We typically think of content as a growth tactic. But what if a business is preparing to sell?
Your content marketing strategy is critical to the success of your business—at every stage of growth. Your strategy simply needs to change depending on the outcome you want.
If you’re considering selling your business or need to create content for a brand that is, you’ll need to tweak your content plan to set up a rewarding and profitable exit.
Here are some content marketing tactics that will help you align your marketing strategy with your exit strategy.
Look To Place More High-Authority Links
While your current content marketing strategy is likely centered around link building, SEO and conversion, when the time comes to start focusing on the sale of your business, you’re going to want to mix things up a bit.
It’s always a good idea to go after quality sites relevant to your niche, but when the focus is links, sometimes we tend to take whatever we can get. But be pickier when you start to approach the sale of your business, only going after the most authoritative sites in your niche. Getting some links from these fellow influencers will boost your status within the space, and then you can use this as a bargaining chip when you sit down with investors to talk prices.
This might mean worrying less about promotional content, and it also might mean giving the rights of some of your better stuff to other sites, but this isn’t the end of the world, as the boost in authority you’ll get from these efforts will be worth it.
It’s important to note that this doesn’t mean you should turn away from your traffic-driving, conversion-focused content, but rather that you should be paying more attention to other types of content that have value and that will be appreciated by those looking to invest in a valuable business.
Place A Heavy Emphasis On Branding
As you approach the sale of your business, your ability to create loyal, long-lasting relationships with your customers will become even more important. Branding should always be near the top of your priority list, but it becomes even more important as your exit from the business comes closer.
Consider doubling down on your social media and email marketing, as these are great outlets for branding messages. If you’re running thin on time to do this, consider bringing in some outside help to make things a little easier. Having someone entirely focused on helping boost brand awareness and engagement is a great way to beef up the value of your business before you sell.
Focus On Audience Engagement
Building off this idea of branding, if you can show to potential investors that you have a well-engaged audience, you will once again have a nice bargaining chip to use to try and get a higher asking price from those interested in buying your business.
To do this, turn your attention back to your own blog or newsletter. Think about launching some campaigns that are heavily focused on individuals from your target audience. Competitions are great for this, for example. Perhaps you could run an Instagram campaign asking people to post photos of something relevant to your brand in exchange for a small discount or other incentive.
Videos and podcasts work great for boosting engagement, and so does social media, so maybe use this as an opportunity to launch that YouTube channel you’ve always had on your list but have never gotten to.
Consider Marketing The Actual Sale Of Your Business
Now that you are going to be selling your business, you actually have a new audience: potential investors. Just like if you were selling a house or a car, if you don’t do some work to get the word out that your business is for sale, there’s little chance you’ll find interested buyers who are serious about offering you what your business is worth.
Consider doing some outreach to blogs and websites that are relevant to people interested in buying a business. You may also want to reach out to competitors or other businesses in your niche, letting them know you are putting the business up for sale.
But make sure you’re not mixing audiences. Excessive marketing to customers about the sale of the business might be counterproductive to some of your other efforts, and it may actually discourage people and cause them to turn away from you. It’s not like you’re trying to keep it a secret, but remember that you are dealing with two completely different audiences.
One thing to remember is that while these changes or additions to your marketing strategy need time to work. Don’t wait until you’re desperate to sell to implement them. This will not only decrease their effectiveness, but it will also make your desperation obvious to both customers and potential investors, making it harder to attract serious offers.
However, if you plan ahead and put these into action a year or more in advance, you’ll be thanking yourself when you do sell the business. It will be much easier to find buyers and the offers they send your way will be far more attractive and exciting.
About the author: Jock is the founder of Digital Exits, a brokerage service that specializes in the buying/selling and appraisal of online businesses. He advises clients interested in maximizing the value of their business, helping them get the highest possible offers. His main piece of advice is to plan ahead, since the more time you give yourself to prepare for the sale, the better things will turn out in the end. Jock has bought, built and sold several online companies himself, and he has written about his experiences for publications such as Forbes, CNBC, Entrepreneur and Business Insider.