Conquering MSP Problems (Part 3): Marketing Effectiveness
Since you’re currently reading one of our marketing blogs, it’s more than likely that you’re interested in marketing your company. To do that effectively - that’s a whole other story! Many of our clients have come to us after attempting to market their MSP, but failing. No judgments here - marketing can be quite difficult if you don’t have the experience in doing so.
You can market your company all you want. However, if you’re not seeing the results that you should be from your effort...is it even worth doing?
Fortunately, we’ve learned a lot from years of experience marketing our own MSP and from helping other MSPs from all over the world market their services. We now understand the common problems and pain points that the majority of managed service providers will face, and what needs to be done to overcome them.
Marketing Instead of Waiting
If you’re on our website reading this blog right now, you’ve probably already taken at least a step or two towards marketing your company. A lot of our clients didn’t market themselves AT ALL before partnering with us. Instead, they just established their storefront and online presence, then waited for the clients to come to them.
Depending how much competition is in your area, you might have found this method effective at one point; it certainly can be to a degree. However, eventually that new business is going to stop coming in if you’re not actively promoting your service offerings to potential prospects.
Conquer this Problem: Fortunately, the solution to this problem is quite simple: start marketing! Specifically, start by introducing your company and service offerings to local businesses who meet your requirements. We suggest running an awareness campaign to do this; you can do so with the help of our “Meet Company Campaign” if you’d like some assistance in doing this.
Getting Noticed by Google
When conducting research, where do you go?
If you’re like the vast majority of people, you’re going to turn to Google. It’s likely that most of your target audience is going to do the same thing when they’re ready to look for solutions to keep their business IT secure and operational.
The problem that many managed service providers run into is that these individuals will end up on their competitions’ website instead because their competition will show up higher in the search results. Sometimes, the company in question might not even show up on the first page of results!
Conquer this Problem: If you want Google to start paying attention to your company and website, you need to work on developing a SEO and content marketing strategy. Make sure you are working on all of the technical aspects of SEO such as H1/H2/H3 tags, alt text, keywords, optimizations, etc. You also need to work on developing your content itself by having a lot of content, a lot of different types of content, and new content on a regular basis.
You can give your ranking an extra boost by directing your audience to your website through your marketing efforts. The more visitors that you are getting, the more “relevant” Google will see your website to be, and the higher you will rank.
Resisting the Urge to Always Email
Email is a fantastic, low-effort communication tool that businesses have at their fingertips. Instead of having to get in the car to drive over and have an in-person conversation with a business owner or even pick up a phone, MSPs can instead communicate with clients via email.
Pretty much every modern MSP uses a ticketing system with their PSA that can contact clients via email with any updates. Many of these PSAs can send other email communications outside of these ticket updates so that even marketing communications can be sent through the system.
However, this convenience comes at a price: if email is the ONLY way you are communicating with clients, then your emails are going to start being overlooked. This also cuts off your ability to market towards potential leads, as you likely don’t have their permission to contact them via email yet.
Conquer this Problem: We don’t mean to bash your email marketing here; it’s definitely something that you need to be doing. However, we encourage you to expand outside the scope of just email. You have so many different marketing options out there!
It also doesn’t hurt to give your clients a call every now and then to check in or give a more personalized, in-depth response. This is especially important when you are dealing with a sensitive issue, as your tone can be misconstrued in a typed response.
Properly Measuring It
While you’re reading this blog, you may be asking, “How do I know whether or not my marketing is effective?”
If you’re asking this, don’t worry - you’re not alone! A lot of our clients came to us because they didn’t understand how to determine their return on investment that they got from their marketing, whether it’s their ongoing marketing efforts or their marketing campaigns that they run.
Conquer this Problem: Proper measurements require proper planning beforehand. You should never start a campaign, or even an ongoing marketing effort, without determining what you’re going to look at to see if your marketing succeeds or fails.
From the metrics that you will get once you start marketing, determine which ones are your key performance indicators (KPI’s), and make sure you look at those during and after your marketing takes place. This will help you evaluate what you’re doing so that you can make any changes, if needed, to improve performance.
Great Content, Not So Great Results
You might already have some great content out there on your website - the type of content that is great for convincing prospects you’re worth doing business with, and content that is a useful resource for your current clients to go to.
How great is it if no one is actually reading it?
Conquer this Problem: There are a few reasons why this can occur; let’s go over how to determine what went wrong, and how to fix things.
One reason could be the design of your website. If things aren't organized in a logical manner and/or if you are not taking advantage of internal linking capabilities paired with calls-to-action, certain sections are going to be overlooked. Remember: your audience won’t know for certain whether or not you have a company blog, case studies, and testimonials. Not all companies do!
If you have these things, you need to make them easy to find. To determine whether your website design is the problem, have someone you know that is unfamiliar with your website attempt to navigate through it and tell you what the experience is like.
If you want, we can be that resource! Feel free to contact us to ask for our opinion. Or, you can browse through how our MSP Website Templates are organized to get a feel of how to promote the resources you have.
The other common reason is that you’re not marketing that content as you should be. Are you actively promoting your content to the correct audience? Or, are you just letting it sit there on your website?
Make sure that you are sending out emails, running campaigns, and using social media to promote your content.
Local Marketing Agency isn’t Cutting It
You may have tried having one or more of your employees juggle marketing on top of their normal everyday tasks. When that didn’t work, the next logical step for many MSPs is to turn to a local marketing agency to handle their marketing needs.
However, a lot of the time when this happens, these managed service providers end up spending a LOT of money, and see minimal return on their investment...if any.
Conquer this Problem: We don’t mean to disparage local marketing agencies at all - in fact, we are one to many small businesses in our local area!
There are a lot of complex things and concepts when it comes to the world of IT, and to effectively market those services, an in-depth understanding of technology is needed to explain these complexities using simple, easy to understand examples and language.
A local marketing agency may be able to create your website design or create a nice postcard template for you to use. But will they be able to write your website content for you? Do they know enough to write you blogs for your website? Can they produce a case study that accurately explains how you helped one of your clients with an IT-related problem?
There may be some local marketing agencies that have the knowledge equipped to market IT services. Unfortunately...a lot don’t. That’s why a lot of managed service providers will turn to an MSP marketing agency like us who understands what it means to be a managed service provider, and how to effectively sell these IT services.
Need More Help Marketing Effectively?
We’re always here to assist you in your marketing endeavors if you need it! We have helped thousands of clients over the years market themselves effectively, and would be more than happy to do the same with you. Feel free to check out our MSP Marketing services, and schedule a demo to see things in action.