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The Savvy EB-5 Partners Guide to Content Marketing

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THE SAVVY EB-5 PARTNER’S GUIDE TO
CONTENT MARKETING
TURNING THOUGHT LEADERSHIP INTO
PROFITABLE FOREIGN INVESTOR LEADS
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
 Content marketing is the art and science of converting the
thought leadership of partners and subject ...
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Introduction………………………………………………………………………………………………..4
What Is Content Marketing?.............................
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The Savvy EB-5 Partners Guide to Content Marketing

  1. 1. THE SAVVY EB-5 PARTNER’S GUIDE TO CONTENT MARKETING TURNING THOUGHT LEADERSHIP INTO PROFITABLE FOREIGN INVESTOR LEADS
  2. 2. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY  Content marketing is the art and science of converting the thought leadership of partners and subject matter experts into materials that can be published, promoted and shared.  Content marketing is a complement to, and not a replacement for traditional marketing efforts.  Firms are tying content to their SEO and keyword strategy and posting it online.  Firms are taking selected content, and tucking it behind a form for purposes of lead generation.  Firms use a combination of email, social media, traditional marketing, pay per click, and on site tactics to integrate approaches to how content will be marketed and shared.  Most law firms say that producing the kind of content that engages potential investors and clients is their biggest content marketing challenge.  Having reluctant rainmakers in your firm play an active role in the firm’s content marketing program is a terrific way to use their skills, talent and subject matter expertise to stimulate new business. Eye Openers About the Value of Content Marketing  90% of prospects find custom content useful  78% of people believe that organizations providing custom content are interested in building good relationships with them  77% of people understand that an organization’s goal for custom content is to sell them something, but are OK with it as long as it provides value  73% of people prefer to get information about an organization in a collection of articles rather than in a traditional advertisement  61% of people feel better about a company that delivers custom content and are more likely to buy from that company Source: Custom Content Council
  3. 3. TABLE OF CONTENTS Introduction………………………………………………………………………………………………..4 What Is Content Marketing?............................................................................5 Been There… Done That. So What’s New About Content Marketing?................. 5 Is Traditional Marketing Dead?........................................................................6 Content Marketing Challenges for EB-5 Firms…………………………………………………7 Tying Content Marketing into Your Sales Cycle………………………………………………7 Find Your EB-5 Flame…………………………………………………………………………………8 Turning Reluctant Rainmakers into New Business Racehorses………………………..9 About Digital Native Media, LLC…………………………………………………………………10
  4. 4. ORGANIZATIONAL GOALS FOR B2B CONTENT MARKETING  Brand awareness (82%)  Lead generation (74%)  Customer acquisition (71%)  Thought leadership (68%)  Engagement (64%)  Customer retention/loyalty (57%)  Website traffic (57%)  Lead management/nurturing (47%)  Sales (45%) Source: MarketingProfs, 2015 INTRODUCTION The battle for new EB-5 investors is super competitive, and it’s only going to get tighter as new firms, practitioners, regional centers and projects move into this immigration niche. Right now your competitors are actively going after your target investor. They’re not only using traditional marketing tactics like foreign-based emigration agents and schmoozing, your smarter competitors are harnessing the power of the internet and discovering how the new realm of inbound marketing is an effective tool for investor (lead) generation. Adding to this complexity is the fact that firms are finding that traditional marketing tactics are expensive and increasingly coming under scrutiny by the SEC. At the same time EB-5 investors are increasingly performing more due diligence and turning to the internet to find EB-5 solutions, data, projects and practitioners. (Here is where the rubber hits the road.) They want to find solutions or information online for which they can opt-in to see. (They like the perceived veil of anonymity. As well, they like having info that they can review conveniently according to their schedule.) Smart firms know that getting found first online is what’s fundamentally necessary these days, and they’re aligning budget priorities to this end. But if you and all of your competitors have done a whiz-bang job of optimizing your website, and you’re all showing up on the first page of searches, how does your target investor choose your website/firm to investigate? How do you deliver your firm’s unique message? How do you differentiate? And how do you do it in a way that doesn’t break the bank? The answer: content marketing. Digital Native Media, LLC 2015 © Page | 4
  5. 5. WHAT IS CONTENT MARKETING? Content marketing is the art and science of converting the thought leadership of partners and subject matter experts into materials that can be published, promoted and shared. When you get your content published, promoted and shared, you’re filling the top of your sales funnel with prospective investors that want to see or hear what you have to say. BEEN THERE. DONE THAT. SO WHAT’S NEW ABOUT CONTENT MARKETING? As mentioned earlier, content marketing isn’t a new Concept, and if your firm has a newsletter, offers articles, does seminars, and so on, you’re doing content marketing. Here’s what’s new. First, firms are tying content to SEO and key word strategy and posting it online. The objectives of using key words and posting is that content now becomes part of your firm’s “get found first strategy”, as it will appear in search engine rankings. Second, rather than just give content away, firms are taking selected content, and tucking it behind a form where the investor must provide their name and other contact information before getting access. If the content is valuable enough and the offer for the content is presented in a creative and compelling way, visitors will fill out a form and now, your firm has a lead. Third, firms are capitalizing upon a combination of Email, social media traditional marketing, pay per click, And onsite tactics to integrate approaches to how content will be marketed and shared. Firms are not using content as a one-off marketing tactic, but as part of an integrated marketing communications ecosystem. Today, there are more tools and more ways to promote your content than ever before, so it’s just not a matter of coming up with thought leadership: it’s critically important to develop and execute a strategy for promoting your content and getting it shared and in front of your most sought-after clients and investors. Fourth, savvy firms are developing goals and objectives for content, rather than just publishing it for the sake of publishing alone. As shown by a recent study done by the Content Marketing Institute, brand awareness, customer acquisition and lead generation are key objectives—and the latter two can be easily measured! Digital Native Media, LLC 2015 © Page | 5 20 Reasons Why You Need Content Marketing 1. A key part of a lead acquisition strategy 2. Attracts investors at significantly lower costs 3. Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year 4. Cost effective, less out of pocket spending required 5. Creates “hands-free” opportunities to get thought leadership shared 6. Creates opportunity for increasing investor loyalty and retention 7. Establish their firm as thought leader 8. Focused niche growth 9. Helps firm build their brand 10. Helps build personal brands 11. Helps prospects find your firm 12. Improved search engine rankings 13. Investor conversion and nurturing 14. Positions firm as a trusted advisor 15. Presents opportunities for competitive differentiation 16. Provides a platform for cross selling to investors 17. Provides an SEO benefit 18. Provides for different messaging at different points in the buying cycle 19. Provides something of value to prospects and customers 20. Shortens sales cycles
  6. 6. IS TRADITIONAL MARKETING DEAD? With all of the noise being made about inbound marketing, social media, internet marketing, blogging, SEO and so on, one might think that the way that professional service firms have traditionally marketed and secured new business is dead. That simply isn’t true. Your firm will still be doing meets & greets, direct/regional center investor webinars, hotel presentations, expos, site/regional center visits, schmoozing, paid advertising, producing collateral, and so on--because it’s traditional, it’s comfortable, and it works. However, now that the JOBS Act of 2012 has opened a flood gate for general marketing, content marketing should take a strong lead in attracting new EB-5 business. So it’s important to think about content marketing as a complement to, and not a replacement for traditional marketing efforts— albeit a critically important complement for the reasons discussed above. Integrating a content strategy with traditional marketing efforts is going to be the game changer for many firms specializing in EB-5 immigration. Say, for example, you deliver a presentation at an expo, association or potential EB-5 investor meeting. Traditionally, you would hang around and wait for your potential investor to give you their contact information, then (hopefully) follow with a phone call or in exchange for their info/card, you promise to send them a copy of your presentation, PPM offering or some other print collateral. Using an integrated approach, you would still hang out at the podium, but now you would hand out your business card with a link to a landing page, where after filling out a form, the EB-5 investor could download a copy of your presentation. And so they would be pulled into your nurturing funnel. The EB-5 process is a long and complicated one. It requires many ‘touches’, but first you must pull them in and remove them from the open market. Seventy percent of first movers land the client…it’s often just a matter of nurturing and guiding them to the finish line. Content marketing affords you such a strategy that traditional marketing does not. This is the essence of permission based (inbound) marketing. Contact. Context. Content. Continuity. Conversion. Success. Repeat. Digital Native Media, LLC 2015 © Page | 6 Still Not Convinced? Check out this research conducted by the Custom Content Council with Roper Affairs:  90% of prospects find custom content useful  78% of people believe that organizations providing custom content are interested in building good relationships with them  77% of people understand that an organization’s goal for custom content is to sell them something, but are OK with it as long as it provides value  73% of people prefer to get information about an organization in a collection of articles rather than in a traditional advertisement  61% of people feel better about a company that delivers custom content and are more likely to buy from that company
  7. 7. CONTENT MARKETING CHALLENGES FOR EB-5 FIRMS As an accomplished Partner in your practice, your lack of time, undoubtedly is your greatest challenge. According to a 2013 study by Marketing Profs and the Content Marketing Institute, data indicated that two other challenges go hand-in-hand with your time shortage: producing enough content and producing engaging content . Producing enough content starts with a creative flame or catalyst that ignites thought leadership. From there, you can deliver your own take, comments, observations or guidance through many types of media. Finding that flame or catalyst doesn’t have to be an overly burdensome task. It’s not necessary to stare at a blank screen until your muse gives you inspiration! One easy way to start is by making a list of hot topics, current trends or issues that are keeping your investors or potential investors up at night. (For example, will my child age out? Where am I in the capital stack? Can my spouse work? Do I have the necessary proof to validate my funds?) Next, for each topic, write 3 to 5 questions that your client or potential client asks about the issue. Write an answer for each question. Hooray!! You’ve just created content that can be published in any number of ways in addition to your blog. If you’re still stuck, we’ve provided a list of 25 different places you can use to get started. TYING CONTENT MARKETING INTO YOUR SALES CYCLE A well-planned and executed content strategy is built to move prospects through your sales funnel. Since the EB-5 process involves a long sales cycle and is generally not going to happen after just one touch from your firm, you can tie different types of content to different stages of the sales cycle. And, it’s now possible to automate this process. This is the essence of what’s known as lead nurturing, and is a key part of the inbound marketing process. Digital Native Media, LLC 2015 © Page | 7 8 Challenges Your EB-5 Firm Faces When Creating Content To Attract Investors 1. Lack of Time 2. Producing Enough Content 3. Producing the Kind of Content that Engages 4. Producing a Variety of Content 5. Inability to Measure Content Effectiveness 6. Lack of Integration Across Marketing 7. Lack of Knowledge and Training on SEC Compliance 8. Finding Trained Content Marketing Professionals with EB-5 Knowledge
  8. 8. During the awareness phase (suspects to leads), content is used to present your firm’s brand with an eye toward using the firm’s thought leadership for differentiation. In the evaluation phase (leads to qualified leads), where prospective investors are looking for information or solutions to their issues, content is delivered through mechanisms like seminars or case studies, but specifically designed around singular topics or issues. Finally, in the purchase phase (qualified leads to engagements), where prospective investors are now looking for assurance, the firm uses content to present your services, products, and pricing through offers like free consultations or through sales brochures. One of the key mistakes that firms make is sending content about services, pricing and fees well before the investor is ‘sales’ ready. This makes your firm appear to be sales aggressors, rather than thought leaders. Finally, your firm needs an inventory of content in order to tie a content marketing strategy into your sales strategy, particularly if you employ an automated drip process for lead nurturing campaigns. Sounds like a lot of work, right? It is…but the ROI you’ll achieve is well worth the effort. FINDING YOUR EB-5 FLAME First, if you’re having trouble finding a spark to get going, have a look at the topics in our graphic ‘Find Your EB-5 Flame’ below. You’d be surprised at what is an almost endless supply of content material that is essentially just waiting for your personal insights or thought leadership. Secondly, consider what other firms are deploying as content marketing tactics. Included are social media (think LinkedIn), articles, e-newsletters and blogs. Some firms have also found (lesser) success with virtual conferences (not to be confused with webinars), annual reports and (good old fashioned) printed newsletters. Digital Native Media, LLC 2015 © Page | 8
  9. 9. TURNING RELUCTANT RAINMAKERS INTO CONTENT- PRODUCING RACEHORSES Does your firm have partners and other subject matter experts that are ‘reluctant rainmakers’? Perhaps you are a bit reluctant as well? These fellow partners and principals have superior technical skills and an abundance of experience and expertise, but when it comes to sales and marketing, well, let’s just say that these types of activities are just not their forte…and that marketing was not exactly taught in law school. However, partners and principals are expected to be actively involved in marketing and sales activities. Reluctant rainmakers typically do this reactively through networking. So how can you do this proactively – especially in light of your expanded marketing capabilities afforded by the JOBS Act of 2012 and the SEC’s May & September Memoranda? Having them play an active role in your firm’s content marketing program is a terrific way to use your skills, talent and subject matter expertise for new business. Instead of using a reluctant rainmaker’s business development time for sales and marketing activities that are not really in their comfort zone, we show Digital Native Media, LLC 2015 © Page | 9 Find Your EB-5 Flame  Annual reports  Ask your clients & investors  Bloggers/magazines posting EB-5 articles  Books published (ebooks & hard copies)  Community development publications and events  Google News search on EB-5 related topics  FAQs from clients & investors, legislative or regulatory authorities (such as SEC, USCIS, FINCA, etc.)  Forum discussions  Industry Q&A Sites  Industry surveys  Legislative or regulatory alerts  LinkedIn groups  Local business journals  Materials published by peer-to-peer associations of which you are a member  Materials published by allied groups (such as your economic analysis group or escrow services firm)  National and local media  National business journals or magazines  Slides sites like SlideShare  Summaries of NOIs, RFPs, AAOs, adjudications/adjudicators  Takeaways from conferences  Teleconferences with Stakeholders from the Director of USCIS  Trade association forums, letters to the editor  Trade association magazines, newsletters or websites  Whitepapers from your firm  YouTube videos
  10. 10. them how to use their to use their subject matter expertise to create content for your firm’s new business efforts. For example, pick an EB-5 topic (bipartisan legislation H.R. 4659 that both permanently extends the EB-5 program and eliminates the program’s per country caps on visa allocations) and create content (like a blog post, a white paper, a slide presentation, a video, a podcast, a new article or even a webinar. Next, that content gets published on your website. Then when an EB-5 investor is doing a search that published content will come up in the search engine rankings, and with one click, that potential investor will be delivered to your website. Tuck that content behind a form where the prospect must give you their contact information before getting the benefits of your reluctant rainmaker’s thought leadership, and you have just created a lead magnet/lead generator. In just a few reproducible steps, you have turned a reluctant rainmaker into a content-producing racehorse! Digital Native Media, LLC 2015 © Page | 10
  11. 11. Immigration attorneys, developers and financiers come to us when they struggle to attract EB-5 visa investors who would make ideal clients and drive significant revenue. For the right firms facing this challenge, we can deliver extraordinary results to attract the right clients and establish the firm as a global expert. But we're not a magic bullet for most firms. If attracting quality EB-5 clients and investors is important to you, then we'd be happy to learn about your situation to see if we can help. We strive to differentiate our clients by:  Developing marketing strategies that position your firm as thought-leaders in your target market  Creating marketing magnets that attract the best clients/investors for their offerings  Positioning your offering in front of law firms, wealth advisors and potential clients Call us at 310.350.1245 to discuss your firm’s content marketing needs. Digital Native Media, LLC 2015 © Page | 11

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