With everything going on in your business, taking the time to market your own company can easily fall by the wayside. While it may seem daunting, creating an effective MSP marketing strategy can completely change the way you approach new business. With the right tools in place, you may actually see that business start to approach you.
Effective MSP marketing involves combining traditional marketing, with newer, more modern “inbound” approach.
Where outbound marketing includes things like email, events, referrals, and presentations, Inbound marketing turns traditional marketing on its head by leading with value and content, attracting customers to contact you by building trust before you ever speak with them. This is done in the form of blogs, videos, ebooks, whitepapers, SEO, and funnels.
Let’s take a look at a few things you should include in your MSP marketing program.
Be Blogging! (content, content, content)
Creating content should be toward the top of your to-do list. This is best housed as a blog on your website. A blog can do so much for your company. For one, it’s the best strategy for SEO (Search Engine Optimization), and being at the top of google can increase your lead generation exponentially. Additionally, a blog gives you the chance to speak to prospective customers before a traditional sales call, giving them value and building trust before you’ve ever spoken.
To start planning your blog, think of 3-5 areas that your customers have pain points and where you can help. These are your pillars. For example, here at Hook Security we talk of course about phishing testing, security awareness training, and psychological security, as these relate to our service offerings. However, we also blog about the channel, cybersecurity news, and marketing (like this blog!) as these are areas of additional value we can offer. Although they don't relate to our service directly, they give us chance to help more people and build an audience.
Relating this back to your business, are there pain points you can solve for businesses via a blog? Productivity, security, communication, safety, etc. These are areas you can add value that also point back to value you bring as a service provider.Start a blog, write about your industry, solve people's problems, and watch the results.
Create longer content like eBooks and Whitepapers
When generating leads, it can be hard to get someone to cough up their information. In this time of privacy being on everyone’s minds, you have to provide a reason for someone to give you their info. This comes in the form of trust and value, and best way to do that is to provide longer, more helpful content in return. eBooks and whitepapers are great ways to this, but have slightly different use cases. eBooks tend to be fun and conversational in nature, while whitepapers deliver a research-based message.
“Hang on, I’m not a writer! I can’t do this”
Ok, sure. Writing is not something that comes naturally to everyone, but the value in what you’re doing is not in your expert literary skills. The content you make should reflect the knowledge you have in the world of IT and Managed Services. To come up with content ideas, look at the best solutions you offer and simply teach it to the masses. Your writing will improve over time, but if you just can’t seem to put pen-to-paper (or finger to keys), make videos! Many successful content creators start with video and transcribe it into a blog later.
Create Landing Pages with CTAs
Sometimes, your main website is just too much information. Often times if a user comes to your website for specific purpose like learning about your services or downloading an eBook, a busy navigation and big website can lead them astray. Creating a landing page takes away all distraction. It can be as simple as a picture, paragraph, and CTA (call-to-action). This is a great way to capture information, just make sure the content is worth it to the customer.
For more on converting traffic to leads, check out our lead generation ebook below:
If you’re not familiar with this concept, picture a funnel. It starts out with a wide mouth and gets smaller and smaller until the liquid passes through in a small stream.
This is the approach you should take with inbound MSP marketing, with the bottom of the funnel representing a new client. Here’s what the journey should look like:
- Blogging and other content help you reach a large audience.
- Landing pages and forms turns that audience into leads.
- Sales calls, and email help you turn leads into new business.
Your funnel should fit into your sales process. Make sure you have a plan to handle leads that come in, and have a strategy to take warms leads and get them to close.Having an established funnel allows you to then focus on specific areas of it with purpose. If you know that a certain percentage of website leads turn into business, that gives you reason to put money into lead generation. If you notice that your lead-to-close conversion rate is low, you can focus on your sales process to increase it.
Funnels should also play nicely with your email strategy. Any lead that doesn’t become a client immediately should be put on a periodic nurture campaign. You’ll be surprised at who will contact you a year later because they’ve gotten your newsletters and now need your services.
Run Google Ads in your area
Use Google Ads to target common keywords used by possible clients. This could be terms related to computer issues, new services, etc. While your blog will help with organic traffic, taking advantage of Google Ads allows you to reach those who are actively looking for you. This is a more time and money consuming strategy, but it can pay off big time.
To get the best ROI from paid ads, do keyword research to find opportunities for low cost traffic. If done wrong, ads can be a money pit. Consider outsourcing this to a marketing agency if you've never done it before.
Another paid ad strategy that can pay off huge is retargeting on Google, Facebook, and Linkedin. Using a code on your website, you can advertise straight to people who have already been to your website or interacted with your content. You’re likely to see a large ROI from retargeting, especially if you are creating good content.
Where to start?
If you’re just getting started with an MSP marketing program, start with creating content. It’s free, and is the foundation of most everything else you’ll have in your marketing arsenal. The best place to find content ideas is to go where people ask questions or complain. Facebook groups, reddit, quora, etc. are great places to see what people have problems with. If there are problems that you can help with, this gives you plenty of inspiration for content to create. After you have a solid content library, find ways to promote it and ways to capture the information of those who show interest.
Hook Security is a channel-dedicated cyber security awareness training platform. We work with MSPs to grow their businesses and keep their customers secure.