In an increasingly data-driven investment environment, startups must create appealing content to attract investors’ attention
The concept of Inbound Marketing has gained great popularity over the last few decades. Inbound marketing is less aggressive, not interruptive, and tries to provide real help to the potential customer. Involving the use of helpful content to attract attention from potential customers, inbound marketing provides a much more friendly version than traditional marketing. While traditional or “Outbound marketing” attempts to directly reach customers through advertising, inbound marketing is focused on helping customers find your products.
These concepts could also be applied to fundraising. While Outbound Fundraising is focused on reaching out and connecting with investors, Inbound Fundraising would try to do the opposite by obtaining the attention from investors to your startup in a reactively manner.
The limitations of outbound fundraising
Many startups are almost exclusively using outbound fundraising and are actively looking for investors and reaching proactively to them. In many cases, these efforts are vain when startups are not investment-ready. Besides, there are two important barriers from the investor perspective:
- Investors who are highly popular are overwhelmed by the number of pitch decks and business plans that they receive and cannot even respond to all those messages.
- Small investors are never reached because the startup is unaware of them and they commonly stay under the radar.
The power of inbound fundraising strategies
At Strata we have observed that many startups are much more focused on outbound fundraising while mostly disregard inbound fundraising. However, inbound fundraising can be more cost-effective. A promising startup should have a strong presence on the online and offline channels in which investors are actively looking for investments.
Startups should also be very active in creating content that attracts investors’ attention:
- Websites – Startup websites must be attractive, even if the startup has not reached the market yet. If the startup is looking for investors, the website should present the team, the mission and the vision. Information about the advisory/management board would also create a very strong incentive for investors.
- People! People, product and profits must be the first priority of startups, and in that order, as famous investor Ben Horowitz explains. Startups should clearly communicate who the core team is and even showcase key management hires. Undoubtedly, professional investors are monitoring LinkedIn, Crunchbase and other data sites to track promising startups. The ability of a startup to attract top talent is one of the best indicators of potential success.
- Articles – Articles about the technology but also about the market, the opportunities, the customers, the pilot projects should be published on leading journals, websites such as Medium, etc.
- Blog posts – Startups must showcase their latest projects and milestones, be active and alive!
- Videos and pictures– Post videos about your event appearances and your “social life”. In an all-virtual world, proof of being real is getting more and more important.
- Patents – especially important for deeptech companies, working in fields such as advanced materials, cleantech biotech, pharma, etc. Corporate investors proactively investigate the patent landscape looking for appealing investment opportunities.
Inbound and outbound marketing campaigns should be effectively combined to tap into the whole ecosystem of investors. Otherwise, startups who are fundraising could struggle to succeed in obtaining funding if the efforts are mostly put into connecting with stellar too–popular investors that might be overloaded with tons of business plans and decks. More than ever, professional investors are data-driven and are continuously monitoring startups data points.
Disclaimer: At Strata we help tech startups create effective fundraising strategies. We also advise about content and marketing strategies.