Developing an effective content marketing strategy to raise capital online is all about knowing how to tell a story. With the right type of content, it can be easy for people to learn more about you, your value proposition, and your deals. In addition to having some insight into what it is, exactly, that you do, your prospects will also be able to learn about things such as your company’s long-term goals, your values, and how you are different from the many investment alternatives they may come across.
Years ago, if someone had an important story to tell, the first thing this person might consider doing would be writing a book. Who doesn’t love books, right? Well, while there are still countless excellent books being published every year, the way that we receive, digest, and are shaped by stories has considerably changed. A standard 300-page book might take an average reader somewhere from five to 10 hours to finish—these days, for better or for worse, most people do not want to commit to that amount of time, or anywhere near that amount of time. While our natural thirst for good storytelling has not gone away, our expectations have dramatically changed.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average person spends about 12 minutes reading traditional print media (books, magazines, newspapers) per day, whereas—at the same time—the average person (under the age of 75, in the United States) spends about five hours per day on the internet. Digital media has become so dominant—by these measures, outpacing print media by a magnitude of 30 to one—that any storyteller who wants to be heard absolutely must incorporate digital stories into the ways they express themselves.
Thanks to the overwhelming popularity of social media, platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter have begun shaping what people are talking about, what people think, and how people view the world they live in. These sudden changes, clearly, have both pros and cons attached them, but our new communication paradigm is something we cannot afford to ignore.
Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, all regularly used by billions of people, have each become incredibly popular because they enable people to consume stories and relevant industry news in an incredibly efficient manner. A picture, as they say, is something that is worth a thousand words and when combined with a catchy caption can be very compelling. By spending even just a few minutes on any of these platforms, a person can catch up with everything their friends are doing, catch the headlines from their selected news sources, and even discover new pages that might warrant future interactions. The window to convince someone to take action—such as invest in a real estate project—is limited, but when utilized correctly, these snippets of stories can be incredibly effective in finding prospects who self-select and in driving them into your orbit.
A digestible reality
Suppose you are a sponsor, trying to raise capital for one of your syndications. To complete this project, you must raise $10 million in equity by the end of the month. Naturally, there are many ways you can go about trying to raise this money and some will be much more effective than others. You could write an 800-page thesis, titled something like “On The Need to Invest in Residential Property on 8th Street: An Investor’s Perspective,” which can lay out a nearly irrefutable argument as to why investing in such a property is such a great idea. The problem is, if nobody commits to reading this “thesis,” it doesn’t really matter how “irrefutable” your argument might be.
With a ten-second story—combined with many other 10-second stories, spread out over time—you can visually synthesize your pitch in a manner that is seemingly infinitely easier to digest. Countless aspects of your business can be showcased; highlighting the property, your team, the project, and your efforts in the community can all help craft a clear, concise narrative.
Too often in our industry, seasoned professionals assume that social media is a peripheral activity that doesn’t really make a difference. Even when it comes to professionally oriented platforms such as LinkedIn and Twitter, or the more socially oriented like Facebook, some members of the industry will assume these platforms might be social but aren’t necessarily media, at least in the traditional sense.
These assumptions, frankly, are wrong.
Social media isn’t just for people interacting with their friends; it is carefully crafted to facilitate interactions between individuals and businesses and, in many ways, these interactions are more valuable than almost anything that can be achieved through the use of more traditional media outlets.
A 10-second story, as posting on any of the main social media platforms make possible, is a form of media that can be digested with very little risk. At most, your audience loses 10 seconds of their time (and if they’re really uninterested, they will likely scroll away sooner). But these stories can begin the crucial steps of planting seeds, forging new ideas, building awareness, and reminding your audience how you can offer them value.
Ten seconds to tell a story is certainly not very much time, at all. But when utilized correctly, 10 seconds is all you’ll ever need to finance your next deal.
Adam Gower Ph.D. helps real estate sponsors build their investor lists and raise more equity without having to spend all their time networking. He has more than 30 years and $1.5 billion of transactional experience in commercial real estate finance and investment. Today he builds best of class digital marketing platforms for private clients so they can raise more capital online and provides online courses for those who want to do it themselves – all at GowerCrowd.com. Learn how to raise capital using social media for your next project here.