a week or send an email newsletter once a month, stick with it by sharing relevant content that your audience can count on. Remember, you can use metrics to figure out what resonates best with your audiences and refine your strategy from there.
Looking to elevate your digital content? Ext can help you execute effective communication campaigns with a focus on the five C’s. Contact us today at 1.844.243.1830 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are not regularly A/B testing your website and digital marketing materials, you could be overlooking valuable client insights. The only way to truly test how your digital assets are performing is to create several versions of these assets and pit them against one another.
Get to know your target audience
Whether you’re selling a product or an idea, you want to communicate with your target audience in a way that demonstrates you understand their needs. You can design what you believe to be the most appealing ad or draft what you think is truly compelling copy, but how can you be sure it resonates with your readers? What you might not realize when you hit the “Send” or “Publish” button is that if you had made a small change, your conversion rates could have jumped dramatically.
A/B testing simply refers to the comparison of two versions of an ad, landing page or email to see which one results in higher engagement. Here’s how it works:
• Create your control version (with headline, copy, call to action and graphics)
• Create a second version (or several) selecting one element of each to be the variant
• Post each version (or, in the case of an e-newsletter, divide your audience and send one version to each group)
• Measure and compare the interaction levels between the control version and the variants (click-through rates, open rates, time on pages, page sessions, etc.)
Test, test and test again
Remember, your audience decides what works and what doesn’t. Effective marketing campaigns are the ones that keep building on their own insights. Ext. Digital Activation Manager Shane Hersco recommends constant vigilance. “You need to A/B test as many different variations as possible. It never ends. You will never have a campaign that stands the test of time – that’s evergreen; after a while, even the best creative will fatigue. And to minimize fatiguing, we constantly test different variants,” he says.
Hersco adds that it’s important to test variants because you don’t intuitively know how the audience will interpret the creative and which one will work best. “We have a standing ad for example, and we test a small variation to it. We don’t typically change an entire ad or test two wildly different versions of the creative, otherwise we wouldn’t know what works and what doesn’t,” he explains.
Break it down
Anytime you A/B test, you need to test either a call to action, an image or copy – just one thing. For example, you’d have all those components in campaign A, and in campaign B you’d change only one of those elements.
It’s best practice to give each campaign asset a couple of days and to use a large enough sample size to deliver accurate results. It’s rather scientific, when you think about it. You control one variable at a time to reveal the main driver for success.
A/B testing provides insights into what creative elements are the most effective. Once you get an idea of which ones are the most appealing and effective for a particular audience or customer persona, you can use those insights to build a marketing library of different samples you can leverage for future campaigns.
Looking to boost your digital metrics and conversion rates? Learn how Ext. can help you create and manage effective marketing campaigns that incorporate A/B testing. Contact us today at 1.844.243.1830 or email@example.com.
More consumers than ever are discovering brands, making purchases, and conducting banking and other financial services transactions online. It’s a trend that’s expected to continue. Statista reports global e-commerce sales are projected to reach US$5.4 trillion by the end of 2022 (up from US$4.28 trillion in 2020). So how can financial services marketers benefit from this move to digital?
Here are four strategies that can help you build more effective online marketing campaigns:
1. Ride a trending topic to help boost SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of increasing traffic to a website by strategically posting online content featuring keywords people are likely to be using in their searches. Keywords that are trending based on seasonality or timely news can be particularly effective.
In the lead-up to Valentine’s Day, for example, consider ways you can tie your offering to the occasion. If you’re a financial services provider, you might playfully post an article suggesting the most romantic gift you could give your significant other is a contribution to their retirement plan. The key is to make a compelling connection with text that isn’t misleading.
Looking for some big-picture trending topics to leverage in 2022? Check out themes CNET is predicting will shape 2022.
2. Provide interactive content
The Content Marketing Institute says 81% of the marketers surveyed for its Interactive Content report agreed that interactive content “grabs attention more effectively than static content” and 79% believe it “can have reusable value, resulting in repeat visitors and multiple exposures.”
Interactivity can make your content stand out and be more engaging. For example, posting an online mortgage calculator might help draw traffic to an online lender. Providing readers with a life-stage questionnaire or the option of selecting their life situation (e.g., owning a home, renting a home, employed, self-employed) might be an effective way for an insurance company to steer visitors to the appropriate products to meet their needs.
3. Engage with social
An incredible 4.55 billion people (more than half the world’s population) use social media, according to the Digital 2021 October Global Statshot Report. If you want to be where your audience is, you can’t ignore social – both organic and paid (see below).
Social media marketing leverages social media channels to promote your brand or service. Done effectively, it can increase brand awareness, drive leads and sales, and help you build ongoing relationships with your clients and prospects.
To create an effective social media strategy, Hootsuite recommends learning everything you can about your audience and your competition, creating a social media content calendar and tracking the performance of your posts so you can adjust your strategy to improve results.
4. Consider pay-per-click marketing
Pay-per-click (PPC) marketing involves paying to target specific audience groups with your messaging based on selected keywords. The cost is determined by the amount you bid and how much competition there is for that same space from other advertisers. You can pay to activate your content on social channels or at the top of search engines.
With PPC, you only pay when someone clicks on your link, so there’s no charge for all those who view your ad but aren’t motivated to follow through. You can also set a limit on how much you wish to spend, so you won’t become a victim of too much success! To learn more, read Four ways to get the most out of your pay-per-click strategy.
Looking for support with your online marketing? Ext. has the expertise you need. Contact us today at 1.844.243.1830 or firstname.lastname@example.org.