As an MSP, you’ve already mastered the art of modern IT, but can you say the same when it comes to marketing? If the basics of marketing don’t come naturally to you or your business, don’t fret. We’re taking a 101 approach to show you how to grow your managed IT services business by creating the best content, content that will actually generate leads for your company.
Effective marketing efforts ensure that your business is using all available resources to understand and satisfy your clients’ needs, which ultimately increases growth and sales. Although marketing may seem daunting, with it you'll be able to upsell existing clients, attract new users, increase recurring revenue, and expand the kind of profitable relationships necessary to grow as a service provider business. Here are some simple tips on how to market your MSP business and generate more leads.
An essential step to take in your marketing efforts is what we like to call engagement marketing. This is a combination of both inbound and outbound strategies that rely on branding and presenting your MSP practice to the broadest number of potential clients possible. Whether it’s sending an email newsletter, posting on social media, or distributing an eBook, the goal of MSP marketing is to develop and promote relevant and useful content for prospective clients.
There’s a fine line between the art of communicating with a client and coming off too sales-oriented. Unfortunately, most MSPs find themselves crossing that line, which is usually the source of their marketing pain points. Instead, start the conversation by engaging clients with your brand to develop those valuable relationships. One stellar way to do this is through custom content! This will allow you to share your expertise and infuse your personality in a meaningful way, all while promoting the value of your services.
Engaging Your Audience
A large part of engagement marketing for MSPs involves utilizing content channels such as the Internet and e-mail, and social media tools like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. The content you create here should be interesting, useful, and always engaging. You want to make sure you’re sending the right message—one that showcases your value, and speaks directly to your target audience.
In addition to these channels, there are plenty of other ways to engage potential clients and leads. Most are designed to generate and distribute content that drives demand. Here are some examples:
Whitepapers & Case Studies:
Whitepapers and case studies are a simple way to take content marketing to the next level. This content offers a deeper look at your services and engages prospects that need to decide if you're the best fit for their business.
Whitepapers can be offered to prospective clients in exchange for their basic contact information. Length and depth of this content may vary from business to business. You can easily distribute your whitepapers through your website, or take a more targeted approach by sending prospects a direct invitation. Either way, your whitepaper should be focused on prescriptive, useful business and technical content – not on sales.
Case studies are a unique way to show potential clients proof that they will actually benefit from your products and services. Their aim is to showcase one client's success, with the hope that others will be more inclined to do business with you after having read testimonials. Jumpstart your case study efforts in order to help build trust between your brand and your prospects.
Webinars & Webcasts:
Many MSPs find webinars a valuable and cost-effective way to spread the word about their services and the value they create for clients. Similar to whitepapers, webinar and webcast content should be insightful, prescriptive and avoid the salesman approach. The convenience of these web-hosted presentations lies in the fact that they can be viewed from anywhere. Your prospects can tune in when on their lunch break!
Although webinars are live events typically 20 to 60 minutes in length, you can easily repurpose that content afterward. Turning it into slide decks and offering on-demand replays of the event can help keep this content relevant and productive for months to come. As an MSP, you can host and develop your own webinars, or even join forces with industry media groups that offer them as a hosted service. Webinars and webcasts keep clients engaged, which is why they are a great resource for generating and nurturing high-value leads.
Need some webinar inspiration? Check out our on-demand webinar hub!
When it comes to blogging, the hardest part is usually figuring out where to start or what you should be blogging about. A well-crafted and regularly updated company blog can help position you as a thought leader and value-added service provider. Blog items should be informative, keyword-rich, search-engine-optimized and targeted towards the common business concerns of the industry.
Here are some standard types of blog posts you should be writing to get started, but MSPs should also think about introducing short video posts that highlight solutions in areas of core competency. Blogs are the perfect space to highlight your expertise, create conversation and provoke thoughts. But don't forget to continue pushing your content after you hit publish! By sharing your blog via social channels and email marketing, you’ll increase visibility and attract more potential clients.
Live events give an unparalleled opportunity to network with peers and potential clients, but they are the most costly of engagement marketing tools. The objective for event marketing is to create an experience for prospects that’s engaging and relevant enough to inspire attendees to talk about on social media, posting photos and even acting as brand ambassadors.
In fact, synergies with social media are becoming the most important facet of live event participation. Twitter and Facebook promote and engage attendees before, during, and after the event, and can organize “events within events” that let MSPs hone their messaging to select groups of targeted prospects.
Don’t stop here! Download our full eBook for a 360 degree view of MSP marketing:
By Courtney Swift
By Scott Wittstock