VC Marketing: How a VC Integrated Content Marketing into its Entire Organization
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VC Marketing: How a VC Integrated Content Marketing into its Entire Organization

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Presentation from Content Marketing World 2012 that shares how OpenView Venture Partners built its national brand using content marketing.

Presentation from Content Marketing World 2012 that shares how OpenView Venture Partners built its national brand using content marketing.

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  • OpenView is a Boston-based venture capital firm that invests exclusively in expansion-stage technology companies — that is, companies that are no longer startups, but haven’t made it to the growth stage.One of our big differentiators is OpenView Labs, the firm’s strategic consulting arm. OpenView Labs provides operational support to our more than 20 portfolio companies across an array of functional areas, including sales support, marketing, research & analytics, and recruiting.Amanda and I both represent the Labs. As director of content strategy, I head up the firm’s content marketing efforts. Until recently, Amanda was in charge of our social media and influencer marketing programs. She recently moved on to another opportunity.
  • For the next 20 minutes or so, we’re going to tell you about the content marketing we do at OpenView. Amanda will start by explaining why and how a venture capital firm came to embrace content marketing. Then I’ll describe what our “content factory” looks like when running at full throttle and some of the key things you need to have in place to build your own content factory.After that, Amanda will describe our content promotion and distribution efforts, and lastly, we’ll offer up some advice for how your company get either get started in content marketing or optimize what you’re already doing.
  • So now, let me turn things over to Amanda, to tell you about how OpenView came to embrace content marketing.
  • Talking points:Crowded VC industry, several big name/notable firms competing to invest in the next great company. OpenView Venture Partners is an expansion stage VC focusing on investing in high growth software and tech companies earning $2-20 M in annual sales. We pride ourselves on our unique model which incorporates a team of in-house consultants called OpenView Labs. We support our cos in recruiting, decision support, and sales and marketing initiatives. We started in 2006 and the only marketing we did was a few press releases here and there. Although we have a great model, unique value proposition, and a great story to tell, we were unknown in the marketplace. Back in 2009 we were introduced to content marketing after reading Joe Pulizzi’s book Get Content, Get Customers; and we were instantly hooked. We brought Joe into do a workshop for our portfolio companies and decided the best way to get our companies to integrate content into their strategies was to lead by example. So we got started…
  • Talking points:Crowded VC industry, several big name/notable firms competing to invest in the next great company. OpenView Venture Partners is an expansion stage VC focusing on investing in high growth software and tech companies earning $2-20 M in annual sales. We pride ourselves on our unique model which incorporates a team of in-house consultants called OpenView Labs. We support our cos in recruiting, decision support, and sales and marketing initiatives. We started in 2006 and the only marketing we did was a few press releases here and there. Although we have a great model, unique value proposition, and a great story to tell, we were unknown in the marketplace. Back in 2009 we were introduced to content marketing after reading Joe Pulizzi’s book Get Content, Get Customers; and we were instantly hooked. We brought Joe into do a workshop for our portfolio companies and decided the best way to get our companies to integrate content into their strategies was to lead by example. So we got started…
  • Talking Points:Our content strategy developed over time, even though we’ve always had a focus to use content marketing to improve our brand awarenessOct 2009 – our first rendition of our corporate blog - April 2010 – our first newsletterSept 2010 – launch of the Labs siteFeb 2011 – our first ebookSept 2011 – blog redesignApril 2012 – our first infographicFall/winter 2012 – redesign of labs site
  • Talking Points:Our content strategy developed over time, even though we’ve always had a focus to use content marketing to improve our brand awarenessOct 2009 – our first rendition of our corporate blog - April 2010 – our first newsletterSept 2010 – launch of the Labs siteFeb 2011 – our first ebookSept 2011 – blog redesignApril 2012 – our first infographicFall/winter 2012 – redesign of labs site
  • Talking Points:Our content strategy developed over time, even though we’ve always had a focus to use content marketing to improve our brand awarenessOct 2009 – our first rendition of our corporate blog - April 2010 – our first newsletterSept 2010 – launch of the Labs siteFeb 2011 – our first ebookSept 2011 – blog redesignApril 2012 – our first infographicFall/winter 2012 – redesign of labs site
  • I joined OpenView in 2012, and was brought on board to not only continue the great content marketing work the firm had been doing, but to help take it to the next level.Since I began in January, we’ve been focused on creating new types of content, such as infographics — the first of which you can see here — and assessment tools. At the same time, we’ve also done a lot of work to increase the depth and quality of our existing content types, making richer, more comprehensive, and better designed eBooks and reports, for example. We’re also very focused on getting the right types of content to the right people at the right times, and have been working to adjust our content distribution strategies accordingly. Plus, we’re in the process of revamping that content hub site, OpenViewLabs.com, and will be launching the next version of that site later this year.All in all, we’ve been working on building what we call a content factory.
  • Now I’m going into a bit more detail about our content factory and what it takes to make it work.
  • OpenView creates a lot of content. From daily articles, blogs, and videos, to weekly podcasts and newsletters, to quarterly eBooks, reports, and case studies, we’re constantly pumping out something new. We create much of that content in house, leveraging our own marketing team, the OpenView staff, freelance writers, and a network of influencers. Plus, we’re currating the best content from the Web every day. All of that content spans a variety of topics that we believe our portfolio companies – and the entrepreneurial community at large – will find useful and beneficial. These include sales and marketing, recruiting, finance, product, customer service, legal and IT among many other topics.Part of the reason for this diversity, not just of topics, but of content types, is because we know what different people consume content in different ways. We’re trying to give our audience as many ways as possible to receive our messages. Ultimately, we’re trying to help people build great companies, and there’s lot of different ways of communicating the information they need to do so.
  • Need to know what you are trying to achieveNeed to know how what you are trying to achieve aligns with your broader marketing and firm goals.Need to know what types of content will help you be successful.
  • Timelyand relevant Focuses on what’s hot right nowNeed to be aware of what competitors, influencers and others are saying Understanding what’s worked well for you and others and why will helpCustomized for your target personas’ (users, user influencers, buyers, buyer influencers, target ecosystem partners, and targeted indirect sales channel employees) journey; includes the key messages to take each of them through every step in their journey. Vibrant / Comes to life Importance of being interactive (want to be able to engage with the content – leave comments, react, etc.)Importance of being visual (use of images is critical, cite the explosion of infographics in recent years as one example)Converts your audience throughout their journey by using hooksCreates regular readersGenerates sales leadsHelps throughout sales processEtc.Is easy to findThe importance of SEO plays in content creation
  • Need different kinds of content for different stages of your audience’s journey.Goes back to the idea of customizationHave to understand your audience and their needs. What is going to resonate with them? Need the knowledge and expertise to create this content. Some of it you can learn by reading a book, other things you just need to experiment with. Lots of trial and error.
  • Content marketing is a team effort. You can’t just pull it off successfully on your own. That doesn’t mean you need a huge team though. At OpenView, our team consists of myself, my managing editor, and a marketing associate who handles our social media and influencer marketing efforts. But it’s not just the three of us working to make everything we do happen. We also rely on a team of freelance writers and editors – who add significant scale to our abilities – as well as the rest of OpenView’s staff. Our staff is completely engaged in our content marketing efforts. They contribute content in the form of blog posts, as well as raw ideas and support for our reports, case studies, and eBooks. They also help distribute our content to their networks.
  • Editorial calendar, and I would also argue a content creation calendar, are the roadmap you follow for your content marketing efforts.Process documents give you some organization and help you to create efficiencies. Once you’ve got a process down, you’re able to repeat it over and over again, so that you can get faster at churning out content.Style guide ensure that you all talk consistently about your firm, who you are, etc. And that you use a consistent treatment of words and phrases. Consistency is key!CMS – the backbone of your online content. Want to pick one that’s easy to work with and that will give you the freedom you need to be creative.
  • iStock 19805641
  • NEED MORE STATS HERE! -- Will think about this some more
  • iStock 19226811NOTE: I will most likely build this out into multiple slides to show takeways.We’ve taken a multi-pronged approach to distributing our content. Prongs include:-social media: presence on the major networks: TW, FB, LI, G+. Experimenting with Pinterest, Instagram. Primarily use social to drive awareness, get more eyes on our content, get more visitors to our site. Each person participates. Use freelancer, tools, etc to help with distribution. In addition we use social to humanize or give a personality to the VC, especially on our FB page. Each piece of content is shared on at least 3-5 accounts. -PR: work to get OpenView’s name out there in terms of submitting bylines, syndications, etc-influencer relations: We’ve focused on finding the top 20-100 influencers in each of the areas we report on and to date we’ve built a database of over 500 contacts. We work to build relationships with these folks in order to create content with them because we get to jump tap into their networks and they are more likely to share. -personal branding: we encourage each person to develop a personal brand in their respective area, more on that next
  • NOTE: I will most likely build this out into multiple slides to show takeways.We’ve taken a multi-pronged approach to distributing our content. Prongs include:-social media: presence on the major networks: TW, FB, LI, G+. Experimenting with Pinterest, Instagram. Primarily use social to drive awareness, get more eyes on our content, get more visitors to our site. Each person participates. Use freelancer, tools, etc to help with distribution. In addition we use social to humanize or give a personality to the VC, especially on our FB page. Each piece of content is shared on at least 3-5 accounts. Social traffic has increased from 200 clicks week to 1800-2000 clicks/week-PR: work to get OpenView’s name out there in terms of submitting bylines, syndications, etc-influencer relations: We’ve focused on finding the top 20-100 influencers in each of the areas we report on and to date we’ve built a database of over 500 contacts. We work to build relationships with these folks in order to create content with them because we get to jump tap into their networks and they are more likely to share. -personal branding: we encourage each person to develop a personal brand in their respective area, more on that next
  • NOTE: I will most likely build this out into multiple slides to show takeways.We’ve taken a multi-pronged approach to distributing our content. Prongs include:-social media: presence on the major networks: TW, FB, LI, G+. Experimenting with Pinterest, Instagram. Primarily use social to drive awareness, get more eyes on our content, get more visitors to our site. Each person participates. Use freelancer, tools, etc to help with distribution. In addition we use social to humanize or give a personality to the VC, especially on our FB page. Each piece of content is shared on at least 3-5 accounts. -PR: work to get OpenView’s name out there in terms of submitting bylines, syndications, etc – targeted VC/tech publications. Made an effort to reach out to these influencers on a bimonthly basis, sharing new pitches and guest bylines-influencer relations: We’ve focused on finding the top 20-100 influencers in each of the areas we report on and to date we’ve built a database of over 500 contacts. We work to build relationships with these folks in order to create content with them because we get to jump tap into their networks and they are more likely to share. -personal branding: we encourage each person to develop a personal brand in their respective area, more on that next
  • NOTE: I will most likely build this out into multiple slides to show takeways.We’ve taken a multi-pronged approach to distributing our content. Prongs include:-social media: presence on the major networks: TW, FB, LI, G+. Experimenting with Pinterest, Instagram. Primarily use social to drive awareness, get more eyes on our content, get more visitors to our site. Each person participates. Use freelancer, tools, etc to help with distribution. In addition we use social to humanize or give a personality to the VC, especially on our FB page. Each piece of content is shared on at least 3-5 accounts. -PR: work to get OpenView’s name out there in terms of submitting bylines, syndications, etc – targeted VC/tech publications. Made an effort to reach out to these influencers on a bimonthly basis, sharing new pitches and guest bylines-influencer relations: We’ve focused on finding the top 20-100 influencers in each of the areas we report on and to date we’ve built a database of over 500 contacts. We work to build relationships with these folks in order to create content with them because we get to jump tap into their networks and they are more likely to share. Takeaways- focus on the top 10-20 influencers in your space, start following them, read their blogs, interact on social channels, comment on their blogs, go out to lunch, meet, pitch ideas-personal branding: we encourage each person to develop a personal brand in their respective area, more on that next
  • NOTE: I will most likely build this out into multiple slides to show takeways.We’ve taken a multi-pronged approach to distributing our content. Prongs include:-social media: presence on the major networks: TW, FB, LI, G+. Experimenting with Pinterest, Instagram. Primarily use social to drive awareness, get more eyes on our content, get more visitors to our site. Each person participates. Use freelancer, tools, etc to help with distribution. In addition we use social to humanize or give a personality to the VC, especially on our FB page. Each piece of content is shared on at least 3-5 accounts. -PR: work to get OpenView’s name out there in terms of submitting bylines, syndications, etc – targeted VC/tech publications. Made an effort to reach out to these influencers on a bimonthly basis, sharing new pitches and guest bylines-influencer relations: We’ve focused on finding the top 20-100 influencers in each of the areas we report on and to date we’ve built a database of over 500 contacts. We work to build relationships with these folks in order to create content with them because we get to jump tap into their networks and they are more likely to share. Takeaways- focus on the top 10-20 influencers in your space, start following them, read their blogs, interact on social channels, comment on their blogs, go out to lunch, meet, pitch ideas-personal branding: we encourage each person to develop a personal brand in their respective area, more on that next
  • Notes: I want this slide to be snazzier. I think it would be fun/interesting to have a hook in, but I don’t have any ideas just yet. KC:I think we should use this as the set up for the presentation and maybe play off of the racing theme alluded to in the title. I se the first bullet talking about why we do this and the evolution, the second talking about what we do today and where that’s gotten us, the third all of the promotion and influencer stuff, the fourth – ways to get started (including engaging your team.
  • One key driver to our success is our team. Every member of our firm is engaged in our content strategy and contributes to it.
  • iStock 8506604One key driver to our success is our team. Every firm member contributes to our content strategy in some wayEveryone is on board from the top on down. We are transparent about what we expect and that builds a sense of accountability. For an example, blogging on a regular basis is built into annual performance goals. If you don’t blog, you lose some of your bonus. Many on the OVP staff are super competitive. So we’ve been able to use this to our advantage. We’ve organized larger contests in which the prizes were ipads but we also release stats on a weekly basis so people can see how many blog page views they’ve garnered. We pass out a little trophyAnother key point to reiterate. We didn’t start doing everything at once. We started with a corporate blog, then we built upon that. We started with a small internal team (2 people) then it grew to a team of great freelancers in addition to our internal staff.
  • One key driver to our success is our team. Every firm member contributes to our content strategy in some wayEveryone is on board from the top on down. We are transparent about what we expect and that builds a sense of accountability. For an example, blogging on a regular basis is built into annual performance goals. If you don’t blog, you lose some of your bonus. Many on the OVP staff are super competitive. So we’ve been able to use this to our advantage. We’ve organized larger contests in which the prizes were ipads but we also release stats on a weekly basis so people can see how many blog page views they’ve garnered. We pass out a little trophyAnother key point to reiterate. We didn’t start doing everything at once. We started with a corporate blog, then we built upon that. We started with a small internal team (2 people) then it grew to a team of great freelancers in addition to our internal staff.
  • One key driver to our success is our team. Every firm member contributes to our content strategy in some wayEveryone is on board from the top on down. We are transparent about what we expect and that builds a sense of accountability. For an example, blogging on a regular basis is built into annual performance goals. If you don’t blog, you lose some of your bonus. Many on the OVP staff are super competitive. So we’ve been able to use this to our advantage. We’ve organized larger contests in which the prizes were ipads but we also release stats on a weekly basis so people can see how many blog page views they’ve garnered. We pass out a little trophyAnother key point to reiterate. We didn’t start doing everything at once. We started with a corporate blog, then we built upon that. We started with a small internal team (2 people) then it grew to a team of great freelancers in addition to our internal staff.

VC Marketing: How a VC Integrated Content Marketing into its Entire Organization VC Marketing: How a VC Integrated Content Marketing into its Entire Organization Presentation Transcript

  • 0 to 60: How a VC Firm Integrated Content into its Entire Organization Kevin Cain and Amanda Maksymiw OpenView Venture Partners @kevinrcain @amandamaks• #cmworld #cmworld
  • Who We Are• Boston VC founded in 2006• $440 million in assets under Strategic management consulting arm that provides• Focused on expansion-stage operational support technology companies to portfolio• 20 portfolio companies companies Sales Support Marketing Research Recruiting & Analytics @kevinrcain @amandamaks #cmworld
  • Today’s Agenda Getting in Gear How a VC Came to Embrace Content Marketing Breaking the Sound Barrier Running a Content Factory at Full Throttle Pit Crew Promoting Content, Working with Influencers, Building a Brand Off to the Races How Your Company Can Get Started @kevinrcain @amandamaks #cmworld
  • Today’s Agenda Getting in Gear How a VC Came to Embrace Content Marketing Breaking the Sound Barrier Running a Content Factory at Full Throttle Pit Crew Promoting Content, Working with Influencers, Building a Brand Off to the Races How Your Company Can Get Started @kevinrcain @amandamaks #cmworld
  • The Problem OpenView Faced @kevinrcain @amandamaks #cmworld
  • What We Hoped to Achieve Increased brand differentiation and awareness Additional functional support for our portfolio companies Engagement with the broader entrepreneurial universe @kevinrcain @amandamaks #cmworld
  • Evolving into a Content FactoryLaunchedCorporate Blog2009 @kevinrcain @amandamaks #cmworld
  • Evolving into a Content Factory Launched Newsletter & Content Hub2009 2010 @kevinrcain @amandamaks #cmworld
  • Evolving into a Content Factory Began publishing eBooks & reports2009 2010 2011 @kevinrcain @amandamaks #cmworld
  • Evolving into a Content Factory • New content types • More targeted distribution • Revamped site • Greater depth and quality2009 2010 2011 2012 @kevinrcain @amandamaks #cmworld
  • Today’s Agenda Getting in Gear How a VC Came to Embrace Content Marketing Breaking the Sound Barrier Running a Content Factory at Full Throttle Pit Crew Promoting Content, Working with Influencers, Building a Brand Off to the Races How Your Company Can Get Started @kevinrcain @amandamaks #cmworld
  • Operating at Full Throttle: What it Looks Like Original or Podcast Original Curated Newsletterguest articles 1 per week videos content 1 per week 1 per day 1 per day 5 per day i Blogs Infographics Case eBooks Reports15-20 per week 1 per quarter Studies 2 per quarter 2 per quarter 2 per quarter @kevinrcain @amandamaks #cmworld
  • Operating at Full Throttle: What it TakesClear goals based onmarketing objectives andcontent needs @kevinrcain @amandamaks #cmworld
  • Operating at Full Throttle: What it Takes Timeliness & Relevance A clear Customization understanding Vibrance of what constitutes great content… Convertability Searchability @kevinrcain @amandamaks #cmworld
  • Operating at Full Throttle: What it TakesKnowledge of what content types are best for B2Bmarketing and how to create them Videos Bylines Reports Infographics Blogs Games Podcasts Collateral Newsletters eBooks Games Thought Leadership @kevinrcain @amandamaks #cmworld
  • Operating at Full Throttle: What it TakesThe right people, roles,and responsibilities OVP Staff Director of Freelancer Content Strategy Managing Freelancer Editor Social Media / Freelancer Influencer Marketing @kevinrcain @amandamaks #cmworld
  • Operating at Full Throttle: What it TakesThe right tools 1. Editorial Calendar 2. Process Documents 3. Style Guide 4. Content Management System @kevinrcain @amandamaks #cmworld
  • Operating at Full Throttle: What it TakesThe ability to: Track and Measure Progress Leverage Resources Repurpose & Reuse Content Distribute and Promote Content @kevinrcain @amandamaks #cmworld
  • Operating at Full Throttle: ResultsToday, people know who we are. Increased traffic to our websites by over 600%, with approximately 45,000 hits per month Grew our opt-in newsletter database to nearly 14,000 Collaborated with more than 100 influencers on over 300 pieces of content @kevinrcain @amandamaks #cmworld
  • Today’s Agenda Getting in Gear How a VC Came to Embrace Content Marketing Breaking the Sound Barrier Running a Content Factory at Full Throttle Pit Crew Promoting Content, Working with Influencers, Building a Brand Off to the Races How Your Company Can Get Started @kevinrcain @amandamaks #cmworld
  • Fueling the Fire: The Distribution Strategy @kevinrcain @amandamaks #cmworld
  • Fueling the Fire: The Distribution Strategy 1-2/day 1/mo. 3-5/day 1/day 10/day 1-2/mo. @kevinrcain @amandamaks #cmworld
  • Fueling the Fire: The Distribution Strategy @kevinrcain @amandamaks #cmworld
  • Fueling the Fire: The Distribution Strategy @kevinrcain @amandamaks #cmworld
  • Fueling the Fire: The Distribution Strategy @kevinrcain @amandamaks #cmworld
  • Today’s Agenda Getting in Gear How a VC Came to Embrace Content Marketing Breaking the Sound Barrier Running a Content Factory at Full Throttle Pit Crew Promoting Content, Working with Influencers, Building a Brand Off to the Races How Your Company Can Get Started @kevinrcain @amandamaks #cmworld
  • Off to the Races: Getting StartedOne key driverto our successis our team.
  • Off to the Races: Getting StartedFrom theTop Down @kevinrcain @amandamaks #cmworld
  • Off to the Races: Getting StartedEngagethe Team @kevinrcain @amandamaks #cmworld
  • Off to the Races: Getting StartedCommitments and Accountability @kevinrcain @amandamaks #cmworld
  • Off to the Races: Getting StartedStarting Smallto Scale Big @kevinrcain @amandamaks #cmworld
  • Questions? @kevinrcain @amandamaks #cmworld