By the time you’re reading this, I hope that you’re already sold on the idea that as a Private Equity (P.E.) firm you should be taking steps towards becoming a visible thought leader online. If not, please take a look at 5 Key Components to a Great Private Equity Website.

In fact, Private Equity is a space that lends itself incredibly well to thought leadership and strategic content marketing. There is a wide audience looking to your firm for the advice you are willing and able to share.

In return, you will receive both credibility and opportunity.  If you’re doubtful this exchange can be profitable, luckily you don’t have to take my word for it…

There are others that are doing it right this moment in the current marketplace. Our client, LLR Partners, is a great example of how a P.E. firm can become a successful thought leader online across a myriad of industry topics. Potential clients visit their site because of new content that’s now visible in Search or social feeds, and then sign up for notifications for future content during their visit to the site. As a result, LLR Partners has seen an increase in quality traffic and qualified leads. This growth has established them in the thought leader role.

A prospective portfolio company that is small and growing may not meet your criteria today, but tomorrow they may be a prime opportunity for investment.  When they are, you want these future clients to have trust in your firm and reap the benefits of your relevancy. That sense of relevancy is key for users so that the perception of your firm is influential and top of mind no matter where the user is in the sales cycle .

Online, that trust is cemented by producing purposeful, thoughtful and useful content that visitors return to your site to read.

Even If you are already publishing good, quality content for your users, the following steps are still very much applicable. True thought leadership requires constant honing and refinement.

So, without further ado, let’s break it down into the five steps to take to become a thought leader in the Private Equity space.

1. Identify the audiences you wish to serve.

Who do you want visiting your website? Start by developing some user personas. Create 3 to 5 that detail exactly who you want to speak to.  Who do you wish to attract? Business owners, C-suite, or primarily CFOs? What size companies are you looking to attract? Build all of these attributes into your user persona.

2. Identify your digital channels.

Identify how you’re going to reach the audiences you just described with the content that typically resides on your website. Are your visitors being driven there for private equity firms?  We don’t typically go too crazy with social channels, but you are looking at Twitter and Linkedin. Ideally, you’re contacting your audiences via email. Organizing your emails and identifying the platform through which they are distributed are important parts of the process.

3. Develop Topics that your Audience Actually Cares About.

What questions do you find yourself typically answering again and again? Topics you often have to explain are going to be really effective as evergreen content and provide valuable information for your audiences no matter when they discover it. A good example would be what metrics CFOs are not typically paying attention to. For all content, ask yourself, what are your audiences’ typical pain points and what advice can you give them to help? Simplified, it is providing timely and useful content to your audiences.  Start off with five to ten topics, but don’t overwhelm yourself. You’re not a content producer, you are a subject matter expert. Don’t get bogged down with the hell of writing everything and producing all the content. Focus on the what and find a good partner to handle the how.

4. Leverage Automation Technology to the Fullest

Marketing Automation technology must be a key part of your strategy; so, use it to the fullest extent. Having a dependable and feature-rich marketing automation platform will allow you to send emails and drive users to your content more efficiently and effectively.  The underlying software will be able to show you how your users are interacting with that content. That prospective client that was reading an article 60 days ago could be back on your site today. A marketing automation solution will make sure you know about it and you can capitalize on it. Every day you should be leveraging technology to automate this lead nurturing.

5. Keep Measuring. Keep Engaging

Establish a content publishing schedule that’s driven by data and sound metrics. Consistently test and analyze the effectiveness of your content by studying your web analytics and by consistently surveying users for feedback. Only through sincere user engagement can you be constantly nurturing your audiences, demonstrating your expertise and maintaining relevancy.

While these 5 steps may seem like a broad guide to becoming a thought leader in the Private Equity space, you’d be surprised how many firms similar to yours have yet to realize how effective a content strategy can be in increasing your digital visibility. Just by starting to take one or two of the steps outlined above will put your firm well ahead of the competition and fuel future growth.

For help with the steps you may not be prepared or capable to take today, don’t worry…having the right creative partner with experience in your industry is all it takes.