Marketing—this word is akin to a fever dream for a lot of managed service providers out there.
So many MSPs seem to have trouble figuring out the correct marketing strategy for their services. So many organizations try to deal with this problem by out-spending the competition. It almost comes as a reflex to them.
Unfortunately, this approach is short-sighted and even superficial to a certain extent. Out-spending or out-bidding your competition will never be enough to create a solid client base because the competition will eventually come into money as well.
“Do you have a better idea?” we hear you asking. As it so happens, there is a better approach MSPs can take to improve their marketing.
Your motive should be to provide content that adds value to people’s lives. Educational content builds trust and grows your audience. It helps you create a community around your services. Your MSP marketing strategy should be more than just a medium for promoting and selling your products. Marketing needs to be perceived as an MSP’s overall presence.
MSP marketing needs to focus on the value the organization brings. However, it is also essential to understand that this value is not limited to the product but has to do with the intent around the product and the role the organization plays in its customers’ lives.
Leverage your brand’s online presence by adopting digital marketing. Use videos, podcasts, blog articles, memes to convey your ideas and create value. Make sure that your audience does not feel like they’re being sold something.
Instead of trying to outspend, outsell, or outsponsor competitors, try to out-teach them.
Co-author of Rework
Bring in expertise
Managed service providers are IT experts and have a tech wiz image. It’s essential that you live up to that perception by teaching your consumers how to evaluate services and products. In addition, you must understand the circumstances of your audience and prepare them better for purchasing the services they require.
Your marketing should be a steady stream of free advice, tailored to your target market, on using and implementing technology. The technical depth of your target buyer will determine how deep or technical you should go.
Founder and CEO, IronPath
Cover your audience’s queries and interests through your content. Use your expertise to create a relationship with your customers that goes beyond transactional. Your aim should be to use your knowledge to help your audience and be consistent about it. Authentic communication will allow you to establish a community that sticks with you.
The thing I learned over time has been that you want the stuff that should be in the videos to be the stuff that people may want to pay you for. And you feel like you're almost oversharing and giving away too much. Because it helps other people and that's the critical thing. It's actually genuinely helping other people with zero expectation of return.
Digital marketing expert
Immediate responses are the need of the hour
82% of consumers expect an immediate response to a sale and service inquiry. Responsiveness needs to be ingrained as a character trait of your business. You must show your clients that you’re there for them. It’s essential to your clients that you acknowledge any issue they are facing. Even when immediate mitigation is impossible, the fact that a human is addressing their problem reassures your customers.
One of the biggest problems with MSPs is that they don’t pick up calls, thereby losing potential customers. You must have a more active approach to responding to calls and queries. Businesses that actively pick up calls and show up are businesses that have the most loyal clientele. It’s also a good idea to have templates set to improve communication with your clients. Make use of applications like Calendly to optimize scheduling.
Build a community by answering questions
For starters, adopt a live chat service and have a presence in social media channels. The idea is to be omnipresent in both chat and social media. Next, dive into the client base and make yourself a peer. Look at your services from your clients’ perspective, understand their immediate priorities, and see what you can change or improve. Finally, proactively reach out to your community based on the various questions they have for you.
From Facebook to Twitter, LinkedIn, SlideShare, and YouTube, social media is an appropriate spot to promote your business and get your name out to the local community. These platforms provide an easy way to get your important messages out, whether it’s educating prospects about best practices, showcasing client success, or discuss top technology trends.
VP Marketing & Business Development, SolarWinds N-able
Moreover, you can churn out SEO pages based on these questions. However, just absorbing information should not be the goal here. Your audience doesn’t want you to come up with barebones solution articles and call it a day. Ensure that you also use this information to tell stories and bring these ideas and questions to life.
Grow by helping your clients grow
MSPs need to strategically position their services with the growth of their clients in mind. Better business for your clients equates to better business for you. Considering how volatile current circumstances are, be prepared for a shift in the target audience for MSPs.
Ponder over solutions you can sell and how you can help businesses of different sizes and different industries. Try to help your clientele with your content. Don’t see marketing as a one-time thing. For your business to make an impact and stay relevant, develop your MSP marketing for the long haul.