2020 MSP Marketing Guide Part 2 of 4: The Bare Essentials
Continuing our discussion from our previous blog, ”2020 MSP Marketing Guide Part 1 of 4: Your Marketing Budget”, let's discuss the basics of what your MSP’s marketing should entail.
The Baseline, Absolute Minimal Amount of Marketing You Should Do
Let’s establish the very bare minimum of what you need to do for your marketing. This is the never-compromised, always-running background marketing that supplements your more aggressive campaigns.
The Obvious Stuff
There are a few essentials that your MSP needs to have for your marketing to work. First and foremost, you need a good website. It doesn’t need to be a complex dog and pony show, but you do need to show off your services, your expertise, and offer incentives to try your services. Of course, you can go down the custom website route if you have the money to spend, but a prebuilt solution like our Ultimate MSP Website is a fine place to start.
Obviously you need a logo, a domain name, email, a local phone number (and possibly a toll-free number if you work with non-local businesses). Always have a pocket full of nice, heavy business cards with all of this information on them.
Be prepared to give something away to encourage people to let you stick your foot in their doors. You could call your sales meeting a “free consultation” but you’ll find that if you offer something with more clear value you will get more attention. Network audits, security audits, high-value educational presentations, and DIY deliverables might get more prospects biting.
Good content drives traffic. Content is considered “good” when it’s constructed in a way that is understandable by your ideal prospects. If your target audience consists of business owners, avoid technical jargon and instead focus on the value of your services. If you are targeting CIOs, then your content would be more technical.
Your website content isn’t a college thesis - it’s more impressive to be easily understood than it is to show your behemothic, sagacious lexicon (or, as a human being would say, your big fancy words).
Content should describe your services, your company, your values, and immediately show that you have an understanding for the problems and needs of your ideal client.
You should also be actively building a growing library of content in the form of blogs, company news and accolades, resources, and case studies. Fresh, relevant content that is geared towards your ideal client will help shorten sales cycles, draw in more organic traffic, and give you plenty of ammunition to use with your marketing.
Newsletters and Email Marketing
With all this content being built, you need to promote it to your clients and prospects through the use of print and email. We tend to reserve print for prospects that you don’t have permission to email, and for those special clients and prospects that you really, really want to get more involved with, since printed materials have a higher cost.
Regular monthly newsletters showing off your latest blog posts, tips, and other announcements are a great baseline, and sending out blasts when you have something to announce or want to drive users to a new promotion or deliverable will fill in the gap between each newsletter.
A Social Media Presence, and Ongoing Social Media Activity
It doesn’t matter how you personally feel about social media, your business has to be on it. You need to definitely have a presence on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn, and you should consider other networks like Instagram and Pinterest.
Make sure your accounts are set up and that all of the information on them is accurate. We’ve been helping MSPs and other businesses establish their base social media presence through our Ultimate Social Media Rig for almost a decade now, and these days it is more critical than ever.
Beyond just setting up your social media accounts, you’ll want to actively grow and nurture them. Share your blog posts and promotions, but don’t stop there. You should broadcast anything interesting that your company is doing, whether you are taking your staff out to lunch or sponsoring a local baseball game. A portion of your content budget should go towards new social media posts each day.
Also, having a small boost budget for Facebook can help get your posts out further. Typically plan on spending $5 or $10 a day to start.
Local Business Listings
I’d almost group this into social media, since many of these sites have social aspects to them. Making sure your business is listed on Google My Business, Bing Places, Yelp, Yellowpages, and the countless other big directories will help users find you and help out your search position on Google. Plus, if you don’t establish or take control over your business listing, many of these sites will generate an account for you or let a customer generate one when they want to say something about you. You’ll want to own these listings and monitor them for positive and negative reviews so you can act accordingly.
As a part of our SEO and Content Marketing services, we include the setup and upkeep of over 70 different local business listing services.
Finally, you need to equip yourself with deliverables and other physical documents that you can use to keep prospects thinking about you even when you aren’t directly interfacing with them. The nice thing about having a good collection of deliverables is that you can use some of them as your free offering, include them in pieces of other campaigns you are doing, and even build a lot of your content around them.
For example, you can create a kit of resources to help a business owner teach their employees about good IT security habits, with plenty of language encouraging the owner to have you help with security compliances. This kit could be a leave behind and a freebie on your website (promoted throughout your site and on social media, leading to a landing page encouraging registration to download it).
You’d then build plenty of social media posts and blog articles around the topic, all driving traffic to the landing page. You’d push it in your email newsletters and email blasts, direct mail, and more. You can keep using the kit for as long as it’s relevant, always driving new prospects to it to show your value.
Leave behinds can also consist of branded swag like pens, mouse pads, webcam covers, thumb drives, mugs, brochures, case studies, and more.
Once you have the base infrastructure set up, the regular marketing touches running, and a handful of good offers and leave behinds to use as ammunition, it’s time to get in front of new prospects. In our next post, we’ll break down how to budget and effectively launch aggressive, targeted campaigns.