It’s been said, “Smaller MSPs don’t do marketing and don’t know what to do”. This comes from the fact that many small and medium businesses (SMBs) rely on word of mouth, and “old-school marketing,” such as direct mailers, door-to-door, and cold calling.
These legacy techniques will only get a business so far. The good news is that modern digital marketing offers a lot of effective techniques to build and expand your customer base beyond the results of traditional marketing.
Investing in a diverse portfolio of marketing efforts broadens your reach and is important for long-term sustained growth.
This article will discuss some of the most important steps MSPs starting out can make to elevate their marketing game.
Because some results will be immediate while others will bear fruit in the long term, it’s important to start right now. The sooner you start the faster you’ll grow.
Content is King
Brand Awareness Matters
The global market is changing how digital marketing is handled. SEO is a crucial aspect of driving traffic to your website but many small and medium businesses (SMBs) fail to recognize the importance of local SEO.
Even businesses steeped in technology like MSPs are unaware of the importance of establishing an internet presence and building domain authority.
Increasing your organic search traffic can be a long process of content creation. Doing so in a way that demonstrates your business is a thought leader establishes authority as well as being beneficial to increase traffic.
This can be the crucial differentiator between two businesses that do the same thing.
Consider this example: A customer is searching for companies who provide your services. One business has a standard site with nothing on it, no social media presence, no reviews, and no content.
Another company has multiple customer reviews, higher ratings, informative articles on their site, frequent social media posts about events or topics related to their industry.
Which business are you more likely to contact? The first might be a better company but how would you know? It’s an easy choice. The brand you know more about is the one that will inspire more confidence.
Diverse Content Builds Your Brand
Put simply, having more content and reviews than your competitors is an easy way to stand out.
Today’s customers are savvy and those doing their own research are more likely to turn to you when they can see that you know your field.
If your primary offerings are cybersecurity solutions then blog posts such as “Making Sure You’re HIPAA Compliant,” “Backup Your Business Data Safely and Securely,” “The Evolution of Hackers: from Basements to Businesses,” “Protecting Yourself From a Data Breach” can help establish authority with Google and credibility with your audience.
The more content you have, the more likely Google will list you in their results – this is crucial for getting your business in front of people.
Creating content that targets the pain points and issues that your ideal audience needs you to solve helps ensure that the people who see you are the customers who need you.
It’s crucial to create content that does more than extolling the virtues of your product or services.
By creating content that educates people on important issues or facts related to their business without pitching a product or service you establish credibility as someone they can turn to for answers.
It builds your audience and broadens your reach which in turn drives that legacy concept “word of mouth” into the modern era.
Though organic traffic built from content and brand awareness is a slower method, it is a free method of driving traffic to your business’s website.
The biggest investment you will make is the time it takes to create good content and maybe a writer if you aren’t comfortable with your own writing.
Un-gated content, the information offered without requiring any information, establishes trust with a prospect.
Soft gates, asking for contact information but not requiring it to view the content, and gated content are all ways of generating leads.
Once your audience feels they have a relationship with you through your content they’ll become a prospect and a standard “contact us” form can be used to collect their information.
Local SEO Makes a Difference
Another quick and easy trick that many businesses miss is updating the company’s Yelp and Google information.
This is a high-value, low-effort way to bump your SEO results. Based on information from the tech company Yext, 37% of businesses have the incorrect name in their Google listings, while listings with the incorrect address sit around 43%, and 19% lack website URLs.
Once again, you’re trying to stand apart from the other competitors that show up in search results. You don’t need to out-swim a shark, you just need to out-swim the other humans around you.
Make Your Advertising Dollars Count
Once you’ve got your organic traffic flow moving, then it’s reasonable to consider investing in a digital advertising campaign.
There are many options for paid advertising online — from Google pay-per-click (PPC) to LinkedIn or Facebook Ads, to Google Ads — your company’s needs and where your customers live ill determine the avenue of paid advertising that’s best.
If your company lacks content or is primarily B2B, Google PPC might be the best option. Google PPC advertising works well when your target audience searches for local results.
Tailor your campaign to fit what your ideal customer will be looking for, something like “Top IT companies in California,” and have your company displayed in the top three results.
Google ads often also generate higher-quality leads. Someone searching on Google for MSPs demonstrates higher intent and therefore is more likely to move forward.
Social Media Advertising
Social networks like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter offer opportunities for organic reach but they also offer targeted paid advertising.
Social Media advertising puts your company in front of more eyes than PPC and is generally more affordable, but it also allows your ads to be tailored to specific demographics within your target audience.
LinkedIn is best for B2B companies while Facebook and Twitter offer more opportunities for B2C.
MSPs using social media advertising should analyze which type of social media their ideal prospects frequent and spend accordingly.
Social advertising puts your content in front of a targeted group and is often designed to generate likes, follows, and leads.
One time tested technique is by offering gated content to customers willing to fill out a short form. This generates leads.
Different Content for Different Platforms
It’s important to note that messaging also differ between Google ads and social advertising. Users are in completely different mindsets when using Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.
Content you make for each platform should take that into account. An ad that works well on LinkedIn won’t necessarily work on Instagram.
As you use these platforms, take note of ads that catch your eye vs ones that you scroll right past. You can often times copy competitor ads and make adjustments to them to use for your own.
Modern Marketing is Essential for Every Business
As daunting a task as it may seem to bring in new customers, using digital marketing increases your ROI.
Digital marketing techniques make it possible for SMBs to handle marketing even with a single person.
More customers equal more revenue. More revenue allows growth. Leveraging digital marketing basics until more people can be hired offers you a way to grow sustainably.
Making sure your website is well designed and complete, including a place to collect emails and phone numbers presents a mature business image.
Determining the correct kind of ads, keeping your business listings up to date, and leveraging social media are all essential for good quality lead generation at any stage of growth.
When used correctly, Google, Yelp, LinkedIn, Facebook, and other forms of digital advertising become some of your best tools.