Investing in Thought Leadership: FourBridges Capital Advisors (Finance)
Building a Reputation of Business Excellence and Establishing Thought Leadership in the Southeastern United States
FourBridges Capital Advisors is a middle market investment banking firm that focuses on Southeastern business owners who are planning or executing important transactions, such as buying and selling a business, or borrowing or raising capital.
After committing to an aggressive growth strategy across the Southeastern United States, FourBridges Capital Advisors needed to improve its brand awareness outside of its headquarters in Chattanooga, Tennessee. When FourBridges engaged the Bradford Group, the company had a limited profile beyond its local market, infrequent blog posts and an inactive newsletter.
The Bradford Group developed a holistic publicity and marketing plan that included strategic media relations, regular blogging and social media content and engagement, along with general publicity and marketing counsel.
In order to establish FourBridges as a visible champion in the middle market investment banking sector, the Bradford Group also developed a “push and pull” thought leadership approach. That is, the Bradford Group pushed FourBridges into the local, regional and national conversation by generating earned media in which FourBridges principals and advisors were quoted, as well as articles bylined by FourBridges principals, which the Bradford Group drafted.
Further, the Bradford Group pulled recognized thought leaders into a conversation with FourBridges by creating a news portal called Investment Banking South, in which we published interviews with investment banking thought leaders who are based in the region served by FourBridges. Interviewees included leaders in private equity, accounting, banking, academia and economic development across the Southeast.
To leverage the news portal and position FourBridges as a regional leader in middle market investment banking, the Bradford Group also launched an annual market expectations survey through the news portal. Publicity efforts around this survey garnered coverage throughout the Southeast, including Florida, which had previously been a difficult market in which to generate awareness of FourBridges.
On the digital front, the Bradford Group developed a strategy to improve the firm’s overall website traffic and digital presence. Tactics included:
- Posting blog posts approximately once per week.
- Engaging with middle market businesses and media publications via social media.
- Developing case studies to highlight FourBridges’ successes.
In 2015, the Bradford Group:
- Placed 25 stories in local, regional and national media (a 13% increase over 2014).
- Sample outlets included Chief Executive, Middle Market Executive, Upstate Business Journal, Jacksonville Business Journal, Charleston Mercury, Business Alabama, The Tennessean, Southern/Alpha and more.
- Generated 12.6 million media impressions (a 286% increase over 2014).
- Posted 31 blogs (a 55% increase over 2014).
- Conducted interviews for and drafted 12 Investment Banking South posts.
- Increased Twitter following by 35% in one year.
- Increased LinkedIn following by 90% in one year.
- Increased website sessions by 30% in one year.
- Increased website users by 31% in one year.